How to use the ReqIF interface

The requirements interchange format – ReqIF for short – is an XML file format with which requirements can be exchanged between software from different manufacturers. in-STEP BLUE supports ReqIF for importing and exporting requirements – learn how in this article.

Register the required components

To get started, register the components of the ReqIF interface. Open the in-STEP BLUE menu bar in component management under Project:

Komponenten aufrufen

Call up components

Select the Register button in the dialog and navigate to the file ReqIfSupportClient.tlb, which you can find in the assemblies list of your in-STEP BLUE installation.

Einfach Registrieren drücken

Just click register

After selecting ReqIfSupportClient.tlb and pressing ”Open” in the selection dialog, three components with different features will appear:

… for products (ReqIF) is a command server component offered in the context menu of the product view Features to manage ReqIF specifications.

Export requirements (ReqIF) and Import requirements (ReqIF) offers the dialogs and features to import and export ReqIF files.

Mark all three components with the button ”All” and confirm with “OK”.

Die Auswahl der drei Komponenten

Selecting the three components

To be able to use the features, categories and category properties have to be created in your in-STEP BLUE project. in-STEP BLUE takes care of that for you. Just configure one of the three components by opening the list in the component dialog under the command server, navigate to …for products (ReqIF) and press ”Configure”.

Anlegen der ReqIF-spezifischen Kategorien

Creating the ReqIF-specific categories

Prepare the import

To be able to import ReqIF files, first Um ReqIF-Dateien importieren zu können, accept the component Export requirements (ReqIF) in a view group. Then open the dialog to adapt the in-STEP BLUE bar via the corresponding command in the project menu.

Die in-STEP BLUE Leiste anpassen

Adapt the in-STEP BLUE bar

The import ReqIF files feature can be found on the right side under external components. Sie finden die Funktion zum Import von ReqIF-Dateien auf der rechten Seite unter den externen Komponenten. It can be assigned to the desired view group using the arrow.

Die Funktionen der Sichtengruppe zuordnen

Allocate the features to the view group

Execute the ReqIF files import

Now you can import the ReqIF files – click on the new command in the corresponding view group and the following dialog will appear:

Anforderungen importieren

Import requirements

Select the ReqIF files that should be imported. When importing or exporting for the first time, a folder is required in in-STEP BLUE to drop the exchange information into. In this folder, in-STEP BLUE products that contain information about the total extent of imports and exports will be stored. Likewise, information about mapping of the requirement properties onto the category properties will be found here. This information will be edited in the next screen.

Das Mapping definieren

Define the mapping

When mapping, it will be determined, for example, that the ReqIF type Requirements should be mapped from the import folder to the category REQUIREMENT and the product type Requirement. In our example, only the property Content (XHTML) is mapped from the file to the category property Description. That means only the description text will be taken over from the import file.

Of course, you can also map and accept all other values. Embedded images and formatting will then also be imported in the descriptions, as long as the corresponding in-STEP BLUE property is prepared for formatted text.

Confirm in the tab ”Relationships” which relationship type should be mapped from the import file into the reference properties in in-STEP BLUE.

Beziehungen definieren

Define relationships

If the dialog is called up through pressing the ”Import” button, then it can be selected in the next dialog which requirements should be accepted in the project.

Auswahl der zu importierenden Anforderungen

Selection of the requirements to be imported

Select ”Proceed” to start the import and receive the selected requirements and their relationships as the result. You’re already finished – but how do you export requirements with ReqIF?

Exporting requirements with ReqIF

Of course you can  also export managed requirements in in-STEP BLUE – for businesses using other tools or for businesses that also work with in-STEP BLUE. If you have also accepted the export command in your view groups then you just need to click on it and the following dialog will appear:

Anforderungen exportieren

Export requirements

Enter a title and a comment for the export and establish what the file wher ethe export data will be managed should be called. Just like before when importing, select the exchange folder.

Because in-STEP BLUE already recognizes the data from previous imports, it will be used again. If your target system is the same as the one where you received the import data, just select this exchange information. That way you don’t need any new mapping configurations. In the next dialog, confirm which requirements should be exported.

Die Auswahl der zu exportierenden Anforderungen

Selection of the requirements to be exported

If you press the ”Further” button, you can describe the mapping of the category properties of your requirements. That happens just like with the import, but in the other direction.

Das Mapping beim Export

Mapping when exporting

One click on ”Export” and in-STEP BLUE creates the desired ReqIF data that can then be imported into another software tool.

And that was all for the description of the import and export of requirements via ReqIF. If you have questions or need support when importing or exporting the data, we are always ready to help! Just get in touch via email at or on the phone (+49) 030/467086-20.

Axel Höner is an expert for the integration microTOOL software products into IT environments of any size. A certified Project Management Expert (IPMA), CPRE, Scrum Master, SAFe® Program Consultant and he specializes in consulting and process optimization.

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