How Do I Repesent Who Is Doing The Action In My Use Case?

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I am trying to create a UML diagram of my use case.

I want to represent the following:

  • The actions that are taken
  • Who did the action
  • What the state is after each action

I want it to show in a linear process and not looping back on itself so it is clear what the steps are and the order that they are taken in.

A contrived example of what I am trying to do is:

@startuml
left to right direction

title: Bank Account
Client --> (NEW) : Request an Account
(NEW) --> Bank
Bank --> (OPENED) : Create an account number
(OPENED) --> Client1
Client1 --> (DEPOSIT) : Deposit some cash

@enduml

Which looks like this:

However, as you can see, to achieve this I have Client and Client1 as two separately named actors otherwise the diagram will not be linear. It will look like this:

Which looks like you could potentially deposit some cash without opening an account.

So the reason why I want it linear is to show that in order to deposit some cash you must have opened an account first.

How do I do this?

Can I rename the Client1 to be Client or should I be using a different type of diagram? Or something else?

I'm not familiar with Plant UML but what I can say is that the model that you are wanting to produce is not a Use Case model. Use Cases are an abstraction that encapsulate steps (i.e. they hide them) to focus instead on business value. Notwithstanding the use of arrow heads and the use of labels to imply conditionality in your second diagram, this is much closer to being a correct Use Case model than the first.

What I think you are after is actually a process map, such as might be produced using BPMN, or possibly an Activity Diagram.

UML Use Case Diagrams: Tips, What is a UML Use Case Diagram (UCD), and when should I use it? I am trying to represent a sequence of actions that the system performs. You should use UCDs to represent the functionality of your system from a top-down A flow chart , however, does not correctly describe the system until you have finished drawing � “This use case starts when…” and “This use case ends when…” because what happens when you start to write all those steps is you find all these variations. Then, all of a sudden, your use case is all over the place, and you’re like, “Laura, this isn’t a sequence of steps.

Use Case diagram is not intended to show the order of actions, nor does it show constrains applied to actions. It only shows what actions (or functionalities) are offered by the system to its user. Other diagrams or textual description are used to indicate the order in which actions can or cannot be performed as well as what are possible constrains (e.g. prerequisites - conditions that have to be met before user can start the specific use case)

Definitely you should use the second diagram and don't bother about the order of actions yet.

You'll see that approach to arrows is not uniform, some say that they should not be used at all as they are not mentioned in the UML specification. Other say that since it is an association, arrows are allowed and in such case they show which side initiates interaction (so primary actor - the one that triggers the use case - will have arrow pointing to the use case while all other (secondary) actors involved in the use case will have arrows being pointed at them).

Between Actor and Use Case Each use case represents a unit of useful functionality that subjects provide to actors. An association between an actor and a use case indicates that the actor and the use case somehow interact or communicate with each other. Only binary associations are allowed between actors and use cases.

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Comments
  • Thanks for answering the question and not critiquing the contrived example.