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MBSE across the lifecycle: Introducing Rhapsody Model Manager

Are you designing and developing products that keep getting more connected and more complex?  If so, you’re not alone. The Continuous Engineering team talks to clients in many industries whose products are now systems of interconnected parts that are also part of larger interconnected systems–often Internet of Things solutions.  We see more engineering teams seeking effective model-based engineering practices, including model-based systems engineering (MBSE), as a way to get ahead of the complexity and to validate earlier and more often. They hope it will help them to communicate requirements, interfaces and other design elements more clearly with customers, suppliers and component teams. They say that rising compliance demands are pushing them into more disciplined change management and lifecycle traceability, at the same time as they are pressed to maintain or improve their quality and productivity. Sound familiar?

For teams using MBSE to help them achieve these goals, models and the people who create them must be first-class citizens across the development lifecycle, participating in activities that span the engineering lifecycle: planning, requirements elaboration and validation, change management, reporting, etc. A powerful technique for meeting these objectives is lifecycle traceability: asserting affinities and dependencies among pieces of engineering information and then using those links to automate analysis and reporting.  Most important are the connections between requirements and models, since all of the downstream engineering work flows from them.

For you to get the most out of lifecycle traceability, your engineering information (which is likely in various tools used in multiple engineering domains) needs to participate in the same configuration management regime. In the last year, as part of our implementation of OASIS OSLC global configuration management, we introduced “fine-grained components” for requirements and tests, and now we are adding them for models in a new model server.

Introducing Rhapsody Model Manager

Rhapsody Model Manager (RMM) is an evolution of web-based model management and traceability first delivered in Rhapsody Design Manager (RDM). This first release of RMM focuses on requirement-to-model traceability and configuration management and is designed to deliver enterprise qualities of service.

Here’s what it can provide for you:

  • Enterprise-class configuration management built on the proven Rational Team Concert SCM (source control and configuration management)
  • Requirements and model traceability using OSLC Requirements Management and OSLC Architecture Management services integrated with Rational DOORS Next Generation and Rational DOORS
  • Web views for creating and navigating OSLC traceability
  • Model files can be organized in fine-grained components in RMM, so you can link them with requirements in global configurations
  • Access control to manage visibility to portions of your models by partitioning them into components
  • Server rename support, so you can transition RMM and other Continuous Engineering tools from a test environment into production

RMM-project-banner

This is a typical work flow:

  • A team lead or configuration lead sets up a development stream in RMM with at least one component and contributes this RMM stream to a global configuration that includes at least one requirement stream or baseline.
  • A practitioner creates and edits models in Rhapsody V8.3.
  • A practitioner uses explicit change sets or configures Rhapsody to automatically check in his or her changes to the stream in RMM. He or she uses the RTC Eclipse client for most SCM operations.
  • After check-in and change set delivery, the model changes are visible in the RMM web user interface, which is textual (not diagrammatic) in this release.
  • Users can create links between requirements and models in Rhapsody, RMM, DOORS Next Generation or DOORS.

Some planning notes

This first release of RMM is designed for production use by new teams seeking requirement-to-model traceability in global configurations. Teams already using Rhapsody Design Manager can continue using RDM, especially if their primary use cases involve design reviews on the web or viewing model diagrams on the web.

  • RMM is delivered as a component of the Rhapsody Design Manager (RDM) product. RMM users need an RDM Design Management license, which is available as part of some Rhapsody editions or can be purchased separately.
  • RMM can be installed from the Design Management or Continuous Engineering installers. To use RMM you do not need to install RDM.
  • Administrators should configure either RDM or RMM to provide architecture management services for a particular requirements project area. RDM and RMM can use the same Jazz Team Server.
  • A Rhapsody client can connect to either RDM or RMM. If a user needs to connect to both RDM and RMM on occasion, install two Rhapsody clients on that workstation.
  • Similar to RDM’s Actively Managed mode, Rhapsody users need a Design Management license to load files from the RMM server or deliver changes.
  • For now, the user of any OSLC client creating links between requirements and models needs a Design Management license (user of DOORS Next Generation, DOORS, etc.). We intend to change this in a future release.

We have just published RMM 6.0.5 Release Candidate 1 (what we call RC1). You can see it and talk to development leaders at the Watson IoT Continuous Engineering Summit the week of November 14 in New Orleans. Or download RMM and try it out. You can get the corresponding RC1 update for your Rhapsody client from the Rhapsody open beta site.

Daniel Moul
Senior Offering Manager
dmoul.at.us.ibm.com