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Use case Analysis

Use Case analysis is one of the first and primary means of gathering requirements in the behavioral methodology. Use cases are a standard technique for gathering requirements in many modern software development methodologies.

In fact, use cases are included in the Unified Modeling Language (UML) which has become the de facto industry standard software artifact notation.

The UML is "a language for specifying, visualizing and constructing the artifacts of software systems . . ." [Booch97]. UML is not a methodology. Any method can be used to gather software artifacts that are represented in UML as long as the meaning of those artifacts complies with the definition in the used notation.

Types of Use Cases:

There are two types of use cases. One type of use case is called an Essential Use Case and the other type of use case is called a Real Use Case . These use case types are defined below:

Essential Use Cases are expressed in an ideal form that remains relatively free of technology and implementation detail; design decisions are deferred and abstracted, especially those related to the user interface.

A Real Use Case concretely describes the process in terms of its real current design, committed to specific input and output technologies, and so on. When a user interface is involved, they often show screen shots and discuss interaction with the widgets.

Essential use cases are of primary importance early in a project's analysis. Their purpose is to document the business process that the system must support without bias to technology. Later, during project design, real use cases become important since they document how a specific set of user interfaces will support the business process documented in the essential use case. This paper will focus entirely on the development of essential use cases, referred to simply as use cases.


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