A use case is an interaction between your system and an actor--a person or entity using it. So it describes how your system "looks" to the outside world. In Applying Use Cases
the authors show you how use cases describe what your system should do and how each thing it does should relate to other parts of the system.
Use cases are an integral part of UML and RUP so enterprise-level programmers need to know them. They are most useful in the planning stages of large projects to provide a sanity check and a framework. The authors demonstrate the use case process with a hypothetical project to develop a new mail order company. Somewhat twee "discussions" between the fictional developers humanise the subject and provide an unusual degree of narrative tension for such an academic work.
About two thirds of the book is concerned with teaching you how use case is employed. It covers documentation, diagramming, levels of detail and the review process. There's also discussion on splitting large projects and construction/delivery of the system. In the appendices you'll find resources--books and Web sites--documentation templates, UML notation and the order processing system itself taken as far as designing graphic interfaces.
All in all, a thoroughly readable, hands on, introduction to an important and useful project design tool. --Steve Patient
--This text refers to an alternate
From the Back Cover
Many projects struggle to define the specific functions of software, and end users often find that the final product does not perform as expected. Use cases allow analysts to identify the required features of a software system based on how each end user will use the system. This efficient and straightforward analysis process gives end users direct input into the design of the system that will serve them.
Applying Use Cases provides a practical and clear introduction to developing use cases, demonstrating their use via a continuing case study. Using the Unified Software Development Process as a framework and the Unified Modeling Language (UML) as a notation, the authors step the reader through applying use cases in the different phases of the process, focusing on where and how use cases are best applied.
Other highlights include:
- A collection of realistic examples showing how to apply use cases, drawn from the authors' extensive experience in this area
- A case study that offers insight into the common mistakes and pitfalls that can plague an object-oriented project
- An illustration of the latest version of the UML notation for diagramming use cases
- A practical "how-to" discussion on applying use cases to identify system requirements