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Updating Specs using DoorScope

Author Adi

#1 | Posted: 22 Jan 2015 09:37 
As the tool can now accept ReqIF it would be very useful to allow editing of the content and allow a push of the data back to a DOORS server once a connection to a server becomes available again.
At the moment we use an Excel template but this is an issue because it does not allow full UTF-8 char support (for example super-/sub-scripts) nor images as is possible with ReqIF when we sync with DOORS using csv format.
If you need more info about use-cases or later help with any testing then please let me know.

Author rochus

#2 | Posted: 22 Jan 2015 11:50 
Ok, I see your point; but DoorScope is a requirements data viewer und review tool, not an editor; this is by intention, since people usually use RM tools like DOORS to edit requirements; DoorScope is intendet to support deployment of as much data from the RM tool as possible for offline review, and then to consolidate the review results and to hand them back to the original author; as it's not recommended from a quality and configuration management point of view, reviewer should not make direct changes to the original; but exactly that would happen, if we imported the revised data back to DOORS. What information do your Excel files contain, when the reviewer sends them back? Do they contain the correction marks and change instructions, or do they already contain the changed requirements text?

Author Adi

#3 | Posted: 22 Jan 2015 13:19 | Edited by: Adi 
Some of our end-users need to work with requirements & test cases offline (at customer site, at hotel in countries where data interception over network can be an issue, etc). The people are marketing/architects and are responsible for a specification, which in DOORS is the same as one module.

What we have at the moment is an Excel application (macros) which can be used by them to compile/edit requirements and tests when away from our corporate network. What this app does is creates a windows cmd file to call a DXL script which in turn downloads data in csv format from the selected DOORS module and from a pre-defined Module View. This csv file is then imported into the Excel workbook. At this point they caan disconnect from our network and maintain their spec offline.
Requirement/Test text and some other attributes are editable in Excel but the DOORS Object Identifier (also exported) is protected.
When they are done editing and return onsite and connect to our network, there is a macro to export the data to csv and then start a DOORS script which imports the csv file back into the DOORS module. Any existing rows (having a DOORS ID) are updated and any new rows (not having a DOORS object ID) are inserted into the module.

This is a relatively good solution but it has some drawbacks: no 'special' characters (as we often need scientific/maths symbols), no images, no re-ordering of the rows for example. Also Excel can get very slow with large numbers of rows in combination with the running of the macros in Excel.

As ReqIF in DOORS allows the source module to be locked for updates when it is exported this is a perfect mechanism to prevent conflicitng changes happening in DOORS & the exported data. ReqIF also has the advantage of enabling image exchange and structural changes to the Spec. and its export is based on data contained in a specific module view (as we currently implemented).

I understand this would probably require quite a bit of additional coding (maybe a plug-in/add-on?) - we experienced this ourselves developing the current Excel version - but the advantages of such a solution would probably be widely applicable to many other end-users.

Author rochus

#4 | Posted: 22 Jan 2015 14:52 
Thanks for your explication. Sounds interesting. I wonder though why you are using DOORS at all since your requirements authors mostly seem to work offline and DOORS is a traditional client/server solution. Have you checked the market? Are there no "logical structure" text editors you could give to your authors to e.g. work on XML files and do the traceability with other means than DOORS? Tools like ArborText, Altova Authentic or Serena XML Editor come to my mind. You could even define your own XML format and generate that instead of CSV; authors could then do whatever your scheme allows and you could even do automatic validation when re-converting to ReqIF. Or what about ProR?
Of course I could extend DoorScope to a full requirements authoring tool; but that's a completely different use case and would need a substantial effort. If you want I can have a look at an example specification of yours to make a feasibility estimate (e.g. the DOORS ReqIF export and the generated CSV); send it to rochus.keller at

Author Adi

#5 | Posted: 12 Feb 2015 12:48 | Edited by: Adi 
Thanks for replying. No, it's a sub-group of authors who need to work offline with the current Excel tool - maybe at most 10% of all users (including suppliers). DOORS is also our main source for test specifications and we also import test results so we can use it as a source for metrics/reporting of the complete V-Model, so there are other integrations we have but the integration with Excel is the most restricted/open to improvement interface we have.

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