Relatics is a cloud platform used by large engineering-to-order projects to control all information within a project. It is specifically designed for projects that work according Systems Engineering and believe in a requirement centric approach. In addition, it supports managing and using reference libraries (e.g. project staff or reference documents) and knowledge libraries (e.g. a requirements library or risk library).
Relatics is a total solution to support Systems Engineering. It not only provides in Requirements Management, but also all other applications like Risk Management and Verification & Validation that play a role during the lifecycle of projects.
The diagram shows the Relatics Architecture, including a number of important features. A number of Relatics features that have a distinct added value will be described here. Basic features like User Management, Reporting, Webservices, Importing, History or Baselines work like one can expect and can be demonstrated on request.
Semantic Information Model
Relatics uses a semantic database structure to store both data and metadata. This architecture is the primary enabler for the flexibility that Relatics offers to adapt to the desired initial information model for Systems Engineering. Perhaps even more important, it also supports future modifications based on new insights while implementing Systems Engineering. The semantic information storage makes Relatics insensitive for modifications to the information model and changes can be made without coding or programming the database structure.
Environment & Workspaces
Relatics consists of one Environment and multiple Workspaces. The Environment manages the users and the access to workspaces. A workspace typically corresponds to a project, content library or reference library but the precise demarcations are determined by the customer. Each workspace has its own user management, information model and user interface.
In our opinion, this architecture is a requirement to meet an organization’s needs:
- Projects have specific information needs, so they must be able to differentiate in structure.
- During use, advancing insights will arise. This must be applied to new projects without interfering with ongoing or completed projects.
- Libraries and projects should be managed within a common platform (i.e. Environment).
- User management should be flexible. Not only user access, but also the definition of the user roles within projects can be different.
- Information is separated into workspaces which mitigates the risk of data being altered by the wrong user group.
Our user interface is boring. Just as boring as a spreadsheet.
Boring doesn’t mean ineffective. It is web based and therefore accessible at any time and any place. It is very intuitive and user-friendly. Table filters, faceted search, treeviews for breakdown structures and custom views contribute to finding the relevant information almost instantly. In particular, our Context Portal feature makes it possible to make numerous cross-sections of the stored information. These can be an overview for operational use, a dashboard that show users personalized information (e.g. notifications about changes, reminders or other project progress metrics) or a supplier portal for external partners.
Boring doesn’t mean confusing either. The interface is very clear and unambiguously. The diversity of information types we support with the semantic model is presented in the same uniform manner (just like a spreadsheet). This predictability contributes to a large extent to the acceptance and understanding of the tool and processes.
Lastly, boring doesn’t mean outdated. Our interface offers a state-of-the-art and highly customizable look and feel and complies with tomorrow’s way of user interaction. The Theming feature makes it possible to give the interface an entirely unique company-specific identity.
Our unique way of presenting information will certainly have a positive effect in adapting the tool. Also, the interface is not specifically tuned to the “Systems Engineer” of the project, but is clear and intuitive for all involved project staff. This increases the degree of acceptance and the changes of a successful implementation of Systems Engineering.
Referencing & Appending
The features Referencing and Appending are part of the Relatics concept Distributed Integration. The essence of this concept is that we believe in unambiguity, integration and reuse without the need for centralization. Traditionally, centralization seems the most obvious solution, however, this holds major drawbacks to the flexibility. And this flexibility is a prerequisite for managing information about projects.
Referencing enables information to be shared across workspaces without duplicating the information. Users can relate information in project workspaces to information contained in other (reference) workspaces. This is especially interesting for creating libraries with generic requirements, classifications or documents and use these libraries in projects.
Appending enables information to be incorporated from other workspaces and adapted if desired. These workspaces may be other projects, but usually concern knowledge libraries with best practices that can be re-used at project level. Capturing standards and reusing them in projects saves time and increases the quality of projects.