Share your thoughts and opinions on Use Case Diagram, Activity Diagram, and Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) in this week's discussion.
RE: Use Case Description versus Activity Diagram
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In order to describe a use case description, I will first go over a use case. A use case is defined to be an activity or event that a system performs in response to a user request. There are many examples of use cases that are used often today. One example would be if a user wanted to create a customer account on a specific shopping website and the user inputs data into the system in which the use case would be creating the customer's account with the data input. Two techniques are also used in order to identify use cases: the user goal technique and the event decomposition technique (Satzinger, 1). The user goal techinque would be used to describe the goals for new and updated systems while the event decompsition technique identifies all business events the system responds to in which each event leads to a use case. This information is then used to create a brief description called a use case description that provides a quick overview of a use case. On the other hand, an activity diagram is different in that instead of a brief overview in sentences, it visually depicts the use cases and how they are organized (Satzinger, 1) . Using visuals could be a better way to picture how use cases work in an otherwise confusing use case description that details the activity.
One scenario in which I would use a use case description would be when there would be only one user involved which would make the use case relatively simple. Examples such as filling or checking out a shopping cart online would only require one user, the customer which would make the use case description simple. For an activity diagram, I would use it in complex situations that would help me visually understand how the use case would work. One example would be going back to creating a user account which would require users such as the customer, sales rep, and customer rep to take part in the process. This overall will make the use case a bit more complex which in this case an activity diagram would be perfect to visually look at the details.
1. John Satzinger, Robert Jackson, Stephen Burd. 2016. Systems Analysis and Design in a Changing World (7th ed.)
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