Use Case references

Subject: Use Case references
From: Keith Jeremy Posner <posner -at- SODALIA -dot- IT>
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 1996 12:38:46 +0200

I would understand a complete use case document to be an artifact.
Within this use case document I would expect to find complete set of use
cases relating to a single software project. We tend to give such a
document a title using the format:

<Project Name>
Use Cases

With regard to the individual use cases, I do as follows. I give each
use case a title, for example 'Translating data' or 'Compile translation
protocol'. In addition I give each use case an ID. Here are the use
cases I cited above with their associated IDs:

Use Case Title Use Case ID
-------------- -----------
Translating source code UC-TRA-1
Compile translation protocol UC-CRE-1

In the ID, the code 'UC' indicates that this is a use case (as opposed
to a functional requirement or some other block of project information).
The codes 'TRA' and 'CRE' are areas of functionality within the software
project. The number '1' indicates that within this area of functionality
this is the highest level use case (based on a top-down approach to
identifying use cases).

The areas of functionality (i.e. CRE and TRA) are themselves identified
by an initial use case analysis of the project. Once these areas of
functionality have been identified they are then named and assigned the
three letter identifier (eg CRE or TRA) based on the name. For example
TRA is short for 'Translating data'.

There don't appear to be any standards on the naming/numbering of use
cases. Within our company diferent people adopt different conventions.
The system I described above is the one that works best for me. In the
book by Jacobson 'Object Oriented Software Engineering: A Use Case
Driven Approach', Addison-Wesley, 1994, I notice that the author gives a
title to the use case (both in the diagram and in the use case
description) but doesn't number the use case in any way. He also does
not indicate how to number use cases within a use case document. I
assume from this that we are fairly free to define our own conventions.

If anyone else works with use cases I would be happy to compare notes.

Keith Posner posner -at- sodalia -dot- it
Technical Writer

Sodalia SpA
Via Valentina Zambra, 1 Tel: +39-(0)461-316159
38100 Trento Fax: +39-(0)461-316217

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