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Structured English

Structured English is one more tool available to the analyst. It comes as an aid against the problems of ambiguous language in stating condition and actions in decisions and procedures. Here no trees or tables are employed, rather with narrative statements a procedure is described. Thus it does not show but states the decision rules. The analyst is first required to identify the conditions that occur in the process, subsequent decisions, which are to be made and the alternative actions to be taken.

Here the steps are clearly listed in the order in which they should be taken. There are no special symbols or formats involved unlike in the case of decision trees and tables, also the entire procedure can be stated quickly as only English like statements are used.

Structured English borrows heavily from structured programming as it uses logical construction and imperative statements designed to carry out instructions for actions. Using "IF", "THEN", "ELSE" and "So" statement decisions are made. In this structured description terms from the data dictionary are widely used which makes the description compact and straight.

Developing Structured Statements

Three basic types of statements are employed to describe the process.

1. Sequence Structures - A sequence structure is a single step or action included in a process. It is independent of the existence of any condition and when encountered it is always taken. Usually numerous such instructions are used together to describe a process.

2. Decision Structures - Here action sequences described are often included within decision structures that identify conditions. Therefore these structures occur when two or more actions can be taken as per the value of a specific condition. Once the condition is determined the actions are unconditional.

An example of Structured English

An example of Structured English

3. Iteration Structures- these are those structures, which are repeated, in routing operations such as DO WHILE statements.

The decision structure of example discussed in previous sections may be given in structured English as in the figure shown above.


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