Release Notes

Optimal Trace Professional Release 5.1

April 6 , 2009


Obtaining the Latest Release Notes
System Requirements
What's New
Technical Notes
Known Issues
Contacting Compuware Customer Support


Obtaining the Latest Release Notes  back to top

If you accessed this document from the product media or from the program shortcuts on your desktop, you may not be reading the latest release notes. For the most recent information, go to FrontLine, Compuware's technical support web site. The first time you access FrontLine, you are required to register and obtain a password. After logging onto FrontLine, select your product from the drop-down list and click Go. On the left side of the page, click the Documentation link. You will find the latest release notes listed with the other product documentation.

System Requirements  back to top

Software Compatibility

Note: Optimal Trace does not support Citrix Client 9.20 since there are known issues with running Java applications.

What's New  back to top

Release 5.1


Optimal Trace 5.1 is a fully internationalized release. The product supports  American, EMEA, APAC, and other foreign markets. In the APAC market, Japanese, traditional and simplified Chinese, and Korean languages are supported along with English-speaking countries. Additionally, Optimal Trace is UTF-8 Unicode safe, which means user visible strings are ready for translation and runtime functionality supports non-English locales. The following exceptions to internationalization apply:

Vista Support

Optimal Trace offers support for Windows Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions. Optimal Trace does not support Basic or Home editions. Optimal Trace runs with Windows Vista's Virtualization Mode set to Off.

Oracle 11g Support

Optimal Trace now offers support for Oracle 11g release 1 ( If upgrading to this version of Oracle, manually migrate your database.

Support Custom Properties during DocGen

Optimal Trace has the ability to ignore custom property errors that arise during document generation. These errors occur when custom properties in the template level and the document level do not match. In previous releases, document generation stopped when it encountered errors. In this release, users have the option to ignore the errors in order to proceed with the documentation generation process. Users can then view the errors and trace their location to the corresponding table. An empty token appears in the document where the error occurred.

Column Width Retention

Optimal Trace retains column widths within both Simple and Structured requirements and between packages. Users can now easily navigate between requirements and packages assured that their width changes will remain intact.

Tree-View Report

Optimal Trace provides a new HTML report to its report lineup. The Tree View Report outputs your project with requirements and packages nested in a tree. The actors, glossary, notes, links, NFRs, and details are accessible through links on the left side of the report.

Additional Project Information when Opening a Project

The Project Name, Project Creator, Project Created On Date, and Project Last Modified Date display when opening a project. Users can sort these columns to ease their search for specific projects. Additionally, when hovering over a specific project, the project description displays.

Technical Notes  back to top

This section includes technical information that may affect how you use the product.

Document Generation Performance Tips

When generating documentation for very large projects, the generation performance can be dramatically improved (up to 50% with standard MS Office configurations) by adjusting the priority settings for Optimal Trace and Microsoft Word within the Windows task manager.

Locate the Optimal Trace and Word processes, called Optimal Trace  and Winword respectively. To adjust the priority, right click on each process and choose Set Priority. Set the priority to high for each process.

Setting the priorities to high will prevent other running applications from getting CPU time and you are effectively prevented from interacting with your machine until generation is finished. When generation is complete, be sure to reset the priorities back to normal.

Document Generation General Tips

The following settings can be set that can solve issues appearing when dealing with Word document generation.

Security settings

The Word generation in Optimal Trace Professional relies on macros, which are embedded in word. If your security settings are set to high this will prevent generation. Ensure that the security setting is at low.

Spurious WinWord processes

In many cases where issues are encountered, these can be traced back to rogue Word processes that have not been shut down. Ensure that all such processes are shut down prior to document generation. To see how many 'WinWord' processes you have currently running look at the 'Processes' tab in the Task Manager. For each process right click on it and hit the 'End Process' option.

Failed Word Document Updates

In cases where updates to word documents are failing, this can be isolated to a setting in word associated with background saves. If you see problems, try un-checking this option in Word. For example, to do this in Word 2003 go to the Tools>Options menu and select the 'save' tab, then uncheck the 'Allow Background Saves' setting. For other versions of Word, refer to the Word help within the Microsoft product.

Decreasing Document Size

One way to decrease the size of a document is to remove all the hidden Optimal Trace text. Note that when you do this, you will no longer be able to update or reverse that documents, and re-generating the document will result in all the hidden text being re-inserted. To remove all hidden text in a document, do the following:

  1. Navigate to the top of the document, and select the Edit/Replace menu option.
  2. Make sure that both the Find and Replace fields are empty.
  3. Click More.
  4. Click Format/Font. The Find Font dialog box appears.
  5. Click Hidden once, turning it from grey to black.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click Replace All.

Optimal Trace Performance Tips

The following are performance tips to help Optimal Trace scale for large projects:

Turn off Activity Diagram Name
  1. Open '' file that shipped in the Optimal Trace installation directory
  2. Change the setting: displayFlowDiagramName to be 'false'
Use 'Show Current Package Contents' option in the Requirements Map
  1. Right click on the Requirement Map in a Project
  2. Make sure that the 'Show Current Package Contents' is selected.

Use of Packages

We recommend that you use a package approach and have a max of 15-20 requirements in each.

Known Issues  back to top

This section describes known issues related to the current release of Optimal Trace. 

Documentation Issues

The following are changes to the Optimal Trace Installation and Configuration guide:

In sections 10.2, 11.2, 12.2, the documentation mentions that the password for the OptimalTrace user is password.  The correct password is otpassword.

In section 11.2, one of the bullet points for the UTF Oracle settings lists AL32UTF8.  It should be UTF8.  The bullet point should read:

Control # Description

Inconsistent error message when cancelling word document generation and Word may crash: Depending on when you interrupt the document generation process, you may receive a COM exception returned from Microsoft Word and Word may crash.

Workaround: Ignore the exception from Microsoft Word, Optimal Trace Enterprise continues as normal. You may additionally need to stop the winword.exe process in Task Manager.


Document generation and form protected style template: When using a Microsoft form document as a style template for a document generation profile, Optimal Trace will not generate the document if the form is protected.

Workaround: Do not protect the style template form before generating.


Links don't work in generated document: If generating a form-based profile (e.g. Default Form), links in the document (e.g. Table of Contents, hyperlinks, etc) do not work.

Workaround: This is a known feature of Word forms. These links will not work if the document is protected. To allow working links, do not protect the form. Deselect the Protect Form toolbar button.


Incorrect macro security settings in Word can lead to application error: If generating a document from Optimal Trace and an exception occurs, ensure that the security settings in Word are set to Low.

Workaround: In Word ensure that the security optin is set to low. For example, in Word 2003 choose the Tools>Macro>Security Settings. The Security Settings dialog box appears. Ensure that the option is set to Low. For other versions of Word, refer to the Word help within the Microsoft product.


Change History changes do not get included as part of a document update: Optimal Trace was designed to not include any Change History additions as part of a document update if that profile has a Change History element.

Workaround: Generate either a standalone Change History document or re-generate your document from scratch to see all the Change History entries.


Out of Memory Errors while generating HTML or Image Maps from large Projects: Generating Image Maps from large Projects is very memory intensive. If you repeatedly generate the 'Full Project' HTML Report with a large Project you will eventually get an Out of Memory Error. The same can happen if you repeatedly 'Save Image' for a very large Project.

Workaround: Try and limit generating HTML for large Projects or Image Saving to once per Optimal Trace session. If you do get an Out of Memory error, restart Optimal Trace and re-try generating HTML or Save Image once again.


Orphaned Branch or Refinement in the Requirements Map: In certain rare situations a line representing a Branch or Refinement may get duplicated resulting in an orphaned line remaining on the graph. This line has no connection to any Requirements or Steps and as such will not result in any errors or corruption of projects, but may prove an annoyance.

Workaround: You need to open a new window (Window -> New Window) and close the original window and continue as normal.


Cannot add form fields to non-form document profiles: If you attempt to add form fields to a non-form document profile, Optimal Trace may not be able to reverse or update the profile.

Workaround: Avoid using form fields in non-form based profiles. It's perfectly ok to add custom fields to form based profiles, but just don't mix the two.


Table of contents page numbers can be incorrect: Sometime after updating or reversing a document, you may notice that the page numbers in the table of contents to not correlate correctly to the document content.

Workaround: This behaviour seems to be related to the large amount of hidden text that Optimal Trace documents contain. Removing all the hidden text can help here (but you will no longer be able to update or reverse the document). See the Document Generation: General Tips section below for details on how to remove all the hidden text in a document.


Document Generation will fail if you use 'xxxxx' as a Requirement name: 'xxxxx' is a reserved word used internally by Optimal Trace document generation, and if you use it as a Requirement name in your Project, document generation will fail.

Workaround: Avoid using 'xxxxx' as a Requirement name.


Type of images generated during Report generation: It should be noted that the style of images generated during Report generation (using the 'Default HTML' report for example) all depend on what 'graph display option' is selected in the application.

Workaround: You can vary the images by right clicking on the Requirement Map and changing the Package display style.


Type of images generated during Report generation: It should be noted that the style of images generated during Report generation (using the 'Default HTML' report for example) all depend on what 'graph display option' is selected in the application.

Workaround: You can vary the images by right clicking on the Requirement Map and changing the Package display style.


'Hide Steps' option can cause instability when moving Steps: under certain circumstances, using the 'Hide Steps' Requirement option along with moving Steps can cause Optimal Trace to crash.

Workaround: try and avoid using the 'Hide Step' Requirement options.


Using the Change History in a Report: By default, the Project Change History is not passed to the Velocity Report generation engine. This is for performance reasons.

Workaround: to use the Change History from a new Report, change the 'passChangeHistoryToReportGenTemplates=No' setting in '' (located in the Optimal Trace installation directory) to 'passChangeHistoryToReportGenTemplates=Yes'.


Problems with 'Create Reserved Area' menu option in Word: To begin with, it's recommended to display hidden text before using this feature (Optimal Trace->Toggle Hidden Tags). This is because the caret may not be at the correct position, even though it looks fine without the hidden text on screen. What can happen, for instance, is that the Reserved Area gets inserted into the middle of another XML tag, which destroys the document's structure.

Workaround: In any event, most of the time Reserved Areas are unnecessary, as it is possible to insert text as-is into almost all areas of the document without needing any "wrapping". Reserved areas are mainly needed for the characters '<' ,'&', or similar input that would interfere with the document's XML structure.

The best approach is the following:

1.      Turn on hidden text

2.      Insert your new content as-is, at the correct caret position

3.      Save and close the document

4.      Try reversing the document into the corresponding Optimal Trace project. If any XML parse errors are flagged, click on the error location '...' button and wrap the offending text in a Reserved section.  This will presumably be the new content you have just entered. 

5.      If no errors were reported by the import process, then everything should be fine. You can either cancel or continue the merge process, as you like.


Problems with 'Replace IDs and Names' menu option in Word: Indiscriminate use of this feature can cause problems and leave the document in an invalid state, so use it with caution.

Workaround: The following is recommended:

1.      Make a backup of the document before doing any advanced editing along these lines.

2.      Turn on hidden text.

3.      Carefully select the area that needs updating. Make sure that any ID strings (usually at the start of a section) that you wish to update are included in the selection.

4.      It will help to clarify exactly what 'Replace IDs and Names' does. It updates the IDs and names of any objects it detects in it's selection.  However it does not update the IDs of other objects that these objects refer to. So for instance, if you copy and paste a refinement, then selected the newly pasted area and click 'Replace IDs and Names', this new refinement will receive a fresh name and ID. However, it's source StepId and destination Requirement ID will not be updated. Therefore there will be 2 refinements starting from the same step and refining to the same Requirement, which is illegal.  This will show up as an error when this document is reversed into Optimal Trace. In this and similar situations, further manual editing of the document is necessary after 'Replace IDs and Names' has been run.

5.      Replace IDs and Names also corrects the Step Position numbers on any Step tables it finds. This is a convenience for the user as manually fixing Step Position numbers can be time-consuming.


Problems with 'Duplicate current row' menu option in Word: This menu item will duplicate the current row the caret is positioned on (e.g. a Step in a Scenario Table). You cannot use this feature to add a new step to an empty table, there must be one already there for it to copy. The duplicated item will get a fresh name and ID, and if it's a Step, any affected Step position numbers will be updated. However it will not update any other properties of the duplicated object, so sometimes further manual editing is necessary.


1.      Turn on hidden text and navigate to a branch table (which is hidden by default).

2.      Place the caret on a particular branch and select 'Duplicate Current Row'

3.      Select 'Toggle Hidden Tags' again as this macro turns off hidden text.

4.      The new branch will have a new name and ID, but the IDs of it's source and destination Steps will remain the same.   Therefore you now have 2 branches coming from the same Step and branching to the same Step, which is illegal. This will show up as an error when the document is reversed.

5.      The new branch will have to manually edited to correctly contain whatever sourceID and DestinationID are required.


Problems with manually setting tags to hidden in Word: Sometimes, if a document is being manually edited and the editing involves changing hidden text to visible text, or vice-versa, problems can occur. A typical problem is that even though only one word was changed from non-hidden to hidden, a large amount of the document surrounding that word automatically gets changed to hidden text as well. Including important Optimal Trace data such as the ActorList, for instance. Then, when the editing is finished and 'Optimal Trace->Toggle Hidden Tags' is selected, the ActorList will appear to have disappeared, as it is now rendered in hidden text.

The reverse problem can also happen, where a quantity of previously invisible content suddenly appears. Word is trying to automatically update the underlying style in that paragraph, rather than just update the selected text.

Workaround: - firstly, the document should always be backed up before commencing manual edits, as there are many traps like this.

To get rid of the immediate bad formatting, click undo until the document has reverted to it's state before the hidden-text edit had started.

Now click Format->Style (or Format->Styles and Formatting depending on your version of Word)-

Now select the Style type of the text you were editing. Usually 'Body Text', 'Hidden', or 'Normal' but it could be any of the other types as well.  The style type of the selected text appears in the Formatting toolbar, which can be turned on under Tools->Customize->Toolbars.-

When the correct style type has been selected, click 'Modify...' and deselect the 'Automatically Update' checkbox.

Now it should be possible to change the text from hidden to non-hidden in safety. This problem typically occurs when some of the hidden XML tags in a generated document have been accidentally damaged, and the user is fixing the errors manually.


Problem with validating a Skeleton Document that is already open: If your editing a Skeleton Document in Word, and you validate it in Optimal Trace (from the Document Settings screen), you risk loosing work as Word does not let you save and continue properly.

Workaround: avoid validating a Skeleton Document and editing it at the same time.


Print Preview for Optimal Trace Documents shows hidden text.

Workaround: In Word, ensure that Hidden Text is not selected. For example, in Word 2003 go to Tools/Options/Print and ensure 'Hidden Text' is unchecked. For other versions of Word, refer to the Word help within the Microsoft product.


Problem copying locked Elements in Optimal Trace: copying/pasting Optimal Trace Elements that are locked by another user may cause problem in Optimal Trace under certain conditions.

Workaround: try to avoid copying/pasting locked Optimal Trace Elements.


Canceling some actions in Optimal Trace does not release locks: if you do something in a dialog in Optimal Trace (e.g. move a Requirement) and then cancel the action, the objects in question will still remain locked by Optimal Trace.

Workaround: save your project to release the locks.


Document Generation Custom Property restrictions:

1.  Custom Properties have to be contained in a table, they are bound to tables.

2.  Custom Properties are either row-or column based and again this is statically bound. You can't change your Step Custom Properties from column type to row type by editing the skeleton doc, for instance.

3.  Custom Property Template details (name, Id etc) have to appear before the corresponding Custom Properties in the skeleton doc. So you can't put your Custom Property name on the right of a row (if it's row-based), it has to appear to the left.

4.  Column-type Custom Properties can't appear in the leftmost column. There are no restrictions on row type Custom Properties.


Document Generation Profiles cannot contain the same Element data twice:

E.g. in a Document Profile, you cannot have a Requirement 'Description' repeated twice anywhere in the profile.

Workaround: there is no workaround for this.


Document Generation cannot reverse '...' values: '...' is a reserved word of sorts in reversing a document, any valid values of '...' will cause invalid conflicts in the Merge Tool.

Workaround: try avoiding using the value '...' in your data.


Can't Auto-Generate a document if any Project Element has more than 13 Custom Properties: if you attempt to generate a document, where a Project Element has more than 13 Custom Properties, you will receive the following error message from Word:

"Internal error: Error code: 0x800403e8

Error description: Unable to automatically add and format Custom Property..."

Workaround: This is a Word restriction, however it is possible to create a Custom Profile with more than 13 fields ok.


No locally locked icons when pasting/redoing: no locally locked icons appear in Optimal Trace in certain situations, e.g. if you undo a Requirement delete, or if you paste a Requirement.

Workaround: there is no workaround.


Uninstall fully removes URI registry keys: If you uninstall Optimal Trace, it fully cleans up the windows registry. However, if you have a previous installation of Optimal Trace (or an installation of Optimal Trace Professional), the URI's will stop working. This is because the newer uninstall would of removed the 'Optimal Trace' URI setting.

Workaround: To re-register the 'Optimal Trace' URI setting in the registry, it is necessary to re-install the older version of Optimal Trace.


Cannot split Custom Properties in Document Generation: Note that you cannot split up Custom Properties in a generated document, i.e. you can't have property values spread across different tables.

Workaround: There is no workaround for this, it is by design.


Spell Check does not check Custom Property Templates: Spell Check will only check Custom Property Templates (i.e. the Custom Property Names, Definition, Default Value, etc) of a Package if that Package is not shared and there exists an element in that Package that has contains those custom properties.


Workaround: If you find this happening, create an element in the parent Package which is not being shared, and run Spell Check again. This will correct all sub Packages which are sharing with the parent Package.

Contacting Compuware Customer Support  back to top

Compuware Customer Support can assist you with all your technical problems, from installation to troubleshooting.

Before Contacting Customer Support

Prior to contacting customer support, gather the following information:



FrontLine Support Web Site

Refer to Compuware's Frontline support web site for fast access to critical information about your QACenter product. You can read and print documentation, download product fixes, review frequently asked questions, or directly e-mail Compuware with questions or comments. The first time you access FrontLine, you are required to register and obtain a password.

Compuware Corporate Web Site

Refer to Compuware's corporate web site at for information about Compuware customer support policies and problem resolution process.


Customer Support
Compuware Corporation
One Campus Martius
Detroit, MI 48226-5099


End of Optimal Trace Release Notes
(C) 2008 Compuware Corporation. All rights reserved. Unpublished rights reserved under the Copyright Laws of the United States.