Migrating to 6.0 - Changes to Using the Excel Addon | Inflectra

Migrating to 6.0 - Changes to Using the Excel Addon

April 22nd, 2019 by inflectra

Many users rely on our Excel addon for adding data to SpiraPlan, or for getting data out of SpiraPlan (for instance, for reporting purposes). Version 6.0 of SpiraPlan makes a number of fundamental changes to the application, which will require a new version of API to properly communicate with it. Version 6 of the API will be out in an upcoming release of the application. Until then the application is backwards compatible with the current version of the API (v5). We've taken every effort for this compatibility to be as robust as it can be, but there are inevitably some limitations.

The limitations to the API and, by extension, to Excel, only impact a handful of fields: those that used to be static fields system wide, but are now, in SpiraPlan 6 dynamic fields. These are:

 

  • requirement importance, task priority, test case priority
  • requirement type, task type, and test case type

How will these fields be managed?

  1. on sending new data to SpiraPlan:
    1. priority fields (here we take this to include requirement importance too) are matched against a new score value that each priority has in each template. If there's a match the value is added to the entry in SpiraPlan, if not it is left blank. Technically, the ID of the relevant priority is being used to match against a score - so a priority with ID 1 will match a score of 1.
    2. type fields are matched against the type name, and if there is no match the default type for that artifact is entered into SpiraPlan
  2. on getting existing data from SpiraPlan these dynamic fields will show up as blank in Excel
  3. on updating data in SpiraPlan if you send back blank information for these dynamic fields:
    1. priority fields will then become blank in SpiraPlan
    2. type fields will not change. This is because types are required so cannot be blanked out

With the above in mind, how do we recommend you use Excel and SpiraPlan together?

  • bear in mind that the safest, most fullproof to add or update data in the application is via the web application itself
  • if you know you are going to be sending a lot of data from Excel to SpiraPlan, do not customize any of the dynamic fields discussed above until the process is complete
  • if you need to get data out of SpiraPlan, be mindful of the data that will, unfortunately, not show up in Excel, despite being present in SpiraPlan itself
  • do not use SpiraPlan to update data in SpiraPlan, in particular if priority fields are an important part of your data.