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Use Case Modelling (Addison-Wesley Object Technology) [Paperback]

Kurt Bittner , Ian Spence
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

20 Aug 2002 0201709139 978-0201709131 1

Use cases are a simple, straightforward -- yet very powerful -- way to express the functional requirements (or behaviors) of a system. Use cases have gained widespread acceptance because they make requirements less ambiguous by specifying exactly when and under what conditions certain behaviors occur. As a result, those who effective employ use cases to model their systems can better deliver projects on time, within budget, and with fewer defects. However, use case modeling is not that easy; it is a practice that comes with characteristics that can impact a project. In this new book, the authors allow you to benefit from their considerable experience making use cases work well in a number of different environments. With the advice, tips, and tricks presented herein, the reader will be further along the path to understanding and exploiting the power of use cases, and ultimately constructing better applications. In writing this book, the authors have worked closely with use case founder Ivar Jacobson, and the book is unique in that it presents a Rational Software Corporation-centric examination of this topic.

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Use Case Modelling (Addison-Wesley Object Technology) + Writing Effective Use Cases (Crystal Series for Software Development) + The Basics of Process Mapping, 2nd Edition
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (20 Aug 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201709139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201709131
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 18.5 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 575,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Developers who effectively employ use cases deliver better applications--on time and under budget. The concept behind use cases is perhaps as old as software itself; they express the behavior of systems in terms of how users will ultimately interact with them. Despite this inherent simplicity, the use case approach is frequently misapplied, resulting in functional requirements that are confusing, cumbersome, or redundant.

In Use Case Modeling, experienced use case practitioners Kurt Bittner and Ian Spence share their tips and tricks for applying use cases in various environments. They delve into all aspects of use case modeling and management, demonstrating how development teams can capitalize on the approach's simplicity when modeling complex systems.

In this ready reference, readers will discover how to

  • Introduce a development team to use cases and implement a use case approach
  • Identify the key elements of a use case model, including actors; and the components of a use case, including basic flow, preconditions, post-conditions, sub-flows, and alternate flows
  • Master the objectives and challenges of creating detailed descriptions of use cases
  • Improve their descriptions' readability and consistency
  • Prevent and remedy common problems arising from the misuse of include, extend, and generalization use case relationships.
  • Organize and conduct a review of a use case model to realize the best possible approach

The book draws extensively on best practices developed at Rational Software Corporation, and presents real-life examples to illustrate the considerable power of use case modeling. As such, Use Case Modeling is sure to give development teams the tools they need to translate vision and creativity into systems that satisfy the most rigorous user demands.


About the Author

The director for Requirements Management Solutions at Rational Software, Kurt Bittner served on the original Rational Unified Process development team. He has twenty years of experience in software development, including work in requirements capture, analysis, design, development, and project and product management.

A senior consultant at Rational Software, Ian Spence specializes in the adoption of the Rational Unified Process and the use case driven approach that it recommends. He has over eighteen years of experience in the software industry, covering the complete development lifecycle, including requirements capture, architecture, analysis, design, implementation, and project management.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This book is a reasonable overview of authoring use cases.

The good points are that the book is thorough, in that not only is the process of writing use cases covered in depth but also the topic of conducting use case workshops is given coverage.

The weak points of the book are that it is quite pedantic and repetitive. For example the chapter on conducting use case workshops recommends many obvious things such as ensuring that sticky notes, pens and adequate lighting are available. The authors also inflate the process of writing use cases in a pompous and bombastic manner, rather than being more pragmatic, simple and straightforward. For example, lengthy sections of the book describe the state of a use case as progressing from initial sketch to fully-realized and differentiate between each state in excruciating and unnecessary detail. You will also become frustrated reading it cover to cover as the same points are restated in subtly different ways sometimes 3 or 4 times.

Having read several books on use cases, I feel this book does have enough good material to merit being purchased - but only as your 2nd or 3rd use case book, after more practical books on the subject such as Cockburn's _Writing Effective Use Cases_.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential read for Use Case Modellers 28 Mar 2003
A step by step guide to developing Use Case models and especially Use Case Descriptions. This book not only shows how to develop successful Use Cases it also describes the common errors and pitfalls. A very good read. This is one book that will not gather dust on my bookshelf.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential read for Use Case Modelers 28 Mar 2003
I am not sure my words can do this book justice. The authors take a step by step approach to use case authoring with sound practical advice. Writing use cases is fraught with dangers; this book highlights these dangers and gives sound advice on how and why these problems occur and how to avoid them. If you are new to use case modeling, or a seasoned campaigner you will find useful wisdom in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good UML refresher, despite the tellings off! 10 April 2006
I bought this book to serve as a quick recap on use case modelling before I began a new job which entailed carrying out this task.
The book is quite easy going, sitting somewhere between academic reference and hard core UML specification based books. I found it useful for refreshing my understanding, but I imagine it would be a useful starting point for any one new to use case modelling, there are plenty of 'basic' introductions.
If you are looking for plenty of examples of use cases then this book doesn't contain all that many (there is an extended one in the back of the book used throughout on 'Withdrawing cash' from a cash machine. I think it would benefit from more examples if any future editions are planned.
My main criticism of the book is that it sometmies feels as though the authors have used it as a form of catharsis to vent their frustration at the misuse of use cases in the software industry. Sometimes, the tone almost shouts at you. It also repeats itself a great deal in the context of 'dos and donts', as if screaming at people who continually misuse UML!
However saying that, in my experience so many people do misuse the unified model, that authors have a point. In this sense, if you pick up on their lessons and best practice you can't go far wrong.
The book is worth the cheap price for anyone embarking in a role which requires writing extensive use case descriptions, it concentrates heavily on the textual side, rather than the diagrammatic format which most people expect.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The GOLD STANDARD of Use Case Texts 13 Nov 2002
By James R. Gillespie - Published on Amazon.com
Given the many misconceptions in the software community regarding what use cases are, and how to develop and apply them, Bittner and Spence present a clear, pragmatic approach to use cases that focuses on the process of synthesizing use cases rather than simply the analytics of syntax, semantics, and diagrams. More than ample time is devoted to use case structure, syntax, semantics, and style. A significant percentage of the book addresses the process and logistical issues associated with team development of a use case model. Comprehensive process discussions are included regarding discovery of actors and use cases,preparing and conducting a use case workshop, finding use case mentors, building a representative team of stakeholders, reviewing use cases, and applying use cases across the lifecycle.
Chapter 10, Here There Be Dragons, will strike a chord with every experienced use case practitioner. As a consultant that develops and reviews use case models for customers, I found this chapter to be on the money. Bittner and Spence identify many improperly-used modeling techniques that often plague organizations during their initial adoption of use cases. Specifically, the sections regarding overuse of extend, include, and generalization relationships deserves much attention.
The Use Case syntax and semantics presented in Bittner and Spence's book is based on the foundational work developed by Ivar Jacobson. Straightforward and useful examples are presented for all of the use case artifacts discussed in the book. Unlike other use case texts that emphasize use case structure, form, and analytically oriented techniques, this book presents sufficient attention to notational elements and invests significantly more in describing pragmatic activities focused on synthesizing use cases that can be effectively leveraged across the lifecycle.
I have recommended Use Case Modeling to my clients as both an introductory as reference book for any project using use cases. The writing style lends itself to the entire spectrum of stakeholders involved in use case development from end users, architects, project managers, and developers.
If you are currently employing use cases, or are considering applying use cases on a project, this book is a MUST HAVE. It de-mystifies much of the confusion surrounding the practical application of use cases, and should be put on par with the early Object Oriented texts of Booch ,Rumbaugh, and Jacobson.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 9 Mar 2004
By Mr. I. Warwick - Published on Amazon.com
No where have I found such informative and correct information on use case modeling, this book can be read from start to finish by the complete newbie and then keep it as a biblical reference whilst working with projects.
I was completely mysified about many aspects of Use Case and now I know when to apply it, and when not to, how to apply it and how not to and if I do not know, I can always refer back to this book!
The forward by Ivar Jacobson assures good content to follow, the introduction to Use Case modeling left me stunned with all the stuff that I did not know or had not considered! The connection to requirements are explained and even help on how to group requirements as well as tracebility from them to the Use Case.
The writing style is something to be admired, something I have taken as the honest truth on how to write proper use case.
If you have many questions about use case left unanswered, this book has them all.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book written by very experienced people 3 Oct 2003
By Andreas Bjärlestam - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this book after attending a conference where one of the Authors of this book had a presentation. I was so impressed by his presentation that I immediately bought his book. It was well spent money for sure.
This book not only explains what use cases are and how to model them in a very clear and easy to understand way, it also reflects on bad and good practices when writing use cases. I have been writing use cases in several projects and have had a lot of help from this book. I also frequently use the book as a reference when participating in reviews of use cases.
This book is my guide in the early stages of each project when working with use cases.
You can read it quickly and it will give you lots of advise.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The complete book on use case modeling 15 Jan 2005
By T. Karlsson - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a great one. It is an excellent discussion on use case modeling, and it covers all interesting issues and questions on use case modeling I have found in projects over the last five years. In a RUP project, this book can be used as "Use Case Guidelines" as is. It definitely will be the bible for use-case writers over the next two or three years.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars great info - terrible editing 20 July 2006
By James D. Mcalpin - Published on Amazon.com
This book came so highly recommended it seemed like a sure thing. And in fact, it has a wealth of info on use cases; I can certainly see it being a valuable reference for someone who is already an expert with use cases. For those with no previous exposure, however, it is a tiresome morass to wade through; so cluttered and muddled that finding the underlying meaning becomes a real challenge. This book could have been edited to 2/3rds the size, and been a far better book because of it. Was the editing staff on vacation?
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