CASE tools, short for Computer–Aided Software Engineering tools, are tools used by developers to develop, manage, and maintain software systems. CASE tools fall into three categories: Upper CASE tools, Lower CASE tools and Integrated CASE tools.
Examples of CASE tools include diagram tools, documentation tools, process modeling tools, analysis and design tools, system software tools, project management tools, design tools, prototyping tools, configuration manage tools, programming tools, Web development tools, testing tools, maintenance tools, quality assurance tools, database management tools and re-engineering tools.
Upper CASE tools support the analysis and design phase of a software system and include tools such as report generators and analysis tools. Examples of lower CASE tools are code designers and program editors, and these tools support the coding, testing and debugging phase. Integrated CASE tools support the analysis, design and coding phase.
CASE tools offer several benefits. These include improved project management, improved system quality, increased productivity, reduced development time and effort, easier and better maintenance of the software system and better documentation.
A CASE tool should flexible and easily integrated, and it should support standard software development techniques and methodology. In spite of the fact that CASE tools are not cheap, they do help create high-quality software systems.