Coupling NI Requirements Gateway with Acrobat PDF

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

Overview



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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.

Though the adoption of the Adobe Systems Portable Document Format (PDF) was initially slow, freely available reader utilities and hardware, software, and operating system independence have drastically increased the rate of adoption of the PDF file format for readable, printable documentation on the web. Acrobat PDF files can be viewed exactly as the author designed them (without having to ensure that the appropriate fonts and formats are installed on a client machine), and NI Requirements Gateway seamlessly integrates with PDF specification documents used to detail requirements and PDF working documents used to cover requirements.

Table of Contents

  1. Specifying Requirements in Acrobat PDF
  2. Specifying Coverages in Acrobat PDF
  3. Capturing Acrobat PDF Sticky Notes and Comments
  4. Additional Resources

1. Specifying Requirements in Acrobat PDF

Requirements specified in Adobe PDF files can only be traced if the appropriate syntax is followed when declaring requirements.

The default syntax for requirements in Adobe PDF files is as follows, where prefix includes any number of non-spaced alphanumeric characters, nn is a numeric value that specifies the ID of the requirement, and label is the optional name of the requirement in common language:

prefixREQnn: label

A colon must be used as a divider to separate the requirement ID from the requirement label, if a requirement label is used.

Within the text of the requirement, you can optionally specify priority and allocation attributes to designate the severity of the requirement and the engineer to whom the requirement has been delegated using the text Allocated to: and Priority:. 

Figure 1 - Example requirements that have been specified using Acrobat PDF

Figure 2 - 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 Acrobat PDF type in order to read different syntactical requirements ID specifications that meet their own application’s needs.

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2. Specifying Coverages in Acrobat PDF

References contained in Acrobat PDF covering documents should use syntax to define coverage of requirements.  The default syntax for specification of coverages in Acrobat PDF 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:

To simplify the coverage specification process, NI Requirements Gateway gives users the ability to copy requirements for coverage using Acrobat PDF.   When you select Copy For » Acrobat PDF 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 Acrobat PDF covering documents and no longer have to worry about the appropriate coverage string syntax.

Figure 3 - NI Requirements Gateway can automatically generate the appropriate coverage string for a requirement so that the user can paste the coverage string with the appropriate syntax

As with all types in NI Requirements Gateway, advanced users can customize the Acrobat PDF type to read different syntactical requirements coverage specifications.

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3. Capturing Acrobat PDF Sticky Notes and Comments

After you have added an Acrobat PDF document to your NI Requirements Gateway project (note that encrypted or protected PDF files are not supported by NI Requirements Gateway), the Notes format variable becomes available.    

Note tracing is available only if you have associated the note with the original document’s text in one of the following two ways:

  1. Highlight the text using the Select tool, right-click the text, and select Add Note to Text (Comment) from the context menu.
  2. Highlight the text using the Highlighter tool, right-click the text, and select Open Pop-up Note from the context menu.

Figure 4 - An example note in Acrobat PDF

In the Value column of the Notes format variable, you can then specify a regular expression that uses the fields \1 and \2 in order to access the content and original text associated with the note, respectively. 

Figure 5 - Using the Notes Format variable for the Acrobat PDF type

In this case, NI Requirements Gateway would be able to parse the content of the note its original text and add them to the text for REQ1 – Capture.  The note content would be added in square brackets, and the original text would be specified using double angle brackets.

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4. Additional Resources

NI Requirements Gateway

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