Optimal Trace 5.0 facilitates business requirements management

Compuware's Optimal Trace 5.0 helps remove disconnect between the business and IT by capturing structured software requirements from the perspective of the user.

With the release of Optimal Trace 5.0, Compuware Corp. makes it easier for organizations to adopt a business requirements management solution.

One way it does so is with its document and text import capability that allows virtually any document or file structure to be quickly and easily brought into the Optimal Trace repository.

Fergal McGovern, Compuware Optimal Trace Product Manager, said a vast majority of shops use Microsoft technology at the front end of the requirements process, using Microsoft Word, Visio and Excel. Optimal Trace 5.0 allows organizations to take those existing documents and quickly "bootstrap" them to it, he said.

"It provides a way for Word and text files to be brought in quickly and in a meaningful way," McGovern said. "It allows organizations to think about the requirements, and it makes the overall development lifecycle tighter."

Optimal Trace 5.0 also introduces complete and unparalleled structural flexibility for tailoring project and package/group structure to the needs of any project. This is facilitated by extending the capability to create custom field definitions on any level, including project, package and requirement level.

Known for its structured requirements approach, Optimal Trace emphasizes a flexible business-driven approach for capturing, defining and managing requirements. It does so by capturing software requirements from the perspective of the user, using storyboards and traceable relationships throughout the project lifecycle.

With release 5.0, simple requirements now can be used to capture a more flat style of requirement. Simple requirements comprise lists of requirement items that can be associated through refinement with more detailed structured requirements.

"Optimal Trace 5.0 has massive flexibility to be adapted in an environment. It doesn't intimidate people," McGovern said. "Business analysts get satisfaction from it, and QA people like it because they have the basis for their test suite. The structured business requirements help make the bridge to testing."

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