Release of Scout Version 4.6 (LTS)

If you ever had quality defects in your requirements-suite or test-suite, you know how time-consuming and expensive they can become. However, due to the sheer size of requirements-suites and test-suites, assessing the quality of the contained artifacts is almost impossible. So, is there no way out of this mess, or do you have to stick deep in this yogurt? There is help: The automated requirements and test analysis tool Scout by Qualicen comes now in a new and improved version!

Requirements and test come in huge numbers. All of them need to be “good” in terms of quality to keep them understandable, maintainable and up-to-date. Quality defects quickly become expensive, since they lead to errors in a system’s implementation or to faulty test cases. Managing the quality in requirements-suites and test-suites is difficult, if even possible. This is where the latest version of our automatic quality analysis tool comes in:

Scout Version 4.6 is the latest version of the automated quality analysis tool by Qualicen. Scout is developed to analyse the quality of test cases and requirements artifacts written in natural language. We’ll explain the features of Scout in the following sections.

TL;DR: Do I need Scout?

Quality defects in requirements-suites and test-suites quickly become expensive. Scout detects quality defects automatically. It provides authors and quality engineers with overviews and detailed information about these quality defects almost instantly. With historical data, Scout enables you to assess and steer the quality of your requirements-suites and test-suites and your quality measures. So, if you ever had expensive quality defects, you should use Scout to remove and prevent them.

Everything at a glance

Our dashboard gives you an overview over KPIs, quality trends and hotspots. With Qualicen Scout you can choose from a library of widgets to freely configure the dashboard that you need. Most widgets are interactive and allow you to drill down into the quality data. This feature enables quality engineers to gain a quick overview, but also pinpoint quality defects down to their cause.

Continuous Quality Analysis for Rapid Feedback

Qualicen Scout analyzes not just a snapshot of a requirements-suite or a test-suite, but its history. It connects to repositories such as IBM DoorsNG, PTC Integrity, but can read from your local file system and read MS-Word documents, plain text files and some other formats. Scout analyzes content repositories or file systems incrementally. That means, it will pull the latest changes from a repository regularly and analyze just the changes – within a few seconds. This way, it provides information about the overall quality and single quality defects to authors and quality engineers almost instantly. Additionally, Scout collects historical data that allows for monitoring the quality of requirements-suites and test artifacts over time.

Quality Defect Analysis

Natural langue is inherently vague and imprecise, bad properties if you want to precisely specify something (e.g., software- or cyber-physical systems). In addition, people use natural langue all day long this results in everybody involved having a personal style and level of expression. This variation causes inconsistencies and results in unwanted interpretations. This, in turn, leads to errors in the system’s implementation and wrong test cases. Both kinds of errors become expensive quickly.

Thus, we implemented a set of automated analyses uncovering vague or imprecise phrases or other, for example text passages that are hard to understand. Additionally, several well established system engineering methods such as INCOSE have also identified typical wording and phrases that authors are advised not to use. Scout will highlight those bad words and weak phrases.

In additional to that, Scout detects clones in requirements-suites and test-suites. Clones are text passages that are copied and pasted within the corpus and are unchanged or altered only a little. These copies texts lead to increased maintenance efforts, since the authors need to change all copied passages or, even worse, to inconsistencies in case the authors forget to change all copies.

The new Features in Scout 4.6

We improved the UI drastically so that users have a better experience while working with Scout.

Scout now connects to PTC Integrity.

We augmented and improved the list of quality defects Scout can detect:

  • Empty Test Case: Detects empty test cases in your test suite.
  • Action/Check Confusion: Did the test engineers mix up the action- and check-column?
  • Improved Clone Detection: We greatly improved the performance of the gapped clone detection.

With all these new features, Scout help you even more to improve the quality of your requirements and test artifacts.