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Definitions of the components of our use cases:

  • Use Case Name: Verb followed by a noun phrase
  • Summary: A short description of the use case, one sentence or a very short paragraph
  • Basic Course of Events: A step-by-step description of the use case
  • Alternative Paths: Less common than what happens in the basic course of events, but still normal events
  • Exception Paths: Errors
  • Extension Points: Related use case where more steps are involved
  • Triggers: When or why does the actor participate in this use case
  • Assumptions: Things you think will be true but they may not be
  • Preconditions: What has to be true for the interactions in this use case to happen
  • Postconditions: What is true at the end of the use case, what has been accomplished
  • Author: Who wrote the use case
  • Date: When the use case was written
  • Use Case Number: Arbitrary identification number
  • Use Case Category: See list of categories on ProjectRepository_UseCaseAssignments page
  • Scenarios: Associated specific examples


Use cases should:

  • Identify the actors (people's roles, other systems, and events) that interact with repositories. Use actor names from the ActorProfiles page. If you need an actor name that is not listed on that page, please add the actor and a profile to that page before including that actor in the use case.
  • Describe what the actors do and what responses the repositories provide.
  • Be at the appropriate level of abstraction. A distinction should be made between use cases and scenarios. Use cases will be specific enough that they can be, as Tim said, "mapped to technical underpinnings," but generic enough that they do not describe an individual user's particular use. Scenarios are specific instances implementing one or more use cases.
  • Use language that all human actors can understand. Keep technical language out.
  • Adhere to the components in the use case template. "None" is an acceptable entry for some categories, e.g. if there are no extension points or preconditions.

Storing use cases in the wiki

Task assignments (project staff only)

The name of each use case should be of the form VerbNounPhrase with optional descriptive phrases following.

Create the use case by adding the name to the table below and then clicking on the question mark that appears when subsequently displaying this page. Be sure to apply the use case template when first editing the use case.

Each use case should be assigned a number (based on the use case's location on the list below).

Practice editing a use case on OrderPizza.

Use cases

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