Use Cases

Nov 08, 2020
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So how do you handle CRUD in your use cases? Please don’t confuse CRUD with CRAP in your use cases. That’s a lot harder to deal with and requires a conversation with your subject matter experts (SMEs). CRUD is an acronym for Create, Read, Update and Delete. It describes the lifecycle in the maintenance of system data, whether that data is stored in a database or is file based data stored in a document management system like SharePoint.

Apr 19, 2020
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In the world of software development Use Cases are one of many very powerful techniques often used these days.  Use cases describe how a person or a system interacts with the solution being modeled/built to achieve a goal. Basically, it’s a step by step explanation of what a user can do and how the solution must respond.

As any other business analysis technique, use cases have their advantages and disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages of use cases is that this technique is not graphical – a use case diagram is but use case descriptions are not, and use case descriptions really lack of visualization especially if there are multiple alternative flows and exception flows that branch out and then loop back into the main one.

Jan 05, 2020
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Several years ago I was looking for examples using the generalization / specialization technique with use cases. They are not easier to find. And they are typically limited to a use case diagram like the two below. This article provides examples of both the diagrams and the scenarios for a future gas station business.

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In a classic business analyst universe, requirements are the soul of all the work a business analyst does. If a business analyst fails to identify and translate the right requirements, they’re out of a job. This is the reason why a successful business analyst is always good at requirements handling/management process. What makes requirements...
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A list of business analysis techniques is pretty extensive and from year to year new techniques appear, or become more formalised, and are adopted by business analysts all over the world. Some techniques become more popular and are widely used and some are used rare or only when a specific need arises. But definitely there are techniques that became very popular and are used on a daily basis and even become buzz words for some people. These techniques are mainly used to create solution design and they are business process maps, use cases, user stories, wireframes and business rules. Sometimes even business analysts are confused how they should create solution design and what techniques they should use.
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A UML Use Case is an atomic system function with a well-defined and standardized specification, which is performed by or o behalf of a system user or ‘actor’. This article describes how a UML Use Case Specification should be written.

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Rather than expecting use cases to contain all of a system’s functionality, I prefer to employ use cases to help the business analyst discover the functional requirements. That is, the use cases become a tool to reveal functionality rather than being an end requirements deliverable themselves. Users can review the use cases to validate whether a system that implemented the use cases would meet their needs. The BA can study each use case and derive the functional requirements the developer must implement to realize the use case in software. I like to store those functional requirements in a software requirements specification, although you could add them to the use case description if you prefer.

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It is certainly true that use cases are a powerful technique for discovering the functional requirements for a system being developed. However, this statement suggests that use cases are the only tool needed for representing a software system’s functionality. In most cases, they aren't.

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The structure that use cases provide is far superior to the nearly worthless technique of asking users “What do you want?” or “What are your requirements?” In this article I share my perspectives on when use cases work well, when they don’t, and what to do when use cases aren't a sufficient solution to the requirements problem.

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A typical business function might contain several unique events each of which we want to end up as a component of a larger software application. So how do we go from a table containing textual information to a specification which a developer can use?

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This article discusses Stephen King’s creative writing method and provides an example of using it in developing a use case narrative: the main scenario with alternate and exception paths. Yes, that is correct – Stephen King, the prolific writer of contemporary horror, science fiction and fantasy novels.

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The purpose of this brief article is to provide a simple example on how to link and verify four models: use case, data flow diagrams, entity relationship diagrams, and state diagrams. Note the word verify, not validate. Verify in this context means that the technique is consistent and complete, not that it reflects correct requirements.

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Use case models have been around for decades. Long after Information Engineering was all the rage and through object-oriented analysis and design they hung around. They threatened to disappear when Agile methods gained popularity, but here they are. Discussed, dissected, blogged about—why don’t they just go away?! 

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Use case diagrams are used to show the decomposition of a business problem or software solution into a set of discrete functions (the use cases) which can be enacted by or on behalf of users (the actors). In a nutshell, this diagram shows who (the actors) can do what (the use cases) when interacting with the software solution.

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As the Agile movement continues to gain momentum and managing projects using Agile methods becomes more and more prolific, project professionals must become more savvy in their use of Agile methods. While the techniques and processes associated with Agile are different than those associated with Waterfall, many innovative project teams are incorporating non-Agile techniques into the Agile environment, with great success.

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