Tools change rapidly, so both vendors' claims and independent comments may be outdated.
Index of Requirements Management Tools
The market for Requirements Management (RM) tools looks heavily over-saturated, but new players still constantly enter: all the more remarkable given globally difficult trading conditions. Needless to say, other players quietly vanish from the market every year. Free trials are becoming universal for new tools, and prices for web-based software are falling. There is a widening gap between the heavyweight, closed environment, local database, all-under-one-roof traditional RM tools, and the lighter, cheaper, web-based tools offering free integrations with other software.
Low-cost or simply free tools are steadily coming on to the market. Each one chips away at the market perception that a pricey system which ties you into one supplier is necessary. Tools making this trend include Axiom, Banana Scrum, DESIRe, Avenqo PEP, iRise, jUCMNav, LiteRM, OneDesk, ReqT, RMtoo, Scrumwise, TrackStudio, TREND/Analyst. Others are constantly appearing.
Requirements tools are becoming simple to install, needing no system administration, and much cheaper, at least up front. This is achieved by keeping the data online, accessed by a browser application (just as Google is doing for ordinary office software). Of course this also enables more mobile access.
Open Source, Open Data
Back in 2001 at the RE conference I found myself (by surprise) on a Future of RM Tools panel. I predicted that tools would move from the large, costly, monolithic, closed model towards a more open world where third-party tools could process RM data, e.g. for analysis, graphing, code generation or test planning. It has taken a long time, but finally in 2011 there appeared RM tools that are small, cheap or free, with open data, or even open source code.
New tools are marketed as Agile Project Management Tools, blurring the distinction between controlling the project through requirements and managing the project - never a terribly easy distinction to maintain, really. While a year or two ago, agile tools avoided all mention of the R-word, now they are happy to say that they capture and track requirements - only in a new, agile way.
The fad for Use Cases seems to have passed. Scenarios are still widely used in both traditional methods (as Concepts of Operations, or just 'Scenarios') and Agile (as User Stories) but these don't resemble Use Cases either in structure or in how they're applied.
Vendors are creating (mainly web-based) tools marketed to specific vertical markets (eg automotive), to specific ways of working (eg agile software development, product management), or to specific environments (eg industry regulation).
Not Calling it "Requirements" at all
Vendors may not even agree they are doing requirements: Agile in various forms -- Scrum, Extreme Programming, Test-Driven Development -- is supported by a widening range of software development and project management tools.
Tools try to integrate with existing documentation, e.g. by processing Microsoft Office files, rather than demanding that requirements be imported into a closed database. Tools making this trend include VisibleThread. More recently, integration with major RM tools is seen as a benefit, and tools such as ReqView are able to import ReqIF files from DOORS. SmartOffice4TFS makes Word, Excel, Visio and Outlook connect with Team Foundation Server, enabling the familiar tools to function as a software engineering suite.
Accompa Arcway Cockpit Avenqo PEP Axiom Blueprint Caliber CaseSpec Cognition Cockpit Contour Core Cradle DevSpec Dimensions RM DOORS DXL_Editor Focal Point GatherSpace in-Step RED Innoslate iRise jUCMNav Leap SE LiteRM Modern Requirements Objectiver OneDesk Pace Polarion PTC RaQuest Raven ReqSuite ReqT ReQtest RequirementOne Requirements Requirements Management Database RequirementPro ReqView RMtoo Rommana RQA SmartOffice4TFS SpiraTeam TopTeam Analyst TrackStudio TREND/Analyst Visure Yonix
Agility Agile Cycle Agilo for Scrum Banana Scrum MockupScreens Rally RequirementPro RMtoo Scrumwise TeamPulse VersionOne
Aligned Elements (for Medical Devices) QPack (Medical version)
DESIRe DoorScope LEXIOR Raven RequirementsAssistant RQA SAT Smartcheck Statestep VisibleThread
Justinmind Prototyper MockupScreens Raven ReqT Statestep
Accompa Avenqo PEP Banana Scrum CaseComplete Cradle GatherSpace Justinmind Prototyper MockupScreens OnTime Rommana Scrumwise Statestep TopTeam Analyst VersionOne VisibleThread
Axiom Avenqo PEP Banana Scrum (individual) DESIRe DoorScope DXL Editor (for DOORS) iRise jUCMNav OnTime (1 user) QPack (5 users) ReqT (open source) RMtoo (open source) TeamPulse (community) TigerPro TrackStudio (5 users)
Raj Patel of Accompa writes:
"Accompa is an affordable, web-based requirement tool that enables product managers and project managers to capture, track and manage requirements. It can be customized right from the web-interface to fit an organization's needs. It features extensive collaboration features such as integrated discussion boards and social tags. A 30-day free trial is available."
Marion Eickmann of Agile42 writes:
"Even if Agilo is not a pure requirements tool, we strongly connect the Scrum ideas with requirements engineering."
Karl Johan Larsson of Aligned writes:
"Aligned Elements is a requirement management solution targeted towards the Medical Device industry and is essentially built to manage Design History Files. Aligned Elements incorporate all relevant parts of the DHF Management process such as specifications, test cases, FMEA risk analysis, structured reviews, trace analysis, validation checks and is controlled by FDA QSR 21 CFR Part 11 user management etc."
Peter Aschenbrenner of Arcway AG writes:
"ARCWAY Cockpit is a tool for managing requirements. It supports ARCWAY’s concept of visual requirements engineering (VRE). In VRE requirements are linked to visual high-level models of the system under design. Requirements specified in ARCWAY Cockpit can be imported from and exported to MS Excel. A fully customizable MS Word, HTML and Docbook report interfaces allows for ad-hoc reports of specific requirements or complete specification documents."
Edna Cheung of Blueprint writes:
"Blueprint provides the most comprehensive requirements management tool to define and manage software requirements that drastically improve software quality and accelerate project delivery. Define requirements using integrated text and graphical formats, validate using generated documents and live simulation, and communicate baselined requirements and automatically generated tests via developer and tester tool integrations. Integrated glossaries, business processes, rich text, use cases, user interface mockups, and data definitions foster clear requirements for true stakeholder validation. Visual requirements traceability and flexible views and reports enable efficient impact and coverage analysis. A central requirements repository with security, versioning, history, and baselines supports distributed teams."
Chip Carey of Starbase (a former owner of Caliber) wrote:
"The exciting thing about RM and Caliber in particular is that it brings all departments together within the software development lifecycle and puts them all on the same page - it provides a mechanism for communication and collaboration and effectively provides a synergy where before they were perhaps separate efforts and maybe counter-productive."
Kris of Goda Software, Inc writes:
"Analyst Pro is an affordable, scalable and collaborative tool for requirements tracking, traceability analysis and document management. It is easily deployable and customizable to your project needs."
Mitch Hayes of Cognition Corporation writes:
"Cognition Cockpit is an intuitive web-based application that facilitates your Product Development Process (PDP), enabling teams to dynamically manage customer inputs and voices, features and requirements, risks, costs, and critical parameters. Cockpit’s approach uses the best practices from systems engineering and requirements management, together with simple yet powerful collaboration to weave together critical steps in your PDP for traceability, analysis, and reporting."
Mark Walker of 3SL writes:
Cradle can deliver unlimited requirements and systems modelling scalability to the desktop through web and non-web methods that allow capture and parsing of requirements and their traceability through every part of all C4ISR, ISO, DoD and INCOSE recommended processes.
Fred Jabbour of TechExcel writes:
DevSpec is a requirements management solution that is designed to provide visibility, traceability and validation of your requirements. It allows teams to collaborate as they define and manage requirements, specifications, stories, and other artifacts. While users enjoy a simple editing view, there is a highly configurable process engine behind every action they perform. This gives DevSpec the ability to enforce a workflow, manage security roles, and track custom attributes for each item.
Dimensions RM and Change Request Management from Serena
Gabriela Zornoza writes: Our tools are the best choice when you have complex projects, hierarchies of information, and it is critical to conform to customer requirements and standards. This is because we offer the best traceability – which makes the difference between our products and the rest. Ours is the best way to see information links between documents. Traceability is the key to doing requirements: where they come from, where they go. Our tools are easy to learn and to manage: DOORS for requirements life-cycle management; CHANGE and SYNERGY for configuration management: the three offer a complete integrated solution for upper level requirement down to lines-of-code traceability.
Darren Levy writes:
1) Gatherspace is totally online, no software to download
2) Designed and coded by analysts and project managers who fully understand the process of gathering requirements
3) With an intuitive GUI, Gatherspace also provides a to do list of "what's next" to create in addition to defining analyst based terms.
Michael Schenkel of microTOOL writes "It offers well-founded requirements engineering as well as integrated, requirements-based project planning and complete transparency of results. It comes with different diagrams from UML and SysML, e.g. block diagrams, requirement diagrams, system context diagrams, use case diagrams or goal diagrams. Of course traceability of requirements and test cases as well as handling huge amounts of data in lists and documentation via a push of a button is provided."
Brian Smith of Leap Systems writes:
"By translating English into logical models for software development, Leap SE achieves RAD from the source, dramatically shortening the systems analysis phase for software projects."
David Gelperin of ClearSpecs Enterprises writes:
"LiteRM changes the game from 'easy or capable' to 'easy and capable'.
LiteRM is as easy as MS Word and as capable as the heavyweight RMs (almost)."
Nicolas Ducourthial of Cediti writes:
"Key advantages of Objectiver are:
- it enables analysts to elicit and specify requirements in a systematic way,
- it produces well structured, self-contained, motivated, easily understandable, standard requirements documents,
- it provides highly effective way to communicate about the requirements,
- it ensures traceability from requirements to goals and from high-level, coarse-grained behavioural specifications to requirements."
Kimberley Chan of OneDesk writes: OneDesk is easy-to-use web-based on-demand requirements software. It is aimed as small to enterprise-sized businesses, also incorporates customer feedback management, project portfolio management, and social business collaboration aspects such as discussion forums, blogs, chat, idea voting, and more. With these, businesses can efficiently communicate with their customers, and get their products to market quickly.
Rally from Rally Software Development
RaQuest from SparxSystems Japan
SparxSystems Japan writes:Raven from Ravenflow
"RaQuest is not dependent on any specific methodology for requirement management. We aim for RaQuest to be used for the processing and management of any requirements.
Moreover, the greatest feature of RaQuest at present is being closely coordinated with Enterprise Architect which is an UML modeling tool. This will enable you to refer to requirements from within Enterprise Architect, and to maintain a relationship between UML elements and requirements."
"RAVEN automatically creates activity and responsibility diagrams from plain business English text so you get immediate visual feedback on your use cases.
Once you see the errors, you can transform the unstructured English into "requirements English" that specifies the use case clearly, consistently, and completely. RAVEN helps you become a better requirements writer."
Derek Vansant of Artifact Software writes: “With Lighthouse you can collaborate and manage requirements in the context of the entire application life cycle. Lighthouse allows users to link requirements to other project artifacts, including user comments, tasks, change requests, tests cases and results, defects, issues, and more. As a result, real-time traceability reporting is completely automated. Lighthouse is available both online and on-premise and is entirely free for 1 project and five users (not just a trial). If you need more access, it is only $25 per month per user. Simply go to our web site to create your free account.”RequirementsAssistant from Sunny Hills Consultancy BV
Andreas Florath of Flonatel writes: "rmtoo gives everybody the unique chance to adapt the tools to their needs and their processes because it's open source. Often other tools force the user to change their habits or processes. With rmtoo the user has the control."
Mitra Azizirad of Microsoft is quoted on the eDev website as saying "eDev’s SmartOffice4TFS™ gives development teams another great option for requirements gathering and creation of software specs using familiar Microsoft products, and connecting those documents to the projects they define."
Michael Breen writes:
"As a relatively specialized tool based on creating a model of behaviour, it's a bit different to most of the tools in your list...
Anyway, one sentence could be:
'Among other things, Statestep features a unique colour-based interface which makes it feasible to deal systematically with (for example) millions of possibilities - and so to find obscure problem cases otherwise likely to be overlooked in a specification.' "
Konstantin Boev of Telerik writes: TeamPulse helps software teams capture, define and decompose project requirements in the best way possible by facilitating collaboration and context flow between different team members.
Leeann Berner of VersionOne writes: "VersionOne is recognized by agile practitioners as the leader in agile project management tools and gives you the most visibility into and confidence in your software development process."
Jody Bullen of Yonix writes: Yonix is unlike anything on the market. It is a powerful and richly featured stakeholder collaboration and communications platform for business analysis, described as a 'talent amplifier for Business Analysts'.
Invitation to Readers
Invitation to Vendors
I am always interested to hear about any requirements management tools, templates and sites not mentioned here, and about links that are now broken as tools and companies are renamed or reorganized.
If you work for a RM vendor or freeware site and would like to supply updated details or a short quote for your tool or template, send it to me with your name and details of your organization and your website.
If your tool is in the wrong category, or should be added to another category, please let me know.
Text will be edited for neutrality. Quotes may be edited for length.
© Ian Alexander 1994-2015