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30 productivity tips from the developers of IBM Rational Requirements Composer: Part 1. Navigation

Explore, elaborate, and collaborate to increase your efficiency

David E. Murray (demurray@us.ibm.com), Staff Software Engineer, IBM
Author1 photo
David Murray is a member of the Common User Interface team for IBM Rational Requirements Composer. He was primarily responsible for the project home page and Search view in the rich client. David graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in computer science. Before joining the Rational Requirements Composer team, he worked on the editor for the Enterprise Generation Language (EGL) component of IBM Rational Business Developer, where he gained experience in delivering streamlined software for less-technical business developers.
Christopher P. Geiss (cpgeiss@us.ibm.com), Software Engineer, IBM
Author1 photo
Christopher Geiss graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a Computer Engineering degree in May of 2008. Since joining IBM as a software engineer shortly thereafter, he has been a part of the Rational Requirements Composer team.

Summary:  Software requirements are actualized in a variety of forms that can be difficult to navigate and discuss uniformly: use case diagrams, screen mock-ups, text descriptions, flow charts, and so forth. Besides providing specific editors for these types of content, IBM Rational Requirements Composer fosters collaboration by offering universal tools and views to search for, comment on, and define and navigate links between artifacts of any type. This exploration of these common facilities is punctuated by specific tips and tricks from the developers of Rational Requirements Composer to help you use this software more productively. With this knowledge, you will spend less time opening artifacts unnecessarily and retyping redundant information and more time meeting your customers' requirements.

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Date:  01 Jun 2009
Level:  Introductory
Also available in:   Chinese  Russian

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Contents of this series

Each section of this series was written by a developer on the IBM® Rational® Requirements Composer team who had a hand in designing and implementing that part of the offering. Our intention is not to replace the documentation and tutorials in the Help system of the workbench but to complement those instructions with additional helpful tips.

This first part describes the features that you will use to navigate to or find artifacts. Rational Requirements Composer provides several paths, so we will point out what we feel are the most useful features of each and offer suggestions about which path is best for particular situations.

Each artifact will be created by an individual team member, but when it is saved to the Rational Requirements Composer server, other members of the team can comment on it, refer to it, or embed it in other artifacts. Part 2, "Collaborating with your team" explores the ways that you can comment and create links and how those actions are captured in the header and sidebar that are common to the various editors for artifacts.

Part 3, "Best practices for document templates," offers suggestions to make the best use of a feature that allows your project administrator to define initial content for artifacts of any type.

The specific features of the editors (Sketching, Storyboard, Use Case, Document, Glossary, Business Process, and Screen Flow) are beyond the scope of this article, which covers only the common interactions that are not tied to a given artifact type.


About Rational Requirements Composer

IBM Rational Requirements Composer is a Jazz technology-based application that helps business analysts and software development teams collaboratively define and elaborate on requirements for a software system. The form that this elaboration takes is open-ended, because Rational Requirements Composer includes editors for a variety of diagram-based documents, such as user interface sketches, and for use-case diagrams, in addition to a rich text editor.

Your daily requirements work will revolve around these artifacts, which is our general term for text documents, sketches, images, and the like. They are similar to files in an operating system. You will typically follow this sequence of steps:

  1. Navigate to an artifact and open it in an editor that you have customized.

  2. Comment on the artifact or read and reply to other team members' comments.

  3. Navigate to related artifacts or requirements that are referenced within or refer to the artifact.

  4. Make changes to the artifact and save it.

Because you will revisit these actions so frequently, the designers provided a user interface that makes performing the actions as intuitive as possible. Despite their valiant efforts, the software will be used by human beings who are notorious for overlooking what the designer thought to be obvious and for developing their own habits for the way a tool should be used. The aim of this article is to highlight the features of Rational Requirements Composer that the designers included to make navigation and collaboration easier and, in doing so, to provide guidance to you that will make your day-to-day use of this tool as efficient as possible.


Overview of navigating to artifacts

Before you can view, modify, or comment on an artifact, you must open it in an editor. For example, you might receive an e-mail message that includes a link to an artifact when a teammate wants to call something to your attention. In that case, following the link with an rpc:// prefix will launch the Rational Requirements Composer client and open the artifact. More often, though, you will need to navigate to an artifact on your own.

You have a few choices for how to go about this, and the best choice depends on how much you know about the artifact that interests you.

  • If you know the name of the artifact that you are seeking and are interested only in opening it the editor, you can follow the procedure described in The Open Document dialog section.

  • If you know which project and folder the artifact is stored in and don't need to see additional information about it (such as when it was last modified and by whom), see The Project Explorer View section for a specific scenario where that view is especially useful.

To view artifacts in a given project by criteria other than folder hierarchy, see the section called The Project Home Page. On that page, you can view all artifacts that are of a certain type or associated with a given tag, as well as those that match several other criteria. You can also view more information about an artifact, such as its description and what tags are associated with it. If this information is all you are seeking, there may be no need to open an editor at all.

When you need to see artifacts that match more complex criteria, such as those that include a certain string or those with a certain attribute group or attribute value, you can use the Search view described in the Searching feature section. If you are a member of multiple projects and do not know which one the artifact you are seeking resides in, the Search view will help.


The Open Document dialog

If you know the name of an artifact and are simply interested in opening it in an editor, the Open Document dialog (Figure 1) is the fastest way to do that.

  1. Click File and then Open, or press Ctrl+O at any time.

Figure 1. Open artifacts with the Open Document dialog
Open Document dialog


  1. Start typing the name of the artifact in the "Enter a search term:" field, and the list will be populated with the artifacts with names that begin with what you've typed. You can use the asterisk * as a wildcard. If you know that you want to edit the artifact with a name that includes "government" somewhere, type "*govern," and the artifact that you are looking for should be in the list.

Tip 1:
Use the Open Document dialog when you know part of the name of an artifact that you need to open in its editor.

In this dialog, you can only open an artifact in the editor. If you want to move it to a different folder, delete it, or drag it onto another artifact, use one of the other views described in the following subsections.


The Project Explorer view

With the Project Explorer, you can open and manipulate artifacts in the hierarchy of folders within each project, similar to Windows Explorer in Microsoft® Windows®. You can activate the Project Explorer by clicking the Open menu button and then selecting either Show Project Explorer or Hide Project Explorer (see Figure 2 ).


Figure 2. Turn the Project Explorer on or off in the Open menu
Open menu with Show


Within the Project Explorer, you can navigate to specific folders and view their contents, as Figure 3 shows.


Figure 3. Navigate the folder hierarchy in the Project Explorer
Project Explorer directory


You could use the Project Explorer exclusively to open and manage artifacts, but you would be missing out on the advanced filtering, sorting, and collaboration features of the Project Page and Search view. However, there are cases when the Project Explorer is a more sensible choice.

Suppose you are writing a document and want to insert a link to another artifact and that you know the location of that artifact. To create the link:

  1. Click on the Project Explorer icon in the left toolbar (Figure 4). This will display it as a "Fast View."

  2. Navigate to the desired folder, and select the artifact that you would like to link to.

  3. Drag the artifact onto the document in the editor.

Figure 4. Project Explorer Fast View icon
Project Explorer icon


Opening the Project Explorer in Fast View mode causes it to be hidden again after the drag-and-drop operation. The benefit of using the Project Explorer in this way is that the document that you are editing is always visible so that no context switching is required.

Tip 2:
Use the Project Explorer when you are editing an artifact and want to use drag-and-drop to embed another artifact without switching contexts.

If you do not want the Project Explorer to be hidden after you go on to something else, you can “dock" the view either of these ways:

  • Open it by selecting Show Project Explorer in the Open menu,

  • Right-click the Project Explorer icon in left toolbar (as you did in Step 1 in this subsection), and then click Fast View to uncheck that option.


The Project Home Page

The Project Home Page is similar in spirit to the Project Explorer but expands upon it by allowing you to specify more criteria than the folder that artifacts reside in and by displaying more information for the matching artifacts. In addition, the sidebar on the right side of the Project Home Page has sections that list the artifacts, requirements, and comments in the project that have been created or modified recently by members of your team.

The Project Home Page is a good starting point for your daily activities, and it is a useful tab to keep open when you are working with artifacts in a project. This convenience has earned it the nickname of "Project Dashboard" within the Rational Requirements Composer development team.

To open a Project Home Page for a particular project, click Open and select the project from the list (see Figure 5 and Figure 6).


Figure 5. Open a Project Home Page
BaterBank project selected in the Open



Figure 6. View artifacts in the Project Home Page
BaterBank home page view


The sections that follow cover tips for using the home page:

  1. Filtering artifacts shown in the Project Home Page by various criteria

  2. Applying tags to, moving, and embedding artifacts from the Project Home Page and other views by dragging them

  3. Getting the most use out of the Detailed View mode of the Project Home Page

Filtering artifacts

You can specify criteria in the left section of the Project Home Page to find what you are looking for by choosing from tags, attributes, and folders to narrow the list of artifacts.

When selecting filters, it is often helpful to have more than one parameter for a particular filter. You can select multiple tags or folders by holding the Ctrl key while clicking on what you want to select. This also works for the list of artifact types in the "Filter by artifact type" control. When multiple tags, folders, or artifact types are selected, the artifacts that are displayed are the artifacts that match at least one of the criteria specified. That is, selecting both tag1 and tag2 will show artifacts that are associated with tag1 or tag2 or both.

Tip 3:
Use the Ctrl key to select multiple tag, folder, or artifact type values in the Filter sidebar of the Project Home Page.

You do not need to select multiple artifact types when you are filtering the artifact list to display either image or movie files. Selecting Images in the "Filter by artifact type" list will show artifacts with an image extension (.bmp, .jpg, .png, and such) and selecting Videos will show artifacts with any movie extension (.wmv, .mpg, and so on). You can also find these generic types in the drop-down control for artifact type in the Search view.

Filter by filename searches for artifacts with names that begin with the string that you enter. If you know part of the name of the artifact that you are looking for but not what the name begins with, you can use the asterisk as a wildcard. Thus, entering *case would display artifacts called "usecase" and "usecasetest," for example. You can use that wildcard at any location of the filter string to match any number of unknown characters. A quick way to view all artifacts in a project is to clear all filters and then specify * (asterisk) as the value for "Filter by filename."

Tip 4:
Use the * wildcard in the "Filter by filename" value in the Project Home Page to view artifacts with names that match a pattern. Type only the asterisk (*) to view all artifacts in a project.

To remove a tag or folder filter, click a selected value while holding down the Ctrl key. Then you have two options:

  • Click the red X to the right of an attribute filter to remove that filter.

  • To remove all filters for one of the three sections, click the Clear filters link at the bottom of the section.

When you close a Project Home Page or the Rational Requirements Composer client, the application saves your settings. The set of filters that you applied will be restored the next time that the Project Home Page for that project is opened.

When a Project Home Page is opened for the first time for a given project, the top-level folder that represents the root of the hierarchy will be selected in the "Filter Display by Folder: section. If you do not realize that it has been selected, applying filters for tags and attributes might not produce the results that you expected. Clicking on a tag, such as tag1, would not display all artifacts associated with tag1. Instead, you would get a list of all of the artifacts associated with tag1 that reside in the root project folder. If your project has subfolders and you want to view artifacts by criteria other than the folder they reside in, you need to remove the initially selected project filter by clicking Clear filters in the "Filter Display by Folder" section. Given that the set of filters s used across sessions with the Project Home Page, you need to do this only once for each project.

Tip 5:
Discard filters in the Project Home Page by clicking on the Clear filters links to remove them quickly. Remember that the filter for the root project is selected in the "Filter Display by Folder" section initially.

Like the sidebar on the right side of the Project Home Page, you can collapse the Filter sidebar to get more screen space to work with. Just move your cursor over the space between the sidebar and the list of artifacts. As you hover your mouse cursor over the correct spot, an orange button for the collapse action will appear. When the Collapse button is visible, click anywhere to hide the filter sidebar. To restore the sidebar, click anywhere, as long as the Show Filter Sidebar button is highlighted. The images in Figure 7 show the different states of the filter sidebar. From left to right:

  1. Visible

  2. Click to Hide

  3. Hidden

  4. Click to Show

Figure 7. Collapsing and expanding the Filter sidebar
4 screen segments


Tip 6:
When filtering controls are not being used in the Project Home Page, collapse the section so that there is more room for the artifact list.

Drag-and-drop actions

Several drag-and-drop scenarios are provided for artifacts in the Project Home Page, Project Navigator, and Search view. Without bringing up a context menu or traversing a wizard you can:

  1. Tag artifacts

  2. Move artifacts to different folders

  3. Insert or embed artifacts into other artifacts

  4. Upload resources for the project

Click an artifact listed in the Project Home Page or Search View — on anything but its name, which would open the artifact — or on an artifact listed in the bottom panel in the Project Explorer, and then hold the mouse button down to drag it.

Some operations allow you to drag more than one artifact at a time. To drag more than one artifact, hold down Ctrl when you click on several artifacts to select them.

The following subsections describe locations where the artifacts can be dropped to various effects.

Tagging artifacts

Drop an artifact onto the name of a tag in the "Filter Display by Tag" area of the Project Home Page to apply that tag to the artifact (see Figure 8).


Figure 8. Drop an artifact onto a tag to apply that tag
Filter Display by Tag


Tags can be applied to more than one artifact at a time by dragging and dropping multiple artifacts.

Tip 7:
Drag one or more artifacts listed in the Project Home Page, Project Explorer, or Search view onto a tag in the "Filter Display by Tag" section of the Project Home Page to apply that tag to the artifacts.

To remove a tag that was applied by mistake, simply manage tags the usual way. Either:

  • Right-click on the artifacts and select Select Tags (for one artifact) or Apply Tags (for more than one artifact).

  • Open the artifact in the editor and click the Select Tags button in the header: Select Tags .

Moving artifacts

To move the artifact to a folder, drop an artifact onto the name of a folder in either the "Filter Display by Folder" area of the Project Home Page (Figure 9) or onto the top panel in the Project Explorer.


Figure 9. Dragging an artifact onto a folder
Filter Display by Folder view


You can select and move multiple artifacts in this manner. You can also click on a folder and drag it onto another folder to make it a subfolder. Artifacts and folders can be moved to the root of a project hierarchy by dropping them on the Project node in the "Filter Display by Folder" area or the Project Explorer.

Tip 8:
Drag one or more artifacts or folders listed in the Project Home Page, Project Explorer, or Search view onto a folder or project in the "Filter Display by Folder" section of the Project Home Page to move the artifacts or folders to that location.

Artifacts and folders can be moved only to folders that reside within the same project. To move artifacts to different projects, you can download them to your computer and then upload them to another project.

Inserting links and embedding artifacts

You can drop a Rational Requirements Composer artifact onto the text area in a document (Document, Requirement, or Actor, for example) to insert a hyperlink to the artifact. Hold down the Ctrl key when you release the mouse button to embed a copy of the artifact instead. This view of the artifact will be updated when the source artifact is modified and saved.

Tip 9:
Drag an artifact listed in the Project Home Page, Project Explorer, or Search view onto a text document to create a link to the artifact, or hold down the Ctrl key and drop to embed it.

Drop an image (.jpg, .png, or another graphic file) onto a text document to insert that image. If you want a hyperlink to an image, select the text in the document and create a link by right-clicking Create Link or using Ctrl+K.

For diagram-based artifacts (sketch, use case diagram, and such), certain types of artifacts can be dropped, depending on the editor. For example, a part, image, or sketch can be dropped onto a sketch. A use case or actor can be dropped onto a use-case diagram. In most cases, only a single artifact at a time can be dropped onto an editor. Try to drag and drop artifacts that seem reasonable onto your editor of choice. If you attempt to drop an artifact of a type that is not supported for the target of the operation, the "unavailable" icon -- a circle with a diagonal line across it -- will be displayed: unavailable icon

Uploading artifacts

Select one or more files or folders in your operating system (for example, from Windows Explorer or your desktop), and drag them onto a folder or project in Rational Requirements Composer to upload the resources to the composer server.

Uploading resources in this fashion provides capabilities that are not available in the Upload wizard. When uploading files by drag-and-drop, multiple files that are not part of a previously downloaded Rational Requirements Composer archive can be uploaded in a single operation, and a folder can be uploaded. When uploading a folder, a new folder will be created in the project, and each file in the operating system folder will be uploaded to the appropriate folder in Rational Requirements Composer.

Tip 10:
Drag files and folders from your operating system to a folder in Rational Requirements Composer to upload the files or folders.


Detailed view

In the Project Home Page, User Home Page, and Search view, you can view the artifact list as either a table of information (the artifact's name, type, the time it was last modified and by whom) or as a list of figures with more detailed information. The tabular form is the default view and is likely to suffice most of the time. For certain operations, the Detailed view will be more helpful. To switch to it, click on the icon for "View as list with details" in the controls to the top-right of the artifact list (Figure 10).


Figure 10. Select the Detailed view
Icon selected


This additional information will be displayed (also see Figure 11):

  1. The path to the folder in which the artifact resides

  2. The number of comments for the artifact or for elements within it

  3. The tags, both shared and personal, associated with the artifact

  4. The description of the artifact

Figure 11. Additional information in the Detailed view
Screen segment with areas described highlighted


Tip 11:
Use the Detailed view in the Project and User Home Page and Search views to see the description of an artifact, the folder path to it, and the tags applied to it without leaving the view of the artifact list.

The folder information is useful when you don't know what folder each listed artifact resides in, either because you are filtering the list in the Project Home Page by something other than the folder or because you are looking at a list of results in the Search view.

Every resource in Rational Requirements Composer has a description that can be modified by clicking on the field in the header that is common to all of the editors for the various content types (see Figure 12). Even the "editor" for non-composer artifacts (images, .zip files, and so on) has such a header where a description can be specified, in addition to tags, comments, and links.


Figure 12. Enter a description for an artifact
Color Chooser screen


The figure that displays the number of comments in the detailed artifact list view is actually a button. Click on it to create a comment that will be applied to the artifact (see the Commenting section in this article for more about artifact-level comments). When an artifact is commented on through the Project Home Page, it does not need to be opened. This saves time and helps you to keep your frame of reference in one place.

Tip 12:
If you want to comment on an artifact but do not need to open it in the editor, use the button in the Detailed view in the Project Home Page to create a comment.

The ability to view the set of tags for each artifact can be invaluable when you are applying tags from the Project Home Page. In the tabular view, there is no visible change after these operations, so you might forget which artifacts you applied tags to already.


Search feature

When you need to locate an artifact based on text in that artifact or you are not sure which project the artifact belongs to, the pages and views discussed so far will no longer suffice. For these situations, Rational Requirements Composer offers a rich artifact search feature that is useful for a variety of scenarios. It can be used to:

  1. Locate a specific artifact when you know part of the name of or when the artifact's content includes one or more words

  2. Find all artifacts that were last modified by a specific user, either limited to one project or across all projects

  3. Discover all artifacts with a certain attribute group or attribute value (for example, find all requirements with a requirement type of FEAT or all Supplemental requirements with a priority of "Must")

Artifacts returned from a search are displayed in the Search view. From there, they can be opened, manipulated by using context menus, or dragged onto editors or folders just as artifacts in the Project Explorer and Project Home Page can be. The grouping, sorting, and display options in the Project Home Page are available in the Search view, too.

This next section focuses on features that help you make the best use of the search capabilities.

Text search tips

To search for an artifact by text, type into the field at the top of the workbench screen (Figure 13) and then press Enter.


Figure 13. Initiate a search
catalog typed in Search window


Artifacts that match will be displayed in the Search view.


Figure 14. Results displayed in the Search view
Results displayed in Search tab


A "match" for a text search is an artifact that either:

  1. Has a name that contains the search term (or)

  2. Includes the search term within its content

The results of a text search are sorted according to relevance. Artifacts with names that contain the search term are more relevant than those with content that includes the term; therefore, they are listed first. Among artifacts with content that includes the search term, artifacts where the term is used prominently, such as in a heading or many times throughout the artifact, will be listed with a higher relevance rank.

If the search term includes more than one word, the matches are artifacts that include all of the words, although not necessarily consecutively or in the same order as they were typed. If you want the results to list only artifacts that include an exact phrase of words, enclose the entire search term in quotation marks.

Unless the search term is enclosed in quotation marks, an asterisk (*) is treated as a wildcard that matches zero or more characters. For the sake of convenience, all search terms are treated as if they end in a wildcard unless they are quoted. To locate an artifact named "Catalog List Item," you could search for any of the following:

  1. Catalog

  2. Catalog*Item

  3. Cat

An asterisk wildcard is not supported as the first character in a text search term, however.

Advanced searches and "hidden" criteria controls

You can conduct an advanced search either by clicking the Advanced button in the workbench toolbar or by clicking the Advanced Search tab in the Search view.

In an advanced search, the search string is optional, and matches will include only artifacts with names that match the string. In other words, the artifact's content is not considered. Asterisks can be used as wildcards and, unlike a text search, they can be used as the first character of the string.

Another difference is that you can do an advanced search with no criteria at all. All artifacts in the selected repository or project will be listed.

Tip 13:
Run a search in the Advanced Search tab of the Search view without specifying any criteria to view all artifacts in a repository. Select a project and then search to view all artifacts in a project.

To avoid cluttering the Search view with all criteria options at once, the controls to specify tags, attribute groups, and attribute values are displayed only when certain conditions are met.

Tags are unique to a given project. A tag defined in one project cannot be applied to an artifact in another project. Therefore, unless a project is selected in the Advanced Search tab, the control to apply tags as part of the criteria does not appear. When a project is selected, you will see it in the display, as Figure 15 shows.


Figure 15. Searching by tag
Screen fragment showing Select Tags


Similarly, attribute groups are unique to projects and are applicable to only a certain set of types. For example, the predefined FEAT attribute group is applicable only to requirements. Your project administrator can configure which types are applicable to each attribute group.
To add attribute groups to the criteria for an advanced search, select both a project and a type in the Advanced Search tab. If there are one or more attribute groups in the project that are applicable to the selected type, check boxes will show you the options (Figure 16).


Figure 16. Searching by attribute group
Searching by attribute group


Selecting "Market" above and clicking the Search button will display all artifacts of type Document that have the Market attribute group. In addition, selecting "Market" will cause another set of controls to appear for the attributes in the Market group (Figure 17).


Figure 17. Searching by attribute value
Under Market: user, benefit


With these controls, you can limit the matches to artifacts with specific attribute values, such as all documents with a User value of "Customer."

Tip 14:
Select a project, type, and attribute group in the Search view to get access to progressively more criteria in the Advanced Search tab.


Permalinks

Artifacts in Rational Requirements Composer are uniquely identified by a string known as a permalink. This is a typical example:

rdm/resources/rrc1472

Having resources referred to by a string that does not include the name of the artifact or the folder in which it resides is helpful, because it means that if an artifact is renamed or moved to another folder, links to that artifact will still function with no change required. These links include references to other artifacts in Rational Requirements Composer and URLs such as the following that might exist on Web pages or in e-mail messages:

rpc://yourserver.yourcompany.com:9443/jazz/resources/rdm/resources/rrc1472

This string was derived by selecting the Copy Link action for an artifact, as shown in Figure 18.


Figure 18. Getting a link to an artifact
Copy Link selected


It is also included in the body of the e-mail message that is generated when the Email Artifact Link action is selected.

The fact that permalinks are used in Rational Requirements Composer need not concern the typical user. Just the same, those who are aware of them and have taken the time to read this far deserve a bonus tip: All or part of the permalink for a given artifact can be entered into the Search field in the workbench toolbar to open that artifact directly. For the artifact with the above links, typing or pasting any of the following into the field and pressing Enter will open the artifact in an editor (see Figure 19):

  • rrc1472
  • 1472
  • rpc://yourserver.yourcompany.com:9443/jazz/resources/rdm/resources/rrc1472
  • https://yourserver.yourcompany.com:9443/jazz/web/rpc?#action= com.ibm.rdm.web.pages.showArtifact&artifactURI=resources/rrc1472

Figure 19. Opening an artifact by permalink
artifact opening

Tip 15:
Type a permalink or permalink number (rrc#### or ####) for an artifact or paste an rpc: or https: link to it in the Search field in the workbench to open that artifact in an editor.

Review these suggestions to take best advantage of this feature:

  1. Clicking on an rpc: link (in an e-mail message, for example) when a Rational Requirements Composer client is already running launches a second instance of the client. After a short delay, the software detects that another instance is already running, so it shuts down, and the artifact is opened in the first instance. Therefore, if the software is already running, it is faster to open the artifact by copying the rpc: link from the e-mail and paste it into the Search field.

  2. You might want to edit an artifact in the rich client, but have only a link to it in the Web client (perhaps because someone who is familiar with only the Web client referred you to the artifact). You could navigate to the artifact in a dashboard or use the search feature to locate the artifact in the rich client, but it is probably faster either to copy and paste the link into the Search field or to remember the four- or five-digit permalink number and enter that into the rich client to open the artifact quickly.

  3. If there is a particular artifact that you view or modify frequently, consider memorizing the permalink number or keeping it somewhere convenient, and enter the number in the toolbar search field to open the artifact faster.


Summary of tips

Tip 1:
Use the Open Document dialog when you know part of the name of an artifact that you need to open in its editor.

Tip 2:
Use the Project Explorer when you are editing an artifact and want to use drag-and-drop to embed another artifact without switching contexts.

Tip 3:
Use the Ctrl key to select multiple tag, folder, or artifact type values in the Filter sidebar of the Project Home Page.

Tip 4:
Use the * wildcard in the "Filter by filename" value in the Project Home Page to view artifacts with names that match a pattern. Type only the asterisk (*) to view all artifacts in a project.

Tip 5:
Discard filters in the Project Home Page by clicking on the Clear filters links to remove them quickly. Remember that the filter for the root project is selected in the "Filter Display by Folder" section initially.

Tip 6:
When filtering controls are not being used in the Project Home Page, collapse the section so that there is more room for the artifact list.

Tip 7:
Drag one or more artifacts listed in the Project Home Page, Project Explorer, or Search view onto a tag in the "Filter Display by Tag" section of the Project Home Page to apply that tag to the artifacts.

Tip 8:
Drag one or more artifacts or folders listed in the Project Home Page, Project Explorer, or Search view onto a folder or project in the "Filter Display by Folder" section of the Project Home Page to move the artifacts or folders to that location.

Tip 9:
Drag an artifact listed in the Project Home Page, Project Explorer, or Search view onto a text document to create a link to the artifact, or hold down the Ctrl key and drop to embed it.

Tip 10:
Drag files and folders from your operating system to a folder in Rational Requirements Composer to upload the files or folders.

Tip 11:
Use the Detailed view in the Project and User Home Page and Search views to see the description of an artifact, the folder path to it, and the tags applied to it without leaving the view of the artifact list.

Tip 12:
If you want to comment on an artifact but do not need to open it in the editor, use the button in the Detailed view in the Project Home Page to create a comment.

Tip 13:
Run a search in the Advanced Search tab of the Search view without specifying any criteria to view all artifacts in a repository. Select a project and then search to view all artifacts in a project.

Tip 14:
Select a project, type, and attribute group in the Search view to get access to progressively more criteria in the Advanced Search tab.

Tip 15:
Type a permalink or permalink number (rrc#### or ####) for an artifact or paste an rpc: or https: link to it in the Search field in the workbench to open that artifact in an editor.


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About the authors

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David Murray is a member of the Common User Interface team for IBM Rational Requirements Composer. He was primarily responsible for the project home page and Search view in the rich client. David graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in computer science. Before joining the Rational Requirements Composer team, he worked on the editor for the Enterprise Generation Language (EGL) component of IBM Rational Business Developer, where he gained experience in delivering streamlined software for less-technical business developers.

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Christopher Geiss graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a Computer Engineering degree in May of 2008. Since joining IBM as a software engineer shortly thereafter, he has been a part of the Rational Requirements Composer team.

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ArticleID=392233
ArticleTitle=30 productivity tips from the developers of IBM Rational Requirements Composer: Part 1. Navigation
publish-date=06012009
author1-email=demurray@us.ibm.com
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author2-email=cpgeiss@us.ibm.com
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