Literally "a case for usage"; a description of a usage scenario.
Narrowly, a use case can be used as a requirement, which is a specific, defined feature that needs to be present in a piece of software.
Mary needs to able to create a blog post and schedule it for publication in the future.
More broadly, a use case can be an aggregate scenario that a software package is meant to address. Many CMS specialize in one or more use cases.
The following use cases are very general examples:
- Website: A catchall for most broad, generic type of website. Content is published one-way, usually organized hierchically, with multiple sections and sub-sections, and usually no user generated content. Simpler manifestations of this type of site are known as brochureware.
- Intranet: An secured, internal website for disseminating organizational information to employees.
- Extranet: A secured website for disseminating information to external users affiliated with an organization (e.g. -- dealers, partners, contractors, etc.)
- Blog: A publishing website characterized by relatively frequent, time-stamped "posts", usually organized in reverse chronological order. Short for "web log." Often has UCG in the form of comments, and makes content available via RSS.
- Wiki: A collaborative website used for documentation of related information. Characterized by a flat page structure, little aggregate content organization, frequent links between pages, and a relatively open editing policy.
- Community: A collaborative website intended mainly to host user-generated content. Users might be able to create their own spaces to publish their own blogs or other content.