ReqIf – standardising interchange?

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ReqIF TothalJust to drop a few quick lines on the side of this article from the most recent IREB Magazine issue: Open Up.

The leading Automotive companies (both OEMs and suppliers) already picked up the lead in developing an open requirements exchange standard. And maybe this is the most important word here: standard. They are the most affected, so with a great interest in aligning exchange.

Then my thoughts: how about open source requirements management tools? There are already some, but any chance soon any of them could emerge above all and replace the established ones, DOORS for instance? Especially should we see a wide acceptance of the also open source ReqIF for requirements exchange?

It’s clear that a tool shall implement a number of features needed by a Requirements Management (RM) process, the actual exchange being just one aspect currently needing improvement. But tools still need to support features like traceability, versioning, scalability, integrations, roles and Configuration Management for example, and what is more: all customized to the companies internal process. In terms of RM tool chain companies use, the discussion is a lot more complex; all needs an internal integration within the company.

But, as ReqIF specifically states and stresses on, this is out on the scope of the standard. Current version here. ReqIF is NOT about tools or process, not even about how to support RM (that’s integrated within the process: a tool should only be there to support a given process and not to impose one, forcing working according to tool implemented workflow or methodologies), but only standardizing the interfaces and formats (import / export) for requirements exchange.

How about about plug-ins for current established and generally adopted tools? That could potentially be a good business idea for someone.