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SOFTWARE - CASE, Design and Modelling Tools

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Beginners, Glossary and Background

Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) is the use of computers to improve the traditional methods of software development. It particularly applies to tools that help with structured design methodologies but is also used for tools that help with other aspects of software development. The starting point for many CASE tools is to build up an accurate data model, specifying all relevant entity relationships.

Some CASE software consists of an integrated suite of tools that can help with all phases of software development, whilst other tools specialise in particular areas. Tools exist to assist with requirements gathering and analysis, flow charting, business modelling, data modelling, cost estimation, project scheduling, prototyping, simulation and verification, code generation, testing, de-bugging, coverage analysis, metrics measurement, documentation, maintenance, defect tracking, issue tracking, change management, configuration and management, and version control.

Language Sensitive Editors can help enforce use of standard syntax, provide parameter lists for function calls, and quick access to other related source files. Source can be compiled from within the editor and lines with compilation errors are highlighted.

Some code generators are used for particular types of application: parallel programming, embedded systems, real-time systems, client/server applications, transaction processing applications and Object Oriented systems. Others are used to generate particular parts of a system, such as the front-end or back-end.

Support for maintaining and upgrading existing systems is provided by tools for code visualisation, program analysis and slicing, program documentation and comprehension, reverse engineering, web-enabling, and impact analysis.


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28 October, 2000
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