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Wanted: Requirements Composer enthusiasts to try our new trial visual editor

When you look at your project requirements and use cases today, how much do you rely on pictures or diagrams? When a project team is documenting ideas for their next development iteration people often draft diagrams to show the flow, user interaction through use cases, or even user interface mock ups to show what the feature or tool might look like. Rational Requirements Composer (RRC) has been uniquely positioned in the market to support many of these visual methods for project requirements. Even in agile teams where developers constitute the bulk of the development user community, RRC has been selected to help developers further describe what a work item will do and augment their ideas with a sketch or a diagram. If you are not using visual methods today in your development I recommend you consider how it could benefit your current development. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words!”

Since the release of RRC 3.0.1 in June of 2011, the visual editors provided in the new RRC web client were merely plug-in editors based on the original Eclipse technology used in RRC versions 1.x and 2.x. Our intention since the 3.0.1 release has been to continue to improve these editors for a better Web experience in requirements definition. Over the past two years, however, it has become increasingly obvious that the plug-in technology will always be fraught with limitations and usability constraints. During this same time period, newer web technologies, including HTML 5, have continued to improve to a level sufficient that a rich visual editing experience can now be achieved.

The RRC development team remain committed as ever to visual requirements definition features, and we have now begun to explore the new HTML 5 technology in the hopes of replacing our plug-in editors as development time allows. With the release of RRC 4.0.3 in June, we are now also offering our first redesigned and redeveloped visual editors based on the User Interface editor currently found in RRC. This editor is being published as an Incubator/Beta through in the hopes that customers like you will continue to support our open development efforts, download the incubator, set it up on a trial server, and try it out in order to give us feedback. It is not part of the RRC 4.0.3 product, but is a separate set of server files that you will apply to your evaluation server.

If you are already using UX sketches today then this incubator editor will work in tandem with the current plug-in editor so you can try out the new capabilities on your existing diagrams. Remember this isn’t just a mere replacement of the editors, but as mentioned above,  this is a redesign offering many new compelling and requested concepts like full screen mode, zoom in and out, and part reuse (just to name a few). With your help we can continue to improve this UX editor as well as use your feedback to make further progress on the remaining visual requirements editors.

New Visual Editor

We are calling all RRC enthusiasts to take a look at the new editor and get involved with us in the development process for the next generation capability for requirements definition in Requirements Composer.

Jared Pulham
Senior Product Manager
Requirements Management Tools