In software and systems engineering, a use case is a list of actions or event steps typically defining the interactions between a role (known in the Unified Modeling Language as an actor) and a system to achieve a goal. The actor can be a human or other external system. In systems engineering use cases are used at a higher level than within software engineering often representing missions or stakeholder goals. The detailed requirements may then be captured in the Systems Modeling Language (SysML) or as contractual statements.
Use case analysis is an important and valuable requirement analysis technique that has been widely used in modern software engineering since its formal introduction by Ivar Jacobson in 1992. Use case driven development is a key characteristic of many process models and frameworks such as ICONIX, the Unified Process (UP), the IBM Rational Unified Process (RUP), and the Oracle Unified Method (OUM). With its inherent iterative, incremental and evolutionary nature, use case also fits well for agile development.
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