TestTrack Updates

Seapine TestTrack RM

This is the fifth article in our series of blog posts on notable updates from the requirements management (RM) tool market that happened since September 2014. It features updates concerning Testtrack RM from Seapine. Since our last update Seapine delivered several on-premise versions, namely 2014.1.2, 2015, 2015.01.

From a RM perspective these versions focused on stability and housekeeping, no major new functionality.

Noteworthy is the ability to configure interactive task boards based on folders. This allows for progress measuring on sprint, release, or other milestones. Items can be grouped in swimlanes based on folder, user, relationship, or requirement document.

2015-05-22_15-42-51Seapine is one among few RM tool vendors which recognized that taskboards are a powerful tool not only for agile development, but also for traditional development methodology.

Details about those releases can be found at: http://www.seapine.com/testtrack/release-notes

Enterprise Architect 12

This article continues our series of recent updates of selected requirements management (RM) tools that we have included in our list of RM tools. Focus today is on Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

In spring 2015, Sparx Systems has published release 12 of its Enterprise Architect product. The main enhancements are new wireframing and database engineering support, new support for SML and XSLT definition. The list of new features:

  • Support for wireframing
  • Enhanced database engineering toolset for development of data models
  • Schema composer for developing XSD and other schemas from model elements
  • New support for XML and XSD editing and validation
  • XSLT debugger
  • Support for XMI merge using baseline merge sets
  • Default document handler
  • A new portals window as an additional UI element for navigating and building models
  • A navigator bar to provide more rapid access to current position within a model
  • Extended theme definition of user interface

In addition, the new release includes several other enhancements and additions, for instance to UI, requirements management functionality (new model patterns and extended requirements types), greater BPMN XML conformance, and inclusion of new standards and reference models.

For details check out the complete list of release updates in the following blog article from Sparx Systems: http://www.sparxsystems.com/products/ea/12/index.html

Blueprint Updates

This is the third article in our series of blog posts on notable updates from the requirements management (RM) tool market that happened since September 2014. It features updates concerning blueprint. Since our last update blueprint delivered the 6.0 and 6.1 on premise versions.

Release 6.0 focused on the theme reuse. Reuse of requirements boosts efficiency and quality in the product and project delivery process. Therefore we see the reuse theme as a major trend in this decade. We already covered this topic in depth in a webinar that focused on reuse with the rm tool Jama.

Some noteworthy new functionalities are:

  • Improved discussion
    Now all users who commented a specific requirement are automatically include when someone posts a discussion. E-Mail users can be anyone (not just Blueprint users).
  • Requirements reuse
    Version 6.0 introduces reuse capabilities for requirements. Requirements can be reused across projects. Tracking of reused requirements is managed by a specific relationship type: “reuse relationship”. Blueprint provides visual information if source and target are no longer in sync. It also provides functionality to reconcile requirements across projects.
    Reuse in blueprintThe functionality is nicely presented in this Blueprint Video clip.
  • Collections
    With the newly introduced concept of Collections as set of requirements can be easily grouped and managed together as a single unit.
  • Excel update
    Prior to release 6.0 it was possible to import from excel. With the new functionality requirements can be exported from Blueprint to Excel, edited in Excel and re-imported again. Blueprint does not generate a new requirement but updates the existing one. Other RM tools call this functionality “round-trip” support.
  • Accelerators
    Accelerators are downloadable packages that support particular standards, processes, or software development approaches. Accelerators are intended to save time for those configuring Blueprint to suit particular processes used on their projects.
    Blueprint plans to deliver accelerators frequently. The first accelerator is an “Agile Accelerator”.
  • Other features
    HP ALM bi-directional integration, Visio 2013 Import/Export, and BPMN 2.0 Support

Detailed information about those releases can be found at blueprints website: 6.0 info, 6.1 info.

Jama Updates

This is the second article in our series of blog posts on notable updates from the requirements management (RM) tool market that happened since September 2014. It features updates concerning Jama.

Jama Software provides quarterly updates to their hosted SaaS solution and typically twice a year updates to the on-premise versions. Since our last update Jama Software provided the 2014.2 and 2015.1 on-premise versions.

While release 2014.1 focused on expanding the scope towards Jama’s vision of collaborative work the latest releases are clearly dedicated to improve the end-user experience with the tool.

Jama Software rearchitected the rich text editor. From an end-user perspective the new editor is now much more intuitive. The UI has a modern fresh touch. Drag and drop of images is supported as well as resizing them.

Users are now able to customize their login page individually. A couple of widgets with configurable settings can be used to optimize the personal experience.

To support progress tracking of development Jama has a new feature called “Rollup Fields” that lets users add a Progress Bar to an item that will indicate the progress made on related items. For example, if your team is working in Agile, you might have Stories related to Epics. Product Managers looking at the Epics can now see a roll-up of all progress being made on all Stories within a particular Epic.

Efficient and effective reviews of requirements ensure a joint understanding about what is desired for the product. Jama has strong capabilities to support reviews. Now public reviews have been added. This allows to add stakeholders for certain aspects to the requirement related discussions.

Time based filters have been added to restrict the result of filters to a certain range in time. E.g. Users can now easily see what happened during their last two weeks vacation period.

Often, some requirement attributes are used in a way that they depend on other attributes. Jama now supports calculated fields to provide automation capabilities in this context. This new functionality allows integer fields in an attribute to be calculated for sum, multiplication and average based on other attributes. Using this feature you may for example calculate your requirements priority based on other attributes representing estimations and risks.

Advanced Requirements reporting is provided in Jama by utilizing the BIRT infrastructure. Jama now supports BIRT 4.2.2 version. Among others, this improves performance of report generation, provides donut charts, and allows exports to .xlsx and .docx format files.

Details about Jama on-premise releases can be found here: https://community.jamasoftware.com/jama/topics/jama-on-premises-release-notes

VersionOne Updates

VersionOne

This blog is the first in a series of articles that we release prior to our next update of the RM tool list. It focuses on VersionOne, which is one of the RM tools that we list in the “Selected” section of our RM tools list.

VersionOne delivered 3 releases since our September 2014 update of the RM tool list:

Within this blog some features of the above referred to releases will be highlighted. The majority of new functionality focuses on large scale agile support. VersionOne has obviously identified large scale agile support as a key theme for those releases.

CA PPM integration: CA Technologies and VersionOne have partnered to build a native integration to connect CA PPM (formerly CA Clarity™ PPM) with VersionOne. This integration allows CA PPM business users to analyze and approve projects and gives them visibility into Agile project elaboration and execution within VersionOne.

Dependency Capabilities Expanded: “Dependency” is a special type of relationship in VersionOne. Dependencies help to schedule activities on items which depend on each other. VersionOne has built-in checking capabilities that warn users if items depend on each other, but are scheduled in the wrong sequence. VersionOne has now expanded the use of dependencies on any primary workitem: Story, Defect or Test Set.

Naming alignments: VersionOne started to align its portfolio planning capabilities. As a consequence a couple of items previously name “epic” are now using the term “portfolio”, e.g.: portfolio kanban (previously epic board) and portfolio timeline (previously epic time line). With these naming alignments VersionOne tries to eliminate some naming confusions specifically in regards to the SAFe framework.

Epic Dependency Visualization: This new view rolls up dependencies between workitems so that you can see all the interdependencies for your epics.

Strategic Themes allow to guide the top level planning for epics across the portfolio.

Epic Timeline Drilldown provides users the ability to drill-down on epics in the timeline view and see sub-items nicely aligned.

Reporting has been enhanced in several places. New and enhanced reports are now available even in the basic editions.

Scorecards are widely accepted as a central location for key metrics in software delivery. In VersionOne Scorecards are available for Programs, Projects, Portfolio Items and Teams. It’s a kind of a dashboard that is responsive and can be accessed from mobile devices as well.

Agile Communities are supported to establish, evolve and promote Agile best practices across teams and throughout the entire organization with the Communities capabilities in VersionOne.