What happens before an architect creates use case diagrams? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm just trying to understand the application lifecycle management for MS and in the book 'VS 2010 Application Lifecycle Management' it starts out with Use Cse Diagrams, activity diagrams and sequence diagrams, in that order.

    What happens before use case diagams are created in VS 2010? Do you create a Business Requirements Document (project manager with client) and a Software Specification Document (project manager with architect)? Then once you have these two documents the architect sits down and creates the use cases with either the client or project manager? Then once the use case dagrams are created the activity and sequence diagrams are created? Then following the book, you design the component and class diagrams, finally finishing with the layer diagrams?

    If this is true does VS 2010 or MS have anything to help with these requirements or documents? Maybe some other MS tool like TFS? I found lots of business req docs and software spec templates online, but don't know if any are good. I would like to follow MS if possible.


    • Edited by witdaj Tuesday, January 17, 2012 8:31 PM
    Tuesday, January 17, 2012 8:26 PM


All replies

  • Before any project is started there should be some sort of reality check on whether or not it is justified.

    So the requirement is raised somehow.

    Someone decides whether it's probably viable.

    An outline of the possible system is probably sketched at this point.

    An analyst then finds out more info about what's involved and who will be doing what.

    He/she then starts to work out scenarios by interviewing people.

    He uses this to build a series of use cases.

    They then go and talk to an architect about how to design something to satisfy the requirements.


    This isn't a form filling exercise.

    The majority of the skill etc goes into knowing what sort of questions to ask.

    You don't need anything more than a pad and pen to do all this.


    Wednesday, January 18, 2012 11:40 AM
  • One more thing.

    Use case diagrams are just part of the picture.

    It's very easy to produce some document lists a load of use cases but it's still useless to develop against.

    IMO they are best used to check your understanding of the paths data / proecdures follow.

    A descriptive specification should be the prime focus.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012 11:44 AM
  • I think this is a fine approach if you are developing application by yourself as a consultant, but not if your working in a large group under agile methods. I come from larger groups that developed enterprise applications and we always had business docs and some sort of software spec doc. These were to justify the business expense. I guess I'm just wondering if MS has a baked in solutions for this in VS, TFS, something else? 
    • Edited by witdaj Wednesday, January 18, 2012 9:55 PM
    Wednesday, January 18, 2012 9:54 PM
  • That would be "no".
    Thursday, January 19, 2012 3:22 PM
  • Here are (3) Microsoft Books that take a deeper look into the Requirments surrounding a project that you may be interested in reading:

    Software Requirement Patterns:

    Software Requirements, Second Edition:

    More About Software Requirements: Thorny Issues and Practical Advice:

    After this you can use the process templates in TFS to help define and organize the project process once underway. This is separate from requirments and more important during the development phase:

    Process Templates and Tools:

    Choose a Process Template:

    And the answer is 'Yes'; there will be requirments gathering and documentation creation often prior to any Use Case diagrams or other UML diagrams or technical documentation are created. The information above may be a lot to read on, but it is not an easy topic to give a 1 line answer. There is no perfect formula for requirents creation - it is one built upon existing know processes and tools to use based on the type of application or system being built.

    Hope this helps! :)

    Thank you,
    • Marked as answer by witdaj Friday, February 3, 2012 9:57 PM
    Monday, January 23, 2012 3:21 PM