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Advantage of different visibility of links, comments and tags?

Stefan Riedmüller (47136) | asked Mar 31 '15, 10:30 a.m.

Hello everybody,

In my point of view the behavior of DNG regarding the visibility of links is very confusing. After reading the DNG documentation I understand how it works but not why it works on this way.

Link to the documentation:

I don’t understand what the advantage is to see links tags and comments not equal in every context (base artifact or module).

For example I create a specification using a module. Then I will use the drag & drop link feature within the module. All links I will create on this way won´t be visible in the “base” Artifact View. Why? What is the logic behind this behavior? Does anyone have a use case where the different visibility of comments, links and tags make sense?

I am grateful for any hint.

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Taly Hotimsky (2713657) | answered Apr 02 '15, 2:29 p.m.
To my understanding, Alastair response is right on spot. This capability does seem to be intended for requirements reused in different contexts.
It'd really depend on usage, as in our scenario, even on reuse we'd like the links on the base artifact so we could see everything it impacts. It also cripples filtering by links sometimes and impact analysis.

I see 2 relevant WIs associated with this

Hopefully we'll see changes soon.
Stefan Riedmüller selected this answer as the correct answer

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Alastair Beadle (19411118) | answered Mar 31 '15, 10:41 a.m.
I agree it is confusing and in my case it does get in the way of how I want to use the product.

However the use case I think they are trying to meet is for re-usable requirements. For example, say you have a legal compliance requirement that you need all of your products to meet. You could create this as a base artefact once (so that if the law changes in future you only make the change in one place) and then include it in a numebr of modules for each separate product. But when you want to link those requirements to design elements or test activities you would want to do that at the 'where used in a module' level not on the base artefact - otherwise all of those links would be visible to every product team.

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Phil Barrett (33911) | answered Mar 31 '15, 11:46 a.m.
I am totally on-board that this is confusing and would like a change. I would love the ability to link to base artifacts from within the module. Don't forget that linking within the module renders the Link Explorer useless because you can never build an end to end view if the links are all within multiple module context.

Stefan Riedmüller commented Apr 01 '15, 12:13 p.m.

Hello Phil,
thank you for your hint with the Link Explorer issue. I think this is a big disadvantage of DNG because you cannot maintain the tractability of all Artefacts.

Alastair Beadle commented Apr 02 '15, 8:21 a.m.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding something - but I create links at the module level (not on base artefacts) and the link explorer shows these links for me.

Stefan Riedmüller commented Apr 02 '15, 4:04 p.m.

Yes the link explorer shows you this links, but he shows you only the links which are created within the module.

For example: You create 3 artifacts (A B C). You create a link A to B by using the artifact view. Now you create a link B to C within the module. The link explorer of the "base" artifact shows you only the AB Link and the link explorer in the module will only displays the BC Link  (also if you use the "Include links, tags and comments from base artifacts" button). You cannot see a "global" links structure from A to B to C.

Alastair Beadle commented Apr 07 '15, 3:20 a.m.

I see what you are saying. We create links only at the module level (note: still between modules, just in the 'module context' - it is this kind of terminology that I think creates the most confusion) specifically because of this and the other visibility issues that you get with linking to the base artefacts.

But - if you do that then things work fine. I.e. it is possible (with some care) to ignore the ability to link to base artefacts and to get a system with full end-to-end traceability.

I agree with the fundamental point though - that it could be tidied up.

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Kirk Grotjohn (1.2k3) | answered Apr 02 '15, 2:36 p.m.
 The former work item was opened in response to this discussion (although I've heard the problem in other contexts as well).   I do agree this is more complicated than it needs to be.  

Stefan Riedmüller commented Apr 02 '15, 4:13 p.m.

Hello Kirk,

thank you very much for creating the WI.
I really hope IBM will make this behavior much easier to understand.

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Stefan Riedmüller (47136) | answered Apr 02 '15, 2:26 a.m.

Is the best practice in this case is to create all links in the artifact view? What you think about it?

In my opinion you only have a complete end to end traceability if you create the links outside of the module. Within the module you can add the base Links with the “Include links, tags and comments from base artifacts”

Alastair Beadle commented Apr 02 '15, 8:26 a.m.

As I am not generally re-using artefacts in multiple modules and because links to base artefacts are not shown by default I always link to the module version. Everything seems to work fine for me so far doing this (as long as I don't accidentally create a link to a base artefact - which is easy to do).

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