Requirements Management using Enterprise Architect's Specification Manager

Webinar July 2014

Business requirements are often stored as text documents, resulting in poor traceability, lost requirements and flawed software design. The Specification Manager in Enterprise Architect 11 can help address issues of traceability while providing the convenience of a modern day word processor. This allows modelers and requirements gatherers to work in a familiar document like interface, while Enterprise Architect acts behind the scenes to build a well structured and re-usable model structure that can be used to drive and validate concrete solutions.

Scott Hebbard, Communications Manager at Sparx Systems, demonstrates how to:
  • Create and edit model elements with ease, quickly identify relationships, linked documents, properties, tests and much more.
  • Create review documents and element discussions to solicit feedback from stakeholders and team members.
  • Leverage tools for traceability, change management, documentation and team collaboration from a single view.

Explore the Example

We have provided the example Enterprise Architect model used in the webinar.

Example model: specification-manager-webinar.eap

Questions from the Audience

Click on a question to see the answer.


What version of Enterprise Architect was used during the webinar?

Enterprise Architect Ultimate edition, version 11, Build 1107.

I do not have the Specification Manager in Version 10. Is the Specification Manager only available in the latest version of Enterprise Architect?

Yes. The Specification Manager was introduced with Enterprise Architect 11.

Please email if you would like information about upgrading to the latest version of Enterprise Architect.

Enterprise Architect 11 was released in April 2014. For a comprehensive list of Enterprise Architect 11 features, please visit our Compare Editions Page.

Is the Specification Manager an add-on to Enterprise Architect? Do I need to have a special or additional license to use the Specification Manager?

No. It is not an add-on product and you do not require a special license. The Specification Manager is included in every edition of the product.

Can we get access to the .EAP file that is being used for this session?

Yes. You can download the EAP file here.

How do you switch between Diagrams, Gantt and the Specification View?

In addition to using View | Specification Manager, it is also possible to right click on a Package in the Project Browser and open up the Specification Manager.

To switch to the Gantt View, you can use the Specification Management menu to view the package as Gantt – See Figure 1.

Figure 1: Specification Management Menu

It is also possible to use the Context menu to find any element in the Project Browser, which can allow you to easily find where that element appears in any Diagram.

How are the column headers defined? Are they able to be changed?

Yes.It is possible to arrange the order of Columns using the Field Chooser (pictured below in Figure 2).

  1. Simply drag a Field from the Field Chooser, to the desired location on the menu bar to add additional Column types.
  2. If you wish to remove a Column, simply drag and drop the desired Column off the screen, until a large cross is displayed.

Figure 2: Field Chooser

Could you please show how to enable the 'All Indicators' column?

  1. Right click on the margin within the Toolbar and select the 'All Indicators' option from the Field Chooser – displayed in Figure 2.
  2. Drag the 'All Indicators' column to your desired location.

Figure 2: Field Chooser

Is it possible to configure element properties such as Status and Priority?

Yes. The webinar illustrated how to update element properties including Difficulty, Status and Version. Each option was easily modified using a simple pull down menu under the appropriate column in the Specification Manager. You can also use the Field Chooser to introduce additional columns, to help assist with managing and editing requirements.

Can we customize the Status list?

Yes. You can easily create your own custom Status settings.

  1. Select Settings | Project Types | General Types.
  2. Select the Status Tab to review and create your own custom Status Types.
  3. Press the New button, enter an appropriate Status, Description, Color and finally save your changes.
  4. This new status type will be available throughout the project, including as a drop down option in the Specification Manager.

Figure 3: General Types Dialog

Will the element type list include SysML requirements when that MDG Technology is enabled?


Can the Specification Manager utilize a custom requirements profile, or is it restricted to a particular profile?

Yes. Any installed profile can be selected from the 'Specification Type' menu. MDG profiles can be found under the 'Other' sub-menu.

How would this look if the requirements were children of another requirement?

You can right-click any element in the list and use the context menu to add a Child element. The child element is represented with a small cross, that can be expanded or collapsed as appropriate.

Can I display Tagged Values as columns?


  1. Select the Specification Type menu and choose your desired Profile.
  2. Limit the Display to the selected type and those Tagged Values can be accessed using the Field Chooser.
  3. A BPMN example is shown below in Figure 4.

Figure 4: BPMN Tagged Values

At this time, ad-hoc Tagged Values are not supported.

It is also possible to use the Context menu and select Extended Properties to view, edit and manage Tagged Values at any time.

Can the Specification Manager be used for other roles, apart from Requirements Management?

Yes. The Specification Manager can certainly be used in a number of different roles, not just Requirements Management.

Managers - can use the Specification Manger to create reports and policy documents that can be fully traced down to the paragraph level.

Testers - The Specification Manager has built in testing and review capabilities useful for soliciting feedback on individual elements, quickly and easily identify which elements have tests currently assigned and which still need testing (using the Indicators).

Requirement Analysts - as shown.

Developers - can consume specifications in their entirety or as smaller chunks using the Specification Manager.

Project Managers - can easily switch between the Specification Manager and the Gantt view to get a complete view of the current project and where the team is at.

Business Analysts - can create use cases via the specification manger and switch between the structured scenarios and specification manger to capture their requirements in complete detail.

Did you list all of the Indicators that can be displayed using the Specification Manager?

Not every Indicator was shown during the webinar. A comprehensive description of each icon is listed below:

Column Header Indicator Indicates that...
Relationship The selected element has at least one relationship to another element, which is shown in the Traceability window.
Resource There is at least one resource assigned to a task on the element, in the Project Management window.
Risk There is at least one Risk item defined for the element, in the Project Management window.
Maintenance There is at least one Maintenance item defined for the element, in the Maintenance window.
Test There is at least one Test item defined for the element, in the Testing window.
File The selected element has at least one associated file, defined on the File page of the element Properties dialog.
Discussion There is a discussion thread on this element, in the Element Discussions window.
Document There is a linked document for this element.

I was using the Relationship Matrix of Enterprise Architect to manage requirements. Now the new Specification Manager seems more convenient. How do I convert from Relationship Matrix into the new tool?

Both the Relationship matrix and the Specification Manager are based on model elements. As a result, you are free to build and maintain those elements using the Specification Manager, Relationship Matrix or both tools.

Once the model element have been created in Enterprise Architect, you are free to start using the Specification Manager immediately.

Can multiple Business Analysts work on the same requirements as the same time?

Enterprise Architect has been designed from the ground up to be a collaborative team based modeling tool. Enterprise Architect has user locking down to an element level.

See the Enterprise Architect User Guide for details Team Development in Enterprise Architect.

Does Enterprise Architect track who has changed a requirement, and when the change was made, and what the previous version was?

Yes. Auditing is a project-level feature that enables model administrators to record model changes in Enterprise Architect.

How do you create, or promote child elements in the Specification Manager window?

Right-click an Element and use the Context menu to create a child Element. Alternatively use the keyboard shortcut of Crtl + Shift +N.

Child Elements are easily identified by the collapsible regions to the left of the Specification manager window.


Can we integrate Enterprise Architect with Team Foundation Server?

For more information on TFS Integration, please refer to the help guide on creating a task in a Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) environment.

At this time, there are no tools within the Specification Manager that provide direct access to TFS functionality.

In the Diagram View for Requirements is it possible to show requirement numbers besides the standard Element description?

Yes. You can use auto naming and numbering features to show requirements. Refer to the Enterprise Architect User Guide for more information on Auto Naming.

How does one manage different types of requirements as understood by the BABok? Business, Stakeholder, Solution (Functional, Non-Functional), Transition... with traceability between the different requirements?

It is possible to create your own custom requirements as described in the BABok.

  1. Select Settings | Project Types | General Types.
  2. Select the Requirements Tab and define new Requirements that cover Business, Stakeholder, Solution (Functional, Non-Functional), Transition and any additional custom types that you require.

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