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Ivar Jacobson

Born 1939-09-02
Ystad, Sweden
Residence Switzerland
Nationality Swedish
Fields Electrical Engineering,Computer Science
Institutions Ericsson, Objective Systems, Rational Software, IBM, Ivar Jacobson International
Alma mater Chalmers Institute of Technology in Gothenburg,Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm
Known for components and component architecture, use-cases and use-case driven development,SDL, a major contributor to UML, Objectory, RUP, aspect-oriented software development
Influences Grady Booch,James Rumbaugh

Ivar Hjalmar Jacobson (born 1939) is a Swedish computer scientist, known as major contributor to UML, Objectory, RUP and aspect-oriented software development.



Ivar Jacobson was born in Ystad, Sweden on 2 September 1939. He got his Master of Electrical Engineering degree at Chalmers Institute of Technology in Gothenburg in 1962 and a Ph.D. at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in 1985 on a thesis on Language Constructs for Large Real Time Systems.

After university Jacobson started working at Ericsson until April 1987, when he started Objective Systems. A majority stake of the company was acquired by Ericsson in 1991, and the company was renamed Objectory AB. Jacobson developed the software process OOSE at Objectory circa 1992.

In October 1995 Ericsson divested Objectory to Rational Software[1] and Jacobson started working with Grady Booch and James Rumbaugh, known collectively as the Three Amigos.

Rational was bought by IBM in 2003 and Jacobson decided to quit, but he stayed on until May 2004 as an executive technical consultant.

In mid 2003 Jacobson formed Ivar Jacobson International (IJI) which is an umbrella company for Ivar Jacobson Consulting (IJC)[2] which operates across 4 continents with offices in the UK, US (West and East Coast), Europe, Scandinavia, China, Korea, Singapore and Australia.




In 1967 at Ericsson Jacobson proposed the use of software components in the new generation of software controlled telephone switches Ericsson was developing. In doing this he invented sequence diagrams, and developed collaboration diagrams. He also used state transition diagrams to describe the message flows between components.

Jacobson saw a need for blueprints for software development. He was one of the original developers of the Specification and Design Language (SDL). In 1967, SDL became a standard in the telecoms industry.

At Ericsson he also invented use cases as a way to specify functional software requirements.

Rational Software

At Rational, Jacobson and his friends first designed the UML, later developing the Rational Unified Process.

Essential Unified Process

In November 2005, Jacobson announced the Essential Unified Process or “EssUP” for short. EssUP is a new “Practice” centric software development process that stands on the shoulders of modern but established software development best practice. It is a fresh new start, integrating successful practices sourced from the three leading process camps: the unified process camp, the agile software development camp and the process improvement camp. Each one of them contributes different capabilities: structure, agility and process improvement.

Ivar has described EssUP as a "super light and agile" RUP, and IJI have integrated EssUP into Microsoft Visual Studio Team System and Eclipse.


Jacobson has published several books and articles[3], a selection:

  • 1992. Object-Oriented Software Engineering: A Use Case Driven Approach (ACM Press) With Magnus Christerson, Patrik Jonsson & Gunnar Overgaard. Addison-Wesley, 1992, ISBN 0201544350
  • 1994. The Object Advantage: Business Process Reengineering With Object Technology (ACM Press). With M. Ericsson & A. Jacobson. Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0201422891
  • 1997. Software Reuse: Architecture, Process, and Organization for Business Success (ACM Press). With Martin Griss & Patrik Jonsson. Addison-Wesley, 1997, ISBN 0201924765
  • 1999. The Unified Software Development Process. With Grady Booch & James Rumbaugh. Addison-Wesley Professional, 1999, ISBN 0201571692
  • 2004. The Unified Modeling Language Reference Manual (2nd Edition). With Grady Booch & James Rumbaugh. Addison-Wesley Professional, 2004, ISBN 0321245628
  • 2004. Aspect-Oriented Software Development With Use Cases (Addison-Wesley Object Technology Series). With Pan-Wei Ng. Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0321268881
  • 2005. The Unified Modeling Language User Guide (2nd Edition). With Grady Booch & James Rumbaugh. Addison-Wesley Professional, 2005, ISBN 0321267974


External links


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