It’s not a secret that there are a lot of common features in a huge amount of different applications. That’s why it will be very useful to collect all this documents in one repository and make it open for everyone. At this repository analysts will be able to collect their specifications, voting for other specifications and searching the best of them (according to previous votes of all users) for reuse.
Solving this task I see a lot of difficulties:
- All of my documents are confident and a have no opportunity to share them. But I have some documentation, which were created for my own ideas, and, of course, I can share them (they got only one minus – they were wrote at my native language and it’s not English).
- Not all of analysts ready to share their documents, because it’s the same like teaching your competitors.
- It could be quite hard to understand, what was wrote in each document, because each company have their own standard (in Russia everyone tries to prove, that they are working according RUP, IEEE, K. Wiegers books,…, but, as a saw, that is not true).
- And the last one – people are too lazy to post something, which, furthermore, connected with their job.
I decided that the first step should solve the problem of creating standardized specifications and the easiest way is to create application, which will not allow describing window/web frames in different ways (that is why I decline the idea of describing fields in Excel or Word documents).
At this point I was inspired by IBM Web Content Manager (WCM). It took about one hour to understand – how should I create web forms with amount of fields and their properties (as type, length and so on). I don’t know if it will be correct to add print screens here, but, hover, it will be easy for you to find them. So, according to WCM work process, it will be enough for analyst to specify – how/where fields should be displayed at GUI and their properties. After that, developer’s work will be decreased 2-3 times, but this is not a first step for me, and, furthermore:
- WCM cannot generate all of specifications, what we need at our projects.
- It’s too expensive while we are working only on non-portal solutions.
- It could work only with web frames, can’t include tables and so on.
Why I decided to made another one application on this theme
I’m educating some students (private courses) and they should understand next important things, which are easy to show on working application, which could be immediately modified:
- How to collect requirements
- How to provide impact analysis
- How to improve usability and make application user friendly
- How to work with non-functional requirements
- What attributes each field or table should have
- How to prepare a test plan for application
After my primary analysis of the problem – I’ll enumerate primary features for application, which will be able to generate such kind of specifications:
- Creating GUI description
- Adding fields and table parts
- Adding checks for input data
- Adding formulas for calculated fields
- Generating text description
This generator should be available from web or user should have an opportunity to install it on his PC without configuring database procedures. That is why it is appropriate to save all necessary data at xml-files.
In fact, I want to see many frames/GUI at project and I want to reuse one frame in other project. Then, I want each frame consist of fields (with opportunity of copying field and field’s property to another frame) and tables. Tables should consist of many frames and have their own attributes (for example, are they editable or not). And all of the verification procedures should be cross project entities.
Today I made my first version, which, of course, not ready to use at my department. Nevertheless, application already has an export to XLS function and it is quite easy to understand how to work with it.
Day by day I’m planning to improve it quality and amount of useful features. I will add
description of my Frames for business analysts, rewrite dropdown lists, to make already added frames and field excluded. I have been working as analyst and QA for 6 years, so I have a complicated view on my program and all of the processes, which I’m planning to automate.
However, you will be able to download my application soon. It consists of executable JAR file and a BAT file. BAT file will help you to start my application. I didn’t want to made users install any additional software or database engines, that’s why application uses only XML files for storing information.