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When I did a small project in school about writing a document for Online Auction System in OOAD (Object-oriented analysis and design) courses, I had trouble with multiple Auction viewing use cases that have similar functions. My auction has 3 states, pre-approve (wait to approve by admin), open, closed. The bidder needs to register to participate in an open auction. These use cases are:

  • View all auctions (for all users): view all current and past auctions in the system.
  • View/Statisticize sold auction (for seller): view all sold items and get some extra statistic like the number of sold item (each auction have one item), the total amount collected
  • View/Statisticize purchased auction (for bidder): view all purchased items and get some extra statistic like the number of purchased item (each auction have one item), the total amount collected
  • View currently selling auctions (for seller): View all open auctions opened by this seller
  • View registered auctions (for bidder): View all registered auctions for this bidder

Are these use cases good? Or I should combine some use cases. Example: combine View/Statisticize sold auction with View currently selling auctions and have two different flows in the basic flow of Flow of Event.

Or even combine the use cases of both seller and bidder and divide the flow based on which actor it is. Is there such a mechanism when writing use case descriptions, and which way is better?

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Use-cases should give the big picture, from a use(r) perspective. The recommended approach by use-case experts is to focus on user goals, and not to consider software functions (e.g. user-interface elements such as screens, queries, etc...), as these tend to lead to cluttered diagrams that are difficult to read.

In this regard, a simple View auctions seems to be sufficient, as it describes well the actor's goals. The additional features you describe seem more like additional details, that decorate what exactly is to be displayed. This can as well be provided in the use-case narrative.

Now, the question whether you should differentiate the seller and the buyer can be discussed. If you show different actors to highlight the role based point of view, it may make sense to differentiate the use-cases. But on the other hand, viewing an auction from the point of view of buyer or purchaser is still the same goal (knowing about past and current transactions) regardless of the role. What exactly is shown could also be considered as just a matter of details.

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