Executable UML is at the next higher layer of abstraction, abstracting away both specific programming languages and decisions about the organization of the software so that a specification built in Executable UML can be deployed in various software environments without change.
The second problem [with using UML for the purposes of this book] is that the Unified Modeling Language concentrates on implementation modeling rather than conceptual modeling.
Today some evidence arises that UML will more and more be used not as a specification language but as a high level programming language. This has some advantages, as if the concepts of UML are executable, they can immediately be animated and tested, or the generated code even be used as implementation. Thus UML probably will have an implementation-oriented semantics describing this animation.
Executable UML is designed to produce a comprehensive and comprehensible model of a solution without making decisions about the organization of the software implementation. It is a highly abstract thinking tool to aid in the formalization of knowledge, a way of thinking about and describing the concepts that make up an abstract solution to a client problem.
Executable UML (xUML) consists of UML class diagrams, UML state machines and an action language which complies with the UML action semantics. There are several action languages in use; we refer to for a somewhat limited overview. The xUML models to be translated are expressed in the Cassandra/xUML dialect, as developed by KnowGravity.