Polarion 2015

Polarion 2015 concludes our survey of version updates of selected requirements management (RM) tools. For a list of the other reviews check out the update announcement for our list of RM tools.

Polarion 2015 was released in March 2015. It is the latest major release, which are usually published once a year.

Live Reporting: Polarion has now adopted widget-based reporting that can be configured interactively. Previously, report definition required some coding. One of the widget types is a Gantt chart that provides a new way to visualize project planning data.

Cross Project Planning: Cross project planning adds a concept of hierarchies of projects. This allows for including items from connected projects into the plan of an overall project.

Signed Status Change: Explicit sign-off of review approval has been provided as a prerequisite for status changes of items to be reviewed.

Field-Based Permissions: Visibility and modification of work items can now be controlled on individual field level.

Polarion® Variants™: Polarion 2015 brings a new add-on product for variant management using feature models. The add-on bundles pure::systems‘s product pure::variants and integrates it into Polarion’s UI. Get more a detailed impression of this functionality from Polarion’s separate feature page.

Additional enhancements affect the management of hyperlinks, LiveDoc document components and layout, license management, performance, and implementation of underlying product concepts. If you want to look up details, check out Polarion’s blog article on the version update: http://blog.polarion.com/introducing-polarion-2015-whats-new-and-noteworthy/

A noteworthy new strategy of Polarion was to introduce the version update using an early access campaign. Important upcoming features were introduced during a series of blog posts and could be commented by users: http://www.polarion.com/2015/planning.php

Polarion 2015 was preceded by release 2014.3 in last December. 2014.3 featured enhancements to working with documents and wikis, new API elements as well as performance improvements: http://blog.polarion.com/polarion-2014-sr3-new-and-noteworthy/

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 requirements reuse capabilities. Reuse of requirements boosts efficiency and quality in the product and project delivery process. Therefore, we see the reuse topic as a major trend in this decade. We already covered this topic in depth in a webinar that focused on reuse.

Some noteworthy new functionalities are:

Improved discussion: Now all users who commented a specific requirement are automatically included 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