Beacon allows domain experts and stakeholders to manage their use cases in familiar Word-like form, while supporting programmatic manipulation (such as test execution).
The expense, effort, and expertise that goes into use cases is often wasted, and use cases gather dust. The main reason is that it’s difficult compare or apply use cases that have different structures… and structures are almost always modified when use cases are created by filling in Word templates. Beacon ensures that all use cases are based on the same structure.
Beacon supports reuse, by letting different use cases share information, such as actors, actions, and data elements. Normally reuse is by copy-and-paste, rather than sharing. Even if an actor started out being the same in two Word documents, as the use cases evolve this information may well have been adjusted in one or both documents. Subsequent efforts then need to ask if the variant actors are actually different, or if the variant descriptions are not really significant. Copy-and-paste therefore results difficult-to-maintain duplication.
Traditional use cases are difficult to programmatically organize and extract data from. Human intervention is required even for a conceptually simple task such as building a list that contains the name and the primary actor of each use case.
Beacon solves these problems by structuring and collecting the information underlying use cases according to a UML model. Shared information is maintained in only one place. In the above example of a shared actor, Beacon lets users immediately see all the use cases that a given actor participates in. If the description of the actor needs to change, the analyst who makes that change can decide if the description is merely a refinement that should be reflected in all those use cases, or if the change actually describes a different actor (and if so, which use cases use the new actor instead of the original). Beacon reassembles basic use case information into traditional looking use case documents.
Try the Beacon Use Case Editor for free, right now at beacon.prometheuscomputing.com, with invitation code: UseCasesMadeEasier