Coupling NI Requirements Gateway with Microsoft Excel

Publish Date: Aug 13, 2013 | 0 Ratings | 0.00 out of 5 | Print | Submit your review


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Note: This document applies to NI Requirements Gateway versions 1.1 and earlier. For information on newer Requirements Gateway versions, refer to the Coupling External Applications with NI Requirements Gateway topic in the NI Requirements Gateway help.

Due to its widespread adoption as the de facto standard in spreadsheet applications, Microsoft Excel is a common choice for requirements specification and coverage in engineering projects. This document details the ease of integrating Microsoft Excel documents into your NI Requirements Gateway projects.

Table of Contents

  1. Microsoft Excel Types
  2. Specifying Requirements in Microsoft Excel
  3. Specifying Coverages in Microsoft Excel
  4. Additional Resources

1. Microsoft Excel Types

NI Requirements Gateway includes two Excel-compatible types, each designed to be used in different scenarios.

Excel Type

The Excel type captures traceability information from a single Excel (.xls) file. This type does not support Excel 2007 (.xls) files, but you can use Excel 2007 in compatibility mode to open Excel 2003 or earlier (.xls) files. Use the ExcelX type for Excel 2007 files.

ExcelX Type

The ExcelX type captures traceability information from a single Word 2007 (.docx) file.  This type exists in NI Requirements Gateway 1.1 and later.

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2. Specifying Requirements in Microsoft Excel

Using Multiple Worksheets

When specifying requirements for large applications, it may make sense to capitalize upon the use of multiple worksheets within a single Microsoft Excel workbook.  This technique can help with the logical organization of requirements into different sheets; for example, separating requirements of a Graphical User Interface (GUI) from the requirements specifying application algorithms.

When adding a Microsoft Excel document to an NI Requirements Gateway project, a Worksheet variable becomes available.  This variable can be populated with one or more worksheet names, separated by commas, allowing you to add one single project document in the form of a Microsoft Excel workbook that contains logical divisions of requirements.

Figure 1 - Specify multiple worksheets using the Worksheet variable

Specifying Requirements

The default Microsoft Excel types expect requirements to be specified in the first, second, and third columns of any worksheet in which requirements are specified.  The first column represents the requirement ID in the format REQxx, where xx represents any number of digits.  The second column specifies the requirement label, and the third column represents requirement text.

Optionally, users may specify a requirement priority in the fourth column of a project worksheet, and a requirement allocation in the fifth column.

Because the default Excel types know where to expect the requirement descriptors, any style and formatting may be used in order to specify requirement IDs, labels, text, priority and allocation.

Figure 2 - Example requirements that have been specified using Microsoft Excel

Figure 3 - NI Requirements Gateway parses the above requirements and displays them in the Management View

As with all types in NI Requirements Gateway, advanced users can customize the Excel and ExcelX types to read different syntactical requirements ID specifications.

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3. Specifying Coverages in Microsoft Excel

References contained in Microsoft Excel covering documents should use syntax to define coverage of requirements.  The default syntax for specification of coverages in Microsoft Excel is as follows, where reqid is the requirement ID of the requirement being covered:

[Covers: reqid]

If you have a particular covering document that implements multiple requirements, you can specify a comma-separated list of requirements covered.  For example:

[Covers: REQ001, REQ003, REQ007]

To simplify the coverage specification process, NI Requirements Gateway gives users the ability to copy requirements for coverage using Microsoft Excel.  When you select Copy For » ExcelX Covers Reference  from the right-click context menu, NI Requirements Gateway places the appropriate coverage string for the requirement in the system clipboard so that the user can simply paste the string into Microsoft Excel in the appropriate coverage string syntax.

Figure 4 - NI Requirements Gateway can automatically generate the appropriate coverage string for a requirement so that the user can paste the coverage string into a covering document

As with all types in NI Requirements Gateway, advanced users can customize the Excel and ExcelX types to read different syntactical requirements coverage specifications.

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4. Additional Resources

NI Requirements Gateway

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