Full traceability

Use the Full Traceability traversal option to show both upstream and downstream artifacts on every node for a selected artifact. For example, you might want to find all the artifacts that are related to a focus artifact, but you do not know how the artifacts are related. Full Traceability shows you all relationships for a focus artifact. Learn about the Full Traceability traversal, and how it differs from the Upstream and Downstream traversal.

When you run an analysis on an artifact, you can set the traversal (direction) that the analysis explores. Four directions are available by default: Upstream, Downstream, Upstream and Downstream, and Full Traceability.

Using Full Traceability can result in a huge analysis diagram because Full Traceability traverses every node for the focus artifact. Use this option cautiously. If you are unsure whether Full Traceability is the right option, use the Upstream and Downstream traversal option first. Upstream and Downstream explores upstream and downstream artifacts for a target artifact, but does not explore every node, so the impact analysis diagram contains fewer artifacts, and performs faster.

Scenarios that use Full Traceability or Upstream and Downstream traversal

The following scenario discusses a situation in which the Full Traceability traversal might be more helpful than the Upstream and Downstream traversal.

Scenario 1: A new developer, John, is assigned to work on a component. John starts with the design for the component and explores the related artifacts. Because John is new to the project, he does not understand the possible dependencies and interactions, or even if he is starting in the best place. John uses Full Traceability traversal to see the links from one of the design elements up to the requirements and the containing module, then down from other requirements in that module to related parts of the design. John also follows the links down from a design element to a test case, from the test case to the owning test plans, and back from the test plans to other design elements and requirements.

The following scenario discusses situations in which the Upstream and Downstream traversal might be more helpful than the Full Traceability traversal.

Scenario 2: Developer John must make a design change to some code to fix a scalability flaw. Before John changes the design, he wants to review both the upstream and downstream artifacts.

The upstream artifacts are the requirements and work items that are related to the design. The work item probably describes the details of the scalability problem. John was already assigned to the work item, so he does not learn much from that traceability link other than double-checking its existence. However, seeing the upstream requirements is important because he must ensure that the new design meets the requirements, including any newly linked performance requirements.

The downstream artifacts are the test cases. John must ensure that the test cases are updated to work with the new design. He might also need to create a test case for the new performance and scalability requirement and its design.

The following image shows how each traversal (Upstream, Downstream, Upstream and Downstream, Full Traceability) moves in relation to the focus artifact.

Image shows direction that each traversal moves, in relation to the focus artifact.


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