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.

New Version of RM Tools List Upcoming

It’s time to update our list of RM tools. Since our last release in September 2014 several vendors have published new versions of their tools. In addition, we have spotted a few “new kids on the block” that we will add to the list.

Over the next days, you will find a series of blog posts on MakingOfSoftware.com that introduce the most important latest version updates of RM tools. Within about a week, the new release of the tools list will go live. Afterwards, we will introduce some of the new tools in separate articles.

From our list of selected RM tools, the following ones had major version updates, which we will present in individual blog posts:

  • Blueprint Requirements Center
  • Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect
  • Jama
  • Polarion Requirements
  • Seapine TestTrack RM
  • VersionOne

The following tools had medium-size version updates. We provide brief overviews of their new functionalities at the bottom of this article:

  • Borland (Micro Focus) Caliber RM
  • Intland codeBeamer Requirements Management
  • HP Agile Manager
  • HP Quality Center / ALM
  • MID Innovator for Business Analysts
  • Atlassian JIRA
  • Thoughtworks Mingle
  • PTC Integrity
  • Rally

Some other tools from our selected list had minor releases:

  • IBM Rational DOORS
  • IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation
  • eDev Technologies inteGREAT
  • Atlassian JIRA Agile

The remaining three tools that did not have any version updates since last September: Kovair ALM Studio, Serena Dimensions RM, and Visure Requirements.

The following subsections give an overview of new features of tools with medium-size version updates. For PTC Integrity, we could not find such information.

Borland (Micro Focus) Caliber RM

In December 2014, Borland (Micro Focus) introduced Release 11.4 of Caliber. The updates includes new Author, Visualize and Review functionality and new security features. Borland has published the release notes as blog article:

https://community.microfocus.com/borland/define/caliber_-_requirements_management/b/weblog/archive/2014/12/01/caliber-11-4-now-available.aspx

Caliber 11.42 (Hotfix 2) has been released in March 2015, bringing a full Caliber Author installation package and Eclipse 4.4. integration:

https://community.microfocus.com/borland/define/caliber_-_requirements_management/b/weblog/archive/2015/03/02/released-caliber-11-4-hotfix-2.aspx

HP Agile Manager

HP Agile Manager was available as SaaS solution exclusively up until October 2014. At that point HP more or less silently introduced support for HP Agile Manager on premise. While on premise licenses definitely have not been a desired strategy option of HP they had to recognize that there are quite a few customers, specifically in Europe, who don’t want to have company specific requirements data stored in the cloud.

The SaaS version of HP Agile manager has seen 7 releases since our last years update of RM tools. For details see the HP Agile Manger release notes web-page at: http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/HP-Agile-Manager-Release-Notes/bd-p/hp-agile-manager-release-notes#.VVmKypN5JSA

HP continuously improves the web UI experience in every release, specifically for power users. Beyond that some notable functionality enhancements are:

  • Workspace and feature teams
    Agile Manager now enables reuse of teams across releases, by using workspace teams. This information is also automatically synchronized with HP ALM to avoid unnecessary duplication of work.
  • Backlog item customization
    Agile Manager streamlines backlog item customization with a new custom field type named backlog item. Using this field allows to add fields which are jointly used by user stories and defects in the backlog.
  • Enhanced role model support
    Additional roles associated with appropriate security profiles have been added, namely: Viewer, Integration administrator, and Integration Bridge.
  • Environment updates
    Updates to the supported environments include: Support of IE11, TFS 2013, synchronization with HP ALM 12.2.

HP QC/ALM

With the 12.2 release HP delivered on its promise to renovate the complete UI experience. HP started to move to a completely new web based UI with HP Agile Manager and the requirements module of HP ALM already in the releases before. Now, with the 12.2. release they provide the new Web UI to the test and defect module. In addition, the new real-time synchronization between ALM 12.2 and Agile Manager 2.2 now enables large scale agile development. Through this offering HP is in a position to cover agile development approaches and traditional stage gate approaches within a consistent environment.

More details about the HP ALM 12.20 release can be found at the HP blog post: http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Application-Lifecycle-Management/Accelerate-and-scale-Agile-mobile-application-delivery-What-s/ba-p/6724680#.VTKWnWYYd6A

Intland codeBeamer Requirements Management

The new CodeBeamer 7.6 release highlights improvements in the areas:

  • Enhanced integration
  • Usability improvements
  • Support for FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) as part of risk management functionality

You might want to look up further information on Intland’s “What’s New” Wiki page: https://codebeamer.com/cb/wiki/634579

A SlideShare presentation illustrates the new features: http://de.slideshare.net/Intland/webinar-what-is-new-in-codebeamer-76

MID Innovator for Business Analysts

In December 2014, MID has provided release 12.1 of their Innovator tool. A list of new functionality can be found at: http://www.mid.de/en/company/news/news-details/artikel/innovator-121-verfuegbar.html

Atlassian JIRA

In April 2015, Atlassian has released JIRA 6.4. It brings three main features: Release Hub, Workflow Validator, and Intuitive Onboarding. In addition, JIRA HipChat has recently been integrated with JIRA more closely, supporting tighter team communication and collaboration.

Release Hub includes a new concise dashboard that provides real-time release status information to every JIRA user’s workplace. The dashboard integrates deeply with development tools to access relevant status information

Workflow Validator identifies and flags potential problems in a workflow while editing it. This is promising to save time during workflow development or modification, avoiding lengthy debugging efforts. Validation can be triggered at any time during workflow modeling. Identified potential problems are highlighted graphically within the modeling screen.

Intuitive Onboarding is a feature relevant to new project team members. Once a person logs in to JIRA for the first time, JIRA offers a brief tutorial with basic guidance for using the tool.

For details on JIRA 6.4 updates, check out Atlassian’s blog post, which also embeds a brief video clip introducting the new features: http://blogs.atlassian.com/2015/04/jira-6-4-release-confidence-sanity/

JIRA HipChat integration is explained and illustrated in the following article: http://blogs.atlassian.com/2015/03/jira-hipchat-real-time-communication-agile-teams/

Thoughtworks Mingle

Thoughtworks has presented version 14.2 of Mingle in September 2014. New features include:

  • Various usage and UI improvements, including a new Scrum template
  • Git and GitHub integration
  • Enhanced communication and collaboration features (so-called Murmurs)

Details are listed in the release announcement “Mingle 14.2 What’s New?”: http://www.thoughtworks.com/mingle/docs/whats_new_in_mingle.html

The following blog post illustrates some highlighted features:
http://www.thoughtworks.com/mingle/news/2014/09/10/Mingle-14_2-Brings-Simple-Back.html

Rally

Since the last release of our RM tools list, Rally has published two new product releases: 2014.3 and 2015.1. They feature many enhancements such as new page types, API extensions, various usage and usability improvements.

Detailed release notes for 2014.3 can be found at: https://help.rallydev.com/rally-onpremise-20143-release-notes

The release notes for 2015.1 are: https://help.rallydev.com/rally-onpremise-20151-release-notes

Both pages contain links to additional multimedia information that illustrate the new features.