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Use Cases in the UML

Use Cases in the UML
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Author(s): Brian Dobing (University of Lethbridge, Canada) and Jeffrey Parsons (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch623


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The unified modeling language (UML) emerged in the mid-1990s through the combination of previously competing object-oriented systems analysis and design methods, including Booch (1994), Jacobson, Christerson, Jonsson, and Overgaard (1992), Rumbaugh, Blaha, Premerlani, Eddy, and Lorensen (1991) and others. Control over its formal evolution was placed in the hands of the object management group (, which recently oversaw a major revision to UML 2.0 (OMG, 2005). The UML has rapidly emerged as a standard language and notation for object-oriented modeling in systems development, while the accompanying unified software development process (Jacobson, Booch, & Rumbaugh, 1999) has been developed to provide methodological support for applying the UML in software development. Use cases play an important role in the unified process, which is frequently described as “use case driven” (e.g., Booch et al., 1999, p. 33). The term “use case” was introduced by Jacobson (1987) to refer to a text document that outlines “a complete course of events in the system, seen from a user’s perspective” (Jacobson et al., 1992, p. 157). The concept resembles others being introduced around the same time. Rumbaugh et al. (1991), Wirfs-Brock, Wilkerson, and Wiener (1990), and Rubin and Goldberg (1992) use the terms “scenario” or “script” in a similar way. While use cases were initially proposed for use in object-oriented analysis and are now part of the UML, they are not inherently object-oriented and can be used with other methodologies.

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