Survey of Latest RM Tool Updates

As the last part of our series on updates on the requirements-management (RM) tool market, this article summarizes some additional news on tools we have included into our list of RM tools. The news covers the following vendors and tools:

  • Sparx System Enterprise Architect
  • Micro Focus / Borland
  • Serena Requirements Manager and Dimensions RM

Other RM tool updates were published as separate blog posts:

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect: New Specification Manager

In late April 2014, Sparx Systems released version 11 of its Enterprise Architect (EA) product. In the meantime, release 11.1 has been published.

EA 11 has brought some interesting new features concerning requirements management (RM). Still primarily a graphical modelling tool for notations such as UML, SysML and BPMN, Enterprise Architect gradually strengthens its RM-related functionality. Many features of full-fledged RM tools are missing. But organizations and teams that work heavily with formal analysis and design models can use Enterprise Architect to make first steps towards systematic RM. In addition, enhanced RM functionality in EA generally means improved capabilities for tight integration with specialized RM tools.

The new Enterprise Architect requirements management features come in a functionality category Sparx Systems calls “Software. Business. Systems”. An important part of it is the new Specification Manager: Every model element in a package can now be displayed in a document view. A new editing UI allows for editing element information similar to working in a word processor. Enhanced documentation templates are available that facilitate report generation. In addition, new charts and dashboard creation features can also be relevant for supporting requirements management tasks.

Sparx Systems’s website offers videos that illustrate the new features, for instance the Specification Manager demo video.

Micro Focus: Acquisition Proposal

On September 15, 2014, London-based Micro Focus International plc (http://www.microfocus.com/) announced a merger proposal with Houston-based The Attachmate Group, Inc. (http://www.attachmategroup.com). You might check out the press release for details. Micro Focus is the mother-company of the Borland brand that markets the long-established RM tool Caliber. Other Micro Focus product areas mainly belong to the enterprise application segment: Visual COBOL, Mainframe Solutions, and CORBA Solutions. Attachment Group is the owner of, Attachmate, NetIQ, Novell, and SUSE.

Although we aren’t aware of any indications whether the proposed merger will affect the Borland brand, it is clear that an event of such a scale deserves special attention from Borland users and potential future customers.

Serena: Change in Product Portfolio

Serena used to offer a bundled product called “Requirements Manager”, which combined a set of RM-related products. We included it into past releases of our RM tools list, because it was the most comprehensive RM offering of Serena. Recently, Serena stopped marketing its Requirements Manager product. Instead, interested customers should check out Serena’s core RM product: Serena Dimensions RM.