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Document-centric Approach


RMTrak uses a "document-centric" approach instead of a "database-centric" approach. This page explains the difference between the two approaches and which one might be right for you.

Document-centric and Database-centric Tools

With a database-centric tool, requirements are primarily listed in a requirements database. The documents listing the requirements are secondary to the documents, which are generated from the database. A database-centric tool requires you to modify requirements by using the tool itself. For this reason, the database-centric tool must be installed on every computer that will update the requirements, and/or a license (server) must be available. Additionally, every user must be trained to use the tool, even if they are only updating a few requirements. Most database-centric tools use the requirement documents only to initially populate the requirements database or to output reports.

With a document-centric tool, requirements are primarily listed in a requirements document. A database exists only to "pull" requirements from the documents and to provide a dynamic, transitory repository when generating views and reports. Because requirements are located primarily within the document, anyone can update the requirements or create new ones. Only those needing to generate views or reports need to have the requirements management tool installed on their computer.

Additionally, document-centric solutions allow for flexibility that a database-centric solution can't offer. With a document-centric solution, information that helps explain or support the requirements, like attributes, images and graphs, can be included as part of the requirements document. A document-centric approach lets you work with the requirements independent of the requirements management tool. All of these aspects make document-centric tools easier to use when working with project documentation.
Which Solution Is Right for Your Company
Because every company's needs and development processes are different, it is difficult to say that one solution is universally better. Overall, document-centric tools tend to be better for organizations who need to write specific types of documentation about their requirements and the project development process. Database-centric tools tend to be better for individuals or groups who need only general summary reports about their requirements and don't typically write documentation about their requirements.
RMTrak's Document-centric Focus
RMTrak’s document-centric approach lets you use Microsoft Word to easily and efficiently create and edit any type of document, including those that detail your project's progression. When you import a document into its RMTrak project, RMTrak "pulls" the tagged requirements directly from your documents into a database. The database is secondary to the documents and is only a dynamic, transitory repository RMTrak uses to generate views and reports. You can use the views and reports RMTrak generates to get an overview of where your project stands, which requirements have passed their tests, and much, much more. These views and reports help you write additional documentation and to continue the project securely, knowing each requirement is being addressed correctly and efficiently.

RMTrak helps your organization succeed through successful collaborative requirements management. Please explore our site to learn more about RMTrak's features and how they can benefit your organization.

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Last Update April 25, 2017