Assignment 1: Error Handling in an Activity Diagram
Due Week 2 and worth 150 points
Refer to the activity diagram Figure 2-15 on page 59 of the textbook. The diagram omits several error-handling pathways.
Write a two to three (2-3) page paper in which you:
- Using Microsoft Visio or an open source alternative such as Dia, update the diagram to include two (2) error-handling pathways. Note: The graphically depicted solution is not included within the required page length.
- Produce a narrative which describes the added error-handling pathways that includes:
- an overview of the errors being checked
- an explanation of the main reasons why checking for such errors is important
- an overview of other possible errors
- Use at least three (3) quality resources outside of the suggested resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and similar Websites do not qualify as quality resources.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
- Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
- Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, your name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
- Include charts or diagrams created in Visio or an open source alternative such as Dia. The completed diagrams / charts must be imported into the Word document before the paper is submitted.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
- Analyze techniques for requirements determination, collection, and organization.
- Use technology and information resources to research issues in systems analysis and design.
- Write clearly and concisely about advanced systems analysis and design topics using proper writing mechanics and technical style conventions.
FIGURE 2-14 Activity diagram symbols
Figure 2-15 is an activity diagram that describes the order fulfillment process for the current RMO CSMS. Processing begins when the customer has completed the order checkout process. The diagram describes the back-and-forth flow of information and control between the Order subsystem, Inventory subsystem, warehouse(s), and shipper. The diagram is simplified because it omits many error-handling pathways, including what happens if enough item stock is on hand to fulfill part of an order.
Figure 2-16 illustrates another workflow diagram, which demonstrates some new concepts. In this example, a customer is ordering a product that has to be manufactured specifically to match customer specifications. The salesperson sends the order to Engineering, and the diagram uses a new symbol to emphasize the transmission of the document between Sales and Engineering. After Engineering develops the specifications, two concurrent activities happen: Purchasing orders the materials, and Production writes the program for the automated milling machines. These two activities are completely independent and can occur at the same time. Notice that one synchronization bar splits the path into two concurrent paths and that another synchronization bar reconnects them. Finally, Scheduling puts the order on the production schedule.
Creating activity diagrams to document workflows is straightforward. The first step is to identify the agents to create the appropriate swimlanes. Next, follow the various steps of the workflow and then make appropriate ovals for the activities. Connect the activity ovals with arrows to show the workflow. Here are a couple guidelines:
- Use a decision symbol to represent an either/or situation—one path or the other path but not both. As a shorthand notation, you can merge an activity (by using an oval) and a decision (by using a diamond) into a single oval with two exit arrows, as indicated on the right in Figure 2-14. This notation represents a decision (either/or) activity. Wherever you have an activity that reads “verify” or “check,” you will probably require a decision—one for the “accept” path and one for the “reject” path.
- Use synchronization bars for parallel paths—situations in which both paths are taken. Include a beginning and an ending synchronization bar. You can also use synchronization bars to represent a loop, such as a “do while” programming loop. Put the bar at the beginning of the loop and then describe it as “for every.” Put another synchronization bar at the end of the loop with the description “end for every.”