Data Flow Diagrams vs Use Cases

Subject: Data Flow Diagrams vs Use Cases
From: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: chris -at- bdk -dot- net, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 08:29:03 PST


I have not read that book, however most of the James Martin series books are well written.

FYI: My all time favorite quote: "It is only by following the flow of data [using Data Flow Diagrams] that it is possible to understand the underlying logic of a system." Tom DeMarco, 'Structured Systems Analysis and Specifications'.

That statement is a true today as it was 25 years ago (when DeMarco wrote the book.) Many believe that DFDs are "cave-man-like" tools. A current rave (for task/function analysis) in the OO culture is Use Cases. But Use Cases are just stripped-down Data Flow Diagrams. Indeed, the primary input used to create a currently very popular book on Use Cases (Larry Constantine's 'Essential Use Cases') was a book on creating essential Data Flow Diagrams (called 'Essential Systems Analysis' - I forgot the two author's names).

Use Cases are merely DFDs with the interfacing data flows removed.

Original Question:

I don't know what Mr. Markatos thinks of this author, but I found

James Martin, Recommended Diagramming Standards for Analysts and
Programmers: A Basis for Automation (Prentice-Hall, 1987) to be a very informative resource.

Chris Kowalchuk

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