Author Topic: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word  (Read 13687 times)

Graham_Moir

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 749
  • Karma: +10/-15
    • View Profile
Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« on: March 25, 2010, 09:51:39 pm »
The Sparx Systems Japan product,  RAQuest,  has a nice feature whereby in MS-Word you can highlight some text, right-click on the mouse and choose from the context menu to register the highlighted text as a requirement in RAQuest (and therefore in the EA model you are working on as RAQuest works on top of a standard EA model).  If you highlight 2 paragraphs in Word, the first is used as the name/title for the requirement element and the second populates the notes.

Does anyone agree this should be a core feature in EA rather than in an add-in ?  

beginner

  • Guest
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2010, 01:12:06 am »
Nope. For managing requirements I would stick to a special requirements management tool. I would expect from these tools to export a valid XMI so I could mirror the requirements to EA where I could go forward with traceability to use cases. I haven't really used RaQuest (except for a short time when it was first in beta) but I think it's not a fully fledged RM tool. It's something for the low-medium range. It helps handling requirements but it's missing a lot like e.g. impact analysis.

Further: why should EA be integrated directly with that MS-Scrap? It would be more vulnerable and dependent and cost-intensive. A tool is a tool and an interface is an interface. If you'd like that integration plug in the interface to MS-Scrap. I wouldn't like to see that on my machine.

b.

Graham_Moir

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 749
  • Karma: +10/-15
    • View Profile
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2010, 03:30:38 am »
OK, I understand where you stand.    :)

Nevertheless, in our case,  we have users delivering business requirements written up in Word documents.   We want to capture those in EA as granular individual elements so that they can be properly traced and we don't use a separate requirements management tool, so we're left cutting and pasting the information, or writing it up a second time.  I just felt that an equivalent function to the one RAQuest provides would cut out a lot of the overhead of this process.   If it was there, it wouldn't hurt and you could still follow your XMI process


beginner

  • Guest
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2010, 04:17:12 am »
How about the following: Create a copy-to-csv utility from within Word which just appends selected text to a csv. Then import this csv into EA creating a bunch of requirement elements.

b.

Graham_Moir

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 749
  • Karma: +10/-15
    • View Profile
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2010, 05:15:15 am »
Well yes that would work,  however it is a lot more intensive than, 1) highlight the text in Word, then 2) register that selection as a new requirement in EA - job finished.  

What's more the functionality exists today - it just isn't directly in EA.

Eve

  • EA Administrator
  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 8008
  • Karma: +117/-20
    • View Profile
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2010, 08:36:02 am »
Try this in version 8.
1) Create a Requirements diagram in EA.
2) Highlight the the text in Word
3) Drag and Drop the text onto the diagram.
4) Select Requirement.


David OD

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2010, 10:39:16 am »
We are using RaQuest as a front end to EA for requirements management.  While you can certainly do RM work in EA, the more graphical approach is less effective for many people (until you start working on traceability and further analysis work in the models).

Having worked with Rational ReqPro and Borland Caliber, I would say that RaQuest is not bad, especially for the money (about 10% of the cost for 80% of the functionality).  It does most of what I want (including a form of impact analysis now), places the data natively into EA (where I want it anyway for traceability) and provides the users with a "table based" UI that they are more likely to find approachable than the full complexity of EA.

The good thing about Sparx is that they focus on the core functionality and provide an extensible platform for third party developers to provide functional add-ons.  I think this is better than trying to be all things to all people, and ending up with bloatware containing functionality many people will never use.

It's always nice to see Sparx add new stuff (I must try out Simon's example), and the ability to extact text from Word into any element is always going to be useful.  But I am very happy with RaQuest, and recommend it.

Just my 2 cents, but hopefully it will be useful.
Regards
David

Graham_Moir

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 749
  • Karma: +10/-15
    • View Profile
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2010, 08:25:58 pm »
What Simon has described looks as though it will meet my requirement - I have to give it a try.

Regarding RAQuest,  we're not against it and we have some licences, it's just that it's quite expensive in comparison with EA itself and we have preferred to invest our budget in additional EA licences.

G.

beginner

  • Guest
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2010, 08:48:50 pm »
It looks like the function Neil mentioned is still quite beta. I dragged text from Notepad++ and selected Object as target. On the diagram the text was visible in the name but a dbl-click didn't show it. Though I think this feature is very useful and should fulfill Graham's needs (as soon as it works as designed).

One remark: it would be nice (as Graham stated) if there is a line break in the text that the first line goes to the name and the rest to the notes.

b.

salayande

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 224
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I love YaBB 1 Gold!
    • View Profile
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2010, 02:18:37 am »
Just tried Simon's suggestion.
I opened an MS Word Document and highlighted a body of text.
I dragged the text onto a requirements diagram and selected "Requirement". It created a requirement element but pasted the text somewhere in the Tagged Values tab instead of Notes.
Looking forward to the complete solution.


Segun

Paul Lotz

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 248
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2010, 02:57:05 am »
I welcome this new feature as a step forward, but a "complete solution" will require a real interface to an external source document so that changes in the source document will result in changes in EA.  (This is the idea behind the DOORS add-in.)

salayande

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 224
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I love YaBB 1 Gold!
    • View Profile
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2010, 04:03:22 am »
I agree. I also anticipate a solution that goes further by parsing the text and using some clustering algorithm like K-means to cluster the Nouns and deliver a list of candidate business concepts for a domain model.


Paul Lotz

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 248
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2010, 04:44:59 am »
A further thought on this...

We should be able to trace changes to individual requirements, which means we need to be able to track individual requirements in the source--even if the requirement moves in the source.  What this means is that each requirement needs a unique identifier in the source.  Hence I think simply typing requirements in a word processor,  without identifiers (and a tool that can read these), is not sufficient for requirements management--if theword processor document is to serve as the requirements source.  (Mind you, that is usually what happens in our office, much to my dismay.)

beginner

  • Guest
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2010, 06:32:08 am »
Paul, you're obviously right since tracing to the source is essential. OTOH this is not a task which can be covered by EA - this is simply too far off. A good RM tool must be able to handle that. It's a very specialized task. And it can not be that EA also covers this. EA is already a swiss army knife for the UML modeller (like I use to say in my lessons) but if you're going to also use it as a hammer and as workbench it will dfinitely be overloaded.

b.

Paul Lotz

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 248
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Capture requirements from Microsoft Word
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2010, 10:36:22 am »
Well, I was more concerned with someone relying too much on text documents.  Traceability throughout a project is actually quite challenging, I've found.

One approach is to write requirements directly in EA.  In particular, SysML is designed to support this and I think the concept is outstanding.  (One ends up with only one model with precisely defined relationships between the elements rather than a set of documents containing elements with difficult to navigate, if defined, relationships.)  In the long run this is where I would like to go.  On the other hand, the traceability capabilities in the current version of EA are not, I think, sufficient, and not on par (yet) with those of a good requirements database management tool.  Specifically, we need a way to show effiiciently that we satisfy requirements with this design, that code, and these tests.  (The Enterprise Tester add-in is a big help towards this last effort.)  In EA (currently) we lack the capability to show requirements coverage effectively.  In particular, EA does not even distinguish between header requirements and detailed requirements when dealing with requirements satisfaction.  Since SysML is very much in the EA purview, I think it is not at all illogical for to pursue traceability capabilities further in EA.