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CASE Tools

            CASE (Computer Assisted Software Enginneering) Tools are used to assist in the development of a system by automating all or part of the development process. CASE tools are primarily used in the design and analysis phases. There are a number of different CASE tools available. The book lists 4 of them being Visible Analyst Workbench, Oracle Designer/2000, Rational Rose, and the Logic Works suite. In my research, I found a site which lists hundreds of them. The "CASE tool index" can be found at http://www.cs.queensu.ca/Software-Engineering/tools.html. The main reason CASE tools were developed was to increase the speed at which systems could be developed. They allow analysts to spend more time on the analysis and design stages and less time testing. Systems were able to be developed before business needs changed, thus improving the efficiency and the ablility to compete. Also by using a set of tools, the information from one can be shared with other tools to complete their tasks thus improving the quality and reliability of the shared information.
             The beginnings of CASE tools was a simple word processor used to create and manipulate documentation. As graphical techniques became more and more popular to use in designing systems, CASE tools made it easier to create and modify these graphical representations and improved the efficiency of the analysts. Motivation from an awareness that design and analysis are important to prevent and detect errors, the CASE discipline was formally defined in the 1970s. The first tools were mostly mainframe and text based. As PCs and workstations began to be introduced, these tools began to be more graphical based. A well known software consultant, Edward Yourdon said, "The real CASE movement began with the advent of personal computers, and the development of 'Upper-CASE' tools to help automate the upstream activities of systems analysis and design.

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