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Part 2: System Architecture > Conceptual Design Phase

Chapter 4. Conceptual Design Phase

During the conceptual design phase, the design team identifies and documents the complete project vision, based on the previously identified business and user requirements. The team prepares usage scenarios (derived from use cases) based on these requirements and then creates a functional specification document that explains in detail how the application will work from the viewpoint of both the user and the business or supplier of the e-commerce application. This functional specification document is the end deliverable of the conceptual phase.

The design team creates usage scenarios by elaborating upon use cases. A use case is simply a textual description of an interaction between an external actor (which can be a user or an existing system) and the application (or components) being designed. Actors can also be services, components, and so forth, as well as users.

The two main pieces of information to determine when creating use cases are the actor’s action and the expected result. Use cases are typically sketched out during a whiteboard (or brainstorming) session in which they are quickly outlined and given descriptive names. They are then worked out in more detail and ordered somewhat linearly.

The remainder of this chapter describes each of the usage scenarios developed for the ConsolidatedRetail.com application and provides use case diagrams of the action(s) that each scenario portrays.

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