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I'm looking for a tool that can help in requirements analysis.

I want to use it for a product manager who has almost no experience with requirements management yet. It must be simple enough so that he will use it and not give up due to too many mandatory fields etc. One of the aims is to convince that user that requirements engineering is not necessarily difficult and can be done.

Functional requirements:

  • allows to define requirements (e.g. high-level)
  • allows to refine requirements again and again (so finally it must be a tree)
  • automatically assign an ID to requirements
  • start with no mandatory properties except a title
  • allow defining properties, e.g. "importance"
  • search and filter functionality
  • store or at least export in an open file format (like XML)
  • optional: link between requirements

Non-functional requirements:

  • run locally
  • be gratis (Open Source preferred)

I dislike (may be acceptable)

  • client/server scenario. I don't want to maintain a server or manage dependencies like PHP. Client/server is acceptable if everything comes with the installer, I can go through the setup and after that everything works fine.
  • doing database administration manually. Same as before: it's fine to use a database if I needn't deal with it. I've seen applications using e.g. SQLite and I didn't even notice that it was using a database.
  • user login. I assume that everyone who gets the "file" (or database) may work with it. Actually there's only one user.

At this time I don't need:

  • base lines
  • revision history
  • linking to source code
  • linking to tests
  • linking to bugs

I have tried:

OSRMT, but it's already too hard to set up. It needs a client and a server and a database. It's not possible to install into the normal program files folder and creating a startup menu entry fails. In addition it seems no longer maintained. The screenshot however looks ok. It could be something like this.

aNimble is also too hard to set up: one needs to create a SQL server database manually, configure access rights and need a user login.

ReqHeap is also a client-server application which needs a server with PHP and MySQL installed. It also needs a login.

  • @Thomas, did you ever find something? I am looking for a gratis alternative to Doors, to use at home – Mawg Oct 8 '18 at 12:16
  • Were the three interesting programs these ? They look interesting, but probably too complicated for your use case. – Mawg Oct 8 '18 at 13:44
  • I am working my way through the free & shareware RM tools here. I notice that some have a single user or 5 users or community license, which sound promising, as they ought to be (possibly limited) version of full featured enterprise apps. – Mawg Oct 9 '18 at 12:37
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ReqView might meet your needs.

It must be simple enough

and it's advertised as

  • Ease of Use

    Capture well structured requirements in a familiar tabular view resembling MS Word and Excel.

and indeed, it has a common editor:

Screenshot of built-in editor

Since you can leave the text empty, it also fulfills

start with no mandatory properties except a title

Regarding the requirement

allows to define requirements (e.g. high-level)

the website sais:

  • Flexibility

    Manage requirements, tests, risks and other project artifacts in one place using any process.

The free version lets you create one of these only, though. Still enough to manage requirements.

It also fulfills your need for

optional: link between requirements

which is advertised as

  • Traceability

    Link requirements and other objects, browse requirements traceability matrix and generate multi-level traceability reports.

and true, if you see this screenshot of the free version:

Linking between requirements

You also mention

run locally

and the vendor website says

  • Security

    Comply with the highest security standards simply because no project data are sent to the Internet.

The project file is saved locally as a .reqw file:

Screenshot saving locally

Next, you want

store or at least export in an open file format (like XML)

where the website answers

  • Open File Format

    Do not be afraid of vendor lock-in, ReqView project data are human readable files with open file structure.

and indeed, the .reqw file is JSON, as long as you don't choose encryption when saving.

Also,

be gratis (Open Source preferred)

is fulfilled if you only need one type of items to track and you don't have more than 150 items:

  • Reasonable Price

    Use the basic ReqView features for free or choose an annual plan enabling advanced features and remote support.

It allows you to

Describe requirements in a rich text editor, attach images, PDF files, or other documents.

and to

Flexibly configure your project documents and traceability. ReqView scales from agile SW development projects to complex system development project adopting V-Model methodology

and

Setup custom attributes for requirements, test cases and risks for your process. For instance, you can track requirements status, priority, target release or describe an acceptance criteria.

Copy or move objects or whole sections. Edit selected attribute values at once

Filter requirements matching an advanced logical condition evaluating requirement description, attributes and traceability links. Find a keyword by a full text search.

And AFAI can tell, the filter works:

Screenshot of the filter

Comment requirements and update their customer or supplier status.

and more.

Obligatory image follows: enter image description here

  • 1
    So cool. Total fit for me. I edited your answer to add some details for my requirements as well as some more screenshots. Feel free to rollback if you think it's too much – Thomas Weller Oct 9 '18 at 18:33
  • Hahahahahahahhaha!! That's the biggest minor edit I ever saw :-) You did it so much better than I could have. It has sold me. Although I still have a bunch more to look at, this is looking great. In the worst case, I may have to spring Eur 360/year, but I could probably get by with s single project and 150 requirements. If I find any more worth recommending, I will add more answers. – Mawg Oct 10 '18 at 6:32
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I just noticed that one of the command line tools I mentioned in my question (which has a bounty at 9 Oct, 2018), DoorStop, has an experimental GUI.

While not perfect, it is a good possibility - but I would like to see other answers.

enter image description here

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