[p4] Requirement Management tools that work well with Perforce

Lee Marzke lee at marzke.net
Fri Aug 27 15:45:33 PDT 2010

On 08/26/2010 09:42 PM, Steve M. Robbins wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 10:05:36PM -0400, Lee Marzke wrote:
>> If you think about it,  the Requirements should be stored in a text
>> format ( e.g. HTML / XML ) so that you can branch/merge them in Perforce.
> That sounds about right.  How did the non-programmers (e.g. QA) cope
> with a branched text document?

You could decide to branch requirements for a variant ,  or for a new 
major release,
neither of which should be too much of a problem for QA if the code is 
in a similar manner.

Back in ~2000 we didn't branch the code,  but did extensive requirements 
and traceability
required for safety-critical embedded avionics code.

>> If this is acceptable, you can likely put together a system with
>> some programming and open-source tools.
>> I've worked on several of these systems in the past but none of them
>> are public domain.  Contact me off-list if you have more questions.
> Did you start from an existing open source tool or build from the ground
> up?  I'd be interested to know which open source tool is closest to
> what you're using.
I'm not sure we fully implemented the above at the time (~2000).  From 
what I remember
there were multiple methods we tried at the time,  1) putting numbered 
tags in
MsWord and extracting/managing them with perl/python scripts to a 
controlled text
file.  2) Managing all QA audits  in a homegrown Access DB without ( not 
requirements, but the detailed proof of every QA finding and resolution 
related to
requirements or test failures,  and 3) maintaining requirements in text 
along the lines suggested in "Requirements and Change", Brooksby  [1]

If I needed to do this again today there are so many more tools 
available.   If you don't
have a hierarchy of  requirement documents, I'm not convinced you really 
need more than
an XHTML  editor and template.  I've used Amaya for this method.  So 
keeping it simple has
lots of benefits.   If you need more than this,  there are interesting 
tools like XUSE that seem
to fit this model,  but haven't tried it yet.

[1] http://www.ravenbrook.com/doc/2003/02/24/requirements-and-change/


"Between subtle shading and the absence of light lies the nuance of iqlusion..."  - Kryptos

Lee Marzke,     lmarzke at 4aero.com                             http://marzke.net/lee/
IT Consultant, Global App Development, Sofware CM, VMware, VSphere,

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