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What’s New in IBM Engineering Reporting 7.0.3 (Jazz Reporting Service, Publishing, Engineering Insights)

As mentioned by Daniel in his “Coming soon: IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management V7.0.3” blog post, one of the enhancements focus area is reporting. There are many reporting updates in this release, and I will highlight a few key reporting enhancements to improve user productivity and scaling up reporting.

Jazz Reporting Service (JRS) v7.0.3 

For JRS v7.0.3 release, we specifically concentrated our efforts on two categories: user productivity and operating at scale. In the area of user productivity, there are two focus areas: (1) making new kinds of data available for reporting and (2) improving user productivity. 

JRS 7.0.3 adds support for Rhapsody Model Manager Model artifacts as Architecture Elements and Engineering Workflow Manager SCM artifacts. This support is part of Engineering Insights too. In addition, Engineering Test Management adds Blocking status, Suspect contributor links and a number of test plan properties. This greatly expands use cases supported by IBM Engineering Reporting solution. 

I am pleased to share that we started updating Report Builder (RB) with user productivity improvements in mind: 

  • Managing reports and folders use a new visual style following IBM Design language, new capabilities. Reports are exclusively organized by folders (tags are now a subsidiary organizational method) 
  • Exporting reports and scheduling report exports have been streamlined and have a new visual style following IBM Design language 
  • RB administration includes new capabilities such as query monitoring, a theme option to change the banner appearance of the RB web interface for all users, and advanced RB properties replacing the need to set RB properties directly on the RB server. 

You can learn more about this topic in the JRS documentation page

The second area is improving the scalability of the JRS Lifecycle Query Engine (LQE) and at the same time requiring less system resources for LQE’s data store. Since its inception in V5, LQE uses Apache Jena to store the engineering lifecycle data for reporting with Report Builder and Engineering Insights. Apache Jena served us well, however, as a file-based data store, it has scaling limitations, and it requires significant system resources, especially RAM for its many indices. Customers with many projects and applications are reaching the limits Apache Jena can comfortably meet. So JRS 7.0.3 is (optionally) replacing LQE Apache Jena (LQE Jena) with a new LQE relational store (LQE rs). 

ELM 7.0.3 customers can run LQE rs alongside the existing LQE Jena. After a test and ”graduation process”, LQE rs can be run in production in addition to or instead of LQE Jena.  By default LQE rs is beta. The graduation process is aligned with testing most customers already perform, and involves a review by the IBM Engineering support team, after which an activation key will be provided for production use. If you are interested to run LQE rs in production, please open an IBM support ticket to start the test and graduation process. Note that new ELM customers with no prior ELM data will be able to run LQE rs by answering a set of questions. 

We recommend JRS reporting admins and users start by reviewing LQE rs overview, the limitations of the LQE rs and be aware of a couple of details: 

  • Reports created using the RB UI are automatically converted when the user changes query language from SPARQL to SQL if reports do not use custom expressions or advanced queries. You can select the query language under Choose a report type. After this change, a report is ready to be run against LQE rs. 
  • If your report is using custom expressions or an advanced query, then you will need to make some adjustments. We recommend adding the relevant SQL statement in addition to the SPARQL so that you can run the report both ways. Eventually, once you are happy with the SQL, you can remove the SPARQL. You can read more on this topic in working with LQE rs reports. NOTE: LQE rs 7.0.3 has not documented the schema or developed the process for the database schema evolution over time. Until this is not completed, we recommend not using advanced SQL. 

You might ask yourself: How would I know whether a report’s results are the same using SQL and SPARQL? To answer this question, we provide an option to Compare query results. Compare query results first run the SPARQL based version of the report against the Apache Jena store, then it runs the same report with a SQL query against the relational store. Then it compares SPARQL and SQL results row by row. The comparison summary includes information on whether SPARQL and SQL queries matched, the run time of each query and if there are results differences, the list of the result differences. If the Compare query results show differences, you can download the detailed list of differences. To learn more, I suggest reading about how to check or prepare a report for query results comparison from LQE relational store

LQE rs administrators should review LQE rs system requirements, installing and enabling LQE rs, and limitations of the LQE rs. We have also prepared an LQE rs performance report with the results of the performance testing, as well as LQE rs database sizing, both must be read if you are planning to take advantage of LQE rs. 

Publishing (PUB) v7.0.3 

When you generate an Excel spreadsheet using PUB, you can now add a stylesheet with macros to the Excel output. With a stylesheet, you can apply predefined layout and formatting, enforcing uniform looks across the spreadsheet documents, create a chart, etc. This functionality is greatly extending PUB capabilities. To help you get started with this functionality, we provide an additional sample template and stylesheet for Microsoft Excel in PUB. The sample template and stylesheet are available at PUB_install_dir/templates/EWM and PUB_install_dir/utils/excel/ directory. The stylesheet contains sample macros that can be used to add a chart, position the chart, delete sheets based on certain conditions, and more. 

You can now integrate PUB Document Studio with Publishing Document Builder (PUB DB) configured with Jazz Team Server (JTS) authentication. Now with one click, you can push to create, modify, or update PUB DB resources directly from Document Studio. The integration works for JTS configured with Jazz Authorization Server (JAS) using application password, container authenticated JTS, and JTS configured with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). 

Engineering Insights (ENI) v7.0.3 

ENI now provides separate UI types, such as Count and Percent for all the artifacts. For each node definition, you can see separate count and percent UI types. With these UI types, you can: 

  • Modify the node definition that contains different properties, such as width, height, fill color, stroke, and radius. You can use these properties to change the appearance of the node. 
  • Apply the conditional formatting to change the appearance of nodes when the represented artifacts meet the defined conditions. 

The ENI container shows the percentage of the artifact based on the defined conditions, and the node is filled with the specified color. This is a sample of the image of percentage of artifacts. 

ENI uses a color-coding scheme for comparing configurations in a view. Also, the common artifacts in both configurations (streams) are shown by using the common color. Earlier, color-coding for links between the artifacts was not supported. Hence, you were not able to identify the difference when a traceability link was added in a configuration and if it did not exist in another. 

Now, support for color-coding is provided for the links between the artifacts when you compare configuration in a view. Based on the color that is selected for the configurations, the color-coding is applied to the links between the artifacts. For more information, see Comparing configurations in views

Image of color-coding of links between the artifacts:

For the complete list of all IBM Engineering Reporting 7.0.3 improvements, see new & noteworthy posts: JRS 7.0.3, PUB 7.0.3 and ENI 7.0.3

Let us know what you think about our latest release and share this blog post with your peers. 

Fariz Saracevic 
IBM Engineering Reporting (JRS, PUB, ENI) Product Manager