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I have a need for a software package or other method to help track dependencies between:

  • different components within a single piece of software e.g. devs change something related to a system or even screen - we know we test related areas X,Y and Z

  • cross product dependencies e.g. we update a web service for one product, we know this affects another three products

We don't have great specification documents either so we will have to create this dependency map as we move forward learning and testing the related software.

I have looked around a fair bit and mostly find software related to tracking code-level dependencies - not higher level dependencies between systems or products.

Does anyone know of a good tool to do this? Ideally it'd be visual or have an option for visual output e.g. have the ability to create a visual diagram. Ideally it'd be able to track dependencies both ways e.g. if we change X we know to test Y, but also if we touch Y we can know to test X.

Thanks for any help

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That complex information that you want to obtain requires a complex environment, since it involves code, tests and higher concepts.

From my point of view, requirements could be the center of that integration. For instance, you could connect a requirement with a change request that will contain all code submissions related to that requirement fulfillment.

On the other hand, that requirement can also be traced to tests that will cover it. Therefore, a code modification will lead to a suspicious trace to the requirement, and then you will know which exact scripts you have to retest to ensure your system's regression. This will also work with cross-project requirement traces.

If you ask for a specific suite to get this, you could use Borland Caliber for requirement management, StarTeam for SCCM (or TFS) and Silk Central for test management (or HP Quality Center). With that configuration you will be able to track traces both ways and also will have a traceability diagram to get a visual insight of all elements involved. I'm sure there will be other suites and tools that could give you similar results, but this is the only one that I have used and I know it works.

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