Adopt Rational Team Concert (RTC) and RTC Enterprise Extensions (RTC EE) faster and better (Part 2/2)

April 8, 2014

This is the second article of series of two dedicated to Enterprise tooling adoption. In the first article, we’ve discussed some core concepts and results borrowed from social psychology field. We’ve noted how familiarity with a new tool is important to minimize resistance to adoption.

In this second article, we provide some supporting material depicting how to keep the right focus when adopting some new Enterprise tooling. First from a general stand-point and then for the specific adoption of:

These latter ones should be seen as extra layers coming on top of the initial layer of Enterprise tooling adoption.

Choice of a radar screen presentation…

The radar screen format is self-explanatory and introduces the intuitive idea of refining cycles and continuous improvement. Which is exactly how adoption should be conducted, i.e. each of the points on the radar should be reviewed on a regular basis.

Intent for me is not to comment on each item of these charts (*) but rather let them “as is”. For now, this rather comes as a “big picture” that you may find of a good support when either discussing with your local IBM team or business partner or when preparing the next steps for making adoption at your company progress.

(*): that would be done in a live meeting between yourself and a subject matter expert (from IBM or a Business Partner).

Note: If you’re looking for something more prescriptive on how to deploy RTC/CLM, please check the Reference links below.

… and how to use it.

Before deployment, you should wonder if there is an action plan against each of the points on your radar. If yes, what will be the impact of each action plan on the resistance to change (R.T.C) ? If no, what will be the impact of this lack on the R.T.C. ?

During deployment, you can make a retrospective of the impact of your actions plans on the R.T.C.

At the end of each deployment iteration, you should perform a retrospective to identify what actions were the most effective for reducing R.T.C.

1. Adoption of Enterprise tooling: radar screen for success

EnterpriseToolingAdoption

Click to enlarge

Order of adoption: RTC or RTC EE first ?

Shall you start adopting RTC in your distributed or in your mainframe teams ?–> A sound approach is to start with the most critical to you !

2. Adoption of RTC: radar screen for success

RTCAdoption

Click to enlarge

3. Adoption of RTC EE: radar screen for success

RTCEEAdoption

Click to enlarge

References:

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Simon Washbrook for his review and always useful remarks.


RTC EE deployment: where distributed and mainframe developers can work in the same place !

February 19, 2014

Last month, along with my colleague Tim Wilson, I met with a couple of customers in China. I wrote a previous blog post based on this business trip that recalled the importance of using the right terminology for the tool adoption.

Customer under the impression that distributed and mainframe teams required separate CLM / RTC servers (i.e. JTS)

During a discussion with another customer, it came up that the person in charge of SCM administration (for distributed)  was under the impression that distributed and mainframe teams required separate CLM / RTC servers (i.e. JTS).

Since the tool itself does not impose such separation, I made the point this would rather be an organizational decision rather than a technical one. I felt like this was pretty new to the customer.

MainframeDistributedTogether

To clarify things, I initiated a blackboard session to highlight the different options wrt. the deployment topologies, their advantages as well as their implications for the future. Some core messages were:

  • The RTC server(s) can run on a various environments (including Windows, Linux, AIX, Unix, zLinux, z/OS, IBMi, etc.).
  • The fact that RTC EE is used for developing for z/OS does NOT imply that the RTC server shall run on z/OS. This was already stressed in other resources from IBM colleagues,
  • You have the options of using a single JTS or separate JTSes. In both cases, you can associate multiple CCM instances to your JTS(es). Choices should be guided either based on performance considerations or, again, on organizational considerations.
  • When considering options for using multiple JTSes:
    • It’s very important to note that, once separated, they could NOT be merged later.
    • Two separate servers require doubled effort for administration, upgrade, etc.
    • The reporting tools should be adapted accordingly (e.g. Insight/RPE instead of RRDI/RRDG)

At the end, the customer could have a better understanding of the CLM/RTC EE deployment options for his organization.

For the little story, in this customer situation, SCM administrators for both distributed and mainframe developments were supposed to meet with each others after our visit to discuss the best deployment option. Yet another good effect of ‘Enterprise Modernization’  brought by the adoption of the RTC EE tooling !

Note: in this article, I insisted on some aspects of RTC/CLM deployment. For a complete picture, the Deployment wiki is definitely a good read.


CLM,RTC,RQM,RRC/RDNG: recommendations and “educated guesses” for limitations

September 5, 2013

As part of the Jumpstart team, I help our customers in their CLM adoption and deployments. Customers raise questions on the sizing of their CLM environment, the topologies to adopt, etc. The questions I hear most often are:

  • How many users (total or concurrent) can my CLM environment support ?
  • RTC rollout at our company is close to reach a second milestone (additional teams will use the tool). What planning (HW/SW) should we have wrt. these modifications?
  • We have this huge number of CLM (RTC/RQM/RRC-RDNG) artefacts. Will my CLM environment still handle this without any performance degradation as we continue adding artefacts into our repository ?
  • What are the intrinsic CLM product limitations and – if one is concerning me – what approach should I adopt to keep on working smoothly with my CLM ?
  • etc.

First of all, depending on the CLM version you’re running, central places to check are the CLM 2011 Sizing Guide and the CLM 2012 Sizing Guide which include an “Artifact Sizing Guidelines” section summarizing “the recommendations on artifact sizing that will ensure optimal performance of the repository when the data sizes increase significantly“.

Foreword to the reader:

  • This post follows the “cheat sheet/how to” format I’ve used in earlier posts for CLM Reporting or OSLC-related topics. As a consequence, if you’re already familiar with this post (and know exactly what you’re looking for), you may want to navigate directly to the tables: JTS tableRTC tableRQM tableRRC/RDNG table.
  • If you’re interested by a similar content for Enterprise Modernization products (i.e. RTC EE, RDz, RD&T, RAA, etc.)  by IBM Rational, check this dedicated blog post.

Now back to the core of this post:

Tables

Tables are provided. OK. But what do we call a Limit and an Alert zone ?

  • Quantified data: the (maximum) number of….
  • Limit: a hard limit of the product. Meaning that you cannot go beyond this value.
  • Alert zone: based on experiences with customers, internal tests and development teams, it’s around these values that we start seeing performance issues. If you’re approaching these values, we’d suggest you monitor your system closely to detect any performance degradation before it becomes critical. WARNING: while provided figures are educated guesses and practical rules of thumbs, you could still find that your environment functions perfectly beyond these limits  (e.g. if your environment is particularly fine-tuned). In a similar way,  some intense CLM usage could show that these recommended values are too optimistic…

As a consequence, it’s important to understand this post is NOT an attempt for replacing existing resources (see the References section) that provide extensive views on CLM performance and tuning topics. We encourage administrators and project managers to read them as they both include finer-grain information and insist on the key aspect of not loosing the “bigger picture”.

What’s the use of the following tables then ?

Answer: they’re here to HELP YOU quickly figure out if you’ve reached some known CLM limitation or if you’re getting close to a threshold  (again: on the basis of a typical/average environment) requiring due monitoring of your environment.  To this regard, these tables are COMPLEMENTARY with existing resources and concentrate information ALREADY available but yet disseminated on multiple medias/sites/forum posts/etc.

What if… you can’t find what you’re looking for in the following tables ?

Answer: in such case, there MAY not be soft/hard limit on it. You should check the References section at the bottom of this post and check for the latest information (esp. from the CLM sizing guides).

Ξ

JTS
Quantified data Limit Alert zone Reference(s)
Concurrent user sessions  – 400-2000+ Purple Book
Jazz user id length  – 250 bytes Jazz.net forum

Ξ

RTC 
Quantified data Limit Alert zone Reference(s)
Concurrent user sessions  –  300-500+ (per CCM instance) Purple Book
   Example: “CLM Sizing Strategy” (v4.0.6 – April 2014)  –   – 100-600 concurrent users. See report/environment details.
   Example: “Performance Report” (v5.0 – June 2014) 1200 concurrent users. See report/environment details.
Planning – Work-items
   WIs in a plan (<= v2.0) 2048 Jazz.net article
   WIs in a plan (>=v2.0.0.1)  –  250-500+ (impacts plan display time + questions ability from user to grasp several 100s of WIs in one plan) Jazz.net forumJazz.net forumPurple Book, RTC 4.0.3 Plan performance improvement
   WIs in a project area/repository  – Jazz.net forum, Jazz.net article
   WI attachment size  50 MB  If increasing this value or systematically using large attachments: be aware of the possible impact on DB growth and CLM performance in general. See how to change this value in TechNote, Jazz.net forum
   WI “Estimate” attribute  1 year  – Jazz.net forum. A  presentation-enforced limit.
   WI custom attribute length > Small String (*) 250 bytes Jazz.net article (RTC v4.0)
   WI custom attribute length > Medium String (*) 1000 bytes Jazz.net article (RTC v4.0)
   WI custom attribute length > Large String (*) 32768 bytes Jazz.net article (RTC v4.0), Enhancement 160469
   WI custom attribute length > Medium HTML (*) 1000 bytes Jazz.net article (RTC v4.0)
   WI custom attribute length > Large HTML (*) 32768 bytes Jazz.net article (RTC v4.0)
Queries
   Query results
 1000 results Jazz.net forum. Note: this default value could be increased but be aware of the possible negative impact on usability / server performance.
Planning – Timelines
   Timelines  2048  (see recommended approach in the forum post’s answer) Jazz.net forum
SCM
   Files/folders in a single component (CLM 2011)  50K (split into multiple components if required) Jazz.net forumJazz.net article
   Files/folders in a single component (CLM 2012, RTC 5.0)  100K (split into multiple components if required) Jazz.net forumJazz.net article, Jazz.net forum,
   Suspended change-sets by individual user  300 (for not slowing down operations) Jazz.net article
   Components in workspaces and streams  500 (as tested by IBM) Jazz.net article , Task 176441 (in progress)
Build
  Build definitions associated to a build engine ( < v4.0.3) 2048 TechNote
OSLC
   oslc_cm.pageSize parameter (when querying work-items) 100 Jazz.net RFEJazz.net forum

(*): text-based

Ξ

RQM
Quantified data Limit Recommendation Reference(s)
Concurrent user sessions  –  100-150+ (per QM instance) Purple Book
   Example: “CLM Sizing Strategy” (v4.0.6 – April 2014)  – 350-500 concurrent users. See report/environment details.
   Example: “Performance Report” (v5.0 – June 2014) 1000 concurrent users. See report/environment details.
TER (Test Execution Record) name length  250  – Jazz.net forum
TCERs bulk generated from test plan wizard  500 Work-around article, RQM defect, WAS maxParamPerRequest
TCERs bulk changed/removed at once tbd  tbd Jazz.net forum, Jazz.net forum, WAS maxParamPerRequest
Records in a datapool / test data 2000  – Jazz.net enhancement
Character limit: Description field of a Lab Resource 250 Jazz.net enhancement
Number of categories defined on an artifact type 50 RQM defect, RQM defect
Feed entries per page ( < 4.0.4)  512  – Jazz.net forum, RQM defect
“Large Record Count” (SQL query result set generated by OOTB BIRT reports) ( >= 4.0.5)  –  10K TechNote, Jazz.net defect
Attachment size using UI Jazz.net enhancement
Attachment size using CLI ( Command-Line Interface) ( >= 4.0)  50 Mo Jazz.net article (for how to change this default value, see the Comments section). Note: if increased, be aware of the possible negative impact on usability / server performance.
TCERs runnable off-line and at once (>=4.0) 50 4.0 InfoCenter

Ξ

RRC-DNG/RDNG
Quantified data Limit Recommendation Reference(s)
Concurrent user sessions (< v4.0.1)  200+ Purple Book
 (>= v4.0.1)  400+ Purple Book
   Example: “CLM Sizing Strategy” (v4.0.6 – April 2014) 300-400 concurrent users. See report/environment details.
   Example:  “Performance Report” (v5.0 – June 2014) 400 concurrent users. See report/environment details.
Coexistence with DM (Design Manager) on the same box (in v.4.x and v5.0.x)  Incompatible  – Jazz.net forum (related to the converter component)
Instances of RM application per JTS (<= v4.0.6) 1 4.0.3 InfoCenter, Jazz.net article, Plan Item
RM Projects per RM application / JTS  200+ Jazz.net article
Number of undos in edit mode  20 TechNote
Number of displayable links (>= v4.0.1)
  • 60 (IE7)
  • 100 (other browsers)
Jazz.net forum
Number of artifacts selectable in the Artifact view 50 Enhancement 71080, Jazz.net forum
Using ReqIF
   Imports to DNG from DOORS (>= v4.0.1)
  • 5000 modules
  • 200K objects (total)
Jazz.net article, Jazz.net forum
   max depth supported for import 3 Jazz.net forum

References:

  1. CLM 2012 Sizing Report

  2. CLM 2011 Sizing Guide
  3. Rational Team Concert (RTC) 2.0 sizing guide
  4. Rational Team Concert 4.x sizing report for z/OS

  5. The Deployment wiki
  6. Jazz Performance: A Guide to Better Performance” by D. Toczala (Feb 2013). A.k.a the “Purple Book
  7. Sizing and tuning guide for RDNG (Rational DOORS Next Generation) 5.0

Acknowledment/Credit: thanks to the authors of the cited documents above and more generally to the Jazz community who collaboratively provides accurate information through library articles, forums questions & answer, etc..


How to best use RRDI data dictionaries for CLM Reporting

August 28, 2013

In the previous post Landing page for CLM Reporting with RRDI or Insight, I recapped on the CLM reporting uses cases options:

  • Check/Use the Out-of-the-box reports
  • Author your own reports

Links on both OOTB reports and RRDI CLM applications dictionaries for multiple versions were provided and chosen concise presentation  received positive feedback.

A feedback I recently heard about was that our customers could sometimes miss the information on how to best use these data dictionaries.

This is actually a NON gap since the CLM Information Center provides such information HERE.

ReportingDataDictionnaryFrom4.xInfoCenter

I recommend you read this topic so that you get a clear understanding of how to use RRDI data dictionaries.

Don’t miss this useful information !

Acknowledgment: thanks to Amanda Brijpaul, from Rational User Technologies team, for pointing me this important resource.


Jazz/CLM ETLs performances: a view on release-to-release comparisons

August 1, 2013

Recently, I’ve had a deeper look at ETLs performances. This topic is sensible to our customer as full ETL load could last up to several days !

Based on work-items tracking activity and interactions with our development, support team and performance teams, I came up with a personal summary. I found it interesting to be shared with Jazz/CLM Administrators to get up to speed on performance of such ETLs.

Firstly, let’s start with the existing and customer-oriented information:

ETLs performance comparison between CLM versions 3.0.1.2 and 4.0.

Available in article “Rational solution for CLM 4.0 “Extract, Transform, and Load” Performance Report“.

It’s considering the “D1” topology (note: the article is little bit misleading as the provided URL link points directly… to the “E1” / Enterprise topology. I have notified the authors already).

A simplified summary (which should not prevent you from reading the full outcome of the ETL comparison) follows:

  • RTC ETLs: stable performance
  • RQM ETLs: 20% performance degradation (expected by dev team)
  • RM DM ETLs: significant improvement
  • Star ETL: no major issue

Secondly, let’s continue with the information provided for advanced readers

ETLs performance comparison between CLM versions 4.0.2 and 4.0.3

Available in [Plan Item 248546] “Ensure no ETL performance regressions are found when comparing CLM 2012 Mod 3 ETLs to 4.0.2“.

It’s again considering the “D1” topology.

Status (as for Aug. 1st, 2013) is “Done”. Navigating to the latest comments of the Discussion tab will show you available Excel spreadsheets (Java ETLs for RRDI, DM ETLs for Insight)  .

Finally, mentioning the plans for improving subsequent ETLs performance comparisons:

ETLs performance comparisons for forthcoming 4.x versions

Performance team have plans (be aware that plans are subject to change) to:

  • publish some automated ETL tests for later minor version of CLM 4.x
  • improve the analysis of performance data from the ETLs.

The related WIs are listed below:

Also citing some material of interest (but to a lesser extent from a customer perspective as these resources are part of the Jazz development wiki) as well:

Note: be aware the previous resources are subject to the following statement: “Any performance data contained herein was determined in a controlled environment. Therefore, the results obtained in other operating environments may vary significantly“.

Finally, mentioning some related information (captured in the Deployment wiki)

…. and recalling a basic statement

If you’re concerned that the ETLs performances may have degraded after a particular CLM upgrade, you would need to keep in mind the amount of RTC WIs, RQM test cases, RRC artefacts, etc. has certainly increased since you last run a full ETLs load. This remark for avoiding comparing apples and oranges…


CLM 4.0 Enterprise Deployment tasks: Oracle DB, proxy, IHS, SSO setup and RRDI configuration

June 27, 2013

Sometimes it can get difficult to narrow down all pieces of information you need to perform some specific administrative task on your CLM/RTC/RQM/RQM/DM environment.

As part of the Jumpstart team, I regularly provide guidance to customers in the CLM area covering RTC, RQM, Enterprise deployments, upgrades, customizations, OSLC and Reporting. As questions about CLM Administration and Reporting show up frequently, I use to collect and keep preciously links I can refer to later with customers. Until very recently, my personal “Top 3” included the following resources:

Until… I found out that Rational Support had provided very useful videos in the CLM 4.0.1 Education Assistant

RRDI configuration
Prepare Linux libraries for RRDI (9 min video)
Install RRDI software (4 min video)
Create an Oracle database for the RRDI content store (9 min video)
Install Oracle 32-bit client software for RRDI (6 min video )
Configure Oracle client environment for RRDI (9 min video)
Preparation for RRDI setup process (7 min video)
Run RRDI setup wizard (9 min video)

 []

WebSphere and IBM HTTP Server configuration
Public URI and host file configurations (3 min video)
Install IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) Network Deployment (ND) (8 min video)
IBM HTTP Server (IHS) configuration and self-signed SSL certificate (8 min video)
Setup the IBM HTTP Server (IHS) admin server (6 min video )
Application server profile creation (8 min video)
Setup WebSphere Application Server (WAS) global security (11 min video)
Setup HTTP server proxy on RRDI application server instance (20 min video)
Add a second application server profile to the HTTP server proxy (19 min video)
Add a third application server profile to the HTTP server proxy (8 min video)

[]

CLM Solution Configuration
Oracle database user and table space creation (5 min video)
Configure profile JVM properties to support CLM WAR files (9 min video)
Deploy the CLM WAR files to the first server (6 min video)
Update the CLM server plug-in with the profile XML file changes (6 min video )
Virtual frame buffer requirement and creation for Linux Requirements Management Converter (4 min video)
Configure profile JVM properties and deploy CLM WAR files to second server (8 min video)
Configure Single Sign On (SSO) with HTTP server and WebSphere topology (5 min video)
Run Jazz Team Server (JTS) setup wizard (17 min video)

This is my new “Top 4” I wish I had complete a little earlier.

Thanks to Rational support  for providing these videos. Hope this blog will (modestly) provide the additional visibility this useful material deserves.

Note 1: while the title page of the Education assistant states it’s for “IBM Rational Quality Manager“, this content is more largely applicable (to RTC, RRC, etc.)

Note 2: updates for 4.0.1+ versions are not available at this time AFAIK.


A RQM usage anti-pattern: multiplying test scripts associated to a test case

May 22, 2013

During discussions with customers who start using Rational Quality Manager,  I sometimes get the following questions:

I’ve associated MULTIPLE test scripts to my test cases. Now when I execute them, the LAST execution status returned when selecting a specific test script OVERRIDES previous execution status (with a different test script associated).

Seems like RQM is “loosing” previous execution status each time !  This is a bug, right ?

Actually no, this behavior is NOT weird. You need to get the logic of the RQM tool wrt the semantic of the relationship between test cases and test scripts.

RQM-TestCaseTestScript-nm-Linking

Let’s recap it here :

  • A Test Case answers the question : “what am I going to test ?” It defines the things you need to validate to ensure the system is working correctly and is written to be environment-agnostic.
  • As sketched in the model above, you could have AS MANY test scripts associated to a test case than desired…

BUT there are some best practices associated to this model. You can have multiple test scripts associated to a test case provided each test script tests the SAME functionality. This would typically be the case for:

  • Running a test case in different test environments (thus implying non identical steps).
  • When you have a manual test script and a robotic test script (e.g. RPT, RFT, Selenium, etc.)

Once this basis is stated, customer figure out they have followed a RQM anti-pattern which needs to be fixed.

While the solution to adopt is very dependent on the customer context, a possible remediation includes a refactoring work through the splitting of the test case content into several test cases, the merging of the multiple test scripts into a single test script (provided this doesn’t create an ugly monolithic test piece), etc.

Question: for running a test case in different test environments (not an anti-pattern), where shall the choice of the test script be done ?

RQM-2TCERS-2TestScripts

Answer:

  • As an example, above snapshot presents the TCER section of the test case TC01.
  • It includes 2 TCERs (which were generated for 2 different test environments: TC01_Chrome… and TC01_Firefox…). Test script Script for Chrome addresses TC01_Chrome… environment and Test script Script for Firefox addresses TC01_Firefox… environment.

CLM Reporting: a landing page for RRDI or Insight

May 6, 2013

As part of Jumpstart team, I found myself answering customer questions about the reporting capabilities in CLM. As a result of this, last year, I’ve consolidated and shared information/guidance on the subject through a MindMap (see blog post: “Get things clear about the CLM 2012 reporting capabilities“). Some of our customers provided me with great feedback (which is still welcome BTW !).

As an assiduous reader of Jazz.net forum, I see that questions like the following are common:

I want to create a RTC/RRC/RTC/CLM report with this information plus this other information….  how should I proceed ?“.

Say 90% of the time, a pragmatical 1st answer advise users to check the existing/OOTB reports available in CLM. Then, say in half of the cases, directions for creating custom reports are provided. Just like if it was a pattern…

RRDI-Insight-LandingPage

It’s important to note that pretty much ALL the information exists ALREADY (in the CLM InfoCenter, the Jazz.net/DevWorks articles and wikis, etc.). The kind of gap this blog post aims at filling is a landing page providing a useful answer to the pattern described above. It shall present key information for both:

with the following characteristics:

  • Content shall indifferently cover release versions: CLM 2012, CLM 2011.
  • Format may be not a (Mind)Map. As some users revealed to me they could be reluctant to this format. Not to change my mind on this… Just adopting people’s preferred communication channels. I’ve chosen a table format this time.

Let’s go for now…

1) List the Out-of-the-box reports

All reports [Wiki] OOTB Reports (also incl. BIRT/RRDG-based reports)
Reports by domain
(in progress) CLM InfoCenter CLM 2012/4.0 InfoCenter CLM 2011/3.0.1 InfoCenter
RTC/CCM (*) RTC/CCM (*) RTC/CCM (*)
RQM/QM RQM/QM RQM/QM
RRC/RM (*) RRC/RM (*) RRC/RM (*)

(*): see “Table 2” in the referenced page.

2) Author your own reports

Data models [Wiki] CLM Framework Manager Data Model Details
Dictionaries
(in progress) CLM InfoCenter CLM 2012/4.0 InfoCenter CLM 2011/3.0.1 InfoCenter
RTC dictionary RTC dictionary RTC dictionary
RQM dictionary RQM dictionary RQM dictionary
RRC dictionary RRC dictionary RRC dictionary
Data warehouse metrics
(in progress) CLM InfoCenter CLM 2012/4.0 InfoCenter
Data warehouse metrics populated by CLM application data Data warehouse metrics populated by CLM application data
 “How To”s
[CLM 4.0 InfoCenter]
Tutorial: “Creating reports with Query Studio
Deploying new report resources
[devWorks]
Custom reporting using work item relationship links” by M. Prout (April 2013)
[Jazz.net forum / Article]
“Display reports from Report Studio in the RTC dashboard
How to make RRDI Reports work like RTC widgets?
How can I get a custom BIRT report to show on a dashboard?
Way to export reports in report studio so they can be uploaded to another server?
How to install missing (i.e. not deployed by default) reports in RTC
[Videos]
Dozens of useful videos in “RRDI Playlist” by Rational User Education. Covers installation aspects, new features, introductions, building reports, etc.

What if some complementary information is required ?

  • For “hands-on”-oriented guidance, I’d advise to read and complete the Reporting Workshop.
  • For a selection of key resources on a broader scope  (e.g. reporting for CLM in general including document generation (RRDG, RPE), installation procedures, troubleshooting tips, etc.), have a read at this blog post (and MindMap) “Get things clear about the CLM 2012 reporting capabilities” (note: it’s updated on a regularly basis – last update as for today: May 1st, 2013).
Last updated: July 18th, 2013 (added links to Jazz.net “in progress” InfoCenter)

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