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Optimal Trace Professional

by Micro Focus - Product Type: Application

Compuware and Micro Focus recently signed an agreement for Micro Focus to acquire the Compuware Quality Solutions product line.

Capture, view and manage structured requirements. Optimal Trace is a comprehensive collaborative environment for capturing, viewing and managing structured requirements. It is designed for teams of people who need to generate and track requirements from the inception of an IT project right through to its conclusion. Optimal Trace provides a rich graphical interface for building scenarios and linking them together. It includes a document generation and round-tripping system, an interface with industry-standard testing and UML modeling tools, full audit tracking of changes and a sophisticated project merging system with fine-granularity locking for collaborative working. It also offers full baseline support, advanced querying and filtering, full traceability and automatic suspect links, email notifications and sophisticated reports.

What's new in Optimal Trace V5.4?

  • Improved Server Scalability - This release of Optimal Trace provides improved server scalability to efficiently handle a large number of concurrent users.

Define

Optimal Trace Professional makes it really easy to capture, define and display project requirements.  All stakeholders’ needs can be captured and reflected in the way that suits each best, whether graphically or textually, in multiple formats. Optimal Trace’s structured definition of requirements and intuitive flow-charting simplify requirements capture and project definition and maximize acceptance across stakeholders.  This eases project management, planning, reporting and, above all, communication.  By being able to communicate in the manner that suits each best, all requirements are included and buy-in is maximized among all stakeholders. 

This hands-on involvement with business users speeds up the specification process and enhances their visibility of, and confidence in, the project definition process. The easy and complete requirements capture and definition that Optimal Trace brings is a critical success factor for project fulfillment. As well as assuring project success, re-work costs are reduced.

Optimal Trace’s main project definition page has a standard requirements tree allowing navigation through the project structure, a graphical flow chart that automatically shows the natural chain of events – the steps, branches and alternate flows with which the Project must deal, detailed text describing each step that makes up the project requirements and standard and custom properties and characteristics associated with each requirement outlining any operational requirements that must be met e.g. scalability, distribution, infrastructure, etc.

Optimal Trace also offers a number of features that make it particularly easy and quick to define your project requirements:

  • Easy creation of requirements and their scenarios. Multiple scenarios can be created consisting of steps. Scenarios and steps can be re-ordered, moved, linked or deleted with an intuitive set of GUI-based actions
  • Easy grouping of similar requirements. Requirements can be packaged into logical groupings while still being able to reference requirements in other packages via branches or refinements
  • Textual and flow-diagram representation of scenarios. The intuitive, graphical flow-diagram representation of scenarios automatically updates when the textual representation is altered, requiring no user knowledge of standard diagramming notations
  • Easy searching and editing of project artifacts across multiple projects. Several projects can be opened simultaneously within a single Optimal Trace Professional session.  Artifacts can be located and moved between projects via the clipboard
  • Connection of different requirements via branches. Requirements can jump to other requirements, allowing the sharing of specific requirements (such as Login) across the project
  • Decomposition of requirements via refinements. High-level requirements can be broken down fully, thereby allowing the creation of a hierarchy of requirements showing differing levels of detail
  • Baseline labeling for major version releases.  A project’s state can be labeled at any time, providing a permanent snapshot of the project at a given point

Document

Optimal Trace’s automatic document generation and round-tripping system turns the production of high-quality, accurate requirements documents into a simple task.  Multiple formats are available so that stakeholders can communicate in the way that suits each best (i.e. Word, Excel, Charts, etc.). Edits and changes can also be merged back into the main project – making it really easy to manage and control the edit process. Optimal Trace makes it a simple matter to generate detailed documents and reports outlining specific project parameters based on a wide selection of pre-canned templates or on customized reports using company-specific branding and styles. Multiple output formats are available so that stakeholders can communicate in the way that suits each best (i.e. Word, Excel, Charts, etc.). Their edits and changes can also be incorporated directly back into the main project – making it simple to manage and control the edit process. 

Project documentation and reports can be easily generated and circulated in the format most suitable to the individual stakeholders. Requirements can be sorted and prioritized based on any metric provided (cost, urgency, etc.), with advanced queries and associated reports generated. All reports and documents include associated artifacts (e.g. sample screen shots) and any other custom properties associated with the requirements concerned, ensuring completeness and accuracy.

As well as outputting project data to documentation and reports, projects can also be exported intact for other uses such as MS Project, CSV files and other formats.

Optimal Trace enables:

  • Automated Generation of requirements documents in Microsoft Word 2003, Word 2002 and Word 2000 formats
  • Reversal of requirements documents into main project.  A customer can edit a Word format document and their changes can be quickly reversed back into the original requirements specification, keeping the repository and documents in sync and helping the customer make their inputs easily and comprehensively
  • Management of document templates.  Document Templates allow customization of generated documents, changing the layout, content and branding to suit individual projects, customers and company standards

Publication to Web

Optimal Trace ships with a number of pre-canned web reports that allow the entire project to be published to an internal or external web server. Developers, QA and other stakeholders can easily review the project requirements online in an easily digestible format.

Optimal Trace Professional is aimed primarily at teams of Business Analysts, Systems Analysts, Project Managers and Architects/Designers working concurrently on projects and their components.  The tool enables seamless interfacing with customers and developers.  Despite its rich feature set, and its capacity to produce large project specifications, Optimal Trace Professional is a stand-alone solution that does not require the services of external databases. 

Only one person at a time works on the project within the Optimal Trace Professional environment itself.  If you are one of a team needing to create larger projects with multiple stakeholder input, you may instead need a requirements gathering solution that allows multiple analysts and managers to work concurrently on the same object within the same environment.  The team-based solution - Optimal Trace Enterprise, fulfils this need. 


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