Downloading MagicDraw for Academic Use


After a little bit of arm twisting, our friends at NoMagic have decided to support this class by allowing students to download the MagicDraw software to their home computers and laptops. The cost -- free! The software keys will expire at the end of May.

As you will read below, the installation process is a bit involved, but Mark Jenkins has worked through the procedure and graciously provided the following writeup on how to get things working.

Mark's Writeup

I have MagicDraw running on my Macintosh (OS X 10.7.2) with the SysML plug-in.

There are some gotchas depending on how you are set up, and it seems kind of quirky, but it works..

I have an administrative account on my laptop which I only use for installing software and such. Otherwise I log in using a non-administrative account. I used my administrative account to download and install MagicDraw. The files are all set for "other" access that permits the software to run properly, so it doesn't seem to matter that the installation files are owned by the administrative account. There was one file permissions tweak I necessary to get the software started.

Read through the "readme" files on the software, including how to install it. Then look below for what I believe to be the most straightforward way to install the software and make it operational on a Mac OS X 10.7.2 system:

  1. Download the .dmg file from the NoMagic web site (the file for Macintosh installations) [Don't bother downloaded the SysML plug-in at this point - you can read ahead to see why]

  2. Open the .dmg file - you will see a folder for the Magic Draw software on the right, and an alias for your Macs Applications folder on the left

  3. Drag the Magic Draw folder onto the Application folder alias, and watch while some 400-500 MB of data is copied

    At this point you would ideally be able to follow the readme file and start up MagicDraw by going to the bin directory under the installation directory in Terminal on a command line, and type "./mduml" However, that didn't work for me. The mduml file is a bash script, and the MacOS requires the file to be executable (even though it is a script which is read and interpreted), and the default file permissions are for "r" but not "x". So....

  4. Using Terminal, navigate to the installation folder/directory under Applications, then navigate to the bin directory under the installation directory.

  5. Set the execute bit ("x") for all three access modes (user, group, and other)

    Now you will be able to follow the MagicDraw instructions on how to start the software, and they will actually work. But wait! Now is a good time to get the license file that the good folks at MagicDraw generated for the class to use stored away where it is easy to find after starting MagicDraw, so:

  6. Take the license file (MagicDraw has called it the "key", but the file has a .lic extension) and put it in the top level of the installation folder/directory where it will be easy to find

  7. Follow the MagicDraw readme file instructions to start the MagicDraw software

  8. When the initialization process gets to the part where you need to locate the license file, navigate to the "key" (.lic file) that you stored in the installation folder/directory. You will only have to do this once (for each account on the same Mac) under which you will run the software; the location appears to get saved into a configuration file where the software will find it the next time it starts up.

    Now you have MagicDraw running, and you probably have made some selections during the first-time initialization, including the user mode (programmer, systems analyst, etc.).

    But the SysML plug-in isn't installed yet. So...

  9. While MagicDraw is running, look under the "Help" menu and select the choice that manages plug-ins

  10. Select the SysML plug-in and then click the button that says "Download/Install" - MagicDraw will download the plug-in files and distribute them in all the right subdirectories of the Magic Draw installation folder/directory.

  11. Exit MagicDraw

  12. Restart MagicDraw

When MagicDraw initializes after you have downloaded and installed the SysML plug in, it finds the plug-in, recognizes it, and starts using it.

At this point you will be able to select the role of "System Engineer" and have all of the UML plus SysML goodness (parametric diagrams, requirements diagrams, etc.) One of the quirks is that while MagicDraw is running on the Mac with the SysML plug-in, the menu bar doesn't say that "MagicDraw" is the current application, even though you can still see the MagicDraw icon in the dock. Instead, some funky com.something (I don't have it in front of me) application with a generic icon in the dock shows in the menu bar.

Note: I tried to make the manual download of the SysML plug-in work following the MagicDraw instructions, but couldn't. When I downloaded it manually, the .zip file was automatically un-zipped by my Mac. Once the .zip file was unzipped, it was a folder with subdirectories that matched the subdirectories under the installation folder, and it had pieces of the plug-in in each of these subdirectories (and sub-subdirectories, etc.) that needed to be put into the corresponding subdirectories of the installation folder.

Under Windows, the unzip command will just put the things in the right subdirectories and the manual install process probably works fine. On the Mac, if the .zip file is already unzipped, I don't believe that there is an easy way to get all the contents of the plug-in folder's directory hierarchy stuck into the installation folder hierarchy. But the build-in download/install process works just fine.

Mark Jenkins