Release Notes for Stages V7.4

More and more organizations develop products across different locations and time zones in international teams using several languages. To enable seamless communication, Stages 7.4 adds capabilities to concurrently model, execute, and maintain processes in multiple languages.

The new version also allows end users to see changes between process versions directly in the models and has many more user experience enhancements based on customer feedback.

The major highlight for process users is certainly the new role-centric process visualization.

Multilingual Processes

With the new version, Stages can manage the same process in different languages in a single model.

Process content can be translated side-by-side in Stages or can be exported and re-imported for automatic translation.

The processes are then displayed in the language the users have selected in their profiles. Content that is not yet translated to the desired language will be displayed in the workspace default language. This also applies to search results. This allows to translate a process step by step.

Learn more: How to manage processes in multiple languages.

Show Process Changes

Process participants are informed about updated processes via a new notification mechanism.

Process modifications are then directly visible in the process models via change markers. The markers are generated via the process comparison mechanism discussed in the next section.

Compare Process Versions

Stages users are now able to compare different processes directly in the tool. Comparison can be started on the Process main page via the Compare menu. Watch this video to see how the new comparison works:

You can compare different versions of one process as well as different processes, e.g. two process variants. For the comparison to work, both processes need to be part of the same module inheritance tree.

The changes are calculated upon first comparison and then stored, so subsequent comparisons start right away. Only if one or both versions to compare are Working Versions, the calculation will be done each time.

Valid Process Version History

As part of the process comparison mechanism, the history which process version was valid in what period is now being recorded. This history can be used to support project process audits to prove which version was valid at a specific point in time.

The validity history of each process is shown in the Managment > Process Versions menu in the Validity tab.

Role-centric process visualization

End users typically need to understand how they are expected to contribute to a complex engineering process based on their specific role. The new process diagram in the role view adds a lot more clarity to answer this question.

All activities a specific role is responsible or accountable for, contributing, consulted, or being informed about can now be shown in a single diagram. The level of detail can be controlled by the user.

The new Unified Configuration version 2.4 already contains this new diagram type out of the box, but it can also be added to custom configurations.

New process elements are sorted by creation time

Newly created process elements are now sorted by their creation time. This removes the need to manually sort phases, milestones, or activities after creating them, because those are typically ordered on a time basis rather than alphabetically.

Sorting elements alphabetically is still supported via the Sort dialog.

Use description templates

Descriptions for processes, roles, or metrics typically should follow a certain structure. For example, a role description should contain the necessary skills and authorities that a person fulfilling the role needs to possess.

To make it easier to follow this structure, description templates can now be defined via Management > Descriptions and used via a new editor menu.

If you are using a process architecture with a common process module like “Common Elements”, that module would be the ideal place for them. This way the templates are are available in all workspaces where processes are defined, which makes your process landscape more consistent and complete.

Details: Use Description Templates

Jump to headings in descriptions

Process modellers can set anchors before headings and other parts of element descriptions. When creating links to those elements, you can now select the exact anchor the link should go to.

In this way process viewers can jump quickly to the currently needed parts of the information.

Create new files from templates

New work product files can be created directly from the provided templates. This reduces effort, especially for recurring tasks, for example for creating review protocols. Watch the video to see how this is done:

User experience enhancements

Based on customer feedback, a number of user experience enhancements have been made. For example, the left-side navigation and description boxes can now be folded away to provide more screen space for process content:

Other improvements are:

  • Tabs can now be easier recognized
  • Colors have been optimized for better readability
  • Left side process navigation has been optimized for better readability
  • Search results layout has been optimized
  • Large groups of tailoring dependencies can now be defined more efficiently via group operations

Integration with Sharepoint Online

Repositories for project work products, templates, checklists, and other files in Sharepoint Online can now also be directly used in Stages.

See here for more information how to configure and use them.

Jira Feedback now supports access via API gateways

If your Jira instance is accessible via an API gateway, Stages can now make use of this gateway. This allows using authentication protocols like OAuth2, which is not yet natively supported by Jira directly.

Details: Process feedback in Jira.

Other Enhancements and Changes

Process elements belonging to a process module that are moved within a target workspace now remain in their new location when the process module is being updated. This way, the hierarchy of a process module can be adjusted in a target workspace. If an element hierarchy was changed in the source module, the change will still be propagated to the target.

Compliance mappings of processes against one version of a reference model can now be automatically transferred to a newer reference model version by executing the transferMappings script on the server. This allows customers that have mapped their processes against Automotive SPICE 2.5 and ISO 26262:2011 to easily upgrade them to Automotive SPICE 3.1 and ISO 26262:2018.

Added Privileges for Project Manager and Viewer License Types

Users assigned to Project Manager licenses can now be allowed to create new process versions and release those versions as valid. Of course, the access to those features is still only possible if the respective permissions are granted. This way, experienced project managers can now be empowered to perform the full process lifecycle by themselves without requiring support from users with Modeler licenses:

  • Select process modules
  • Tailor the processes through the tailoring assistant
  • Perform manual tailoring optimizations
  • Create a process version
  • Release it as valid for the process participants in the project

Users with Viewer licenses can now also see compliance mappings. To enable, add a read permission with domain “Compliance” to the respective user group.

New Permission Domains

  • Feedback: provide process feedback in Jira (previously controlled through the Comments permission domain)

Mandatory Manual Upgrade Steps for Version 7.4

These actions need to be executed after upgrading to Stages 7.4 from previous Stages 7 versions:

  • Custom implementations of the de.methodpark.stages.fileservice.preset.logic.Suggestor need to be recompiled against this Stages version.
  • Custom implementation of Check Readiness validators may need to be adjusted and recompiled against this Stages version.
  • To see process modifications via process comparison also in the process diagrams, the diagram scripts must be enhanced.
  • For the notification about new valid versions, a notification widget needs to be added to the process start page.
  • To see the new Role-centric process diagram, a new diagram script must be added.

The new Unified Configuration version 2.4 already contains those updates.

To update your Stages configuration to Unified Configuration V2.4, or to enhance your customized metamodel to use these new features, please contact your Stages Product Consultant or

Adapt the server.xml

The Context definition in “conf/server.xml” has to be adjusted. The following Context tag in server.xml

<Context path="/stages" ...>

has to be extended to contain the following new parameter tag:

<Context path="/stages" ...>
  <Parameter name="javamelody.quartz-default-listener-disabled" value="true" override="false"/>

Finally run the Stages update script:

  • Stop the Stages service
  • Execute the update script:
    • Windows: “…\stages\bin\update.bat
    • Linux: “…/stages/bin/
  • Restart the Stages service

Known Issues

When a monolingual workspace is made multilingual, the workspace language shall be set to the current language of the process content. Otherwise original element descriptions could be accidently overwritten on editing if element descriptions are edited in the new workspace language.

ST-31396: If only OpenJDK is installed under Windows but not Oracle JDK, the Stages installation fails because the expected registry keys are not there.