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Telelogic tool promises to extend requirements

If you want your software development projects to succeed, manage the requirements effectively, say analysts at Meta Group. Meta surveys have found that approximately 60% to 70% of IT projects fail because of poor requirements gathering, analysis and management (Research on Requirements Realization and Relevance, 2003). The Standish Group came to a similar conclusion in a survey in which 50% of the reasons given for project success were related to well-managed requirements (Chaos Chronicles III , 2003).

''A strong requirements management process and supporting automated tools are essential for successfully developing today's complex systems and software,'' said Matt Light, a research director at Gartner. ''Enhancing usability increases acceptance of these tools with users and unlocks productivity gains for organizations that adopt a requirements-driven approach.''

None of which comes as a surprise to Andy Gurd, director of product launches at project life-cycle tools maker Telelogic. Gurd traces the proliferation of requirements management products from their initial adoption in the aerospace industries and the U.S. defense department, where standards are understandably high, to a growing presence in more mainstream industries, such as telecommunications, finance and automotive.

''The recognition of the importance of requirements management has certainly been growing,'' Gurd told eADT . ''It has grown out of practices in the aerospace and defense department, and it has gained increasing importance and acceptance in other industries, even in very mainstream IT in areas like banking and insurance.''

Headquartered in Malmo, Sweden, with U.S. headquarters in Irvine, Calif., Telelogic has been a major player in this market for many years, and its Doors product is one of the best-known brand names. Today, the company is set to announce the release of the 7.1 version of its venerable requirements management toolset. Analysts put Doors in the leadership spot in this market, though it is flanked by products from software heavyweights IBM Rational and Borland. The company claims more than 100,000 users in 1,300 companies around the world.

Telelogic bills Doors as a multiplatform, enterprise-wide system for capturing, linking, tracing, analyzing and managing changes to information to ensure a project's compliance to specified requirements and standards. The 7.1 release adds functionality that Gurd said was added based on customer demand. Telelogic meets regularly with officials from its larger customers -- including Motorola, Lockheed and Boeing -- which the company has organized into several Leadership Counsels, to get feedback on its products. ''We practice what we preach at those meetings,'' Gurd said. ''We actually go through a requirements capture exercise, discuss the requirements, prioritize them, and then give our customers a chance to talk to each other and share ideas. That's what formulated many of the requirements for this release.''

Doors 7.1 is designed to improve project team collaboration and communication throughout the development life cycle, and to help make the adoption of a requirements-driven development approach quicker and easier.

Specifically, the 7.1 version adds:
* A Test Tracking Toolkit for creating links from requirements to tests; it also ensures that requirements are covered by tests, generate test runs, record the results automatically and compare test run results.

* A Document Compare feature that allows developers to compare two requirements documents side-by side using an automatic redline feature to show all differences.

* New Tables that allow developers to see the multiple properties of each requirement within a single table cell, enabling more details to be viewed directly in the tables themselves without making them open additional windows.

* Support for more platforms, including Microsoft Windows 2003 Server and Microsoft Office 2003.

Telelogic Doors 7.1 starts shipping today for Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional and Server, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Windows XP, HP UX 11 (64 bit), Solaris 8 and 9, GNU/Linux, RedHat v8.0 (Doors server only), Microsoft Windows 2003 Server (Doors server only), Microsoft Office 2000/2002 (XP), Microsoft Office 2003, and FLEXIm 8 and 9.2 support.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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