microTOOL introduces in-Step RED, a new software tool for requirements-based development

In mid-September, Berlin-based software company microTOOL GmbH will introduce in-STEP RED, a new software for Requirements-based Project Management, on a product launch tour through seven German cities. in-STEP RED is intended for company-wide use in development organizations. Its functionality includes release management, cross-project controlling, project and resource planning and requirements engineering. It also comes with features for configuration and variants management as well as documentation and reporting and requirements management. in-STEP RED aims at providing all people involved in product development a common working environment. It also includes a number of novel features, e.g. requirements-based project planning and project structuring with patterns. Both of these features are made possible by integrating project management and requirements engineering into a single software tool.

Requirements-based Project Planning
By combining project management and requirements engineering, the project manager has instant and direct access to requirements, including all information regarding priorities, risks, current states, estimated effort etc. The realization of requirements can be planned by marking a specific requirement and by dragging it onto an activity listed in the project plan. Automatically, estimated efforts are calculated into the project schedule. The impact of this allocation is instantly visible in the Gantt chart as well as in views for resource utilization. These automated mechanisms can be applied to agile iteration planning as well as to conventional approaches.

Model-based requirements analysis
in-STEP RED offers a variety of support features for the elicitation and description of requirements. These include system context and goal diagrams for stakeholder analysis as well as conventional elements of UML and SysML, e.g. use cases, activity diagrams, requirements diagrams, block diagrams and class diagrams. Requirements can be described using natural language and form-based methods. This also applies to related test cases. Functionality and templates for the generation of documentation, e.g. business case, product vision or requirements specification are also available. All results are automatically recorded in a change history. Customizable analyses make full traceability of the development process possible, from stakeholders’ goals to requirements to realization in form of system elements.

Scalable architecture
in-STEP RED operates on basis of a database. It is a client/server application that enables multi-user operation in a LAN on a central database as well as consistent data exchange between offline locations. In addition, users can extract project parts and take these to a client. Changes can later be integrated into the project. The scope of supply includes a web client, enabling online access to projects. Thus, user organizations can adjust the use of in-STEP RED to their specific needs and expand its functionality step by step.


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