Tool Mentor: Viewing Requirement History Using Rational RequisitePro
This tool mentor explains how to view the history of a requirement in Rational RequisitePro®.
Tool: Rational RequisitePro
Main Description


As requirements are modified, the requirement history allows you to keep track of the what, when, why, and who of these requirement changes. Requirement history provides the following information:

  • How often do your requirements change? (Too much change too quickly may be indicative of an ill-defined requirement.)
  • Who modified a particular requirement? (You may want to consult that person and understand his or her motives before validating or invalidating that change.)
  • Why has a requirement changed? (What is the rationale?)
  • What caused a relationship between two requirements to become "suspect"?

Knowing the history of a requirement is particularly useful during impact analysis, when you are trying to determine whether a change to one requirement affects requirements to which it is linked. 

Tool Steps

This tool mentor introduces the following requirement history procedures:

  1. View the history of a requirement
  2. Perform an impact analysis
  3. Record the history of requirements

1. View the history of a requirement

In RequisitePro, the history of a requirement is located in the Revision tab of the Requirement Properties dialog box. This dialog box is accessible from either the Microsoft® Word document or a view.

In the Word document:

  1. Position your cursor in the text of a requirement.
  2. Click RequisitePro > Requirement > Properties. The Requirement Properties dialog box appears.

In a view:

  1. Select the requirement row and do one of the following to open the Requirement Properties dialog box:
  • Right-click to display the context-sensitive menu, and then click Properties from the pop-up menu.
  • Click Requirement > Properties.
  1. Do the following:
    • Click the Revision tab. This pane displays the last change made to that requirement. The date, time, author, and change description (rationale for the change) are shown.
    • Click the History button. The Revision History dialog box displays all modifications made to that requirement since it was created. RequisitePro automatically increases the Revision number as modifications occur.
    • Click a revision in the revisions list box to view details about that revision.
    • Click Print to print the set of revisions for that requirement.

Note: To print revisions pertaining to multiple requirements, use Rational SoDA®, the Rational document automation tool, to extract any set of revisions from the RequisitePro project and print a Word or Adobe® FrameMaker document. Alternatively, open the read-only RequisitePro database with an ODBC connection and use a database reporting tool to query revisions on multiple requirements.

2.  Perform an impact analysis

Reviewing the history of a requirement is an important step in impact analysis. One of the reasons you set traceability links between requirements is to have a means of flagging requirements that might be affected by a change in a related requirement.

RequisitePro uses a suspect link to denote that the relationship between two related requirements must be reexamined because one of the requirements has been modified. A suspect link is visually represented in a Traceability Matrix or a Traceability Tree with a red slash through a traceability arrow. This indicator visually notifies users that the text or attributes of a requirement have changed and that this change may affect requirements that are traced to or from the modified requirement.

When a suspect link is displayed, you investigate what caused the suspect link and what effects the change might have on other requirements. You view the history of the two requirements involved in the suspect link, following the steps outlined in the first section of this tool mentor (View the history of a requirement). When you view the history of the modified requirement, you may reach one of the following two conclusions:

  • The modification to that requirement does not affect the linked requirements. In this case, the suspect link can be cleared. To clear a suspect link while you are in a traceability view, position your cursor on the suspect link icon. Right-click to display the context-sensitive menu, and select Clear Suspect.
  • The modification affects the linked requirements. In this case, the definition of the linked requirements must be updated to reflect the change before the link is cleared.

To clear a suspect link while you are in a traceability view, double-click the requirement that is affected. Then do one of the following:

  • If the requirement was created in a RequisitePro document, RequisitePro opens the document and positions the cursor on the requirement. Modify the text of the requirement as necessary in light of the related modified requirement, and then click RequisitePro > Document > Save to commit your changes.
  • If the requirement was created directly in a view, the Requirement Properties dialog box appears. Modify the Text box, and click OK to commit your change.

3. Record the history of requirements

The following tips are related to the use of requirements history.

Tip 1: Assign user names to all users

An important record in the requirement history is the author of the requirement change. This author is the user logged into the RequisitePro project at the time the requirement is modified. To record which user logs in, you must enable the RequisitePro project security.

By default, RequisitePro projects have security disabled. Even if you do not want to set permissions for each project components (project, documents, requirements, and so on), you should enable security so that you can assign user names to users. These user names will be entered in the requirement revisions as a user creates or modifies a requirement.

To enable security and create user names, do the following:

  1. Click File > Project Administration > Security. The Project Security dialog box appears.
  2. Select the Enable security for this project check box.

To create user groups:

  1. Click on the Add button located below the Groups box. The Group Permissions dialog box appears.
  2. Type a group name and define permissions for that group. Permissions can be set for specific document types, requirement types, attributes, and attribute values. You can also define whether this group of users can modify the project structure. This can include permission to add attributes to requirement types, add document types, and so forth.

To add an individual user:

  1. Select a group in the Groups list in the Project Security dialog box.
  2. Click the Add button located in the Users of Group box. The Add User dialog box appears.
  3. Enter a username (for example, John Smith); you have the option of typing a password and e-mail address. E-mail addresses are used when users participate in e-mail group discussions.

Tip 2: Do not delete requirements

RequisitePro allows you to delete requirements. This feature is useful when you first create a project; you may want to experiment with how to use RequisitePro and what level of detail you want to use for requirements. At some point, you decide that your project is ready to be maintained as it is. From that point on, you should keep track of every modification made in the project. Be aware that when RequisitePro deletes requirements, every property of that requirement is deleted, including its history; this is typically information you do not want to lose. RequisitePro requires your confirmation before deleting the requirement.

We recommend that you not delete a requirement using the Delete feature. Instead, you can create an attribute (for example, Deleted or Inactive) to mark requirements as "deleted" (or inactive). You can re-activate that requirement later by simply changing the value of that attribute.

You might also want to relocate inactive requirements either to the bottom of the document in which they appear or to the database (so that inactive requirements do not appear in documents). To move requirements that are located in the Word document (as opposed to those that are located only in a view), follow these steps:

  1. In the Word document, position your cursor in the requirement text.
  2. Click RequisitePro > Requirement > Cut.
  3. In the Explorer, click the Attribute Matrix in which you want to paste the requirements, and then click Edit > Paste.

Tip 3: Add revisions to traceability relationships

By default, RequisitePro maintains revisions of requirements, not traceability links. To set RequisitePro to also maintain revisions of traceability links, do the following:

  1. Click Tools > Options.
  2. In the Traceability section, select the check box Changes logged in history.
  3. Click OK.

To verify the traceability history log, open a Traceability Matrix. Add or remove a traceability link between two requirements. Then select one of the requirements and click Requirements > Properties to open the Requirement dialog box. At the Revision tab, click History. The traceability change appears in the Revision list.

Tip 4: Always fill in change notification dialogs

As part of good requirement management process, we recommend that project members record their reasons for changing requirements. RequisitePro provides a Change Description field in which this information can be recorded.

The Change Description field is located on the Revision tab of the Requirement Properties dialog box.

When you save a RequisitePro document containing requirements that have been modified, RequisitePro displays the Change Notification dialog box for each modified requirement. You can use the Apply to all modified requirements in the document check box to attach the same Change Description information to all modified requirements (for example, "per meeting with VP on 5/30/2001").