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

Ron Schultz ron.schultz at metavante.com
Wed Jun 4 20:10:18 PDT 2008


Tania,

Thank you very, very much. This is very much what I was looking for. The
requirements model and associated documentation provides a number of
insights I had not considered, and some of the work I have already done
meshes nicely with what you provided. This very much validates where I was
trying to head. Thank you again.

Ron

On Wed, Jun 4, 2008 at 4:38 PM, Tania Tudorache <tudorache at stanford.edu>
wrote:

> Hi Ron,
>
> I don't know if this will be useful. I have made the ontologies (including
> requirements ontology) that I have developed some times ago available on the
> web:
>
>
> http://protegewiki.stanford.edu/index.php/Engineering_ontologies#Engineering_ontologies
>
> The ontologies are very generic and can be easily extended.
>
> You can look at an example (EngineTransmission_3) to get an idea how one
> could use Protege as a requirements editor. In my previous job, we have
> developed our own UI to acquire the requirements. The UI used Protege as a
> backend and a requirements ontology.
>
> I have also attached to the email a screenshot of a requirement instance
> (of course, it could look differently, if needed).
>
> Tania
>
>
>
> Ron Schultz wrote:
>
>> Tania,
>>  I have Protege discussion queries going back over 3 years asking about
>> requirements models. If there is a requirements ontology available, I have
>> yet to see one. Any references or pointers would be greatly appreciated. My
>> last correspondence was with Ray Fergerson, back in March, 2005.
>>  Thanks Tania.
>>  Schultz, Ron wrote:
>> > I was wondering if anyone has pointers or references to a Software
>> Requirements Model, a Software
>> Components Model, or a Software Testing Model, using Protégé.
>> >
>> > Ron Schultz
>>  From: Ray Fergerson <fergerson <at> SMI.Stanford.EDU <
>> http://SMI.Stanford.EDU>>
>> Subject: Re: Any Software Requirements Models, or Software Component
>> Models, or Software Testing Models available?
>> Newsgroups: gmane.comp.misc.ontology.protege.general
>> Date: 2005-03-04 18:04:23 GMT (3 years, 12 weeks, 6 days, 15 hours and 51
>> minutes ago)
>>
>> You might have a look here:
>> http://www.ics.uci.edu/~jgeorgas/ics225/index.htm<http://www.ics.uci.edu/%7Ejgeorgas/ics225/index.htm><
>> http://www.ics.uci.edu/%7Ejgeorgas/ics225/index.htm>
>> I ran across this page by accident one day looking for something else. I
>> don't really know much about it but it appears relevant.
>> Ray
>>
>>  On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 9:56 PM, Tania Tudorache <tudorache at stanford.edu<mailto:
>> tudorache at stanford.edu>> wrote:
>>
>>    Hi Tomas,
>>
>>    Tomas Potok wrote:
>>    > Hello!
>>    >
>>    > 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
>>    > moment.
>>    >
>>    > Downsides:
>>    > - I struggle with the immaturity of the system (instability, a
>>    LOT of
>>    > uncatched exceptions - no sign of an error report to the user,
>>    slowness, ...)
>>    >
>>
>>    I wonder if this was not more a configuration issue. If you got a
>>    lot of
>>    exceptions it might indicate that something was not set up correctly.
>>    We know of several projects that are using successfully protege in
>>    client-server mode, also with large ontologies, both in OWL and in
>>    Frames.
>>
>>    The slowness is also something that should not be the case. What
>>    version
>>    of Protege did you try? How large was the ontology?
>>    It is true, that we have optimized the client-server architecture for
>>    browsing and editing classes, and not so much for
>>    instances/individuals.
>>    If you have thousands of individuals, probably the IndividualsTab was
>>    slow (in OWL), but there are ways around it.
>>
>>    If you still reproduce the exceptions that you got previously,
>>    please do
>>    post them, so that we can fix the issues.
>>
>>    > - no possibility to edit Forms in Collaborative mode (but this
>>    can be
>>    > lived with in my case)
>>    >
>>    Indeed. However, it is still possible to configure the forms on the
>>    server and all the clients would see them the next time they would log
>>    in. We are looking into ways of allowing clients to configure the
>>    forms.
>>
>>    > - I managed to damage my database with a simple drag&drop
>>    operation with NO
>>    > possibility to Undo.
>>    >
>>    How did you damage the database? Did you get any exceptions? If
>>    you did,
>>    please do send them to us, so that we can fix them.
>>    Undo is explicitly disabled in client-server mode, because a user may
>>    undo with knowing operations that have been performed by other
>>    users in
>>    between.
>>
>>
>>    > - Very simplistic Access Control.
>>    > - Cumbersome Forms editor - no graphical group operations, e.g.
>>    >
>>    Actually, if you edit the Project instances in the metaproject, the
>>    forms should be quite intuitive. We plan to make a more specialized UI
>>    for  editing of access information, but this was not a priority yet. I
>>    don't think this is a big limitation.
>>
>>    > - Cumbersome installation (need to modify batch files, no script
>>    for server
>>    > shutdown, ...)
>>    >
>>    I do not totally agree with that. To start the server you just
>>    start the
>>    "run_protege_server.sh" (or .bat). There is also a shut down script in
>>    the Protege installation directory, called
>>    "shutdown_protege_server.sh"
>>    (or .bat). We also have a lot of documentation about how to set up the
>>    server to work with firewalls, and other configurations on the wiki
>>    (
>> http://protegewiki.stanford.edu/index.php/Protege_Client-Server_Tutorial
>> ).
>>    And if there are any questions, please do post them on this mailing
>>    list. We are doing our best to answer all questions in reasonable
>>    time.
>>
>>
>>    > What I still have not explored is the possibility of advanced
>>    reporting -
>>    > generating requirement documents (you seem to have some
>>    expertise here
>>    > already?).
>>    >
>>    > 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...?)
>>    >
>>
>>    Yes, you can use the ScriptsTab and query any information in the
>>    knowledge base. If you are using OWL, then you can use  SWRL
>>    queries and
>>    SPARQL queries.
>>
>>    > - No possibility to further process the results (like
>>    visualizing them using
>>    > OntoWiz, e.g.) - the only option is to export to CSV and
>>    postprocess.
>>    >
>>
>>    That is an interesting idea. I think this can be easily
>>    implemented. If
>>    anyone is interested, I can point them to the parts of code that
>>    need to
>>    be changed.
>>    > 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.
>>    >
>>
>>    Sorry to hear about your disappointment. I have the impression that
>>    several of the issues that you encountered were more configuration
>>    problems. If you want to give them one more try with the new
>>    version of
>>    Protege, I am happy to help.
>>
>>    Related to the requirements modeling: There must be requirements
>>    ontology already available on the web that you can reuse. In my
>>    previous
>>    life, I have developed a requirements ontology for product development
>>    (not specifically software). It deals with requirements
>>    decompositions,
>>    derivation, attachment to different components, test cases, etc.
>>    However
>>    it was in frames, not OWL. I am sure there must be software
>>    requirements
>>    ontologies already available on the web.
>>
>>    Protege with its form mechanism it is actually very good at acquiring
>>    instances. It will generate automatically a form based on the slots
>>    attached to the class. You can also customize the appearance of the
>>    forms, and also the widgets to be used for acquiring the values of a
>>    property.
>>
>>    It is also possible to export the data form the ontology in any
>>    form you
>>    want, by either writing an export plugin, or by using the script
>>    tab and
>>    a familiar scripting language.
>>
>>    Cheers,
>>    Tania
>>
>>    > I'd be happy to hear about your results,
>>    >
>>    > Cheers,
>>    >
>>    > Tomas
>>    >
>>    > 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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>>
>> --
>> Ron Schultz
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
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-- 
Ron Schultz
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