We have been asked to build a computer based library system that will handle the bookkeeping aspects of a library and provide user browsing facilities.
The first thing to do is to go and find out about the target library or libraries to see what they do now and what they would like to be able to do.
We get the following data:
Books and Journals. The library contains both books and journals. It may have several copies of the same book. Some of the books are for short term loans only. All other books may be borrowed by any library member for 3 weeks. Only members of staff may borrow journals. Members of the library can normally borrow up to 6 items at a time, but members of staff may borrow up to 12 items at a time. New books and journals arrive regularly and sometime disposed of; the catalogue needs to be updated. The current year’s journals are sent away to be bound at the end of each year.
Borrowing. It is essential that the system keeps track of when books and journals are borrowed and returned. The new system should produce reminders when a book is overdue. It may be desirable to allow users to extend their loans if the book is not reserved. The system enforces the rules for borrowing given above.
Browsing: The system should allow users to search for a book on a particular topic or by a particular author etc. The user should then be able to check if the book is on loan and if so to reserve the book.
To start the design of the system it is useful to decide on a set of use-cases and use-cases involve actors so who are a suitable set of actors?
3. Choosing Actors
One way of choosing Actors is to read the desciption of what the system does and see what external people or systems are mentioned:
Members of staff
Members of the library
Another approach to choosing actors, which may be more useful is to look at what people or other systems do when they interact with the system a... [continues]
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