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Quality Attributes and Requirement Traceability (SATURN 2008)

  • April 2008
  • By A. LeClerc
  • Presentation given at SATURN 2008, which took place in Pittsburgh, PA on April 28-May 1, 2008.
  • Publisher: Software Engineering Institute
  • This presentation was created for a conference series or symposium and does not necessarily reflect the positions and views of the Software Engineering Institute.
  • Abstract

    Quality attributes are requirements that directly affect the building of application and software systems. Quality attributes in fact act as "super" requirements. It might be better to call them meta-requirements. A single quality attribute might impact hundreds of other client requirements. It would be desirable to be able to capture quality attributes in a requirements database and provide "traceability" between the QA, the requirements, the features of a solution, and the components of the eventual proposed architecture.

    Unisys has developed a proprietary requirements-driven methodology called CDPro2 (Customer Driven Proposal Process). CDPro2 is both a process and a tool set to achieve traceability between the information components of requirements-driven proposals and projects. This methodology allows Unisys to capture and document requirements of an architecture, features of an architecture (including its quality attributes), components of an architecture, and the associated costs to build those architecture components.

    This process/methodology is accompanied by a tool set built as on "overlay" on top of IBM's Rational Tools Suite, including the requirements management tool, Requisite Pro. Requisite Pro has been considerably extended from its basic requirements mission to become a generalized information manager. The customization allows for the capture of all sorts of information related to requirements (including quality attributes) and provides for generalized traceability between all information data types.

    As a result, it allows the development team to use the tool set to capture all architecture information. This information can then be traced from the requirements to the quality attributes to the architecture components and finally to their development costs. Thus, extensive information traceability is provided. This has been particularly useful for large outsourcing engagements.

    The presentation will describe the overall process and illustrate the use of the tool set but not in great depth.

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