Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE)

Computer aided software engineering (CASE) is the implementation of computer facilitated tools and methods in software development. CASE is used to ensure a high-quality and defect-free software. CASE ensures a check-pointed and disciplined approach and helps designers, developers, testers, managers and others to see the project milestones during development.

CASE can also help as a warehouse for documents related to projects, like business plans, requirements and design specifications. One of the major advantages of using CASE is the delivery of the final product, which is more likely to meet real-world requirements as it ensures that customers remain part of the process.

CASE illustrates a wide set of labor-saving tools that are used in software development. It generates a framework for organizing projects and to be helpful in enhancing productivity. There was more interest in the concept of CASE tools years ago, but less so today, as the tools have morphed into different functions, often in reaction to software developer needs. The concept of CASE also received a heavy dose of criticism after its release.

CASE Tools:
The essential idea of CASE tools is that in-built programs can help to analyze developing systems in order to enhance quality and provide better outcomes. Throughout the 1990, CASE tool became part of the software lexicon, and big companies like IBM were using these kinds of tools to help create software.

Various tools are incorporated in CASE and are called CASE tools, which are used to support different stages and milestones in a software development life cycle.

Types of CASE Tools:

  1. Diagramming Tools:
    It helps in diagrammatic and graphical representations of the data and system processes. It represents system elements, control flow and data flow among different software components and system structure in a pictorial form.
    For example, Flow Chart Maker tool for making state-of-the-art flowcharts.

  2. Computer Display and Report Generators:
    It helps in understanding the data requirements and the relationships involved.

  3. Analysis Tools:
    It focuses on inconsistent, incorrect specifications involved in the diagram and data flow. It helps in collecting requirements, automatically check for any irregularity, imprecision in the diagrams, data redundancies or erroneous omissions.
    For example,

    • (i) Accept 360, Accompa, CaseComplete for requirement analysis.
    • (ii) Visible Analyst for total analysis.

  4. Central Repository:
    It provides the single point of storage for data diagrams, reports and documents related to project management.

  5. Documentation Generators:
    It helps in generating user and technical documentation as per standards. It creates documents for technical users and end users.
    For example, Doxygen, DrExplain, Adobe RoboHelp for documentation.

  6. Code Generators:
    It aids in the auto generation of code, including definitions, with the help of the designs, documents and diagrams.

Advantages of the CASE approach:

  • As special emphasis is placed on redesign as well as testing, the servicing cost of a product over its expected lifetime is considerably reduced.
  • The overall quality of the product is improved as an organized approach is undertaken during the process of development.
  • Chances to meet real-world requirements are more likely and easier with a computer-aided software engineering approach.
  • CASE indirectly provides an organization with a competitive advantage by helping ensure the development of high-quality products.

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