Who created SysML?
SysML was created by the SysML Partners, an informal association of Systems Engineering experts and software modeling tool vendors that convened in 2003 to create a profile (dialect) of UML for Systems Engineering called SysML (Systems Modeling Language). The SysML Partners defined SysML as an open source specification that would satisfy the requirements of the Object Management Group's UML for Systems Engineering RFP, and their specifications included an open source license for distribution and use.

Brief History
The SysML Partners were founded and chaired by Cris Kobryn, who previously chaired the successful UML 1.x and UML 2.0 visual modeling language design teams. As Chair of the SysML Partners Kobryn coined the language name "SysML" (short for "Systems Modeling Language"), designed the original SysML logo, and organized the SysML core language design team as an open source specification project. David W. Oliver, Co-Chair of the INCOSE Model Driven Design Working Group and INCOSE Fellow, was a seminal contributor to the SysML Partners throughout the project. (See Acknowledgement in Memoriam below.) Sandy Friedenthal, chair of the OMG Systems Engineering Special Interest Group, served as Deputy Chair of the SysML Partners during the start of the project.

SysML Language Design Goals
The original language design goals of the SysML Partners included:

  • Parsimonious extension of UML constructs needed: Parsimoniously extend UML constructs needed to support Systems Engineering requirements as specified by the OMG's UML for Systems Engineering RFP;
  • Reduction of UML constructs not needed: Explicitly eliminate UML constructs not strictly needed by SysML so that the SysML dialect will be simpler and less complex that the UML parent language, and therefore easier to learn and apply;
  • Support SysML + UML mixed language usage: Ensure that SysML constructs can be synergistically combined with UML 2 constructs in a model shared by Systems Engineers and Software Engineers, where the former use SysML and the latter use UML. The synergistic combination of SysML and UML should maximize requirements traceability and minimize semantic overlap between the two languages.

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SysML Partners
The main contributors to the SysML v. 1.0a specification follow:

Other SysML contributors
Other contributors that include, but are not limited to, SysML Partners' SysML Specification v. 0.9 copyright holders:

SysML 1.0 & OMG Adoption
The SysML Partners completed their SysML v. 1.0a open source specification draft and submitted it to the OMG in November 2005. A series of competing specification proposals was followed by a "SysML Merge Team" proposal submission to the OMG in April 2006, which was adopted by the OMG as OMG SysML™ in July 2006.

Industry Recognition

  • 2006: The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) presented Kobryn with its Outstanding Service Award for his contributions to the development of the SysML.
  • 2007: The SD Times's editors named the SysML Partners as a winner in the "Modeling Category" of the SD Times 100, which recognizes the leaders and innovators of the software development industry.

Acknowledgement in Memoriam:
The seeds of what eventually grew into the SysML Partners open source specification project began with collaborations between David W. Oliver (1932-2011) and Cris Kobryn starting in 2001. During that time Oliver was an INCOSE Fellow who served as Co-Chair of the INCOSE Model Driven Design Working Group, and Kobryn was consumed with leading the UML2 Partners visual modeling language design team.

Kobryn was impressed by Oliver's vision and passion for a UML for Systems Engineering profile (UML dialect) backed by his Systems Engineering expertise. Both Oliver and Kobryn realized early that UML software components and Systems Engineering hardware components were more similar than dissimilar. Convinced that the two kinds of components could be unified syntactically and semantically, Kobryn subsequently directed his software-centric UML2 Partners team to reduce gratuitous software-centric aspects of the UML 2.0 specification draft so that it could potentially serve as a syntactic and semantic foundation for a future UML for Systems Engineering profile.

Without Oliver's passion and vision, which inspired this tedious but essential UML 2.0 foundation re-work, it is unlikely that the SysML open source specification project could have been completed in a timely manner.
Systems Modeling Language and SysML are not usable as trademarks (see SysML open source project Legal Notices). Unified Modeling Language, UML and OMG SysML are trademarks of the Object Management Group. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies.