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PRESENTATION ON CASE TOOLS. GROUP 4 18 OCTOBER 2012. Computer-aided software engineering ( CASE ).

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presentation on case tools



18 OCTOBER 2012


Computer-aided softwareengineering (CASE)

  • Is the scientific application of a set of tools and methods to a software system which is meant to result in high-quality, defect-free, and maintainable software products. It also refers to methods for the development of information systems together with automated tools that can be used in the software development process.
  • CASE Tools
  • Are commercial software products consisting of highly integrated applications that support a wide range of Systems Development Life Cycle SDLC activities (Hall, 2008). CASE tools offer many benefits for developers building large-scale systems. As spiraling user requirements continue to drive system complexity to new levels, CASE tools enable software engineers to abstract away from the entanglement of source code, to a level where architecture and design become more apparent and easier to understand and modify. The larger a project, the more important it is to use a CASE tool in software development.

Contrast the advantages and disadvantages of CASE tools.

  • CASE tools produce systems that more closely meet user needs and requirement due to their nature of ensuring consistency, completeness and conformance to user standards. However it requires training of management and maintainable staff. In a similar sense management must be able to, in a timely fashion and from a high level, look at a representation of a design and understand what is going on.
  • CASE tools also allow precision to be replicated and most importantly it will reduce costs, especially in maintenance whereby the system is kept at a conceptual level which results in reduction maintenance time and programming errors. Despite the benefit of reduced maintenance costs, developing an initial CASE system is more expensive.

Re-usable program code documentation including the central repository feature allows CASE systems to share common program modules and documentation even storing of backups in case of emergency for example if a system failure unexpectedly occurs. On the contrary, failure to adequately control access to case repositories may result in security breaches or damages to the work documents, system designs or modules stored in the repository as backup.

  • On one hand quicker development process under case is three to six times faster than traditional methods, depending on the complexity of the system and the degree of case expertise within the firm for example if the CASE tools are being developed by highly qualified and experienced software engineers. On the other hand though skilled and experienced the software engineers may be, the system might be difficult to customise to suit the requirements of a particular management body and other users.

An interactive workstation environment is encouraged by using CASE tools through the sharing of standardised product code structures among different companies. However inadequate standardization linking CASE tools from different software vendors (design tool from Company A, programming tool from Company B) may be difficult if the products do not use standardized code structures and data classifications. File formats can be converted, but usually not economically. Controls include using tools from the same software vendor, or using tools based on standard protocols and insisting on demonstrated compatibility. Additionally, if organizations obtain tools for only a portion of the development process, they should consider acquiring them from a software vendor that has a full line of products to ensure future compatibility if they add more


  • Integrated development environment CASE tools provide unique user interface for the developer an analyst. These machines are automated in such a way that they reduce time of even tedious activities as code generation, thus increasing the programmer’s productivity. For example, to generate the code to print a report to the printer he programmer could just click on the print icon of the case tools which then generate the corresponding programmer code. The programmer will only then adjust the code to meet the exact needs of a specific system. Despite this advantage, small errors in the logic of the programs can have huge consequences for the users, taking for example a code wrongly entered will direct the user to a wrong application, since completeness and syntactic correctness does not mean compliance with requirements.

Resolving problems in organizations may be implemented by using the various CASE tools available for example project planning tools to resolve project matters. In contrast, unrealistic expectations may arise because organisations often implement CASE technologies to reduce development costs but implementing CASE strategies usually involves high start-up costs. Generally, management must be willing to accept a long-term payback period. Controls include requiring senior managers to define their purpose and strategies for implementing CASE technologies.

what should determine whether case is used
What should determine whether CASE is used
  • The type of system the organisation wishes to adopt.When the system to be adopted is an inhouse development package whereby the organisation has unique information needs that can only be adequately met through internal development, CASE can be implemented, however if the needs of the firm are standardised it will be appropriate for the firm to opt for a commercial package so as to reduce.
  • Company policy. As a prerequisite CASE demands that all data definitions are stored and made available to all the system developers such that the developers keep the data and system up to date. It therefore implies that if company policy allows only limited access to data ,the system developers cannot operate CASE as data access is restricted.

Technology also determines the use of CASE. If the firm is incapacitated for example an entity has insufficient computer capacity in certain departments the benefits derived from case cannot be fully realised as it requires an efficiently operating computer system with a server that co-ordinates the whole organisation.

  • If the entity doesn’t have system professionals(system designers ,system analysts) amongst the workforce a CASE system cannot be used as these professionals are the actual developers and monitors of the system .It will be up to the firm to hire the required expertise.
  • Employee computer literacy plays an important role in determining the use of CASE .If the workforce is illiterate it implies the management has to inculcate the knowledge of the system among the employees such that CASE can be of use to the organisation. This will however be highly reliant on the entity’s budget.