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Proposal for importing requirements from Excel [message #823464] Sun, 18 March 2012 06:36 Go to next message
Kay Muench
Messages: 29
Registered: November 2011
Location: Germany
Junior Member
Requirement:
The system ProR should give the user the possibility to import spec objects
from Excel.

Motivation:
Often these days requirements engineering is based on less appropriate tools
for requirements management like Word or Excel.
To ease the migration of requirements, ProR should be able to import them via
the tool itself.
This proposal focus on Excel.

Constraints:
While ProR, respectively the RMF in general, focus on using the requirements
interchange format ReqIF, Excels addressing scheme is still based on Worksheet
(Table), Row and Cell.
Even using ReqIF a requirements engineer is constrained to define the appropriate
specification types first for managing meaningful content.
In the sense of a semantic view on a requirement, Excel has no semantic (only cells),
RMF instead has a weak semantic (only spec types).
To find a general solution, that means, a user has to define a mapping between Excel and
ProR. This mapping must include a mapping for the user defined spec types at first
and a mapping for the user defines spec type attributes at second.

Proposed solution:
Caused by the constraints a user of the import functionality must organize
its Excel-Worksheet in the following way:
- The leftmost column must contain the "long name" of the spec type, i.e. "Requirement Type"
or "Headline Type", exactly like the definition in the ReqIf file.
- The columns right of that must contain all attribute values for the identified spec type
exactly in the same order the attributes were defined in the ReqIf file.
- The Excel content must be exported as an xml-file (Needs improvement: there is more then
one xml output?!)
To ease the development, the functionality is not aware about ids, id-types or
presentations in the first version.
There may be improvements in later versions.

Opening the discussion...
- Kay
Re: Proposal for importing requirements from Excel [message #823787 is a reply to message #823464] Sun, 18 March 2012 18:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Andreas Graf is currently offline Andreas Graf
Messages: 151
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Hi Kay,

my two cents (based on experience from an ReqIF Excel importer that I wrote). I would suggest to put the attribute types in the first two rows of the excel sheet (1st row name, 2nd type) and use these to generate also the "definition part" of ReqIF.

I would suggest not using the Excel XML format, but instead use Apache POI (http://poi.apache.org/) for reading the office documents. I used those both for import of Excel and Word.

Regards,

Andreas


Re: Proposal for importing requirements from Excel [message #829018 is a reply to message #823787] Sun, 25 March 2012 14:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kay Muench
Messages: 29
Registered: November 2011
Location: Germany
Junior Member
Hi Andreas,

Andreas Graf wrote on Sun, 18 March 2012 23:16

my two cents (based on experience from an ReqIF Excel importer that I wrote). I would suggest to put the attribute types in the first two rows of the excel sheet (1st row name, 2nd type) and use these to generate also the "definition part" of ReqIF.


as in many RE-projects one of the stakeholders (me) has omitted some
information...
Not to generate the "definition part" is clearly my intent.
In my "vision" of using the ProR-tool there are "requies" (Req.-Engineers Smile )
with knowledge on RE. They will create the specification template which means defining spec objects, spec relations and so on.
(Once there has to be a repository for template specs...)
Other ones don't know about RE, but can collect text in Excel-sheets (think
about a part time working student or an average customer).
They only have to be able to put their content into the appropriate cells, then
putting say a "0" for "headline", a "1" for "requirement type" in the first
column. That can be easily changed with the spec type by the "requie".
The importer then checks the correctness of the input, adds perhaps some
default values not supplied by the sheet (i.e. id, status) and mourns
on every error.

The requirement "The system ProR should give the user the possibility to import spec objects from Excel." has so many possible solutions, that I expected much more comments on this topic...

So before stepping to an implementation, do we have to spend more effort on
creating valuable use cases/user stories (now there are two)?!
Project leads, what do you think?

Andreas Graf wrote on Sun, 18 March 2012 23:16

I would suggest not using the Excel XML format, but instead use Apache POI for reading the office documents. I used those both for import of Excel and Word.


Aah, the JAVA universe, ever expanding, too big for my little space craft Very Happy
Will take a look on it, it seems worth more than 1000 Dollar...

By the way, do you like to contribute your importer?

Best regards
Kay
Re: Proposal for importing requirements from Excel [message #885120 is a reply to message #829018] Tue, 12 June 2012 09:49 Go to previous message
RADOUANI anass is currently offline RADOUANI anass
Messages: 3
Registered: March 2012
Junior Member
Hi Kay,

Importing Excel/word documents is a goal of Doc2model project : www.eclipse.org/projects/project.php?id=modeling.emft.doc2model

We are currently working on it if you have requests don't hesitate to contact us : anass.radouani@atos.net et tristan.faure@atos.net

The goal of doc2model is explained in the proposal : www.eclipse.org/proposals/doc2model/

Regards,
Anass
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