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Start your engines! CLM 2012 Part 1- Taking a peek under the hood

This is the first in a series of blogs discussing the enhancements we’re delivering in the upcoming release of our Collaborative Lifecycle Management solution, comprising: Rational Team Concert, Rational Quality Manager, Rational Requirements Composer, and beta integration with Rational Software Architect Design Manager.

The team chose the race car theme for this blog series, and I am confident that, as a car nut, I can drive this analogy into the ground.  (Yes that’s me in #34).

As the first blog in the series, we titled this one “Start your Engines!”, but in reality the CLM team is heading towards the finish line.  We’ve been working hard for the last year, building on the base which we delivered in CLM 2011.  Last year’s release was groundbreaking in that it put the three CLM products and the Jazz Team Server in a single install and setup.  Lifecycle Project Administration and Common User Admin made getting into gear streamlined and simple.

High Availability via Clustering
We knew that we’d need to keep wrenching on CLM in order to stay in the ALM race.  As customers deploy CLM and grow their teams, availability of the CLM servers becomes increasingly critical, so we’ve invested in High Availability via clustering.  The 2011 products supported a manual standby solution, where a backup server could manually take over the work if the primary server failed.  Think of it as a hybrid, but you have to pull over to engage the backup motor.  With clustering, multiple server nodes are active at all times, with requests distributed across them.  Now, if you blow one engine, you just keep your foot to the floor and the others take over!  Here’s a peek at how your pit crew can prepare for anything…

Server Rename
The CLM solution is based on the architecture of the Web, with integrated tools addressing and linking to each other via URIs.  While this enables powerful integration scenarios, it could introduce a speed bump: what to do if you ever have to change that URI.  In CLM 2012, we’ve done the work to enable renaming a server in some scenarios.  This is still a serious undertaking.  While we can fixup the links we own within CLM, there are potentially many other tools or documents which depend on the location of a server.  But if it’s impossible to keep a server’s address, or forward it to a new location, it is now possible to perform some rename scenarios.  Look for an article soon explaining the details.

Easy Upgrade
When it comes time to trade-up to CLM 2012, you’ll find it much easier than last year.  We’ve ensured that CLM 2012 is backward compatible to the 3.0.x clients and servers, so you will have more flexibility in planning and executing your upgrade.  You can start with the JTS and one application, such as RTC, upgrade those applications and then upgrade the RTC Eclipse and Visual Studio clients and the other server applications in later waves.  No more need for a “Magic Weekend” to make it all happen at once.  In addition, we understand that the migration to CLM 2011, which involved substantial architectural changes, was a complex and time-consuming exercise.  Therefore, we’ve dramatically simplified the upgrade experience from 3.0.x to eliminate the need to export and import application data, or to move data between the applications and the JTS.  The time to perform an upgrade to CLM 2012 promises to be a fraction of the prior migration.  As an example, we upgrade our self-hosting environment on jazz.net every three weeks, and our planned outage is now down to four hours to upgrade four repositories supporting many hundreds of users.

Architects Join the Race
We’ve also got a new passenger in the CLM vehicle for 2012.  While it’s still in Beta, we’ve integrated the collaborative design tools in Rational Software Architect (RSA).   The RSA Design Management application can now share a Jazz Team Server with CLM, so you can create Lifecycle Projects including Design Management capability.  Your team can use RSA with DM to design solutions and link them to requirements and stories.  This is an exciting new option for both traditional MDD teams and Agile teams who want to do “just enough modeling” to communicate the architecture of a solution.  Check this out.  Here’s a quick peek at DM integrated into our Money that Matters scenario giving traceability to designs and the ability to view RSA designs from your favorite web client.

Under the Hood
We’ve been busy polishing and tuning many of the CLM components.  Hopefully you’ve already seen some of these mentioned in our New and Noteworthy announcements and videos, and you’ll see a lot more detail on these from the product teams in subsequent blogs, but there are a few which I’d like to highlight.  The RM tool has taken the lead in pushing traceability to the next level across the lifecycle.  Building on the capability to create rich traceability links from Requirements artifacts into Development and Test artifacts, they’ve now enabled the ability to generate suspect notification on those links and present those in key views.  This makes it easy to react to changing dependencies across the lifecycle, or within related requirements.  For testers, and developers performing testing, the QM application has added a cool new Manual Test Script Recording capability for quickly capturing manual test cases.  Test teams will also enjoy greater project customization and improved planning capabilities.  Finally, development teams get the ability to query and track changes flowing across multiple development and maintenance streams, the ability to truly delete SCM contents, and the option to take advantage of Hudson or Jenkins for build automation.

With the finish line clearly in view and all other competition in our rear view mirror, the winning banner says “Innovate”!  More of our top developers will be in Orlando than ever before and they are ready to show you all the details on the new and cool features in our CLM 2012 products.

Also, check back soon for more sneak peeks and previews in the CLM 2012 Start Your Engines Series.  There is so much more coming your way…..

Scott Rich, Distinguished Engineer
IBM Rational Technical Lead for CLM
scott_rich@ch.ibm.com