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OSEE/Users Guide/Tips


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to create a new database table for every type of Artifact that I want to use?

Quick Answer: No

The OSEE Architecture Framework uses a common table structure to store all types of artifacts, attributes and relations. This allows the users to dynamically create and start using new objects without major database modification.

Do I have to use the Artifact types that are built into OSEE?

Quick Answer: No

All Artifact Types, Attribute Types and Relation Types (with a few exceptions) are fully customizable. Although OSEE was initially built for capturing all data throughout the lifecycle of a large avionics systems engineering project, it was architected to store any data by simply defining a different data model to use.

In addition, these data models can be dynamically modified. New Artifacts, Attributes and Relations can be specified at anytime (and even by end users if allowed). Modification and deletion of these can be performed with some administrative back-end tools with the understanding that you would need to determine what to do with the removed data.

How do I delete artifact types?

There is a BLAM called "Purge Artifact Type" that is used to permanently remove all traces of an artifact type from the OSEE database. The BLAM allows the user to select one or more artifact types to purge. If any artifact instances of the doomed artifact type exist, a different artifact type can be specified; these artifacts will be converted to the new type. Otherwise, the BLAM will abort upon discovering an artifact that is of a type to be purged; that is, the BLAM will never delete any artifacts.

Can OSEE be used offline and later sync'd up?

Although OSEE does not currently provide the capability to download database artifacts, work offline and then sync up when re-connected, it was certainly a consideration in the design. The most complex part would be resolving conflicts that may occur to artifacts edited in both disconnected OSEE's. Since OSEE already has the capability to run on multiple databases and the capability to export and import artifacts, it would just take some effort to provide the first versions of this feature. This would be a great area for collaboration.

Can I import existing traceability into OSEE?

Quick Answer: Yes

Since traceability is usually defined in a way that is specific to it's use and the objects that are being traced, there is currently no "generic" traceability importing in OSEE, however OSEE provides BLAM that would enable traceability to be imported from existing applications, documents, excel spreadsheets. This capability has already been used a number of times to successfully import traceability from legacy documents and systems on projects OSEE has been deployed to.

Can I import from Microsoft Excel©?

Quick Answer: Yes

Through OSEE's BLAM tool, users can import from other applications, documents and spreadsheets.

How do I publish documents from OSEE?

The majority of the work in publishing out of OSEE has been in the format of Microsoft Word(c) documents. The user can create a Word template that "describes" the format, headers, footers and what data maps into the specified areas in the template. A BLAM is then run where the user can specify the branch and what artifacts are to be published. Upon execution, the documents are created. This method has successfully generated documents in excess of 10,000 pages that were delivered to the customer.

The OSEE architecture also supports other methods of publishing including web and open document formats. Depending on the level of complexity, some work would be done to provide further export capabilities.

Another form of publishing that OSEE was architected for is delivery of OSEE and the database. Although OSEE can publish documents and reports, it was decided early on that the vendors and customers would want and need the same navigation and exportation capabilities that OSEE provides. Instead of delivering generated documents, one of the projects that OSEE is deployed on delivers a copy of OSEE with a sanitized database (confidential data removed). This has been very successful from both the program and customer's point of view.

What databases can be used with OSEE?

OSEE was architected to be database independent and should run on any SQL-99 compliant DB that has a JDBC driver. It is currently runs on Oracle 10g and 11g and PostgreSQL 8.2. In the past, OSEE has also been run on Derby and MySQL. The current release of OSEE would need to be tested for compatibility with Derby, MySQL, or any other database. If desired, the OSEE Team could work with the user/developers to help perform this task.

Is OSEE Compatible with Office 2007?

Yes, OSEE is compatible. When storing word content in XML format make sure to use Word 2003 XML Document (*.xml) format.

Branch Manager

How do I quickly find branches I care about

In branch manager, you can select any branch, right-click and add as favorite. You can then select, via toolbar pull-down menu, to "Show Favorites First". This will sort your favorite branches to the top of the Branch Manager and any branch selection dialog.

How do I quickly select a branch

Selecting "Select Branch", you can type in the filter to filter out the branch you wish. Once your filter filters out all but a single branch, it will be automatically selected for you and you can press enter.

Artifact Explorer

How do I create another Artifact Explorer

Select the artifact explorer menu bar icon to create another view. Each Artifact Explorer can be set to it's own branch.

How do I quickly search from Artifact Explorer

Select the Quick Search menu bar icon to open the Quick Search view. This will also set the Quick Search view "Selected Branch" to the branch from the Artifact Explorer you choose.

Search Tips

Searching for all artifacts of a given type

  1. From the pulldown menu, open Search > Search...
  2. Select the Artifact Search tab
  3. Select the branch you wish to search on
  4. Select Artifact Type in the first pulldown under Create a Filter
  5. Select the artifact type you wish to search for
  6. Select "Add Filter" (make sure no other filters exist from your last search)
  7. Press Search

MS Word Tips

Where is the Tools Menu in Office 2007?

In Office 2007, the Options command which was located on the Tools menu has been moved under the Office Button OfficeButton.jpg. Click the Office Button OfficeButton.jpg to open the Options Dialog. This dialog is similar to the sub-menu located under the File menu in Office 2003. To open the user preference dialog, you have to click on the Word Options button located on the lower left corner of the Office Button Dialog.



What format should Word Documents be stored

OSEE does not support Word 2007 XML format. Documents should be saved using Word 2003 XML Document format.

What user preferences should I set when using Word 2007?

  1. Disable Word from raising a "Convert File" prompt
  2. Always Show Smart Tags
  3. Disable Smart Tag Document Embedding

Where can I find support for Word 2007 features?

Office 2007 How-To Demos

Do I have to use Microsoft Word to enter my requirements?

Quick Answer: No

This question comes up when users find out that OSEE is integrated with Microsoft Word as one method to enter artifact data such as requirements.

OSEE uses Artifacts, Attributes and Relations to store information in its data store. The Attributes associated with a certain Artifact can be boolean, text, date, float or any newly created attribute type. One such attribute type is a "Word Content" attribute. This allows word content to be added as an attribute to an Artifact. This attribute, however, is not required to be used. One could define a "Software Requirement" to be any set of Attribute types that must/can be entered. Although, Word 2003 XML is more tightly integrated into OSEE, the architecture provides for other editing applications to be plugged in. We are actively working on adding tight integration with Open Office to edit requirements.

In addition to this specific type of Attribute, OSEE does allows any operating system file to be dragged in and created as an Artifact. This artifact, when opened, will extract its data and present it to the operating system to allow viewing and editing. This allows things like requirements to be specified by other modeling, diagraming or even mathematical applications that OSEE doesn't know about. These artifacts can have their own metadata associated and also be related to other artifacts in the system.

Importing Microsoft Word(c) documents into OSEE

Yes. OSEE will import existing Word 2003 XML documents and atomize them by their paragraph sections. The Word styles "Heading (1...9)" are used to determine the breakout into individual artifacts and their position in the document hierarchy.

How are MS Word styles and formatting handled?

Whole MS Word documents can be stored and edited as an artifact like any other native file type without any formatting restrictions of any kind. However, to use the more tightly integrated support such as editing many artifacts in a single Word document or the document generation capabilities, then the file format needs to be MS Word 2003 XML. Since OSEE supports user defined Word XML templates for editing, previewing, comparing, and publishing, the user has complete control over the Word styles (and all other formatting) through the rendering templates. The only formmatting requirements for Word content are that when importing the Word styles "Heading (1...9)" are used to determine the breakout into individual artifacts and their position in the document hierarchy.

Stop Word from raising a "Convert File" prompt

Office 2013 to Recent

  1. Click the FILE menu
  2. Click the Options menu option
  3. Select Advanced from the topics panel on the left
  4. Scroll to the General settings section
  5. Uncheck Confirm file format on open

Office 2007

  1. Click the Office Button located on the upper left corner
  2. Click the Word Options button to open the options dialog
  3. Select Advanced from the topics panel on the left
  4. Scroll to the General settings section
  5. Uncheck Confirm file format on open

Office 2003

  1. Open Tools > Options... > General
    1. Uncheck Confirm conversion at Open
    2. Click OK

Stop Word from adding Smart Tags

Office 2003

  1. Open Tools > AutoCorrect Options… > Smart Tags
    1. Uncheck Label text with smart tags
    2. Click Save Options...
      1. Uncheck Embed Smart Tags
      2. Click OK
    3. Click Remove Smart Tags if the button is not grayed out
    4. Click OK

Office 2007

  1. Click the Office Button located on the upper left corner
  2. Click the Word Options button to open the options dialog
  3. Select Advanced from the topics panel on the left
  4. Scroll to the Preserve fidelity when sharing this document section
  5. Select All New Documents from the drop-down located next to the section title
  6. Uncheck Embed Smart tags
  7. Uncheck Embed Linguistic data There appears to be a bug in MS Word 2007: [1]

Make XML Tags Visible

To toggle viewing of XML tags, press Ctrl+Shift+X. You should enable these unless you have a good reason not to.

Office 2007 Preference Settings

  1. Click the Office Button located on the upper left corner
  2. Click the Word Options button to open the options dialog
  3. Select Advanced from the topics panel on the left
  4. Scroll to the Show Document settings section
  5. Check Show Smart Tags

Make tracked changes in Word appear inline instead of in balloons

  1. Open the Show dropdown menu within the Reviewing Toolbar and select Options....
  2. Within the Track Changes window that just appeared change the Insertions and Deletions colors to Blue and Red, respectively.
  3. Change the Use Balloons dropdown menu from Always to Only for comments/formatting.
  4. Click OK.

Keep MS Word from prompting to save Normal.doc

  1. Upgrade to Office 2007 (required by OSEE)
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. Click the Save tab.
  4. Clear the Prompt to save Normal template check box.

What do I do when I am seeing some characters (such as smart quotes and != signs) show up as a little black rectangle instead?

  1. In Word, goto Tools->AutoCorrect Options
    1. In the "Replace text as you type" table , delete the "straight quotes with smart quotes" option
    2. In the "AutoFormat as you Type" Tab deselect the Replace as you type "straight quotes with smart quotes" selection
    3. In the "AutoFormat" Tab deselect the Replace "straight quotes with smart quotes" selection

Office 2007 Preference Settings

  1. [Windows Button]--> Proofing --> in the AutoCorrect options block --> AutoCorrect Options...
  2. In the "AutoFormat as you Type" Tab deselect the Replace as you type "straight quotes with smart quotes" selection
  3. In the "AutoFormat" Tab deselect the Replace "straight quotes with smart quotes" selection

Configure MS Word (2003/2007) so it does NOT auto-format bulleted and numbered lists

As you may have already seen, Word will take the following: (A) -> XXX And turn it into some type of numbered list, such as: -> XXX, or A. -> XXX, or 1 -> XXX, etc.

This will cause incorrect formatting, because Word will automatically create styles that are not part of the templates used for rendering and publishing in OSEE. Ultimately this auto-numbering leads to the need for fix RPCRs. Additionally when introduced using Word 2003, it can cause compatibility issues.

  1. Close all instances of Word
  2. Open either MS Word 2007 or 2003 (whichever you prefer to work with)
    • Word 2007:
      1. Select Office (top-left corner)
      2. Go to Word Options => Proofing => AutoCorrect Options
    • Word 2003:
      1. Go to Tools => AutoCorrect Options...
  3. Select AutoFormat As You Type
  4. Under Apply as you type clear the checkboxes: Automatic bulleted lists and Automatic numbered lists
  5. Restart MS Word

Restarting a numbered list in an OSEE Artifact

  1. Menu Item in Word: Insert->Quick Parts->Field->ListNum
  2. Enable Level in list: 1
  3. Enable Start-at value: 0
  4. Click Ok
  5. To not show the 'dot' character in the document
    • Highlight the dot, right click -> Font
    • Enable Hidden
    • Click Ok
  6. If you need to see the field code simply click on the Show/Hide icon

Creating Cross-References between Multiple Word Artifacts having OLE Data

Issue: OSEE is unable to open Word Artifacts containing OLE Data for multi-edit. Therefore, I am unable to create cross-references between sections of artifacts.

Method1: Use single edit

  1. Open each artifact for edit separately.
  2. In the artifact with the figure, ensure the figure has an associated auto-reference number (i.e., the figure has a title/caption paragraph with a field code for the auto-reference). Create one if it does not already have one using normal MSWord procedure (right-click on the figure and select Insert Caption, etc.).
  3. In the artifact with the figure, create a temporary paragraph with a temporary sentence that says “As shown in .”
  4. At the end of the temporary sentence, insert an auto-reference to the figure using normal MSWord procedure (use the References tab and select Cross-reference, etc.). The temporary sentence should now say, “As shown in Figure x” where x is the figure number.
  5. Copy the field code from the temporary sentence (i.e., the part that says “Figure x” and which will turn gray when selected) from the artifact with the figure in it to the other artifact that you want to reference the figure from. This copy/paste will result in copying the field code for the figure over to the other artifact. Copy it to the text location where it is needed in the other artifact.
  6. Once edits are complete, delete the temporary paragraph that was put into the artifact with the figure in it.
  7. Save both artifacts (there is no need to save the artifact with the figure in it unless you made substantive changes, such as adding the title/caption paragraph to the figure per Step 2 above).

Method2: Separate contents and reference with hyperlinks

  1. Create a separate artifact for the section that needs to be referenced.
  2. Create hyperlinks to the new artifact from the referencing artifact.

Word XML opening in XML editor instead of Word

Sometimes, the registry settings for what to open XML documents can get set incorrectly. A common symptom is that links to Word documents in OSEE open in an XML editor or IE. To fix this, modify the registry entry: Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\xmlfile\shell\open\command to the correct version of Office. For Office 2013, the value would be: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OFFICE15\MSOXMLED.EXE" /verb open "%1" (with quotes)

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