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A use case is an interaction between your system and an actor--a person or entity using it. So it describes how your system "looks" to the outside world. In Applying Use Cases the authors show you how use cases describe what your system should do and how each thing it does should relate to other parts of the system.
Use cases are an integral part of UML and RUP so enterprise-level programmers need to know them. They are most useful in the planning stages of large projects to provide a sanity check and a framework. The authors demonstrate the use case process with a hypothetical project to develop a new mail order company. Somewhat twee "discussions" between the fictional developers humanise the subject and provide an unusual degree of narrative tension for such an academic work.
About two thirds of the book is concerned with teaching you how use case is employed. It covers documentation, diagramming, levels of detail and the review process. There's also discussion on splitting large projects and construction/delivery of the system. In the appendices you'll find resources--books and Web sites--documentation templates, UML notation and the order processing system itself taken as far as designing graphic interfaces.
All in all, a thoroughly readable, hands on, introduction to an important and useful project design tool. --Steve Patient
There have been many changes for us and for the UML since the first edition was released in September 1998. The book has changed to stay current. The material in the first edition is also in the second edition, but you may find it in a new location. We moved the engineering-oriented material to the end of the book, and the business-oriented material to the beginning. This should make it easier for different audiences to find the material that interests them.
We updated the book to UML 1.3. A lot of the changes are in Chapters 3 and 4 because that is where we described most of the notation. The uses relationship became two relationships in UML 1.3, include and generalization. The extends relationship became extend. In both cases the notation changed as well. The definition of scenarios changed a bit too. What we used to call scenarios are now called paths.
We have added some new material that we found useful and important. Chapter 6 is a new chapter on setting the level of detail in use cases. This includes information on business process-level use cases and maintaining traceability between use cases at different levels of detail. Chapter 7, Documenting Use Cases, includes some ideas on handling login and CRUD (create, read, update, delete) in use cases. Chapter 8, Reviews, has a new section on common mistakes we have seen and how to fix them. We have included more information on sequence diagrams in Chapters 5 and 9.
There have been changes for me and Jason as well. Jason left Octel and is now a staff engineer at Cadence Design Systems. I liked having my own business, but didn't like the bookkeeping, so I took a job running the OO division of Andrews Technology, Inc. We still have Wyyzzk and Jason does some weekend consulting for that business. Things even changed on the publishing side. Addison-Wesley is now part of Pearson Education, and we have a whole new team managing the Object Technology series. They have been wonderful to work with and made the transition as smooth as possible.
One question we get asked a lot is: What do the footprints and people talking icons mean? The footprints mark major steps in the process. The people talking appear next to the storyline.
Thank you for all the e-mail about the book. We don't always get a chance to reply, but we have read all your letters and hope we have answered most of your questions in this second edition.Geri Schneider Winters
An excellent book. Gustav Karner did a really good job, finding the solution of estimating resources for object oriented projects.Published on June 22 2004
Though small, thin, and expensive, this books packs a ton of useful information. It is well worth the price. Read morePublished on March 7 2002 by Philip Vardara
Back when, this was probably an OK book for the real novice - easy reading. Nowadays there are better ones, the Cockburn and Kulak ones contain real information. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2001
This book will get you up to speed very quickly w/ the needed information to successfully write and use "use Cases". Read morePublished on Dec 29 2000 by Amazon Customer
I liked this text. I'm a programmer, and may have increased project management responsibilities in the future. Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2000 by D Battaile Fauber
After reading through the sixth chapter of this book the light bulb goes on and suddenly you start to understand how everything fits together using the UML and Unified Process... Read morePublished on Aug. 17 2000 by Linus W Freeman
Great book for a practical and concise introduction to use cases. Also dwells on the UML methodology as far as the basic process for developing the order entry system goes. Read morePublished on Aug. 17 2000 by Chetan Kotwal
" Applying Use Cases : A Practical Guide" is not bad, but when I browsed through several Use Case books at a local book store, I decided to buy "Use Cases:... Read morePublished on July 5 2000 by Andreas Pizsa