Software teams need more effective ways of managing requirements regardless of which development methodology they’re using. Rather than mapping third-party requirements tools to TFS and hoping for the best, organizations are choosing eDevTECH’s Modern Requirements suite, which adds requirements management capabilities to TFS. It is the only requirements management suite that uses TFS as an application server.

“The business analyst community is not serviced by TFS very well so we built the appropriate extensions,” said Asif Sharif, CEO of eDev TECH. “Business analysts need things like baselining, traceability matrixes, and the ability to use Microsoft Office applications. That way, anything you create in Word automatically becomes a requirement in the system. TFS doesn’t provide those capabilities.”

eDevTECH has worked closely with Microsoft to add award-winning requirements management capabilities to TFS and Visual Studio. In fact, Gartner’s 2015 Microsoft Magic Quadrant report noted that eDevTECH’s 4TFS tools fill the requirements gap for TFS.

The Modern Requirements tool suite includes inteGREAT4TFS and SmartOffice4TFS. inteGREAT4TFS is a fully integrated requirements definition, management, and simulation platform. SmartOffice4TFS generates requirements from Microsoft Office applications and bi-directionally connects to the TFS central database enabling easier collaboration, more complete requirements, and end-to-end traceability.

“Modern Requirements inherits the process template in TFS so whatever you have, whether it’s Agile or CMMI or a hybrid, customized version. It reads the process templates and allows you to work with those work item types,” said Bob Savelson, SVP of sales and marketing at eDevTECH.

Modern Requirements can be installed on premise or in the cloud. It supports both TFS and Visual Studio Team Services. Users can implement only the modules that are needed to support the activities for each project stakeholder.

Users of the Modern Requirements suite have reported authoring time savings of more than 25%, UAT time savings of 50%, as well as shorter review timelines and reduced rework because the visualizations driving requirements clarity.

Visually Manage Requirements
inteGREAT4TFS is a web-based application that helps users manage project requirements visually, view and create traceability files, and present them in a team project. With it, users can create, edit, view and compare baselines. In addition, inteGREAT4TFS provides a platform to host company data and present it in a way that makes it more accessible to all users across an organization. Its four modules include Simulation4TFS, Traceability4TFS, Baseline4TFS, and SmartOffice Library. Additional modules for ReviewManagement4TFS and UsecaseEditor4TFS will be unveiled at the Microsoft Build conference.

With Simulation4TFS, users can manage project requirements visually. Requirements can be visualized in design mode using a set of pre-defined controls that are then linked with TFS work items in the connected team project. With the help of traceability between mockup controls and work items, users can easily validate requirements. Simulation4TFS also allows users to generate a preview of the mockup UI and analyze it in run mode.

Traceability4TFS helps users easily manage and track changes made to any given work item within TFS and to see its relationship with other work items. It provides complete “coverage” between different types of work items, which helps users avoid the common, expensive mistakes of missed, conflicting, and outdated requirements. Using Traceability4TFS, users can efficiently add and remove relationships between records, which helps users plan, track, analyze the different requirements in a project.

Baseline4TFS enables baselining of TFS work items. It provides users with the ability to view all baselines and compare the older and latest versions of work items, or entire releases. Having a baseline on each project allows users to monitor current project performance, manage release scope, and improve the accuracy of future estimates.

SmartOffice Library is a platform to host company data and present it in a way that would make it more accessible to all users in an organization.

Leverage Office and TFS
 is the missing link in the application lifecycle management (ALM) process, bringing TFS connectivity into Microsoft Office. It provides stakeholders with a direct, two-way integration between Office and TFS via lightweight plugins for Word, Outlook, Excel, and Visio.

SmartWord4TFS enables users to author requirements and generate status reports as well as submit defects, issues and change requests directly from Word to TFS.

SmartExcel4TFS automates the generation Traceability Matrix from Microsoft TFS such as Requirements Traceability Matrix, Defect Analysis Matrix, and Work Item Decomposition Matrix.

Using SmartVisio4TFS, users can visually create work items. It also auto-generates scenarios, use cases, and test cases from process models. Mind maps may also be generated based on TFS work items.

SmartOutlook4TFS enables users to convert e-mails and tasks to work items and manage TFS work item backlogs with custom views.

“Usability is the first challenge user’s face,” said Sharif. “Most project teams want to implement requirements tools, but cannot take time from their busy project schedules to learn a sophisticated new tool. SmartOffice4TFS allows you to start projects quickly, using the familiar Microsoft Office user interface.”

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