First Look: IBM Rational Requirements Composer
Note this is from 2008, for a review of RRC in 2011 see CLM 2011 review
So I downloaded and installed IBM Rational Requirements Composer (RRC) today. I’m not very good at reading instructions so typically I didn’t read them but I still managed to set up RRC server and connect a client within an hour 😀 Excellent job yet again Jazz people, in the past with the “classic” tools this sort of thing wouldn’t have been possible in such a short time. It even co-exists (but isn’t integrated) with my Rational Team Concert installation. At the moment I’ve got two Jazz server instances which is a shame, but this is only a Beta.
Anyway, I used the configuration utility and with only referring to the instructions once or twice I quickly got RRC setup and working. Having said that the config utility uses an embedded IE instance to access the Jazz Admin console and for me that wasn’t working so I gave up on the config utility and just used trusty FireFox.
The client is Eclipse based but isn’t shell sharing with my other eclipse shell at the moment. I’ve created a Test Project and thought about creating some artifacts to go along with it. I can’t see where to edit templates but since this is Jazz based I’m sure that everything is customisable. I’ve got a bunch of errors showing in my logs and in the Jazz admin web UI so I’m not sure if I’m seeing everything anyway. Perhaps reading the instructions is a good idea!
It’s clear that it’s an early Beta as there’s still a lot of simple UI bugs but the point of these releases is not to provide a finished product but to give people that are interested a chance to get to grips with the functionality and look and feel. So here’s some of my thoughts and screenshots (clicky piccies):
I set about creating a process diagram
Then a glossary that supported some of the terms that I identified in thinking about the business process
I also played around with creating a Use Case diagram
Because I’ve got a software development background I immediately decided to mock up a UI and screen flow rather than consider any of those pesky requirement things 😛
At this point it seemed like a good idea to think about writing an initial Use Case specification, this was cool because I could integrate the various things I’ve done already such as embed the UI mockup, link to the business process and have glossary management done for me too 🙂
All of which left me with some cross linked integrated stuff to do with capturing my requirements as regards eating doughnuts
It’s quite easy to start setting up a set of integrated stuff including storyboards, process diagrams, use cases, UI mockups etc. and is very non-technical to use. Personally I found the UI mockup functionality to be limited, I’d prefer more free form drawing capability when I create a “sketch” it would take me longer to mock up a UI here than it would for me to build it in Visual Studio – but then again this is aimed at analysts that may not be able to use IDEs. The UI seems very windows based as well, what about trusty web widgets!
I’d like to get at the project template and see what can be done in terms of the elements and strucutre of the project, not to mention document templates for things like Use Cases.
Does this replace RequisitePro? No. Although it’s got requiremetns authoring, marking and linking RRC doesn’t yet provide full traceability management and (at least at the moment) I can’t see where I’d go about attributing and managing requirements attributes. That’s why RRC has integration into ReqPro to provide these things.
Personally I’d like to see versionable requirements artifacts, more flexible UI sketching, traceability management, attribute management and more integration into other Rational tools such as Rational Software Architect and Team Concert.
This is a good start in terms of providing a single tool to support requirements elicitation and elaboration, all the diagrams and docs in one place, easily distributed and collaborated on. I’ll look forward to seeing more of it as time goes by 🙂