Rational DOORS Enlightenment Series

The http://ibmfederal.us/DOORS-Enlightenment/ offers a large number of recorded webinars on DOORS 9 and DOORS Next. To highlight just a few:

  1. Understanding Search, Queries and Views in DOORS Next Generation
  2. Data Migration from DOORS to DOORS NG
  3. Requirements Configuration Management — Product Line Engineering
  4. What’s New for Reporting and Document Generation
    (Supporting in DOORS and DOORS NG)

You can access these and you can register for upcoming sessions on http://ibmfederal.us/DOORS-Enlightenment/.

Try RPE 2.0.1 M2 on Bluemix

The RPE 2.0.1 M2 build can be tried on Bluemix at https://rpe.mybluemix.net/home This build replaces the 2.0 GA build. You will be greeted with a License Agreement the first time you login but your existing artefacts and documents are all there.

rpe_201_loginLogin screen

Continue reading Try RPE 2.0.1 M2 on Bluemix

Create Word documents with track changes enabled

RPE can produce Word documents that have the track changes feature enabled. What you need to do is use a doc/docx file with track changes enabled as the stylesheet for the Word output.

track_changes

The content introduced by RPE in the document is not marked as a change but all further changes made by users are.

An example stylesheet is attached.  trackedChanges.docx

Controlling the default Word file format in RPE

RPE generates by default Word documents using the Word (.doc) Binary File Format. The decision is made base on the output path and default values from rpeconfig.xml.  If no output path is specified, RPE will default to “doc” while if you specify a file path with the “docx” extension it’s DOCX you will get.

To control the behaviour of RPE when an output path was not specified you need to use “extension” property of the Word output defined in the rpeconfig.xml. By default the value of this property is “doc” and and it’s hidden. If you want to generate docx by default then you need to change the value attribute to docx.

word_output_extension

Continue reading Controlling the default Word file format in RPE

Allow tables to extend into margins

“Allow tables to extend into margins” is a Microsoft Word property that I have recently discovered and has the potential of addressing a lot of formatting issues with large (wide) tables.

You can access this property from File->Options->Advanced under the compatibility options. The location is slightly misleading as you’d expect the properties here apply to the Word installation but that’s not the case,  many are actually document properties.

Stylesheet_Table_PropertyUntick this option for better fitted tables

This property is disabled for newly created documents but old ones have it enabled which I assume it’s done for compatibility reasons. With this property disabled Microsoft Word will use a different algorithm when resizing tables, one in which the page widths acts as a soft cap for the table width. From what I observed Word uses more aggressive column resize algorithm which includes breaking cell content in the middle of words.

NOTE: the page width is finite so you can craft very large tables for which the columns will be resized beyond the point they are usable ( i.e. 1 character per column).

The RPE test is really simple: generate a document ( in .doc format) that contains a large table that overflow the page borders.  Then generate it again but this time use the attached stylesheet and this time you will notice that the table fits the page margins. The example stylesheet is attached: emptyStylesheet

“Allow tables to extend into margins” is in a way a smart document level version of the table’s “autofit to content” property. The advantage is that it is global and that it kicks in only as needed.

Stylesheet_Table_Property_Autofit

Executing Word Macros from WebSphere/Tomcat running as NT Services

Updated 2015.07.31: corrected and added System32 vs SysWOW64 details.

If macros do not execute when running from the RPE Web Services or Rational DOORS Next Generation that is most likely caused by Word automation not functioning properly. If you check the RPE/RDNG log files you may observe error an entry like this one: Error loading document. Error: 424 – Object required

A solution that worked for us in many cases is to create a “Desktop” folder under  C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile or C:\Windows\SysWOW64\config\systemprofile. Create the folder, restart the application server and verify if the problem is resolved.

What folder to use

  1. for 32 bit Windows it’s only C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile
  2. for 64 bit Windows
    1. if Word is 64 bit you need to use C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile
    2. if Word is 32 bit you need to use C:\Windows\SysWOW64\config\systemprofile

Please note that Microsoft does not officially support Word automation from NT Services so there is no guarantee that this solution will always work.

systemprofile_desktop

More information is available in the RPE Infocenter here: http://www-01.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SS6RHZ_1.2.0/com.ibm.rational.pe.troubleshooting.doc/topics/t_macro_execution.html

NOTE: if you type C:\Windows\SysWOW64\config\systemprofile or C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile in the Windows Explorer address bar you might receive an error from Windows that the path does not exist. You need to start the navigation from the System32/SysWOW64 folder and confirm your administrator access when prompted.

Up to date information and comments on RPE, Document Generation and Reporting

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