A Use Case Diagram provides a high-level view of the system’s functional requirements and how different actors interact with it.
Use Case Diagram is a visual representation that illustrates the interactions between external actors and the system under consideration in achieving specific goals. It’s part of the Unified Modeling Language (UML), a standardized language for specifying, visualizing, constructing, and documenting the elements of software systems.
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Significance of Use Case Diagram
- It helps gather and present a system’s functional requirements. It ensures that all stakeholders have a shared understanding of the system’s capabilities.
- They serve as a tool for communication between various stakeholders, allowing for a common ground to discuss system functionalities.
- They help maintain a user-centred focus, as they are built around user actions on the system, encouraging a design that meets user needs.
- Serve as a part of the system’s documentation, helping to illustrate the system’s functionality concisely and visually.
Components of Use Case Diagram
- Actors: These are the entities that interact with the system. They can be individuals, groups, or external systems.
- Use Cases: These are the specific actions or processes that the actors can perform within the system.
- System: This is the overall system being described. It is sometimes represented as a rectangle that encompasses all the use cases, indicating the boundary of the system.
- Relationships: These are the connections between actors and use cases, indicating how they interact.
Now, Let’s Take an Example & Make a Use Case Diagram
Let’s take an e-commerce platform example. We aim to visually represent this system using a use case diagram, highlighting the actors, use cases, and their interactions.
- Customer: Our first key player is the “Customer,” depicted as a stick figure. Customers are the heart of our platform, engaging in various activities.
- Product: The “Product” actor represents the items available for purchase, each with unique attributes.
- Order: The “Order” actor symbolizes the transactions initiated by customers to buy products seamlessly managed by our platform.
- Place Order: This use case allows customers to initiate the process of placing an order. It serves as a pivotal step in the shopping journey.
- Add Product to Order: Another critical use case, “Add Product to Order,” enables customers to curate their orders by adding products with desired quantities.
- Places: The “Places” relationship showcases how “Customer” interacts with the “Place Order” use case. Customers can initiate multiple orders, establishing a one-to-many relationship.
- Contains: “Contains” is a key relationship between the “Order” and “Product” entities. It signifies that an order can contain multiple products, creating a many-to-many association.
Use Case Diagram
Thus, a use case diagram is a valuable visual representation tool used in system analysis and design to illustrate how actors interact with a system or software application. It provides a high-level overview of the system’s functionality, focusing on the interactions between actors and the use cases that the system provides.
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