How can several developers collaborate with one UML project?

At present NetBeans does not provide good support for sharing a UML model among multiple users. A good solution would be to integrate UML with the versioning support built into the IDE. This would also require a visual merging tool to resolve conflicts when multiple users make changes at the same time. Without a visual merging tool, conflicts would appears in raw XML format and would not be very helpful.

A workaround is to manually put your UML project under version control from the IDE's Files window. For example:

  • Choose Window -> Files from the IDE's main menu.
  • Select your UML project, then choose Versioning -> CVS -> Import into Repository.

Note: do not checkin nbproject/private or the .ettm file. These will be rebuilt when you open the project. The model itself is contained in the .etd and .etup files. Each diagram consists of two files, .etld and .etlp. Once you have your project checked in, your other team members can check it out and open in the IDE.


  • Be careful that only one member of your team edits at a time. If multiple members edit, you could end up with merge conflicts.
  • Before commiting a change, be sure to "save all".
  • After one team member commits a change, everyone else will need to do "CVS update". Then close and reopen the project to force UML to reread the model.

Applies to: NetBeans 5.5.1, 6.0

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