CASE (Computer-Aided Software Engineering) Tools[edit | edit source]

CASE (Computer-Aided Software Engineering) packages are software packages that include many tools that can be helpful when it comes to database design. The main goal of these packages is to give designers a way of representing systems that are too complex to understand in their source code or schema-based forms. They help automate software development and maintenance tasks and usually contain tools for system analysis, project management, and design..

Uses in Databases[edit | edit source]

CASE tools can serve many functions in database design, including:

  • Collecting and analyzing data.
  • Designing a data model.
  • Feasibility analysis.
  • Requirements definition.
  • Implementing the database.
  • Prototyping.
  • Data conversion.
  • Generating application code.
  • Generating reports.
  • Programming and testing.
  • Maintenance.

Advantages and Disadvantages[edit | edit source]

CASE tools can provide many advantages when used in database design, including:

  • Improved productivity in development
  • Improved quality through automated checking
  • Automatic preparation and update of documentation
  • Encouragement of prototyping and incremental development
  • Automatic preparation of program code from requirements definition
  • Reduced maintenance systems

However, there are also some disadvantages to using the tools in database design, including:

  • Cost increase
  • Need for specialized training
  • Limitations in flexibility of documentation
  • Inadequate standardization
  • Slow implementation
  • Unrealistic expectations

Common CASE tool packages[edit | edit source]

There are three different types of CASE tools: upper, lower, and integrated. Upper CASE tools focus on concept-level products and tend to ignore design, lower CASE tools concentrate on details of design such as physical design and testing, and integrated CASE tools combine the two to support the entire development. The most useful type in database design is integrated CASE tools. Some of the common packages on the market today include:

  • IEF (Information Engineering Facility)
  • IEW (Information Engineering Workbench)
  • Oracle Designer

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ricardo, Catherine. Databases Illuminated, 2nd ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2012.
  2. Roy Antony Arnold, G. "Case Tools." SlideShare. <http://www.slideshare.net/arnoldindia/case-tools-7595985>.
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