Spotlight on Spira 6.0 - Project Templates & Customizable Fields

January 18th, 2019 by inflectra

As we're in the final countdown for the release of the latest version of SpiraTest, SpiraTeam and SpiraPlan v6.0, we are going to be highlighting some of the most important new features in this version to help you get ready for the release. In this first installment of the blog series on the new version we'll be discussing the long-awaited project templates feature, together with the new customization options that templates will bring.

Project Templates

One of the limitations in the current (v5 and earlier) version of Spira has been the fact that all customizations are managed at the project level. So you can add custom properties. modify incident types, create custom workflows, but if you have multiple projects in the system (which is the whole idea), you have to make the same changes for every project, separately. In v6.0 we have introduced a new artifact called a Project Template. These templates can then be managed in the system separately from projects:

This means that many of the customization options that were previously done individually for each project are now managed for each template instead:

This means that you can have a much smaller set of templates (or even just one template) that various projects use, and all of the customization changes will affect all the projects using that specific template:

This means that if you have 100 projects using a template, and you want to add a custom fields, change a workflow, or make any other number of changes, you do it once and all 100 projects will use the change, vs. having to 100 separate changes by hand. This is a fundamental change in the system that helps administrators centralize the configuration of their projects and reduces the burden of making administrative changes 100-fold.

In addition it means that when you export artifacts between projects that use the same template, those artifacts will retain their custom property values.

One further feature is the ability to associate a Program (formerly called a Project Group) with a specific project template. That will allow the program views to show fields that are common across all the projects in the program:

Note: You don't have to have a program linked to a project template, and you don't have to have all the projects in a program use the same template, it is just a benefit if you do that, since it will allow you to see custom properties and other template-specific fields at the program level.

Requirements Customization

One of the benefits of having project templates, is that is now lets you customize more of the standard fields within Spira.

For example in the requirements module, you can now customize the list of requirements priorities, change their names, colors and a Score value. The Score value is used to programmatically match the priorities between artifacts (e.g. a requirement importance of Score = 2 would map to a test case with priority of Score = 2).

Similarly, you can now edit the various types of requirements and specify which workflow they use and which types support having a set of steps (called a Scenario) associated with them.

Test Case Customization

In the test case module, you can now change and add test case priorities, including the name, color and score value to match your needs:

You can also edit the list of test case types (though we still provide a default list per template as a starting point) and specify which workflow they use and if they should be run using the special exploratory testing mode:

Task Customization

Not to be left out, Tasks also have the ability to have the list of task priorities customized, with the same options as test cases: name, color, and score. Note that when you create a task from a requirement, the task that is created will have a priority with the same score as the requirement (if it exists in the system):

You can also edit the list of task types and which workflow they are associated with.

Unlike requirements and test cases, there are currently no special options for task types.

Email Notifications

In v5 (and earlier) of Spira, the email notifications could have the list of events (that trigger a notification) configured per-project, but the list of email notification templates (not to be confused with the new project templates) could only be changed for the entire system. What happens if you wanted the email to look differently for different projects or programs (e.g. they were for different clients), too bad!

Well, with Spira v6.0 you will be able to customize the notification templates for each project template:

That means you can differently formatted emails for different projects. In the future, this enhancement will also allow us to add more notification options, such as support for including the values of custom fields in the email body as well as allowing the change of a custom field to trigger the notification.

That's all on project templates, the next topic for our Spotlight series will be the new Document Management features that have been added to Spira 6.0.

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