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Req pro tips


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The document, ReqPro Tips, is an explanation I wrote for my colleagues about how to extract requirements from IBM RequisitePro into Excel format.

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Req pro tips

  1. 1. IBM’s Rational Requisite Pro and its publishing tool, SoDA, provide a convenient way to publish requirements to Microsoft Word, but a few additional tricks are needed to export to Excel.Among the many tools used to manage software SoDA commands, requirements can be automaticallyrequirements databases, IBM’s Rational RequisitePro is published and formatted into MSWord documents.well-known. Its rich feature-set has made it a favorite Unfortunately, SoDA does not support publishing toamong requirements analysts. However, one area where Microsoft Excel. However, ReqPro has other featuresthe tool requires a bit of maneuvering is in publishing which help in getting requirements into the popularthe requirements to other document formats. Excel format.Analysts may need to publish requirements for a variety There are three basic steps to this process:of reasons. Perhaps the organizational standards are forthe requirements to be published into typical artifacts 1. Create a “view” in ReqPro.such as a solution requirements specification, a use case, 2. Export the view to a CSV (comma-separatedor a requirements traceability matrix. Or perhaps the variable) file.analyst finds it easier to review requirements with the 3. Convert the CSV file into an Excel audience when they are in a format more familiar Following are instructions for how to perform each ofto that audience. these steps.ReqPro, as it is commonly known, can be purchasedwith a publishing tool called SoDA which eases thistask. By creating MSWord templates with embedded [Type text] 1 August, 2009
  2. 2. Top: An example of theAttribute Matrix view.Bottom: The View Propertieswindow where the parametersof the view are defined.Creating a ViewA “view” in ReqPro is amechanism to see a selection ofthe requirements in one ofseveral arrangements. Forexample, one type of view, theAttribute Matrix, allows the userto see specified attributes of aset of requirements. This type ofview is ideal for exporting toExcel because the column-and-row structure is so similar to anExcel worksheet.To create an Attribute Matrixview, choose File, New, Viewfrom the main menu. The ViewProperties window will openrequesting the parameters forthe view. Type a name for theview and then choose AttributeMatrix for the View Type. Inthe Row Requirement Typefield, choose the type ofrequirement you wish to includein the view.If you wish to include only asubset of the requirements, clickthe Query button on the ViewProperties window. A list of theattributes of the selectedrequirement type will bedisplayed.[Type text] 2 August, 2009
  3. 3. Top: Choosing the attributes by which to filter the content of the view. Bottom: Choosing the attributes by which to filter the content of the view. In the Select Attributes window, choose the attribute to filter by. For example, if the stakeholder needs in your ReqPro project are for multiple releases and you want to show only those for release 1.0, you might filter on the Actual Release attribute. Click OK and the list of values for the attribute will be displayed. In the Query Requirements window, choose the values that you would like to include. Continuing the previous example, you might choose “1.0” from the list of values for the Actual Release attribute. Note that you can choose one or more values for this filter. The Sort Order radial buttons provide control over the order in which the results of this filter will appear in the view. Click OK to confirm the values. To choose additional query Requirements, click Add and repeat the above steps. Click OK to confirm the Query Row Requirements. Click OK again to confirm the view definition. The new view will be displayed.[Type text] 3 August, 2009
  4. 4. Top: The resulting The columns in the resulting viewAttribute Matrix show the attributes of the requirementsview. selected for this view. If the view does not contain the desired columns or theyRight: The are not in the desired sequence, youDisplayed can change them.Attributes window To add, remove, or rearrange theseshowing, on the columns, click on one of the rows andleft, attributes that choose View, Displayed Attributescould be displayed from the main menu. The Displayedand on the right, Attributes window will open showingthe order of the all the attributes that can be displayedattributes selected and the current display be displayed. NOTE: There are three fields that will right of the Displayed Attributes window. always display in any view and cannot be changed. These are the tag (ReqPro To move an attribute up or down on the display order assigned number for a requirement), (left or right on the view), click the attribute in the the text, and the name. Display Order list and then click the Move Up or Move Down button until it is positioned correctly. Click any attribute in the Attributes to Display list to deselect it or reselect it. Click OK to save these changes. The resulting list of selected attributes will appear under Display Order at the[Type text] 4 August, 2009
  5. 5. Top: The Export to CSV File window. Bottom: Using the Save As window in Microsoft Excel to convert a CSV file to Excel format. Exporting a View to a CSV File Once the view has been arranged as you want it, you can export it to a CSV file which is the next step toward getting it into the Excel spreadsheet. To export the view to a CSV file, double click on the view to open it, and then choose File, Export, Export to CSV from the main menu. An Export to CSV File window will open prompting for the destination for the file to be created. Choose a location, then click Save. Converting to Excel format A CSV file can be converted to the native Excel format by simply opening the CSV file in Excel and choosing File, Save As, Excel Workbook from the main menu. However, if the content of the CSV file must be added to an existing Excel workbook, additional steps are required. To import the CSV file into the Excel file, open both files. Select the rows from the CSV file that you wish to copy. Type CTRL C to copy the selected rows.[Type text] 5 August, 2009
  6. 6. Top: Selecting the rows in the CSV file to copy to the Excel file. Here, rows 2-27 are selected. The first three columns in the In the Excel file, choose the desired worksheet and select the first cell CSV file will always be the in the first row where the copied requirements should be pasted. Note “requirement tag” (the ReqPro that this need not be column A, row 1. However, avoid clicking in the upper left corner of the worksheet and selecting the whole sheet. A assigned number for the quirk of Microsoft Excel is that, when copying cells from one file to requirement), requirement text, another, it will not allow you to paste into the new file if the whole and requirement name, in that worksheet is selected. order. This cannot be changed After selecting the destination cells, click CTRL V to paste the in ReqPro. copied rows. Apply any desired formatting such as font choice, cell borders, line wrap, etc. Save the file.[Type text] 6 August, 2009
  7. 7. Top: Rows in an Excel file. Rows 4-10 are sub- requirements to that in row 3. Middle: After grouping rows 4-10. Bottom: After compressing the grouped rows. Grouping Requirements Once you have imported the requirements into Excel, you may wish to group them using the Excel grouping feature. In this way, they can be arranged similarly to the grouping structure in ReqPro which aids navigation. Unfortunately, there is not a way to automatically recreate this grouping in Excel. Below are the steps to do it manually. Grouping Rows in Excel To group a set of rows in an Excel worksheet a header row must be present above the rows to be grouped. For example, row 3 in the image at top left is the header row for rows 4-10 as is evident by the ReqPro numbers in column A. Select the rows below the header row; then follow the steps below. • Office 2003: Choose Data, Group and Outline, Group from the main menu. • Office 2007: Choose Data, Group from the main menu. A minus sign will appear in the margin next to the selected rows. Click the plus sign to expand the group again. The -/+ sign can be set to appear either above or below the group of rows, depending on your preference. To change this setting: • Office 2003: Choose Data, Group and Outline, Settings from the main menu. • Office 2007: Choose Data, Outline from the main menu. Click the small arrow in the lower right corner of the Outline command group on the menu. A popup menu will appear. Select or deselect the option “Summary rows below detail.”[Type text] 7 August, 2009
  8. 8. Top: Rows in an Excel file. Rows 4-10 are sub-requirements tothat in row 3.Pasting Rows Into an Existing Group in ExcelIf the destination Excel file already has row grouping applied,replacing or adding new rows is a bit trickier.To replace a row in an existing group of rows, copy the row fromthe CSV file, then select the destination row in the Excel file andpaste over it.To insert a new row into an existing group of rows in the Excelfile, select the row below where the new row should go and rightclick. A popup menu will be displayed. Choose Insert. A blankrow will be inserted. Copy the new requirement from the CSVfile; then select the blank destination row in the Excel file andpaste.At the time of this writing, there are rumors that IBM plans torelease a more capable publishing engine for RequisitePro.Given the existing limitations of its current publishing solution,this will be welcomed by the Reqpro user community. But in themeantime, workarounds such as those described in this articlehelp users to extract requirements from this powerfulrequirements management database. used by permission: Masterpiece Studio About the author: Fran McKain is a senior requirements analyst in the retail sector. She loves to push the boundaries of what RequisitePro can do.[Type text] 8 August, 2009