Improve traceability and team collaboration through Collaborative ALM artifact linking

IBM® Rational® Requirements Composer, IBM® Rational Team Concert™, and IBM® Rational® Quality Manager can be used together to achieve complete bidirectional traceability. Analysts, developers, and testers can link various artifacts by using these products.

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Meenakshi Guruaribam Khanna (mekhanna@in.ibm.com), Staff Software Engineer, IBM

Meenakshi Khanna photoMeenakshi Guruaribam Khanna works at the IBM India Software Lab. She is a Certified Java Programmer and a Certified Web Component Developer and has published several articles on developerWorks.



Sugam Mehta (sugmehta@in.ibm.com), Quality Manager, IBM

photo of Sugam MehtaSugam Mehta has been with the IBM India Software Lab since 2005. She is an IBM-certified Six Sigma Black Belt, STG agile coach, and BSI (British Standards Institute) Certified Lead Auditor.



28 September 2010

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Introduction

Traceability of requirements through the software development lifecycle is one of the major issues faced by most development project teams. Traceability to identify whether all requirements are developed and have test coverage is very important to ensure the quality and completeness of the product delivered.

In this article, we address this issue and provide a simple solution of tracing the requirement through the development lifecycle in forward and backward directions, using Collaborative Application Lifecycle Management artifact linking, or C/ALM. IBM® Rational® Requirements Composer Version 2.0, IBM® Rational Team Concert™ Version 2.0.0.2, and IBM® Rational® Quality Manager Version 2.0.1 can be used to achieve complete bidirectional traceability. Also, analysts, developers, and testers can link various artifacts by using these products, thereby improving collaboration and enhancing team productivity.

This article takes a specific example and shows how you can set up linkages between different kinds of artifacts on participating IBM® Rational® Jazz™ servers.

Figure 1. Artifact linkage across Rational Requirements Composer, Rational Team Concert, and Rational Quality Manager
Link types between participating Jazz servers

The screen captures in this article were taken using the following versions of IBM products:

  1. Rational Requirements Composer Version 2.0
  2. Rational Team Concert Version 2.0.0.2
  3. Rational Quality Manager Version 2.0.1

To learn more about IBM Collaborative Application Lifecycle Management (C/ALM) and supported product versions, see the Resources section.

This article is based on the assumption that you are familiar with the basic features available in these products, such as how to create a collection of requirement artifacts in Rational Requirements Composer, a test plan and test case in Rational Quality Manager, and work items in Rational Team Concert.

A mandatory prerequisite for artifact linkage is to configure the Collaborative ALM environment on the participating servers. The Rational Requirements Composer Information Center has detailed steps on how to configure this (see the Resources section). Make sure that all of the preconditions for the C/ALM environment setup, such as repository administrator permissions (JazzAdmins) and users with necessary client access licenses for each of the participating servers, are fulfilled. Also, setting the public URI for all participating servers is a mandatory requirement.

The browser used in these examples is Mozilla Firefox 3.5. Because artifact linkage between Rational Requirements Composer, Rational Team Concert, and Rational Quality Manager might not work correctly with Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6; Internet Explorer 7 and later is recommended.


Linking project areas in Rational Requirements Composer and Rational Team Concert

Linking between project areas is essential to create links between artifacts on participating Rational Jazz Team Servers.

  1. For this, you will create a project area called My Composer Project in Rational Requirements Composer and a project area called My Rational Team Concert Project areain Rational Team Concert.
  2. Now, you will create a link between those two project areas:
    1. Log into the server administration interface of the Rational Requirements Composer server as a member of the JazzAdmins group.
    2. Navigate to the project overview page of the My Composer Project and click the Add button in the Links section.
Figure 2. Linking the project area in Rational Requirements Composer to the project area in Rational Team Concert
Screen capture of My Composer Project page

Larger view of Figure 2.

The link type between Rational Requirements Composer and Rational Team Concert is "Implemented By." (A requirement in Rational Requirements Composer is implemented by the work item in Rational Team Concert.) For more information on the various link types, see the Jazz link in the Resources section.

Also, if you look in the project area overview page of "My RTC project area" in Rational Team Concert, you will see that there is an Implements link that has been created automatically under the Links section, as Figure 3 shows.

Figure 3. The Implements link in the project area of Rational Team Concert
Links view

Now that the project area linkage is finished, can create and link the artifacts.

Creating requirements in Rational Requirements Composer

In this example, you will create a collection of requirements called "Generate automated reports for System A." A collection is a set of artifacts that you create for a specific purpose. The Rational Requirements Composer Information Center has step-by-step instructions for how you can create a collection and group artifacts under the collection.

Using the Rational Requirements Composer Eclipse client, under the "Generate and print reports for System A" requirements collection, create the following requirements of the use case type:

  • Generate automated reports for System A
  • Generate customized reports for System A
  • Print reports for System A
Figure 4. Requirements collection with corresponding requirements in Rational Requirements Composer
Screen capture of the requirements

Creating Rational Team Concert work items from the requirements collection

You will now create work items in Rational Team Concert from the requirements collection that you have just created in Rational Requirements Composer:

  1. Using the Rational Team Concert web UI, navigate to the Planned Items section of the plan.
  2. Click the Add Work Item icon on the right to get the drop-down menu shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5. Add Work Item drop-down menu in Rational Team Concert
Add Work Item screen in Rational Team Concert
  1. Select the Work Item from Requirements (My Composer Project) option. The list of requirements under the selected requirements collection will be populated as Figure 6 shows.
Figure 6. Select and add requirements from Rational Requirements Composer to create corresponding work items in Rational Team Concert
Screen capture to select requirement in Rational Requirements Composer

Larger view of Figure 6.

  1. Now, you can proceed to create work items for the corresponding requirements by entering the work item details in the Create Work Items for Requirements popup in Rational Team Concert. Attributes can be set individually for each requirement or applied to all.
Figure 7. Create work items from Requirements popup in Rational Team Concert
Create Work Items for Requirements screen Rational Team Concert

Larger view of Figure 7.

After all of the work items are created successfully, you will see the list of created work items (see Figure 8). The default work item created can be configured in the Process Configuration section of the Rational Team Concert project area.

Figure 8. Work items created in Rational Team Concert
3 items listed under the Planned Items tab

Now that you know how to link the requirements artifacts in Rational Requirements Composer to the development plan artifacts in Rational Team Concert, you will learn how to link the requirements artifacts in Rational Requirements Composer to the test artifacts in Rational Quality Manager.


Linking between project areas in Rational Requirements Composer and Rational Quality Manager

By default in Rational Quality Manager, there is a project area called Quality Manager already created as part of the installation steps.

Now, you will create a link between the My Composer Project area in Rational Requirements Composer and the Quality Manager project area in Rational Quality Manager. Log into the server administration interface of the Rational Requirements Composer server as a member of the JazzAdmins group, and navigate to the My Composer Project overview page.

Figure 9. Linking the project area in Rational Requirements Composer to the project area in Rational Quality Manager
Add Link pop-up window in My Composer Project

Larger view of Figure 9.

The link type between Rational Requirements Composer and Rational Quality Manager is "Validated By." (A requirement in Rational Requirements Composer is validated by the test case in Rational Quality Manager.)

Also, in the Quality Manager project area overview page in Rational Quality Manager, you will see that there is a Validates link that has been created automatically under the Links section.

Figure 10. The Validates link in the project area in Rational Quality Manager
Link Types listed in the Links section

Now that the project area is linked, you can proceed with linking the artifacts.

Linking test plans in Rational Quality Manager to the requirements collection in Rational Requirements Composer

Create a test plan called Test Plan for Reporting in Rational Quality Manager. The Rational Quality Manager Information Center has step-by-step instructions for how you can create a test plan and different kinds of test artifacts.

You will now link this test plan in Rational Quality Manager to the requirements collection called "Generate and print reports for System A," which you created in Rational Requirements Composer:

  1. Using the Rational Quality Manager web UI, navigate to the test plan and click the Requirement Collection Links section of the test plan.
  2. Click the Add new links icon on the right. The Add requirements pop-up will show the list of requirement collections in Rational Requirements Composer (see Figure 11).
  3. Select the Generate and print reports for System A requirement collection that you created earlier.
Figure 11. Linking the test plan in Rational Quality Manager to the requirements collection in Rational Requirements Composer
Matching Collections list under Requirement Links

Larger view of Figure 11.

  1. Now that the requirement collection is linked to the test plan, you will create test cases directly from the requirements: Select the check box next to the requirement collection in Rational Quality Manager and click the Create Test Case from Requirements icon on the right.
Figure 12. Select the Create Test Case from Requirements icon
Test Plan Overview: Requirement Collection links

Larger view of Figure 12.

The test plan is automatically populated with test cases linked to each of the requirements in the collection, as Figure 13 shows.

Figure 13. Test cases automatically generated in Rational Quality Manager from the requirements in Rational Requirements Composer
Test cases listed in table format

Larger view of Figure 13.

Create a test case manually

You can also manually create a test case in Rational Quality Manager and link it to the requirement in Rational Requirements Composer. For this, you would need to go to the Requirement Links section of the test case and then add a new link there.
Creating test cases automatically from the requirements generally applies to new projects; whereas, manually creating test cases and linking them to the requirement typically applies to change requests

Now that you have seen how to link the requirement collection and requirements in Rational Requirements Composer to the test plan in Rational Quality Manager, you’re ready to proceed to the last part of this Jazz-based integration scenario: linking the test artifacts in Rational Quality Manager to the development artifacts in Rational Team Concert.


Linking between project areas in Rational Team Concert and Rational Quality Manager

Now, you need to create a link between the existing project areas on Rational Team Concert and Rational Quality Manager by logging into the server administration interface of the Rational Quality Manager server as a member of the JazzAdmins group and navigating to the Quality Manager project overview page.

Figure 14. Linking the project area in Rational Quality Manager to the project area in Rational Team Concert
Quality Manager project, Overview: Add Link

Larger view of Figure 14.

The link type between Rational Quality Manager and Rational Team Concert is "Tests." (A test case in Rational Quality Manager tests the work item in Rational Team Concert.)

Also, in the project area overview page of the My Rational Team Concert Project area in Rational Team Concert, you will see that there is a "Tested By" link that has been created automatically under the Links section.

Figure 15. The "Tested By" link in the project area in Rational Team Concert
Links section: Link Type, Service Provider, Action

Now that the project area links are complete, you can proceed with linking the artifacts.

Linking test cases in Rational Quality Manager to development work items in Rational Team Concert

  1. To configure this, when creating a test case in Rational Quality Manager, go to the Plan Items section of the test case.
Figure 16. Plan Items section of a test case
Screen capture of Plan Items in test case

Larger view of Figure 16.

  1. Click the Add Plan Items icon. The Plan Item pop-up window shows that the My Rational Team Concert Project area is already selected, by default.
  2. Select one of the work items, and click OK.
Figure 17. Plan Item selection pop-up window
Plan Item view shows Matching Work Items list

Larger view of Figure 17.

The selected plan item will be added to the test case.

Verify that the test case has been added to the work item in Rational Team Concert:

  1. Go to the Rational Team Concert project area and select the work item.
  2. Go to the Links tab of the work item. The Tested By Test Case section shows the corresponding test case in Rational Quality Manager.
Figure 18. The Links section of the Rational Team Concert project area
Lists 2 items: Implemented by, Tested by Test Case

Submitting a defect in Rational Team Concert from Rational Quality Manager

If any test execution fails, you can create a defect report in the Rational Team Concert project area from within Rational Quality Manager. This is very useful to testers, because they do not need to open Rational Team Concert.

  1. Just click the New Defect icon in the Defects section of the Test Execution Records overview page to submit a defect in Rational Team Concert.
  2. After you click the New Defect icon, the Add New Defect pop-up appears, where you can enter the defect details. Set the Filed Against field to the Rational Team Concert Project Area.
Figure 19. Execution Result page in Rational Quality Manager
Add New Defect pop-up window

Larger view of Figure 19.

Note:
In the Rational Team Concert Eclipse client, you can see the newly created defect in the Work Items view.

Figure 20. Defect created in Rational Team Concert
Work Items tab lists 2 'failing test cases'

Larger view of Figure 20.


Summary

All stakeholders in a product release, from concept to launch, need to ensure that all committed requirements are implemented and tested. Linking requirements to development artifacts to test cases makes it easier for all of them to get a view of the progress of the release (which might mean different things to different people). The Jazz integration service makes it easier for users of the Rational Requirements Composer, Rational Quality Manager, and Rational Team Concert tools to achieve this.

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