In the following, the export and import functions are explained in more detail. This allows for exporting project contents int the background on the basis of predefined templates to an MS Excel® document and importing them, e.g., in whole or in part into another project, as required.
In this context, a basic distinction is made between two types of export of project content. 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 export process may take a few seconds, depending on the amount of project content and complexity of the templates. The generated document is stored locally in the directory under C:\Users\<User name>\Documents\ReqSuite\<Project name>\ and subsequently opened for preview. The Excel import can also take a few seconds, depending on the amount of project content and complexity of the templates, where the source location of the document to be imported is irrelevant as long as its format complies with the predefined templates.
To perform an export/import, click on the “Export / Import” button in the menu bar and select one of the following functions in the submenu “Excel export / import” (see Figure 2 in the menu bar):
- Simple export: This function exports all content elements 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”.
Note: Project contents exported by simple generation of an MS Excel® document 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 export”.
- Advanced 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.
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.
- Import: Exported project contents can be edited in the generated MS Excel® documents and imported back into any ReqSuite® 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® document must not be deleted or changed in favor of a correct import. It is used by the Web client to create links when importing. In the case of incompatible data structures, a message is displayed in the import preview window informing you of 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® 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.
Note: If you want to change properties (e.g., description) of a content element that appears several times in the MS Excel® document, you must change these properties identically all over the document, otherwise the change will not be applied during the import.