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[protege-discussion] Using Protege as a Software Requirements Database Tool

Tomas Potok potok at
Sun Jun 1 07:04:08 PDT 2008


Your post made me excited a bit, because currently I am pursuing the same goal,
I'd like to move to Protege as a Knowledge base for storing requirements. My
main motivation would be the extensive possibilities of classifying, searching
and cross-referencing the reqs (+ multiple users at once).

I tried to set up Protege Frames in Collaborative mode (client+server) with a
MySQL database as a storage backend, but the solution is a bit restrictive at the

- I struggle with the immaturity of the system (instability, a LOT of
uncatched exceptions - no sign of an error report to the user, slowness, ...)
- no possibility to edit Forms in Collaborative mode (but this can be
lived with in my case)
- I managed to damage my database with a simple drag&drop operation with NO
possibility to Undo.
- Very simplistic Access Control.
- Cumbersome Forms editor - no graphical group operations, e.g.
- Cumbersome installation (need to modify batch files, no script for server
shutdown, ...)

What I still have not explored is the possibility of advanced reporting -
generating requirement documents (you seem to have some expertise here

What I also fear is the relative hardness of querying the db:
- Queries tab can only do AND-ed or OR-ed conditions (probably there exists a
possibility to script stuff...?)
- No possibility to further process the results (like visualizing them using
OntoWiz, e.g.) - the only option is to export to CSV and postprocess.

I fear I'll have to abandon my efforts in this direction which I'm really sad
about, because at first it seemed to me I found a perfect tool for the job.
What I'm persuaded about is the suitability of Ontologies for storing/working
with Software Requirements. But I've found no usable tool yet.

I'd be happy to hear about your results,



On Sat, 31 May 2008, Ron Schultz wrote:

> I was wondering if anyone has pointers or references to a Software
> Requirements Model using Protege. I am exploring Protege as a means to
> document, manage, and evaluate the imact of changes, to a software
> requirements database (between 2500 and 5000 individual requirement
> instances). I have built a simple ontology and can export the requirements
> document using DocGen, but I am going to need to finer grain control over the
> output formatting and namespace management. Protege 3.4 seems to have features
> I can utilize for better namespace control, but I wanted to verify that
> someone else has not already gone down this path before - with either success
> or failure.
> Lessons learned before the fact tend to be valuable, lessons learned after the
> fact tend to be brutal.
> Thanks
> Ron Schultz

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