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Chris Breisch   .NET Data Practices
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I've mentioned Tyner Blain quite frequently in my blog, and recently talked up their series on Software Estimation With Use Case Points.

Well, if you're going to do estimation using use case points, you better know how to do use cases.  Here's a good smattering of their articles on use cases.  They have more. Follow the suggested reading links.

The Difference Between Use Cases and Test Cases

People who are new to software, requirements, or testing often ask “What’s the difference between a use case and a test case?” This article answers that question, by building on earlier articles about use cases and use case scenarios. At the soundbite level, each use case has one or more scenarios, and each use case scenario would lead to the creation of one or more test cases.

What Are Use Case Scenarios?

It is easy to mix up the definitions of use case and use case scenario. A use case represents the actions that are required to enable or abandon a goal. A use case has multiple “paths” that can be taken by any user at any one time. A use case scenario is a single path through the use case. This article provides an example use case and some diagrams to help visualize the concept.

Sample Use Case Example

Here’s an example of a use case that has some system complexity. The user interacts with the main system that we are describing. The system also interacts with two external systems. This use case example shows how to describe the steps that demonstrate all interactions with the system.

Use Case vs. Process Flow - Failure Handling

Should you use use cases or process flow diagrams to document business requirements? At some level, they both document the same thing, they just document it differently. The best requirements will come from doing both - but what if you are forced to choose one? What are the tradeoffs between use cases and process flows? In this article we look at the documentation of failure handling.

And finally...

Writing Use Cases For Estimation

You write use cases to define the scope of your project. Use cases describe what people are using your product to accomplish. Use cases provide a framework for defining the details of the product. You can estimate your project effort with use cases. But you have to write the use cases at the right level of detail.

Posted on Friday, May 25, 2007 9:10 AM Architecture | Back to top

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