ReqSuite® Requirements Manager (RM)
Excel

In the context of Excel export and import, a basic distinction is made between two types of exporting project contents. A simple generation process, in which all content is exported, is contrasted with an extended variant in which the content to be exported can be individually selected. The latter offers the advantage enabling the import of exported contents into a ReqSuite® RM project. The export process may take a few seconds, depending on the amount of project content and complexity of the templates. The generated spreadsheet can be downloaded from the server and stored locally or directly opened for viewing. The import process can also take a few seconds, depending on the amount of project content and complexity of the spreadsheet contents where the source location of the document to be imported is irrelevant as long as its format complies with the predefined templates.

To perform a data exchange operation based on an MS Excel® spreadsheet, click on the “Export / Import” button in the menu bar and select one of the following functions in the submenu “Excel”: “Simple export”, “Advanced export”, “Import” (see Figure 1 in the menu bar).

Simple Excel Export
This function exports all content elements within the project to an MS Excel® document. Each content category in the overview tree corresponds to one spreadsheet tab in the MS Excel® document and each content element of a content category corresponds to one line in the respective tab. The columns in a tab page represent the attributes of the content element. For example, in Figure 1, a separate spreadsheet tab is created for the content category “Use Case” and one line is created for each of the three content elements of this category “UC1″,”UC2”, and “UC3”.

Figure 1. Sample export of project contents into an MS Excel® document by means of simple generation

Note: Project contents exported by simple generation of an MS Excel® spreadsheet cannot be easily imported just like that again. The import function can only import content directly from an MS Excel® document that has been generated using the extended export function according to “Advanced Excel Export”.

Advanced Excel Export
The extended export function behaves similarly to the simplified alternative, but provides you with additional options. You can decide which content types and linked content types should be exported to the MS Excel® document. The result is a two-dimensional representation, with the lines corresponding to the exported content elements, the columns corresponding to their attributes and the attributes of the linked content types. For example, the elements of the content category “Use Case” are exported in Figure 2. This is linked to three other content types. To take this into account, the generated MS Excel® document generates one line for each content element “UC1″,”UC2” and “UC3”. Since the “UC2: Manage Campaign” application case in this case comprises three different functions “FU2″,”FU3” and “FU4”, i. e. this content element contains three links with elements of the “Function” content type, a further line is inserted in the corresponding tab of the MS Excel® document for each combination of the above-mentioned content elements.

Figure 2. Sample export of project contents into an MS Excel® document by means of advanced generation

In addition to the two-dimensional export, it is also possible to add a third dimension to the display using a grouping content type (see Figure 3). In the example, in addition to the structure of the exported data contents, the content category “Use Case” is also grouped according to the content type “Role”. In addition, the cells in the MS Excel® document take over the formatting of the attributes described in the client. This means that if an attribute for a content element is described as a selection field in a list or as an integer, for example, then the corresponding column in the MS Excel® document is also displayed as a selection field or as an integer.

    Figure 3. Sample export of project contents into an MS Excel® document by means of extended generation and three-dimensional representation via a grouping content type

Excel Import
Exported project contents can be edited in the generated MS Excel® documents and imported back into any ReqSuite® RM project. The prerequisite for this is that the defined structure of the content to be imported matches the configuration of the importing project, as otherwise it is not possible to import the data concerned.

Note: The “ID” column in the MS Excel® spreadsheet must not be deleted or changed in favor of a correct import. It is used by ReqSuite® RM to create links during import. In the case of incompatible data structures, a message is displayed in the import preview window indicating this fact (see Figure 4).

After selecting the import function in the menu bar, click on “Browse…” in the dialog box to select the MS Excel® document to be imported from the file system. ReqSuite® RM analyzes the imported document and displays the recognized content attributes in an import selection window (see figure 4 on the left). Select the attributes to be imported and click on “Preview”. ReqSuite® will then create an overview table with all the new and changed content elements detected for your selection (see Figure 4 on the right). If you want to apply the shown changes to your project, press the “Import” button. To cancel the import process and close the import preview window, you can press the “Cancel” button at any time.

Figure 4. Sample import of project content from a modified and partially incompatible MS Excel® spreadsheet

Note: If changes shall be made to the properties, e.g., description of a content element that appears several times in the MS Excel® document, these properties must be changed identically all over the document, otherwise the change will not be applied during the import. For more hands-on details on the advanced Excel export and import features of ReqSuite® RM, please take a look at the following tutorial video: