ReqSuite® Requirements Manager (RM)
Reuse

ReqSuite® RM supports the import of data content from reuse-enabled projects. In the import window, you can decide for any importable content type whether and which content elements are to be imported into the current project and whether they are to be imported as references or copies. The following section shows the possibilities for dealing with referenced or copied contents in this context. Content reuse allows data within a project to be reused in other projects, i. e., content selectable in the Content Area can be copied into the reusing project or imported for synchronized reuse. Using this strategy as part of project management is only recommended for projects whose content is quality-assured. An overly liberal content sharing of each newly created project should be avoided in general, in order to prevent excessive data storage for the sake of an efficient overview. Rather, it is recommended that a project designed for the purpose of cross-project reuse is defined as a reuse basis and that quality-assured content is regularly entered, existing data records are optimized, and outdated data is removed.

To import items for a category (also referred to as “content type”), click the button “Reuse <category>” in the top right-hand corner of the dialog box opened from the Work Suggestions or click on a category in the content bar and then on the “down arrow icon” button in the toolbar of the content chart. A corresponding preview window for importable content is then opened (see Figure 1). In this import window, you can use checkboxes to select whether and which content elements of the corresponding content type you want to import into your current project. You can also specify, for example, whether these are to be reused as reference or copy:

Figure 1. Reuse pop-up-window

Importing content as copy
Contents imported as a copy do not contain any reference to the base project from which they were imported. They can be further processed in the current project without having any influence on the base project. After importing, such content elements are treated in the same way as any other content elements created by users. For example, in Figure 2, the function “GP4. lead generation” was 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 from now on it is treated exactly like the content elements created in the project before, e. g.”GP3. test” and “GP1. lead generation2”.

Importing content as reference
Contents imported as reference internally contain a reference to the respective elements in the original base project. Accordingly, these content elements can be revised only there and are synchronized with the respective reference elements. For visual differentiation, referenced content is displayed in italics within a content category and given a basic project-specific ID (see Figure 2). In Figure 4, the imported content element “UC1410.2. Elicit requirements” refers to the content element “FU1410.6.” under the category “Function” in the base project with internal ID “1410.6. In addition, the name of the base project can be traced in the editing window for the referenced element under “Source project” (see Figure 4).

Figure 2. Referenced versus copied content elements

Synchronizing referenced content

As soon as any contents in the respective base project are modified, this change is visualized by a orange warning triangle in all projects that reuse this content. By pressing this change note button, the affected content elements that have been changed in the base project are named in a note dialog box. Detectable changes include both, deleting the element and adjusting its properties (e. g. name, description, attachment). In the above-mentioned dialog window, you can decide whether you want to synchronize your project by clicking on “Yes” and update the affected content accordingly, or whether you want to keep the current status of this content by clicking on “No” instead. If you are not sure at this time whether you want to have the synchronization carried out or not, you can click on “Maybe later” to close the dialog box and postpone your decision until further notice (see figure 3).

Figure 3. Note dialog box for performing synchronization of affected project contents

Transforming referenced content to copy
Content elements imported from a base project as references can only be changed in the current project if they have been converted to a copy (see Figure 4). Therefore, the detail fields of a content element imported as a reference are initially deactivated within its description template (see Figure 4). However, once the content element has been converted to a copy, it is treated in exactly the same way as content imported according to “Importing content as copy”, where such a transformation cannot be undone.

Figure 4: Editing window for an imported content element

Importing related elements
When importing a content element, it is also possible to import its associated and derived elements from the base project, provided that the respective status of these elements allows export (see Workflows). For example, when importing the use case “UC1410.2 Manage Campaign”, all associated functions “FU1410.6” to “FU1410.8” as well as the role “RO1410.2” can be imported. However, higher-level content elements cannot be imported as well. Furthermore, the import of associated elements takes place automatically even without explicit option selection in the Import window, if a “containedIn” relationship is defined between the element to be imported and the linked elements.

Note: Content that has already been reused as reference in a project cannot be re-reused from that project despite collaboration mode directly into another project, but would have to be converted into a copy for this purpose first. Of course, several projects can use the contents of the same base project, as long as they are not references. Furthermore in the course of content synchronization, all changes are transferred to the current project. Skipping the update, on the other hand, does not affect any relevant content. In addition, the change notice is no longer displayed in the Content Manager by the red “bell symbol” until the next content change in the base project.

For more hands-on details on the reuse features of ReqSuite, please take a look at the following tutorial video: