CaseComplete 2010 Released

We’re excited to announce that we’ve officially released CaseComplete 2010. In addition to many smaller improvements, the bigger changes in this release include:

  • use case template A data dictionary that improves upon our existing glossary. You can now define terms, add fields, and specify rules and constraints.
  • Rich text within the descriptions of actors, use cases, requirements and definitions – as well as the flow of events.
  • A completely overhauled set of Word report templates.
  • Automatic updates to keep you up to date on the latest changes to CaseComplete.

As always, you can download and try it free for 30-days.

You can safely run it side-by-side with older versions of CaseComplete, but before you open any existing projects, be aware that there have been some file format changes. Check out the release notes regarding file compatibility.


Creating Custom Shape Libraries

CaseComplete’s diagramming and drawing tools come with several toolboxes for use case diagrams, flow charting and general shapes. Each of the toolboxes contains shapes that you can drag onto the diagram and tailor to your particular need, and because the shapes are pre-assembled, they save you time by not having to create the shape from primitive text, line and geometric elements. CaseComplete also lets you create your own custom toolboxes using “shape libraries.” Shape libraries are files that contain the definitions of shapes you can use from a toolbox. This article steps you through the process of creating your own custom shape library.

To demonstrate how to do this, I’m going to create a shape library for statechart diagrams. If you’re not familiar with statechart diagrams, please check out visualizing business rules with statecharts. The notation for statecharts is pretty simple, so this shape library will be quick and easy to create. There are only a handful of shapes we need for statecharts:

Shape Description Example
Transition directed arrow with text label state transition
Start State filled circle start
Stop State filled circle with concentric unfilled circle stop state
State rounded rectangle with inner label state shape
Guard condition text label surrounded by braces [ condition ]

To get started, create an empty project in CaseComplete. Next, create a new diagram in that project. Use the diagram surface to design the statechart shapes. After they’re complete, we’ll add them to a new shape library.

Create the Transition shape by drawing a directed arrow shape. Find the Connector Shapes library in the toolbox and drag a Line Connector to the drawing surface (Figure 1). Select the newly drawn connector and start typing to give it a name.

state transition diagram

Figure 1. Assemble new shape from existing shapes

Create the rest of the statechart shapes by following the same process. Draw the parts of each shape by building it from existing shapes. If the new shape is composed from more than one shape, then group those parts together. Grouping the parts together will ensure that when you drag a shape around on a diagram, all of the pieces will stay together. Use a filled circle for the start state shape, and set the fill color to black from the context menu. The stop state is one filled circle atop a larger unfilled circle. Use a rounded rectangle shape for the state shape, and a simple text label for the guard condition. Set the line and fill colors, fonts and shape sizes. If you are having a hard time getting the shape parts to align, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to nudge them in tiny increments. When you are done, you should have five shapes on your diagram (Figure 2).

custom shapes

Figure 2. Statechart Shapes

Now that all of the shapes are assembled, it’s time to create a new shape library. Click the icon for a new shape library (Figure 3).

create custom shapes library

Figure 3. New Shape Library

CaseComplete will prompt you for a name for the new shape library. Enter a name and click OK. CaseComplete will create an empty toolbox. Drag each shape from the diagram onto the empty toolbox, and give each shape a name as you are prompted to do so. When you are done, you should have a toolbox that contains five statechart shapes. Click the Save Shape Library icon (directly above the shape library’s title; see Figure 4) to save your shape library. Since the shape library is saved as a file, you can easily share them. To open an existing shape library, click the Open Shape Library icon adjacent to the New Shape Library icon (Figure 3). Tip: Don’t save your shape libraries in the CaseComplete installation folder – keep them in a separate location where they won’t accidently get erased when you install a new version of CaseComplete.

custom shapes library

Figure 4. Save Shape Library with Statechart Shapes

You can now use your shape library in new diagrams. You can add this shape library to always display in CaseComplete by choosing Add or Remove Buttons from the Configure Buttons option (Figure 5).

configure custom shapes libraries

Figure 5. Configure Buttons for Shapes

That’s all there is to creating a custom shape library. There are free shape libraries that you can download from the CaseComplete knowledge base. If you have a shape library you’d like to share on the forum, let us know – send it to support@serlio.com.


Customer Profile: Phonak AG

We recently caught up with Pete Jones of Phonak AG in Switzerland to find out more about how he and his team manage complex project requirements with CaseComplete.

phonak_logo_life-is-on Serlio: Thanks for taking time out, Pete. What exactly is your role at Phonak?

Pete: I am a Requirements Engineer working as a member of the Systems Engineering team.

Serlio: What issues and problems were you trying to address with a requirements management solution?

Pete: Requirements Engineering is becoming established as a formal discipline within the business. Requirements documents were produced in Word and were sometimes quite cumbersome to read and maintain.

Serlio: Why did you choose CaseComplete? How did it address those issues?

Pete: CaseComplete was selected on the basis of its value proposition. We conducted a very aggressive evaluation of many products. CaseComplete stood up very well against the opposition especially from a price / performance perspective.

We are now able to gather requirements in a more structured way whilst retaining the Word format that our stakeholders know and love. This structured requirements capture enables us to generate more manageable texts from our requirements pool. These documents are architected to focus on the specific interest areas of a given stakeholder group. The result is that the requirements review process is easier for all parties and both the volume and quality of responses has increased. There is an expectation to see much stronger "requirements communication" within the business and we expect this to further improve over time.

Serlio: How long did it take to get up to speed with CaseComplete?

Pete: We were able to produce results (requirements gathering and custom reports) using the tool within hours. Of course, more sophisticated use of the tool takes a little longer and we still have work to do to fully embed the tools use into the department.

Serlio: Thanks for your time, Pete!

Pete: No problem.


Video: Working with Shared Projects

requirements management collaborationAre you using CaseComplete in a team environment? Check out this video that shows how to use the new Shared Projects feature in CaseComplete.

The video walks through the scenario of two analysts collaborating on a few use cases and requirements. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Also let us know whether you'd like to see more of these videos on other topics related to CaseComplete or requirements management in general.


Working in Teams with CaseComplete

In CaseComplete 2009 R2, we added features that make it even easier for teams to collaborate on requirements. These features give you version-controlled, check-in/check-out access to CaseComplete projects. We call this set of features – appropriately enough – Shared Projects.

We’ve written a few papers to help you get started with Shared Projects. If you want to learn how to use the version control system built right into CaseComplete (we call it the Shared Project AddIn) take a look at this paper:

Working in Teams with CaseComplete

If you already have a version control system where you’d like to store your Shared Projects, you can do that too. Here is a list of papers describing how to integrate CaseComplete with a number of popular version control systems:

If you use a version control system but don’t see it listed here, let us know – we’ll let you know if CaseComplete can integrate with it as well.


Announcing CaseComplete 2009 R2

We released CaseComplete 2009 R2 today, which has some pretty exciting features for teams. Here’s the official press release.


Teams Collaborate on Requirements with CaseComplete 2009 R2

Serlio Software Development Corporation has announced CaseComplete 2009 R2, the newest version of its requirements management software. The software allows businesses to gather, organize, and communicate requirements. CaseComplete focuses on use cases, a technique for specifying requirements in a way that makes them easier to gather and understand.

New Features Focus on Teams

Features in the new version are targeted at helping teams share their work and collaborate more effectively. Teams can share project requirements as they are being developed and seamlessly coordinate changes. They can use CaseComplete’s own sharing technology or integrate with existing version control systems, such as Subversion or Microsoft® Visual Source Safe. Users can continue to work disconnected from the network when needed.

Doug Earl, Vice President of Development said, “CaseComplete is already known for its usability and elegant simplicity, but customers asked for more team-based features.” Doug continued, “So we added functionality that allows teams to collaborate and share their CaseComplete projects across the enterprise, without compromising the user experience that our customers love.”

Serlio President Matt Terski added, “This market has lost its appetite for requirements tools from the big players that are expensive, challenging to adopt, and don’t offer a rapid return on investment. Our customers are productive with CaseComplete from day-one. The tool pays for itself within two weeks.”

Free 30-Day Trial

A FREE 30-day trial of CaseComplete 2009 R2 is now available at http://www.casecomplete.com. Customers with an active Premium Support agreement receive CaseComplete 2009 R2 at no-cost. Upgrade pricing is available for customers with prior versions of CaseComplete.

About Serlio Software Development Corporation

Since 2002, Serlio Software Development Corporation has helped customers reduce development costs by creating better requirements in less time. Serlio's flagship product, CaseComplete, is a requirements management tool that does just that. Spawned from the idea that there must be a better way to write use cases than using a word processor and spreadsheet, CaseComplete makes Use Case modeling manageable and effective, even for those who have never heard of a Use Case. Visit www.casecomplete.com for product information, case studies and sample use case models.

Serlio Software Development Corporation
10437 Innovation Drive, Suite 147
Wauwatosa WI 53226
414.771.1452 / 888-794-2367
www.casecomplete.com

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What’s New in CaseComplete 2009

Excel Integration

You can now generate reports in Excel format (in addition to Word and HTML formats).

  • Create your own reports or use any of the 15 out-of-the-box reports, including:
    • Requirements dashboard
    • Project estimator
    • Traceability matrix
    • Test plan and test case checklist
  • Import Excel files into CaseComplete

Requirements and UI Enhancements

We’ve added two new ways to relate requirements and integrated useful resources with the user interface.

  • Requirements can reference other requirements
  • Arrange requirements into parent-child (hierarchical) relationships
  • Improved spell checking and auto-correction
  • Integrated use case news feed

Diagramming and Reporting Enhancements

We’ve made custom reporting even more powerful and created a new way to visualize requirements.

  • Show requirements in diagrams
  • Increased usability
  • Nine new keywords for creating reports
  • Support for AND/OR in where clauses
  • Improved formatting

These are just the highlights of the new features in CaseComplete 2009. See the release notes for a complete list of changes and installation notes.