In terms of software development, processes which are called software process such as definition of software requirement (requirement analysis), design, implementation, test advance step by step. Deliverables are created for each process, and consistency among them is required. For example, a drawing of a specification (detailed feature) is created based on a requirement definition. “Traceability management” is that to centralize management such relationship of the deliverables between the processes, and to be able to trace reasons of problems quickly when a trouble in design, manufacturing or maintenance occurs.
Traceability in embedded software development is one of the indicators to prove the software quality now. Traceability management is the requirement to be certified by the certification authorities of industry standards and safety standards such as CMMI, functional safety standards (IEC61508、ISO26262), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and medical device software standard (IEC62304). Software manufacturing companies or development organizations require you to visualize entire development work and fulfill accountability for safety. Also, traceability management is useful for derivative development in embedded systems.
Advantages of Introducing Traceability Management
- You can whether the design and verification has been conducted without omission.
- You can understand the coverage of the test on the specifications.
- You can check the variation of the considerations such as requirements, design, and source code in granularity.
- You can understand the extent of impact when the requirements are changed or a problem occurs.
- You can create documents to verify/authenticate if you need. (You can retain them as evidence.)
Features of microTRACER
microTRACER is a traceability management tool which embeds an identification string called “tags” into the deliverables (file) created by software development. By relating the tags represents relationships between the deliverables.
microTRACER provides simple and easy operability by narrowing down the function to traceability management. You do not need to register requirements before using microTRACER. You can use existing work deliverables directly and minimize operation load at introduction of microTRACER. (Operation load is such as introduction cost, creating environment, training for tool management personnel, registering information and file to the tool, educating how to use the tool on the work site.)
To perform traceability efficiently, a traceability management tools is required to work with various management methods and tools, for example, requisites management (requirements management), design information management (repository), configuration management, development environment of source and destination process, verification test, and project progress management. When functional safety is required, a traceability management tool is also need to work with risk analysis (risk matrix) and impact analysis. microTRACER can be linked with following tools.