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Implement RMI Extension for Support of Custom Document Type

Requirements Management Interface (RMI) provides tools for creating and reviewing links between model-based design elements and requirements documents. RMI provides built-in support for many document types. Additionally, you can implement custom link-type extensions to enable linking to other document types. This example illustrates implementation of RMI extension for linking with Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.

Files to Use with this Example

For the purposes of this example tutorial, you will link objects in the slvnvdemo_powerwindowController.slx model with slides in the powerwindowController.pptx PowerPoint presentation. Open the Simulink model slvnvdemo_powerwindowController.slx.

open_system('slvnvdemo_powerwindowController');

Set Up Requirements Manager to Work with Links

  1. In the Apps tab, open Requirements Manager.

  2. In the Requirements tab, ensure Layout > Requirements Browser is selected.

  3. In the Requirements Browser, in the View drop-down menu, select Links.

  4. In this example, you will work exclusively in the Requirements tab and any references to toolstrip buttons are in this tab.

If at any time during this example you change the selection to Requirements in the View drop-down menu in the Requirements Browser, it will change which buttons you are able to see and you may not be able to follow the instructions correctly without changing back to Links.

Store Links Externally

In the slvnvdemo_powerwindowController model, configure the settings to store links externally. In the Requirements tab, select Link Settings > Default Link Storage. This will open the Requirements Settings dialog box. Under the heading Default storage mode for traceability data select Store externally (in a separate *.slmx file). Alternatively, evaluate the following code.

rmipref('StoreDataExternally', true);

Installed Link Type Definition Files

Depending on the application you use for your custom-type documents, you can implement basic support, including link creation via the Outgoing Links dialog box and link navigation via context menu shortcuts, or you may choose to implement a more feature-rich support with selection linking via context menu shortcuts, consistency checking, etc.

In this tutorial you will use a Custom Link Type definition which was created from scratch. To find out more about the Custom Link Type extension API, please refer to the included linktype_TEMPLATE.m by evaluating the following:

edit([matlabroot,'/toolbox/slrequirements/linktype_examples/linktype_TEMPLATE.m'])

You can also review the actual linktype definition files used by the released product. For an example, refer to the minimal Text File link type by evaluating the following:

edit([matlabroot,'/toolbox/slrequirements/linktype_examples/linktype_rmi_text.m'])

You can also refer to the more advanced Microsoft Excel Workbook link type:

edit([matlabroot,'/toolbox/slrequirements/linktype_examples/linktype_rmi_excel.m'])

Create and Register a Stubbed Link Type File

The file rmidemo_pp_linktype.m in the current working directory contains link type information for the RMI to work with Microsoft PowerPoint files. Register the link type with the RMI by evaluating the following.

rmi('register', 'rmidemo_pp_linktype')

This instructs RMI to recognize the filename extensions .ppt and .pptx as supported files and to use the methods defined here for RMI functionality.

Create the First Link

  • Right-click the background of the slvnvdemo_powerwindowController example model. In the context menu, select Requirements at This Level > Open Outgoing Links Dialog... to bring up the Outgoing Links dialog box.

  • Click New to create a new link.

  • Expand the Document type drop-down list. Select Microsoft PowerPoint at the bottom of the list.

  • Use the Browse button to locate powerwindowController.pptx.

  • Enter a Description label, like Example Presentation.

  • Click OK to save the new link and close the dialog.

Alternatively, you can evaluate the following code to create the link. This code fills in the link destination information first, then uses the rmi function to create links.

firstReq = rmi('createempty');
firstReq.reqsys = 'rmidemo_pp_linktype';
firstReq.doc = 'powerwindowController.pptx';
firstReq.description = 'Example presentation';
rmi('set', 'slvnvdemo_powerwindowController', firstReq);

Navigation to the Document

Navigation to the PowerPoint document is provided with functions in the rmidemo_pp_linktype.m file.Implementation of this and all other methods requires detailed knowledge of the APIs available in the application that manages the requirements documents. For this Microsoft PowerPoint example you will use COM API. You will use the actxserver command in MATLAB to create a connection with the PowerPoint application. Then, you will use calls like Application.Presentations.Open(FILENAME) to manipulate the PowerPoint application via the rmidemo_pp_linktype methods. See Microsoft's Developer Reference pages for information on which PowerPoint Objects and Methods are available via COM API.

The rmidemo_pp_linktype.m file contains functions to find the correct .pptx file.

Return to the Simulink model for slvnvdemo_powerwindowController. Right-click the Simulink diagram background and navigate to Requirements at This Level again from the context menu. Notice the new navigation shortcut at the top of the submenu. When you click this new shortcut, MATLAB opens the PowerPoint file.

You can navigate to the link the same way as before, or by evaluating the following: rmi('view','slvnvdemo_powerwindowController', 1)

Implement Navigation to a Given Slide Number

Suppose you want to link the Truth Table block that connects to the driver input of the control subsystem block to the corresponding slide number 5 in the PowerPoint presentation. Navigate to the Truth Table block or evaluate the following code.

rmidemo_callback('locate','slvnvdemo_powerwindowController/Truth Table')
  • Right-click the block, select Requirements > Open Outgoing Links Dialog... to bring up the Outgoing Links dialog box.

  • Click New to create a new link.

  • Specify the document type and filename as before.

  • Enter Driver input into the Description field.

  • Enter 5 into the Location/Identifier input field.

  • Click OK to save the new link.

If you navigate this link from the Simulink diagram, the document will open as before, but it will now scroll down to 5th slide. The helper goToSlide() method along with code in the NavigateFcn() function open the correct slide.

function goToSlide(hDoc, slideNum)
  disp(['Opening slide #' num2str(slideNum)]);
  hDoc.Slides.Item(slideNum).Select;
end

Navigate to the link by selecting the Truth Table block, right-clicking and selecting Requirements > 1. "Driver input". The PowerPoint presentation window should scroll down to the 5th slide.

Alternatively, create the link by evaluating the following code. This code fills in the link destination information first, then uses the rmi function to create links.

secondReq = rmi('createempty');
secondReq.reqsys = 'rmidemo_pp_linktype';
secondReq.doc = 'powerwindowController.pptx';
secondReq.description = 'Driver input';
secondReq.id = '#5';
rmi('set', 'slvnvdemo_powerwindowController/Truth Table', secondReq);

You can navigate to the link the same way as before, or by evaluating the following: rmi('view','slvnvdemo_powerwindowController/Truth Table', 1)

Linking and Navigation to Slide ID

Linking to a stored slide number can be problematic: links may get stale when you modify the document. For example, duplicate the first slide in our presentation:

Now all the other slides shift down by one. Navigation from the Driver Input Truth Table block will bring up the wrong slide. You need to use a different location type, other than Page/Item number.

  • Select the same Truth Table block which connects to the driver input of the control subsystem. The following code navigates to the Truth Table block.

rmidemo_callback('locate','slvnvdemo_powerwindowController/Truth Table')
  • Right-click the block, select Requirements > Open Outgoing Links Dialog... to bring up the Outgoing Links dialog box.

  • Click New to create a new link.

  • Select Named Item from the Location (Type/Identifier) drop-down list.

  • Enter 260 into the Location input field.

  • Click OK to save the modified link.

"260" is a persistent ID for the Driver Input slide (more on this below).

Now, after this change, navigation from the Driver Input Truth Table block will bring up the correct slide, even after its order number changes.

Unfortunately, one cannot see slide IDs in the PowerPoint application UI. To find out the ID for the 5th slide, you can use the COM API:

>> hApp = actxGetRunningServer('powerpoint.application');
>> hDoc = hApp.ActivePresentation;
>> hDoc.Slides.Item(5).SlideID 
ans =
  260

More user-friendly solutions to this problem are covered in the sections below.

Alternatively, you can create the link using the following code. This code fills in the link destination information first, then uses the rmi function to create links.

betterLink = rmi('createempty');
betterLink.reqsys = 'rmidemo_pp_linktype';
betterLink.doc = 'powerwindowController.pptx';
betterLink.description = 'Driver input - better link';
betterLink.id = '@260';
rmi('set', 'slvnvdemo_powerwindowController/Truth Table', betterLink);

You can navigate to the link destination the same way as before, or evaluate the following: rmi('view','slvnvdemo_powerwindowController/Truth Table', 1)

Linking Using Document Index Tab

As shown above, you can create persistent links that do not become stale after slides in linked presentation are re-ordered, but you do not have easy access to persistent SlideID values in PowerPoint. One possible solution is to select a desired slide in the Document Index tab of the Outgoing Links dialog. The content of the Document Index tab is controlled by the ContentsFcn() method in the linktype definition file. you can provide implementation for this method, such that the persistent SlideID value is stored by RMI when creating a link, instead of the volatile SlideNumber value.

The ContentsFcn() methods returns three arrays:

  • labels to use for Document Index list items and navigation shortcuts

  • depths to indicate the hierarchical relationship of listed items (unused in this example)

  • locations to use for stored unique IDs

The ContentsFcn() implementation relies on the following PowerPoint API call to populate location values:

hDoc.Slides.Item(k).SlideID

This ensures persistent navigation information even after slide order changes. Note that you use @ as a prefix for locations values, to indicate that the number that follows stores the Named Item location value instead of slide (page) number location value.

Use the Document Index tab in the Outgoing Link Editor to create a link.

  • Navigate to the Truth Table1 block which connects to the passenger input of the control subsystem block. The following code navigates to the Truth Table1 block.

rmidemo_callback('locate','slvnvdemo_powerwindowController/Truth Table1')
  • Right-click the block, select Requirements > Open Outgoing Links Dialog... to bring up the Outgoing Links dialog box.

  • Click New to create a new link.

  • Specify Microsoft PowerPoint as the Document type.

  • Specify powerwindowController.pptx as the Document from the Browse menu.

  • Leave the Description input.

  • Instead of specifying Location manually, switch to the Document Index tab, locate the line that corresponds to Passenger Inputs slide, and double-click the line.

  • Notice that the remaining input fields are automatically filled with the correct information.

  • Click OK to save the new link.

Navigate to the link by right-clicking the Truth Table1 block and selecting Requirements > 1."Passenger Input consists of a vector with three elements in powerwindowController.pptx". This link should work correctly even after slides are shifted or re-ordered.

Alternatively you can create the link by evaluating the following code. The link ID is created the same way as in the previous section, where a persistent ID is set. This code fills in the link destination information first, then uses the rmi function to create links.

indexLink = rmi('createempty');
indexLink.reqsys = 'rmidemo_pp_linktype';
indexLink.doc = 'powerwindowController.pptx';
indexLink.description = 'Passenger input - linked via Index tab';
indexLink.id = '@259';
rmi('set', 'slvnvdemo_powerwindowController/Truth Table1', indexLink);

Navigate to the link the same way as above, or evaluate the following: rmi('view','slvnvdemo_powerwindowController/Truth Table1', 1)

Link to the Current Slide in PowerPoint

An even better way to support robust persistent links is via Selection Linking Shortcuts. The RMI API allows you to define the SelectionLinkFcn() function for linking with the current object in the current document. In the next step of our tutorial, you will automate linking to the current slide in the currently open PowerPoint presentation.

The Requirements section of the context menus display a shortcut for linking with the current slide in PowerPoint.

  • In your copy of the PowerPoint presentation example, navigate to slide 6 titled Top or bottom of the window frame is reached.

  • In the Simulink diagram, right-click the endstop block.

rmidemo_callback('locate','slvnvdemo_powerwindowController/endstop')
  • Right-click the block and select Requirements > Link to Slide in PowerPoint from the context menu

The RMI will automatically create a link to the SlideID that corresponds to the current location in the active presentation. The RMI will try to use the header text of the target slide as a label for the new link.

To navigate to the link, right-click the endstop block again and select Requirements > 1."Top or bottom of the window frame is rea...". The PowerPoint program should open to the correct slide.

Alternatively, you can create the link using the following code. The link ID is created the same way as in the previous section, where a persistent ID is set. This code fills in the link destination information first, then uses the rmi function to create links.

selectionLink = rmi('createempty');
selectionLink.reqsys = 'rmidemo_pp_linktype';
selectionLink.doc = 'powerwindowController.pptx';
selectionLink.description = 'Endstop signal - selection link';
selectionLink.id = '@261';
rmi('set', 'slvnvdemo_powerwindowController/endstop', selectionLink);

You can navigate to the link the same way as above, or you can evaluate the following: rmi('view','slvnvdemo_powerwindowController/endstop', 1)

Create Bidirectional Links

As a final step of this tutorial you will extend the SelectionLinkFcn() function to optionally insert a hyperlink in the current slide, for navigation from PowerPoint to the linked object in Simulink.

Your PowerPoint link type allows automated insertion of Simulink navigation controls into linked slides, when you use Link to Slide in PowerPoint shortcut in the context menu for Simulink objects. To activate this feature, in the Simulink model select the Requirements tab. Then select Link Settings > Linking Options. Alternatively, evaluating the following code will open this dialog box: rmi_settings_dlg.

Under the When creating selection-based links heading, make sure that Modify destination for bidirectional linking is checked. Alternatively, the following code will set these settings.

origMcState = rmipref('UnsecureHttpRequests', true);
origTwoWayPref = rmipref('BiDirectionalLinking', true);

Beginning in R2019a, MATLAB's embedded HTTP service is activated on a secure port 31515, but not on an unsecure port 31415. Because our navigation URLs cannot use the secure port without certificate installation, you should also select the Enable external connectivity at MATLAB startup checkbox at the bottom of this tab.

To try this out, repeat the selection linking procedure for the obstacle signal input block, to associate it with the corresponding slide in the example presentation.

  • Navigate to slide 7 in powerwindowController.pptx (make it the active slide).

  • Navigate to the obstacle block in the Simulink model.

rmidemo_callback('locate','slvnvdemo_powerwindowController/obstacle')
  • Right-click the block and select Requirements > Link to Slide in PowerPoint from the context menu.

You should now see a new RMI icon inserted at the top-left corner of the slide.

Follow Microsoft PowerPoint's instructions to follow the link, and it should highlight the corresponding block in the slvnvdemo_powerwindowController model.

Importing Items from PowerPoint Document into Simulink Requirements

Simulink Requirements product includes document import capability, if your Custom Linktype definition includes all the needed pieces. Using the customization file rmidemo_pp_linktype.m and slreq.import() API, you can automatically pull-in the contents as objects of type slreq.Reference or slreq.Requirement, and save into .slreqx file. Refer to slreq.import for further information.

Because our custom document type definition does not provide implementation for HtmlViewFcn(), only plain-text import will work.

Make sure the document is open in PowerPoint before you run the slreq.import() command. The importer will display the number of imported items, which for our case corresponds to the number of slides. Use slreq.editor command to bring-up the Simulink Requirements Editor UI. Expand the document node to browse imported items. Click "Show in document" button to navigate from imported reference to original item in source document.

Alternatively, follow these steps to import the requirements from the command line.

  • Make sure that the powerwindowController.pptx document is open before import:

rmi('view','slvnvdemo_powerwindowController', 1)
  • Import the requirements using:

slreq.import('rmidemo_pp_linktype', 'AsReference', true, 'RichText', false)
  • View the requirements in the Requirements Editor with slreq.editor

Where to Go from Here

As opposed to linking to a Slide as a whole, you may want to modify the SelectionLinkFcn() implementation to link to a specific text or picture in the slide. Refer to Microsoft's Developer Reference pages for information on how to adjust the anchoring and appearance of Simulink navigation controls. For example, instead of inserting an icon with a hyperlink, you may want to attach a hyperlink to the selected text on the current slide.

If you need to link to a Search text pattern, irrespective of which slide includes the stored text, you can extend the declaration of supported location types to include the ? character:

 linkType.LocDelimiters = '#@?';

You should then provide an additional case for switch(locationStr(1)) in the NavigateFcn() method. The corresponding findText() helper queries the PowerPoint Presentation object for all TextFrame items in all Slides and selects the item with the matching text.

The RMI link type template supports other methods, depending on your needs. For example, to have your custom links covered by Requirements Consistency Checking, consider implementing the following methods:

  • IsValidDocFcn()

  • IsValidIdFcn()

  • IsValidDescFcn()

To adjust the way your links are displayed in generated reports, you can use:

  • CreateURLFcn()

  • UrlLabelFcn()

  • DocDateFcn()

  • DetailsFcn()

  • HtmlViewFcn()

If your application is not file-based, but uses a proprietary database to store requirements documents, you must mark the link type as "not a file":

linkType.IsFile = 0;

and provide a specialized implementation for BrowseFcn(). This is the function that gets called when you click the Browse button in the Outgoing Links dialog.

rmi('edit','slvnvdemo_powerwindowController');

Cleanup

Cleanup commands. Unregisters rmidemo_pp_linktype, clears open requirement sets without saving changes, and closes open models without saving changes.

rmi('unregister', 'rmidemo_pp_linktype');
slreq.clear();
bdclose all;

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