Dependencies Overview

The Entities Dependencies feature enables modeling dependencies between ALM entities. A dependency usually means that one entity uses the other and cannot function without it. A dependency is modeled by relating one entity to the other entities that it uses. This feature supports integration of testing tools with ALM by enabling the implementation to create relations that are based on the testing tool logic. ALM itself has no knowledge of the meaning of these relations.

ALM can be used to manage test and component items that are created, maintained and run using various testing tools. In addition, testing tools may use resources such as object repositories, function libraries, and others. The testing tool's tests and components can be represented by an ALM Test or Component object. Other assets can be represented as user assets or resources:

  • A user asset is an entity that is conceptually part of another entity and so owned by that entity. It is therefore automatically copied when its owner is copied and deleted when its owner is deleted.
  • A resource is an independent entity that can be used by other entities.

ERI enables an implementation to complete the representation by modeling dependencies with relations between the ALM entities that represent the testing tool's assets.

Relations can be defined for user assets, tests, components, and resources. A relation can be defined between two entities of the same type or different types. Relations can be many-to-many.

The logical meaning of the assets and relations is not known to ALM. This is managed by your application.

When a dependency is modeled between two entities:

  • The dependent entity can downloaded automatically with the related entity.
  • When a new entity is created by copying an existing entity within the same ALM project, dependencies are automatically copied with the entity.
  • When a new entity is created by copying an entity from one ALM project to another, dependent entities and dependencies can be optionally copied with the entity. Note that user assets are always copied as they are considered part of the entity that owns them.
  • Information is available on which other entities use a given entity, and which other entities are used by a given entity.

In addition, user assets, tests, components, and resources can own asset repository items (ARI). An ARI is a representation of a file or folder in the ALM repository belonging to the owner of the ARI. When you download an entity that has ARIs, its ARIs are downloaded with it.  For more detail, see Download Filtering.

An ALM user has permissions to add, delete or modify a user asset, asset repository item, or asset relation if the user has modify permissions for the type of the entity that owns it. For example, a user asset owned by a test can be deleted only by a user with permissions to modify tests.