Posted by: ahmedashfaque | June 2, 2015

Software design fundamentals – What is use cases?


When you write requirement specifications, you also create use cases. These use cases describe how a system should behave to interaction with agents like the user or another software products. In reality these use cases are simple explanations of behavior of the system against events which are triggered outside but have effect on the system under consideration.

Even though Use cases belong to requirement specifications, they can be considered as the first building blocks for designing a software product. It is because the use cases can be the input for creating software component diagrams. Use cases are described in terms of some simple diagrams and also in form of some text explanations.

Suppose a series of use cases describe about activities carried out by a sales representative of a restaurant in regard to taking orders for customers. Let us see some of the activities here.

  1. The sales rep logins into the order management system.
  2. The sales rep takes customer order.
  3. The sales rep confirms the order. The system comes up with the amount to be paid by the customer for the order.
  4. The sales rep collects the amount from the customer.
  5. The sales rep delivers the order to the customer.
  6. The sales rep closes the order.
  7. The sales rep logs out of the order management system.

The above activities are use cases for the order management system. Now if the software designers are handed this set of use cases then they definitely will be able to create a component diagram for the order management system.

So you can see use cases are powerful tools for designing software products.

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Responses

  1. […] the previous post we have seen what is a use case and how a use case is related to a component diagram. Today we […]


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