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Import Requirements

A requirements analyst has a busy schedule of work from running stakeholder workshops to sifting through project documentation and updating project managers with the status of the requirement development so any opportunity to save time and work more efficiently is usually welcomed. One of the most difficult tasks that the analyst faces is how to get a central repository of requirements when the source documents are often in a variety of formats and tools. Enterprise Architect has a range of mechanisms to import requirements from disparate sources, including:

  • Enterprise Architect models using copy and paste
  • A text based document such as a word processor file
  • A CSV file that can be exported from a Spread Sheet or similar tool
  • An XMI file which has been exported from another model
  • Rational Doors requirement management tool
  • Any file source using a script to process the file
  • A reusable asset server that has a register of requirements

Import Requirements by Copy and Paste Steps

This method of creating requirements allows you to copy requirements from an existing Enterprise Architect model by simply opening both models and copying the elements from one model to the other. You can copy a number of elements in the same Package or, if it is easier, you can copy an entire Package and all the elements it contains. When you copy elements they will be created as new elements in the target model and will be assigned new GUIDs.

Step

Action

1

Using the Project Browser select an individual requirement or multi-select a number of requirements in the same Package and right-click to display the context menu.

2

Select the 'Copy/Paste | Copy Element(s) to Clipboard' option from the context menu.

Enterprise Architect copies the elements to the clipboard.

3

Select the target location in the Project Browser and right-click to display the context menu.

4

Select 'Copy/Paste | Paste Element(s) from Clipboard' from the context menu

Enterprise Architect creates the new elements in the target location assigning new GUIDs to the elements.

Import Requirements from Text

Word Processors and other text tools are commonly used to develop requirements when a team is not equipped with a purpose built requirements modeling platform like Enterprise Architect. It is quite common to arrive at an elicitation workshop and find a customer or another stakeholder holding up a document saying that they have already started documenting their requirements. Fortunately Enterprise Architect has a convenient way of importing these requirements. This procedure creates a new element in Enterprise Architect by converting a text heading into an element's name and the text under the heading into the element's notes. You can use this method to generate any type of element; however, it is particularly useful for importing requirements from a requirements specification document. If there are a large number of requirements it might be more appropriate to use the Scripting method to import the requirements or, if they are in a table, to export them to a spreadsheet and use the CSV import mechanism.

Import Requirements from Text Steps

Step

Action

1

Ensure you have a Requirements diagram open.

2

Open the document file containing the text you want to generate Requirement elements from (this can be opened in any common text editing tool).

3

Highlight the required heading and associated text and drag them from the text file into the diagram.

The Toolbox Shortcut menu displays.

4

Navigate through the menus and select the relevant element type, in this case Requirement. (If the diagram you are dragging onto is not a requirement diagram you will have to navigate to the requirement.)

5

Enterprise Architect creates a Requirement element in the diagram, and displays the 'Properties' dialog with the section heading in the 'Name' (or equivalent) field and the text in the 'Notes' field; the element is also added to the diagram's parent Package or element in the Project Browser.

Import Requirements from a CSV file

Spreadsheets are often the default tool that analysts will use for requirements development when they are not equipped with a more sophisticated tool such as Enterprise Architect. So it is quite common to find that a number of members of a team, including customers, have been entering requirements into spreadsheet before Enterprise Architect has been installed. Fortunately Enterprise Architect has a built in facility to import these requirements so that they can be managed in a purpose built requirements modeling platform and the spread sheets can be decommissioned. Columns in the spread sheet will typically contain the name, description and additional properties of the requirements and these will need to be mapped to fields inside Enterprise Architect using a specification.

Access

Ribbon

Publish > Model Exchange > CSV > CSV Import/Export

Context Menu

Right-click on Package > Import/Export | CSV Import/Export

Import Requirements from a CSV file Steps

Step

Action

1

Select a Package in the Project Browser where you want the Requirements imported.

2

Choose an Import Specification from the list a create a new one.

3

Select the source CSV file that contains the Requirements.

4

Select Run to import the Requirements.

Importing CSV Files

Import Requirements from XMI

Enterprise Architect supports the XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) exchange format which is governed by the Object Management Group (OMG) and provides a convenient way of exchanging models or model fragments. It is quite common for requirements that have been developed for one system to be applicable to another system; this is particularly true of non-functional requirements. Each project typically needs a unique set of requirements that have their own lifetime so these are best exported from one model and imported to another. XMI provides a suitable exchange format for this purpose and the XMI can be easily exported from one model and imported into another.

Access

Select your target package in the Project Browser, then:

Ribbon

Publish > Model Exchange > Import XMI > Import Model XMI

Context Menu

Right-click on Package > Import/Export > Import Package From XMI

Keyboard Shortcuts

Ctrl+Alt+I

Import Requirements from XMI Steps

Step

Action

1

Select the location in the Project Browser where you want the content inserted, and right-click to display the context menu.

2

Select 'Import/Export | Import Package from XMI File' from the context menu.

The 'Import Package from XMI' dialog displays.

3

Select the filename of the XMI file to import, and select the appropriate options.

4

Select the Import button to import the Package

Enterprise Architect will prompt you to confirm the import, select 'Yes' to import the file.

If there are unsaved diagrams you will be prompted to save diagrams before continuing.

If any elements in the import file exist in the model you will be warned, and will not be able to import the file unless you select the 'Strip GUIDs' option.

Import Requirements from Any Format

Enterprise Architect can import requirements from a wide range of file formats but on occasions the structure of the requirements in the source document, or the number of requirements can make using one of these built-in mechanisms difficult. Fortunately the requirements can be imported from any file format using the powerful and flexible scripting facility which is available in the core product or by developing an Add-in.

Import Requirements from Rational Doors

The Model Driven Generation (MDG) technology for Doors provides a lightweight bridge between Enterprise Architect and IBM (formerly Telelogic) Doors. This allows the analyst to import the Requirements from Doors into an Enterprise Architect repository and to keep them synchronized with Doors. The entire hierarchy of Requirements will be imported and individual requirements can be linked to model elements such as Use Cases and Components. The Enterprise Architect model can be synchronized with Doors by re-importing the requirements. Any deleted items will be added to a 'Trash Can' Package but will not be deleted from the model or the diagrams.