Identifying changes by using link validity

Link validity is the status shown on links between artifacts to indicate whether the contents of two artifacts meet the intended meaning of their link. When an upstream artifact's content changes, the system flags that link as suspect. You must then examine the artifacts in the relationship and determine whether the relationship still meets the intended meaning of the link, and mark the relationship as valid or invalid. In projects, especially large ones, keeping linked data consistent can be challenging as changes occur. Link validity helps you achieve consistency across links by indicating when changes have occurred in a set of linked artifacts.

About this task

Link validity is a status that is displayed for links between artifacts to indicate whether the contents of artifacts satisfy the meaning of the link between them. You can see the link validity status in these locations:
  • In a test plan, in the Test Cases section
  • In a test case, in the Requirements Links section
  • In the rich hover preview for a link to a requirement

Validity summary is an aggregate of the link validity statuses for an artifact. The summary indicates whether you need to investigate specific relationships or modify artifacts to restore the meaning of their links. You can use the summary to see which test cases are suspect without performing a reconcile operation.

Procedure

  1. To enable link validity:
    1. In the Properties section, click Link Validity.
    2. Select the Show link validity check box and click Save.
    3. Optional: To automatically mark links to corresponding requirements as valid after the test case is approved, select the When a test case is approved, mark all links as Valid check box. This option saves team members time when working with large numbers of test cases because they do not need to manually validate each test-case-to-requirement link.
  2. To enable the validity summary:
    • You can add the "Validity summary" column to views and artifact grids that show the validity of links to artifacts.
    • When you view a test plan, click Requirement Collection Links in the left navigation tree. In the Requirement Collection Links section, from the View As list, select Validity. Use the Group By menu to group or ungroup the artifacts by their validity summary.
      Note: You can have the system mark all links as Valid when you approve a test case. Discuss this link validity preference with your application or project administrator.
  3. To determine which requirements have changed in a configuration-enabled QM project, you can use the link validity status. The link validity status is set to "Suspect" in the following cases:
    • The link validity status cannot be set to Valid.
    • The test case might have changed after it was marked as Valid.
    • The requirement might have changed after it was marked as Valid.
    • Both the test case and requirement might have changed after they were marked as Valid.
    There are three ways to track requirement changes in projects that are enabled for configuration management:
    1. From Requirement Management (RM) application, compare the requirement baseline with another active configuration (stream). The comparison shows which requirements have changed. Mark corresponding test cases as Suspect from the Quality Management application. Create a new requirement baseline. Remove the old requirement baseline from the global configuration and add the new one.
    2. Select all test cases and mark the link status as valid. Then, create a new requirement baseline from the active requirement stream. Remove the old requirement baseline from the global configuration and add the new one. Any status that is Suspect means that a requirement has changed.
    3. If you select When a test case is approved, mark all links as Valid in the Link Validity Preferences, after you author a test case and have it approved, the link status for the test case is set to Valid. Approved test cases cannot be modified. If an approved test case is marked as Suspect, it means that the requirement changed after it was approved.

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