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I think there is some reason to believe the wikipedia article needs work. It says that functional requirements and use cases are the same thing. Not according to what I've been told.
The way I've always understood it, a functional requirement describes some capability that the software must have, such as being able using IM to communicate. A functional requirement is a document that is related only to the software itself. It would tell the reader what the software must be able to do and, where relevant, set parameters needed for operation. For example, a requirement that the software communicate by using IM may also specify which port the IM should use, and specify timeout limits.
A use case is a document that relates to interactions between some part of the software and a user. It describes actions that are taken by the software and the user in response to each other. Usually a human user, but a use case can also set rules about what is done when there is activity between different parts of the system. A use case sets rules about the behavior of the software, so where an FR sets WHAT the software can do, a use case set HOW it does things.
That's the way I've always understood it. Your mileage may vary.
--- On Thu, 7/23/09, Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net> wrote:
> From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
> Subject: Re: Requirements Clarification
> To: "Jill Mohan" <jillemo -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Date: Thursday, July 23, 2009, 11:15 AM
> Your work is already done:
> The assumption here is that the information in Wikipedia is
> complete, and useful.
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