Working with ReqIF Studio

Creating and Editing ReqIF

This on-line course teaches you how to create and edit ReqIF files with ReqIF Studio, our popular requirements editor. It covers the creation of requirements, specifications and links. On the way you learn some tricks like change tracking and traceability analysis.

Content

This Solution contains:

  • 5 Videos (60 minutes)
  • 2 Downloads
  • 1 PDF
  • 5 other pieces of content

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Creating a ReqIF File and Basic Editing (8 min)

Summary

Content: This video lecture describes how to create a new ReqIF file, and the basics of editing.

Target Group: Requirements Engineers

Prerequisites: ReqIF Studio has been installed.

Agenda

  • Create ReqIF File (0:40)
  • Create and Edit Requirements (1:27)
  • Specification Structure / Hierarchy (2:49)
  • Deleting Requirements (4:05)

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This one-page references is very helpful to understand the data structures that you are creating in the tool.

ReqIF Quick Reference

The Essentials of ReqIF on One Page

This one-pager will help you make sense of the ReqIF files that you are working with. Whether you need to understand the structure or decipher the XML: This reference will save you a lot of time.

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The ReqIF Header

ReqIF Header Attributes

  • Identifier
  • Title
  • Creation Time
  • ReqIF Tool ID
  • Source Tool ID
  • ReqIF Version (always 1.0)
  • Repository ID (optional)
  • Comment (optional)

More useful than you thought!

Every ReqIF file has a header section, but it is rarely paid much attention to. Nevertheless, it contains some important and useful information, and it's a good idea to understand what information it holds, and how it can be used.

In ReqIF Studio, the header information is accessible from the Main Editor.

A ReqIF File consists of three elements, as shown in the figure below. The ReqIF Header is one of these. It is mandatory and contains information regarding the file itself, some of which makes the handling easier.

ReqIF Header

The following list describes the attributes and points out eventual particularities.

  • Identifier – This attribute identifies the ReqIF file and is mandatory. The identifier must comply with the format of an XML identifier (e.g. no spaces, must start with a character, etc.).  This ID must be different for every file! In other words, even if just one requirement has changed, a new ID must be used. Don't use this ID to track repeated requirement exchanges. That information should be traced in the tool extensions (see information on conversation ID below).
  • Title – A useful, human-readable title. This attribute is mandatory.
  • Creation Time – The timestamp indicating the generation time and date of this file. This attribute is mandatory and must be formatted as an XML dateTime. Note that the timezone information is optional but recommended.
  • ReqIF Tool ID – An identifier for the ReqIF exporter has to be provided here. This mandatory attribute should not be confused with the Source Tool ID, but may be identical if the requirements tool has the built-in capability of exporting ReqIF.
  • Source Tool ID – This is the identifier of the requirements tool and is mandatory.
  • ReqIF Version – Here the version of ReqIF is required. Note that this currently has always to be "1.0", even for ReqIF 1.1 and 1.2! This sounds confusing, but is required this way, as the schema of those versions has not changed (see ReqIF FAQ).
  • Repository ID – This optional attribute allows the writing tool to provide information regarding the repository of the data, e.g. the database that has been used.
  • Comment – This optional attribute can be used freely. It is not recommended to use it for information that is being machine processed. The tool extensions are recommended for this purpose.

A note on ReqIF ID and Conversation ID. It is tempting to use the ReqIF ID to track the repeated exchange of requirements between two parties, and some tools have been known to do this (hopefully not any more). Resist the temptation and don't do it! For one, you risk that a tool does not even analyze the content of your file, as the ID has not changed. This is also a violation of the ReqIF standard. Instead, the ReqIF Implementor Forum has defined a tool extension for exactly this purpose. Using the tool extension is the recommended approach.

There are three representations of the ReqIF Header, as shown in the figure below:

  • The ReqIF Standard uses a UML representation, as shown on the left. Please consult the standard for detailed information, e.g. the types of the attributes.
  • The header is stored as XML in the file, as shown in the middle. In ReqIF Studio, you can inspect the XML by right-clicking on a .reqif file and opening it as Text.
  • In ReqIF Studio, the Main Editor has a form that shows the header attributes and allows some of them to be edited, as shown on the right.

Images: Unsplash, OMG

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Configuration of Datatypes (20 min)

Summary

Content: This video lecture describes how Datatypes work in ReqIF Studio, and explain how they are customized. In the process, it covers adding new requirements attributes, validation, ID generation and interoperability issues.

Target Group: Administrators of requirements models

Prerequisites: ReqIF Studio is installed. Basic ReqIF Studio editing knowledge.

Agenda

Agenda (cont.)

  • Validation (10:19)
    • Datatype Validation (10:36)
    • Specification Validation (11:31)
    • Value Validation (12:14)
  • Creating new SpecTypes (12:33)
  • Using new SpecTypes (14:11)
  • Additional Concepts (15:06)
  • Interoperability (16:05)
  • ID Generation (17:56)
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Lecture Notes

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Traceability with SpecRelations (15 min)

Summary

Content: This video lecture describes how links are created in ReqIF Studio, in order to create traceability between requirements. Links, or Traces, are called SpecRelations in ReqIF. This lecture explains how they are created, edited and customized. In particular, it explains how traceability can be used for analysis, like change management or visualizing a traceability matrix.

Target Group: Requirements Engineers

Prerequisites: ReqIF Studio is installed. Basic ReqIF Studio editing knowledge.

Agenda

  • Creating SpecRelations (1:09)
    • Creating a test file (1:17)
    • Creating a SpecRelation (1:43)
    • Understanding SpecRelations (2:54)
    • Creating multiple links in one step (3:58)
  • Datatypes for SpecRelations (4:50)
  • Advanced Concepts (6:06)
    • Link column in the Specification Editor (6:12)
    • Following links (7:02)
    • List of all SpecRelations (7:39)
    • Searching for SpecRelations (8:20)
    • SpecRelationGroups (8:47)

Agenda (cont.)

  • Change Management (9:50)
    • Using the Template for Change Management (10:29)
    • Change Management in practice (11:51)
    • Presentation (plug-in) configuration for change management (12:15)
  • Deduct traceability matrix (13:07)
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Lecture Notes

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Traceability Template

Traces are the Foundation for Change Management

ReqIF Studio has powerful features for change management. In particular, SpecRelations (traces) can be flagged if source or target of a it change.

This template consists of a preconfigured stakeholder requirements spec and a system requirement spec. These can be connected with a traceability that is enabled for change management.

You find usage instructions as part of the template.

How to Use

To use this template, follow these steps:

  • Make sure you have ReqIF Studio installed.
  • Create a Project (see Handbook).
  • Import the template (which you first have to download) by dragging it into the Project. Alternatively, you can use the import wizard via File | Import ... | File System.
  • Optional: Rename the template, as you see fit.
  • Open the template and follow the instructions inside.
  • Also consult the Handbook chapter on this feature.

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Deduct

Creating a traceability is only half the story – making sense of it is another. A common tool for this purpose is a traceability matrix. Such a matrix visually shows the relationship between two sets of elements in a grid.

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Traceability Matrix

deduct-matrixThe Situation: Traces are important in development. They are realized in ReqIF with SpecRelations and can connect requirements to tests ("tests" relationship), stakeholder requirements to system requirements ("realizes" relationship). Creating the required traces is the first step towards better development.

The Challenge: Creating traces is not enough: The traceability must be analyzed as well. Analytical questions include: "Is every requirement tested?" or, "Is every stakeholder requirement realized?

Solution: By creating a grid with one set of elements on one axis and another set of elements on the other axis, an established traceability can be quickly grasped. For instance, the matrix to the right shows requirements on the vertical axis and tests on the horizontal axis. Three traces are shown, indicating that R-1 and R-5 are not yet covered by a test, and that T-1 and T-5 are not yet associated with a requirement.

Results: Deduct visualizes relationships as shown in the figure. It produces a nicely formatted HTML output that highlights missing relations, thereby making it easy to spot them. It also produces CSV, which can be read by Excel, for further processing.

Features

  • Specifications define the axes of the matrix
  • Reduce the axes by applying filters
  • More than one SpecRelationType possible
  • Highlights incomplete traceability
  • Automatically adds SpecRelations that are not covered by the Specifications
  • HTML output (can be pasted into Word)
  • CSV export (can be opened with Excel)

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Specifications in ReqIF Studio (7 min)

Summary

Content: This video lecture describes how Specifications workin ReqIF Studio. Besides creating, editing and typing, this lecture also describes printing and exporting them to a word processor.

Target Group: Requirements Engineers

Prerequisites: ReqIF Studio is installed. Basic ReqIF Studio editing knowledge.

Agenda

  • Download the template (0:41)
  • Main Editor (1:06)
  • Spec Editor (1:44)
  • Arranging Editors (2:18)

Agenda (cont.)

  • Creating and Editing Specifications (3:08)
  • Printing Specifications (5:44)
  • Exporting to a Word Processor (6:34)
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Lecture Notes

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ReqIF Roundtrip with ReqIF Studio and IBM Rational DOORS (10 min)

Summary

Content: This video lecture describes a basic roundtrip requirements exchange between two tools, using ReqIF Studio and IBM Rational DOORS. The practical application is by having an OEM send a requirements specification to a supplier for review.This lecture shows in detail how to set up DOORS for import, export and merging of the supplier data.

Target Group: Project Managers, Requirements Engineers

Prerequisites: ReqIF Studio is installed (for the supplier).

Agenda

  • Agenda (0:37)
  • Exchange Process Description (1:05)
  • DOORS Setup and Export (2:43)

Agenda (cont.)

  • ReqIF Studio Import, Review and Export (5:29)
  • DOORS Import and Merging (6:46)
  • Axiom and Binom (8:47)
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Lecture Notes

  • ReqIF in 10 Minutes – Describes the concept behind the basic ReqIF roundtrip
  • HIS-Process – Best practices by an automotive group on how to implement a requirements roundtrip process

Up Next / Related

  • Axiom – A plug-in for ReqIF Studio for controlling a requirements exchange process (premium content)
  • Binom – A plug-in for ReqIF Studio for comparing ReqIF files (premium content)
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Exporting ReqIF in IBM Rational DOORS

From DOORS to ReqIF Studio

IBM® Rational® DOORS® (DOORS for short) is one of the more popular requirements tools, and it supports ReqIF. In this reference, you will learn how you can export requirements from DOORS, so that they can be read directly by ReqIF Studio.

Prerequisites

You need at least DOORS 9.4 in order to export ReqIF. If unsure, check out the capability matrix provided by IBM. The screenshots in this guide have been created with DOORS 9.6.1.7.

Note that this reference refers to "classical DOORS", and not to "Rational DOORS Next Generation".

Important Differences between Import and Export

This document describes ReqIF export, which is initiated via the Properties of a Project. The ReqIF import is initiated via File | Import ReqIF Package...

Preparing a ReqIF Export

To prepare a ReqIF export for the first time, perform the following steps:

  • Right-click on a DOORS Project and select Properties.
  • You will get a dialog with multiple tabs. Select the tab "ReqIF Definitions"
  • Click "New..." to create a new ReqIF Definition. You can provide a name and a description, as shown in the following:

  • Once you submit the dialog, you'll get another dialog (shown below). Here, you can add individual models as follows:
    • Select a module in the tree on the left
    • Configure the module by selecting version, locking, data, attributes and view
    • Click "Add or update module"
    • The module is added to the list at the bottom. Repeat for as many modules as you like.
  • The following screenshot shows the dialog with the "Stakeholder Requirements" added.

  • Once the dialog is acknowledged, the new ReqIF definition should be listed in the properties.

Performing the Export

To perform an export, perform the following steps:

  • Go back to the Project Properties on the "ReqIF Definitions" tab. From the previous step, there should be at least one ReqIF Definition.
  • Select a definition and click "Export". The dialog shown below should appear.
  • Select a location for the ReqIF file that will be generated.
  • As output format, either select "ReqIF (v1.0) compressed", or "ReqIF (V1.0)". ReqIF Studio can process both, but only the compressed format supports embedded images.
  • Regarding OLE output; ReqIF Studio supports both options.

  • Upon acknowledging the dialog, the ReqIF-file will be created at the location you provided, either as a .reqif or .reqifz file (depending on you selected the compressed format or not).

Importing the file in ReqIF Studio

To import the file in ReqIF Studio, it depends on whether you used the compressed format or not:

  • To import the uncompressed .reqif file, simply drag it into an existing project in ReqIF Studio.
  • Important: make sure that you really copy the file into a project, and not just drag it into the editor area.
  • To import the compressed .reqifz file, use the import wizard: Right-click on an existing project and select Import | ReqIF Studio | ReqIFz Import Wizard
  • Once imported, the .reqif file should reside in the project. You can open it by double-clicking.

Compatibility Notes

A few things to note:

  • When opening the file, you will see many more attributes than you saw in DOORS. Additional attributes are exported by DOORS for housekeeping. We recommend that you simply remove the columns that you are not interested in from the Specification Editor.
  • You will receive a few warnings, as DOORS violates the ProSTEP Implementor Guide. You can safely ignore those warnings.

Image: Unsplash / Chris Barbalis

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Face-to-Face Training (German and English)

Nothing beats working with a real person

This library is designed to give you as much information as possible, using various digital formats, let it be a PDF, a video to software. But if you need to absorb a lot of information in a short time, nothing beats working with an expert. This is why we offer trainings on a regular basis:

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