ReqIF requirements format

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ReqIF requirements format

2 min read
last updated: 12/09/2023

RIF/ReqIF (Requirements Interchange Format) is an XML file format suitable for lossless exchange of requirements in any industry. The old way of transmitting requirements were lossy like Office Documents, PDF or Spreadsheets, ReqIF offers solutions to keep the data integrity through the supply-chain.

It is used to exchange requirements, along with its associated metadata, between software tools from different vendors. ReqIF keeps the data integrity of requirements, attributes, additional files (e.g. images) through the supply-chain. ReqIF format also defines a workflow for transmitting the status of requirements between partners. Each object is uniquely identified by GUID (globally unique identifier inside a RIF / ReqIF file), ensures unique content across the data exchange processes.

The interchange standard

Main players of the automotive industry in Germany agreed to conform to the RIF/ReqIF joint standard, initially developed by HIS Group, ProSTEP iViP, now maintained by OMG. (Object Management Group)


In 2004, HIS (Herstellerinitiative Software) a consortium of German automotive manufacturers, defined a generic requirements interchange format called RIF.

The format was handed over in 2008 to ProSTEP iViP e.V. for further maintenance. A project group responsible for international standardization further developed the format and handed over a revised version to  Object Management Group (OMG) as “Request for Comment” in 2010.

As the acronym RIF had an ambiguous meaning within the OMG, the new name ReqIF was introduced to separate it from the W3C’s Rule Interchange Format.

In April 2011, the version 1.0.1 of ReqIF was adopted by OMG as a formal specification (OMG Document Number: formal/2011-04-02).

In October 2013, version 1.1 was published (OMG Document Number: formal/2013-10-01). Changes are restricted to the text of the standard, the XML schema and underlying model have not changed. Therefore, 1.1 and 1.0.1 .reqif files are equivalent.

In July 2016, version 1.2 was published (OMG Document Number: formal/2016-07-01). Like with the previous versions, changes are restricted to the text of the standard, the XML schema and underlying model have not changed. Therefore, 1.2, 1.1 and 1.0.1 .reqif files are equivalent.


Naming conventions and structure of ReqIF files

The Prostep iViP published a guide how to exchange with ReqIF and an implementation guide for ReqIF, where you can find detailed information how to use this file format and also about the file structure, naming convention and interchange. To read about it, click on the link:

Prostep iViP – ReqIF Recommendation

We recommend to read the chapter 2, to get an overview about the common use cases of ReqIF file exchange. Chapter 3 describes the custom attributes used in ReqIF, and chapter 4 specifies the workflow of the SRC process.

Prostep iViP – ReqIF Implementation Guide

For more technical details please look at the Prostep Implementation Guide. We recommend to study the chapter 2.1-2.3 for an overview.