Requirements Management throughout the supply chain
Requirements management has been an integral part of the development process in various industries (especially in the software, automotive, aerospace, medical device, and defense industries) for years.
As disciplined requirements management has spread across the manufacturing industry, more manufacturers have been making use of dedicated requirements authoring tools. Now with this established discipline in place, manufacturers and suppliers want to undertake collaborative requirements management, where requirements information can be interchanged reliably between companies up and down the supply chain.
The Requirements Interchange Format™ specification provides standards-based exchange of requirements authored in different Requirements Management (RM) tools; almost all RM and SysML modeling tools today support ReqIF import and export.
For technical and organizational reasons, two companies in the manufacturing industry are rarely able to work on the same requirements repository and sometimes do not work with the same requirements authoring tools. A generic, nonproprietary format for requirements information is required to cross the chasm and to satisfy the urgent industry need for exchanging requirement information between different companies without losing the advantage of requirements management at the organizations' borders.
With the help of a dedicated interchange format for requirements specifications, it is possible to bridge the gap:
- The collaboration between partner companies is improved by the benefits of applying requirements management methods across company borders.
- The partner companies do not have to use the same requirements authoring tool and suppliers do not need to have multiple requirements authoring tools to fulfill the need of their customers with regards to compatibility.
- Within a company, requirement information can be exchanged even if various tools are used to author requirements
Requirements Interchange Format (ReqIF) defines such an open, non-proprietary exchange format. Requirement information is exchanged by transferring XML documents that comply to the ReqIF format.