We construct many different work products during system development; safety analysis, requirements, threat analysis, FMEA, architecture models, ICDs (interface control documents), designs, test cases, documentation, source code, electrical schematics, CAD drawings, finite element models, and so on. These work products are typically captured using a set of disconnected tools with incompatible file formats and representations. It is crucial, however, that all these work products tell the same story.
Of course, each work product tells the story from its own point of view and focuses on aspects of the system relevant to its concerns. But, they must still be consistent in detail with all the other work products.
Figure 1. Do all your work products tell the same story?
Detailed traceability links among the detailed elements in the work products is how to ensure consistency. Detailed traceability links enables the following kinds of analysis to be performed:
- Are all requirements met by design elements?
- Are all requirements covered by test cases?
- Are all design elements implemented in code, electronic or mechanical design?
- Do test cases adequately cover the design or code (for example, structure coverage, decision coverage, or modified condition/decision coverage)?
- Is every design element in place to meet a requirement? (Any gold plating?)
- Is every implementation element there to realize a design element?
- Are the dependability requirements there to meet a safety, reliability, or security concern?
- What elements in other work products must be modified, or at least reviewed, if this particular element (requirement, design, test case, implementation) is modified?
Trace relations are a basic part of the UML and SysML languages. In a modeling context trace links are easy to add. Figure 2 shows trace links between design elements and requirements. These trace links can be summarized in tabular form within some UML/SysML tools, such as Rational Rhapsody.
Figure 2. Trace links in UML and SysML
You can also export the trace links to tools dedicated to traceability management, such as Rational DOORS (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Traceability management in Rational DOORS
The best way to enter traceability data is incrementally, in parallel with an incremental development of the associated work products. As you stabilize an increment of a work product – such as a portion of requirements, design or code – add the traceability links to the other relevant work products as a part of completing that increment.
- Browse the Rational DOORS developerWorks page for links to technical articles and many related resources, and check the Rational DOORS Next Generation page on Jazz.net. For detailed instructions, explore the Rational DOORS Information Center.
- To learn more about the tool for collaborative, model-driven development for embedded systems, start with the Rational Rhapsody product line overview and the Rational Rhapsody page on IBM developerWorks. Also see the Rational Rhapsody 7.6 information center and the Changing the location of help content to get a local copy of the documentation.
- Explore the various versions, too: IBM Rational Rhapsody Architect for Software, a visual development environment for embedded systems and software
- IBM Rational Rhapsody Architect for Systems Engineers
- IBM Rational Rhapsody Designer for Systems Engineers
- IBM Rational Rhapsody Developer for collaborative, model-driven development of embedded systems. This edition is required for Eclipse users, and editions are available to create specialized projects in C, C++, Java, and Ada languages.
- To learn more about Rational Rhapsody design management capabilities, check out the IBM Rational Rhapsody Design Manager to see how to collaborate, share, review, and manage designs and models with the entire engineering team. Also see the Design Management page on Jazz.net.
- Explore the Rational software area on developerWorks for technical resources, best practices, and information about Rational collaborative and integrated solutions for software and systems delivery.
- Stay current with developerWorks technical events and webcasts focused on a variety of IBM products and IT industry topics.
- Improve your skills. Check the Rational training and certification catalog, which includes many types of courses on a wide range of topics. You can take some of them anywhere, anytime, and many of the Getting Started ones are free.
Get products and technologies
- Get the free trial download for Rational DOORS Web Access.
- Take an online tour of Rational Rhapsody with an online trial or download Rational Rhapsody or special editions to Evaluate, free of charge, for 30 days.
- Evaluate IBM software in the way that suits you best: Download it for a trial, try it online, or use it in a cloud environment.
- Join the Rational DOORS forum to ask questions and participate in discussions.
- Participate in the Enterprise Architecture and Business Architecture forum, where you can share information about methods, frameworks, and tool implementations. Discussions include tool-specific technical discussions about Rational System Architect.
- Join the discussion in the Rational Rhapsody forum.
- Get connected with your peers and keep up on the latest information in the Rational community.
- Rate or review Rational software. It's quick and easy.
- Share your knowledge and help others who use Rational software by writing a developerWorks article. Find out what makes a good developerWorks article and how to proceed.
- Follow Rational software on Facebook, Twitter (@ibmrational), and YouTube, and add your comments and requests.
- Ask and answer questions and increase your expertise when you get involved in the Rational forums, cafés, and wikis.
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