ReqSuite® Requirements Manager (RM)

ReqSuite® RM supports the reuse / import of content items from other projects. This feature is located behind the “download” button at the top of each category’s content table. In the corresponding import window (see Figure 1) that is opened after clicking this button, users can search and select the items to be imported and decide if these items shall be imported as a copy or as a reference and with or without the items derived from them. In addition to the simple search, you can use the “advanced search” to set several filters to search more specifically for reusable elements.

A prerequisite for such an import is that the projects from which elements are to be reused have the “reusable content” property enabled. Since it is best practice to reuse content only from a standardized catalog, ReqSuite® RM does not support overly permissive reuse from any project. Rather, it is recommended to define a project as a cross-project reuse base that contains only quality-assured content that is intentionally intended for reuse in other projects.

Figure 1. Window to import / reuse content items from other projects

The reuse feature in ReqSuite® RM basically supports two variants:

Import as Copy

When importing an element as a copy, a new element is created in the target project with the same content as the original element in the base project. However, the imported element does not contain a reference back to that original element. So it can be edited in the current project without impacting or being impacted by the base project. After importing, such content elements are treated the same as any other content element in that project. For example, in Figure 2, the function “GP4. Lead Generation” has been imported from the corresponding base project as a copy. The imported content element “GP4.” is automatically inserted in the current project under the content category “Business processes” and treated in the same way as the content elements previously created in the project, e.g. “GP3. test” and “GP1. lead generation2”.

Import as Reference

When importing an element as a Reference, a new element is created in the target project with the same content as the original element in the base project. In addition, this element contains an internal reference to the original element in the base project from which it is derived. Therefore, if the original element in the base project is changed, these changes can be automatically applied to the reuse element as well. The disadvantage of this approach is that the values of all attributes that are the same in the base and target project templates cannot be changed by users in the target project. Only additional, target project-specific attributes and the status of the element can be changed there. However, if there is a strong need to edit these attributes as well, users can irreversibly convert a referenced element into a copied element.

For visual differentiation, referenced elements are displayed in italics and their ID is global, i.e. unique within the entire ReqSuite® RM installation (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Referenced versus copied content elements

As soon as an element is changed in a base project, users with the “ProjectAdmin” role of all target projects that reuse this element will be notified about this change by an orange database symbol. By clicking on this symbol, the affected content elements that have been changed or deleted in the base project are named in a corresponding dialog. The user can decide whether or not to apply the changes to the project (see Figure 3).

If you change a referenced element from a read-only state back to an editable state and this element has been changed in the source project in the meantime, ReqSuite® RM will inform you about it and give you the opportunity to update it accordingly.

Figure 3. Dialog for updating a project according to changes on referenced elements