- Overview of the Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management
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- Work Item Management with IBM Rational ClearQuest and Jazz : A Customization Guide
ClearQuest allows users to see the various stored records data as reports, query results, or diagrams fed by query results. These report formats may be native, delivered with the product, but are often customized and defined with Crystal Reports. The report formats may be native, delivered with the product, but are customized and defined using BIRT.
It also exposes this data in views called Plans. Plans show the Work Items data in a format that can be used for planning and monitoring progress of sprints or iterations.
The individual Plans can be thought of as windows on the same data that just display it in a different way. The difference between reports and graphs is another example of looking at the same data, in different formats. Historical data and historical reports are built using data from the individual record histories.
In Jazz, Work Items have their own history, with comprehensive tracking of field and state changes. This data warehouse is used to provide data for all of the time-oriented reports and graphs shown in Jazz.
Overview of the Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management
So, when looking at reports on data over a period of time a burndown chart, for example , the data that you are seeing is coming from the Jazz data warehouse. So what about customization and business logic in the process? There is a rich set of API calls that will allow a schema designer the ability to perform various operations on those CQ Records and Fields.
These are exposed as a series of operational behaviors and switches that the Process Template author can modify. For those things that are not already available in the tool, Process Template authors can write Extensions in any language, with Java being the popular choice with the most examples. There is a rich API and SDK that can be interacted with, and used to manipulate Work Items and their Attributes , as well as returning user guidance and error messages.
ClearCase is a configuration management system. Customers may use it stand alone, or they may use the UCM functionality. UCM forces users to create software Components , and then creates Baselines on those components. Files being modified are Checked Out , modified, and then Checked In within the context of a View , which is a work area for development. Change Sets are built up with each of the individual changes made as part of an Activity. The individual VOBs can store artifacts in any directory structure that a user would like to use.
ClearCase supports parallel development, and when there are conflicts between versions of the same file, these are resolved using Merges. So a team member will deliver his or her changes from their own working area, called a View , to a Stream. ClearCase has a concept of a Dynamic View , which is a workspace that changes without any user intervention, based on user configured settings. ClearCase also has the concept of a Snapshot View , which is a copy based workspace, associated with the state of the repository at a point in time.
From either view type, Baselines and Change Sets may be Delivered from Stream to Stream , with any individual file Merges being detected by the system, and then resolved by the user. As Components get Change Sets applied to them, the individual Components will have Baselines essentially a label across all artifacts within the Component or VOB applied to them. In Jazz SCM there are many of the same concepts, but there are some subtle changes.
Jazz has a single repository, which stores its artifacts as REST-enabled resources. These resources are stored in a database. This is commonly referred to as the Jazz Repository. In Jazz, software is broken into software Components. These Components may contain artifacts in any type of directory structure, and parallel development is supported by use of Jazz Streams. Users working on Jazz Components will join a project, and will create their own Repository Workspace which holds copies of all of their Change Sets , as well as a personal Sandbox work area on their local machine.
As files are modified, the Jazz client will track those changes, and the user will Check In their changes. There is no concept of check out, although Jazz does support resource Locking. When a user sees changes in his or her Sandbox , they will Check In the changes, and relate them to a Change Set , which collects the individual changes and stores them in the Repository Workspace area. The user Sandbox , or Eclipse Workspace , can have its status checked at any time, with the interface indicating all potential outgoing Change Sets work the user wants to Deliver , as well as incoming Change Sets work done by other team members.
Baselines of the Components can also be created, and a collection of Baselines across multiple Components is called a Snapshot. This should not be confused with a Snapshot View in ClearCase, as the concepts are completely different. There are a number of subtle differences in the way that these systems work, and it gets reflected in how users will interact with these systems. In ClearCase, users are often encouraged to create Streams and Branches to isolate their work. Often customers will create multiple Views workspaces , with one set of changes being done in each View.
This is done so changes can be isolated from each other, and to ensure that no artificial dependencies are created between Change Sets. In Jazz, users are encouraged to perform one change at a time within their Sandbox workspace. Users working on multiple changes have a choice, they will either create multiple Sandbox and Repository Workspaces , or they will Suspend work on one Change Set , before beginning on another one.
This ability to Suspend work essentially takes all of the changes associated with a Change Set , and stores them in the Repository , so a user can Resume or reapply these changes at a later time. The Workspace is then returned to the state that it was in prior to the changes from the Change Set being applied. This helps cut down on the number of Workspaces that developers must keep track of.
Since everything is REST-based, many different types of Jazz objects can be linked to each other, providing greater flexibility in the relationships between development artifacts. When customers need wide geographic availability of their data, there are things to consider. Since Jazz is REST-based, and works via http, it can be deployed in a data center and accessed from anywhere in the world.
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Jazz also allows for the configuration of proxy servers to help speed performance for those systems that have a high load of source code and development data. This is called MultiSite. Often long time users of ClearQuest technology have created collections of stateless records, which are used to determine drop down lists presented to the user.
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Work Item Management with IBM Rational ClearQuest and Jazz : A Customization Guide
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