Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts


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INTERVIEW QUESTION:

Can requirements for a system interface be documented as a use case?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 16880 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Use Cases, General, Functional Specifications

ANSWER

Yes, a use case can be used to document requirements for system-to-system interactions and exchanges of information between systems. External systems are treated as Actors, in the same way as human Actors. The standard use case structure of pre-conditions, post-conditions, basic flow, alternate flows and exception flows are all applicable when describing the requirements for interactions with an external system Actor as with a human Actor.

A key rule for this type of use case is that external systems must always be treated as ‘black-box’ entities. The use case cannot dictate requirements for external system processing beyond the bounds of its interaction with the in-scope software system. For example, requirements for an online retail sales system (“System X”) may include an interface to an external third-party payment system such as Paypal (“System Y”). The use case for this interface would describe what information shall be sent from System X to the external system Actor, what information shall be received by System X from the external system Actor, and what System X shall do in order to process the information exchanged. The use case cannot contain requirements for any processing that occurs within the external system (cannot describe data that System Y must collect, connect describe edits that System Y should perform, etc.).

Pre-conditions also must not describe anything that happens within the external system. A pre-condition can only be something that is known to or detected by the in-scope system.

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Sandy Lambert
Business Architect
LinkedIn Profile

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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.





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