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Approaches to software development
Approaches to software development

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Domain modelling

Our starting point will be to document and model the structure and processes of the organisation’s business. Starting from some description of the problem, the initial problem statement, you will learn how to identify elements of the real-world problem and their properties, and build corresponding structural and dynamic models. The emphasis at this stage is on understanding the current domain situation.

The behaviour model provides descriptions of business processes and behavioural aspects of the domain. You will meet modelling techniques such as activity diagrams. Business rules are used to express constraints on the dynamic model. For example, given a behaviour model describing aspects of a library, there might be a business rule determining the limit on the number of books an individual member can borrow. A structural domain model, also called the conceptual model, describes the significant concepts in the domain and how they are related.

A glossary of relevant terms and definitions is also produced. This textual document grows throughout the duration of the project.

Some artefacts involved in domain modelling (as well as some used in other phases) are shown in Figure 11.

Described image
Figure 11 Some development artefacts

Activity 14 Domain modelling

Timing: Allow approximately 15 minutes.
  • a.What is the purpose of domain modelling?
  • b.What is the role of each of the artefacts produced during domain modelling?


  • a.Domain modelling is concerned with gaining an understanding of the environment in which any system that is designed must operate.
  • b.During domain modelling, we produce the following artefacts:
    • initial problem statement – a description of the problem
    • behaviour model – a description of the business processes and behaviour of the domain
    • business rules – constraints on the way the behaviour model operates
    • glossary – definitions of relevant terms
    • structural domain model – an initial structural model representing the concepts relevant to the domain.