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.


3 Things to know for facilitating Enterprise tool adoption (emphasizing the human and change management factors) (Part 1/2)

April 4, 2014

In my recent engagements with mainframe customers (and especially with the project managers in charge of the in-house deployment of Rational tooling), I identified a common pattern where we start speaking in-house processes and numbers (of developers or teams), their IT architecture, etc. but where – at some point of time – we take a step back and start discussing how the adoption of their new Enterprise tooling went so far, how it was implemented and the possible concerns that remains.

A common pattern… and one point which needs to be emphasized.

Innovation is a fact ! As is the resistance to change by end users and the necessity to respect company policies. These are the biggest hindrances to a successful (Enterprise) modernization. To mitigate these risks, an appropriate strategy (including adoption, management of expectations, roll-out, training, etc.) is the key for avoiding shelf-ware or rejection.

 A series of TWO articles…

In the first article, we will discuss some core concepts and results from social psychology field.

In the second article, we will elaborate on how customers could keep the right focus when adopting some new Enterprise tooling. From both a generic perspective and in the context of the specific adoptions of IBM Rational Team Concert (RTC) and IBM Rational Team Concert Enterprise Extensions (RTC EE) respectively.

Core concepts from social psychology

The purpose of this section is to leverage some core concepts and results from social psychology space. We want some valid terminology  clarifying what one could feel to a certain extent… but yet in a fuzzier way ! Note: to this regard, this post shares a common viewpoint with a previous blog post.

The couple of definitions and concepts I found useful to exhibit in the context of an Adoption process are the following:

  • Effort Expectancy (E.E.) aka “perceived ease of use”
  • Performance Expectancy (P.E.) aka “perceived usefulness”
  • Resistance to Change (R.T.C.)

In the context of a Learning process (borrowing from the field of pedagogy), you can think of:

Writer’s note: as you’ve certainly figured out, there is some overlap in acronyms: “RTC” and “EE” could be interpreted in two ways here… To disambiguate, I shall using the orange color for terms coming from social psychology. That way, Rational Team Concert (RTC) and Resistance to Change (R.T.C.) should not be confused. Same thing for EE and E.E. !

Application to Information Science and Technology

Here I’m relaying some previous results from the following source: “Resistance to change and the adoption of digital libraries: an integrative model” [JASIST’2009]

  • «A user’s intention to adopt a new technology is influenced by a variety of beliefs and perceptions
  • «Domain-specific R.T.C. is both a direct and indirect antecedent of users’ E.E. and P.E.»
  • «Understanding the role of R.T.C. in user adoption can help designers and managers create a better fit between systems’ design and their intended users’ personal characteristics.»

Encourage familiarity with the new tool…

  • «To encourage users who are high on R.T.C., new systems should be designed such that they are not perceived to embody a lot of change. This can be done by retaining as many characteristics of older systems, computerized or not.»
  • «Systems’ implementation and users’ training could be better done if users did not perceive a new system as embodying much change.»
  • «When a new system is introduced, familiar aspects of a new system could be highlighted to mitigate users’ resistance.»

… and demonstrate benefits […] in the context that is important to adopters.

  • «Illustrate to users the potential benefits of the system, and how these can be demonstrated.

by using testimonials, by linking resources to course listings,  and in any other way that will enable users to demonstrate the benefits in the context that is important to them. »

Conclusion

The content of this article could appear far from IT space in the first hand. In the second article, we will elaborate on how customers could keep the right focus when adopting some new Enterprise tooling. From both a generic perspective and in the context of the specific adoptions of IBM Rational Team Concert (RTC) and IBM Rational Team Concert Enterprise Extensions (RTC EE) respectively. Keeping in mind the concepts and results from social psychology…

Thumbnail Part2


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..


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.


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