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IBM Rational Build Forge

Automate and accelerate build and release processes

Rational Build Forge 7.1.2

Product Release / Trial | October 29, 2010
This is not the most recent version. We recommend Rational Build Forge 8.0.0.7 . This is made available for archival purposes and may contain bugs and/or security vulnerabilities. If you do download this version, it is being provided AS IS, without warranties of any kind, including the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. We strongly advise you review the support pages for this version and update the product or take actions recommended therein. Security bulletins contain instructions for the security vulnerability addressed therein, and may require upgrading to a newer version. Link to security vulnerability blog: IBM PSIRT blog.

Rational Build Forge 7.1.2 New & Noteworthy

Rational Build Forge 7.1.2 New & Noteworthy

This page contains the following sections:

New and changed features

These sections summarize the new and changed features in this release:

Rational Build Forge

  • Behavior changes
    • Improved purge performance
      Purging is more scalable and performs better. Also, the purge queue is now separate from the build queue. As a result, the number of items being purged is no longer limited by the value of the Run Queue Size setting, which limits the number of simultaneous builds. You can limit the number of simultaneous purges by using the new Max Simultaneous Purges system setting.
    • Improved schedule performance
    • Improved manifest refresh and server test performance
    • Improved build performance
      Logging now takes place in the services layer. For builds with at least several thousand log lines, this change improves build performance.
    • Time-zone fixes and improved daylight saving and standard time handling
    • Users: The list of time zones now comes from the International Components for Unicode (ICU), and the descriptor (DST) has been added to time zones that use daylight saving time
    • Schedules: When a schedule is edited, the schedule now displays the time zone of the user who owns the schedule and the next run time according to the current user.
    • Jobs:
      • A job that fails but has Continue On Fail set now has the result Failed But Continued. Previously, the result was a Warning. A job with a Warning result because of filter matches still produces a Warning result.
      • Jobs that are marked for purging but are not yet being purged are now marked Waiting For Purging. Jobs that are currently being purged are still marked Purging.
    • Installation:
      • During an upgrade installation, you are now taken to the Database Configuration page, which is preloaded with the values from buildforge.conf, so that the system can verify that the database is running before starting the upgrade.
      • When upgrading a version 7.1 console, you must complete additional tasks that enable performance enhancements in version 7.1.2. For details, see the Upgrading page for the GA release on Jazz.net.
    • Condition function: Before 7.1.2, the contains(a,b) function would return true if string a is found in string b. Now, the function returns true if string a contains string b.
  • Added Internet Explorer 8 as a supported browser

  • The ability to specify which user Build Forge runs as

    On UNIX and Linux, you can now specify during installation a user other than root for Build Forge to run as. You must still start Build Forge as root, but Build Forge starts the engine and Apache Tomcat as the user that you specify during installation.

  • Using your own application server

    Installation no longer prompts you for a location for the rbf-services.war file when you choose to use your own application server. Instead, installation always places the rbf-services.war file in the following directory, based on operating system:

    • C:\Program Files\IBM\Build Forge\PrepForExternal (Microsoft Windows)
    • /opt/buildforge/PrepForExternal (UNIX and Linux)
  • Trigger variable - New: Increase agent performance and reduce step-log size (_SUPPRESS_ENV_OUTPUT)

    The _SUPPRESS_ENV_OUTPUT trigger variable can suppress the display in a step log of ENV entries (variables and their values) before a step command is run. By default, the _SUPPRESS_ENV_OUTPUT variable is not set and all variable values in the environment are printed before a step command is run. You can set the variable to the following values:

    • ALWAYS: always omit the ENV messages
    • Any other value: omit the ENV messages. However, if the command fails, the ENV messages are printed after the command message. This information might be useful in debugging the command execution failure.
  • System configuration settings - New

    • Control authentication of RSS data feeds (Disable Authentication for XML Feeds setting)

      With the Disable Authentication for XML Feeds setting, you control whether RSS data feeds are authenticated.

    • Improve system performance by limiting the number of purges (Max Simultaneous Purges setting)

      With the Max Simultaneous Purges setting, you can control how many purges run simultaneously. You can purge as many builds as you like, but no more builds than the value in Max Simultaneous Purges are simultaneously deleted.

    • Control the start of adaptor links that are attached to a chain project (Run Chain Links setting)

      With the Run Chain Links setting, you control whether a started chain project also starts any attached adaptor links.

    • Control how often servers are checked (Server Test Frequency setting)

      Use the Server Test Frequency setting together with the number of enabled servers to determine how frequently to test and refresh the manifest data for servers. The default is 120 minutes. A value of 0 means do not check servers.

      During these checks, the system contacts all enabled servers to verify these details:

      • The servers are still reachable
      • The login information for the servers is correct
      • The manifest data for the servers is current

      Server tests are performed at a minimum of one server per minute. That rate increases if the number of servers is much larger than this setting.

      The build system distributes the testing evenly over the interval. Examples:

      • Assume that you have 120 servers and the test interval is set to 120 minutes. The build system attempts to test one server per minute (120 servers / 120 minutes).
      • Now assume that you have 12000 servers and the interval is set to 1200 minutes. The system attempts to test 10 servers per minute.
      • In another configuration, assume that you have 10 servers and the interval is set to 120 minutes. One server per minute is checked. In this scenario, a server is checked as many as 12 times during the interval.

      Manual server tests started from the console take precedence over these automated tests.

      The complexity of the collector for a server can affect throughput. A collector that performs many manual commands to collect data can require more than a minute to complete.

    • Control how many times a step attempts to connect to an agent (Step Max Retries setting)

      With the Step Max Retries setting, you control how many times a step attempts to connect to an agent if the first attempt fails. The step fails if it does not connect in the specified number of retries.

    • Indicate whether to stop a project if one of its threaded steps fails (Terminate Threads setting)

      With the Terminate Threads setting, you indicate whether, when a threaded step fails, all other active thread blocks in the same project are stopped.

  • System configuration settings - Renamed
    • Agent Connect Timeout: Renamed to Server Usage Connect Timeout
    • Reset Interface Templates: Renamed to Reset Adaptor Templates
  • System configuration settings - Removed

    These settings were defunct and were therefore removed from the product.

    • Active server refresh interval
    • Console hostname
    • Default _MAXJOBS
    • Expandable Step Log
    • GDD Secondary Site Failover
    • Inactive server refresh interval
    • Lock Manager Address
    • Log All Changes
    • Manifest check interval
    • Quickreport user sub directory for custom datasources
    • QuickReport User sub directory for saved reports
    • QuickReport User sub directory for uploaded XML files
    • Secondary Site Timeout
    • Server Self-heal time
    • Server Test Connect Timeout
    • Site-specific selector weight
    • Tab Stop
    • Update Time Vars on Restart
    • Use System Language for Agent Communication
  • Option for installing Rational Automation Framework for WebSphere

    Installing IBM Rational Build Forge with IBM Installation Manager now provides an option to include IBM Rational Automation Framework for WebSphere. You must have the Rational Build Forge and Rational Automation Framework for WebSphere files in place for Installation Manager to correctly locate and install all the software.

    Review the Rational Automation Framework for WebSphere documentation for preinstallation requirements before installing.

  • Rational Build Forge documentation now available as an information center

    The Build Forge Help, Installation Guide, and Release Notes are packaged in a single information center.

    Engineering the help and documentation as an information center provides these benefits:

    • Single presentation of all topics
    • Improved search capability
    • Content organization is compatible with the organization of other Rational products
    • Ability to generate PDFs of selected groups of topics
    • Home page with links to other information centers and resources

    The information center is installed as a WAR file in the <bfinstall>/Apache/Tomcat/webapps directory.

    The information center is also available on a public IBM web site: http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/bldforge/v7r1m2/.

    Rational Automation Framework for WebSphere documentation is in a separate information center.

Rational Automation Framework for WebSphere

This release provides faster transfer performance for the initial transfer of shared components to target systems plus faster performance for any subsequent partial transfer of updated files. It also includes faster transfer of installation media to target systems for installation and patch actions.

Faster transfer performance has been achieved through code improvements and by leveraging functionality provided by IBM® Tivoli® Remote Execution and Access (RXA).

No command modifications are required to take advantage of faster initial transfer of shared components or faster partial transfer of updated files.

Faster transfer of installation media is targeted at users who are employing a framework server (local media) setup or a partially shared setup to manage media. These users can see faster transfer times when running installation and patching actions with the -m option. Note that media transfer improvements do not apply to shared file system users because this media setup does not transfer media to target systems.

In addition, this release provides:

  • Serviceability: A new logging framework to provide consistency in messages.
  • Consumability:

    • Materials to enable users who write custom actions to incorporate reusable Java and Jython code in custom actions.
    • Installation Manager now presents Rational Automation Framework for WebSphere as an installation option. The prerequisite to specify the RAFW_ENABLED environment variable is no longer required.
    • New installation and profile augmentation actions enable you to exploit the WebSphere feature pack mechanism to add new features to your current WebSphere installation without waiting for new WebSphere releases.
    • An uninstaller utility for incubator installations.
  • Enhancements in these areas:

    • Actions to improve XML access deployment and transaction timeout settings with WebSphere Portal
    • Enhancements to WebSphere Application Server application deployment
    • Support for new WebSphere Application Server configuration types including:
      • WebSphere Application Server Core Groups
      • WebSphere Application Server Core Group Bridges
      • WebSphere Application Server SSL certificate management actions
      • CSIV2 inbound and outbound configuration
      • JAAS application and system logins
      • Message listener service
      • Improved support for custom environment templates
      • Support for augment and promote modes in the was_common_configure_all action
  • Customer-requested enhancements

    Enhancement

    Summary

    RATLC01310733 Improve performance of initial RAFW framework transfer
    RATLC01310742 Improve performance of media transfer in RAFW
    RATLC01321936 RAFW support for was_common_deploy_copy_application_files action for wildcard copying
    RATLC01321939 RAFW support for was_common_deploy_copy_application_files action for copy file(s) in app.prop file not in media directory (optional
  • New automation target system support:

    • WebSphere Virtual Enterprise V6.1
    • WebSphere Process Server V6.2
    • WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus V6.2
    • WebSphere Service Registry and Repository V6.2
    • WebSphere Service Registry and Repository V6.3
    • WebSphere Application Server V6.0 feature packs
      • Web 2.0
    • WebSphere Application Server V6.1 feature packs
      • Web 2.0
      • Enterprise Java Beans 3.0 (EJB 3.0)
      • Web Services
    • WebSphere Application Server V7.0 feature packs
      • Web 2.0
      • XML
      • Communication Enabled Applications (CEA)
      • Service Component Architecture (SCA)
      • OSGi Applications and Java Persistence API
    • Fixpack updates for these products:
      • WebSphere Application Server
      • IBM HTTP Server
      • WebSphere Portal Server
    • WebSphere Portal 6.1.5 support

    For additional information about these features, see the Rational Automation Framework for WebSphere Information Center.

APARs fixed since the last milestone

The following Rational Build Forge APARs were fixed since the last milestone. For a list of all the APARs that were fixed in version 7.1.2, see the Release Notes page.

APAR

Summary

PM11046Build Forge 7.1.1.3 Solaris agent does not upgrade via pkgadd -d
PM15841BF 7.1 en_US templates are entered using Japanese text during schema creation.
PM20665One project step is getting the EXEC portion results from another step intermittently
PM20969Read time out error when attempting to view messages
PM21260Pull Down variables with 50+ values can not be fully edited
PM22449%path% is undefined variables in bfagent 7.1.1.3 although 7.0.2 can use it

Incubators: Evaluate and influence future functionality

Incubators provide trial versions of technology that might be incorporated in a future release of Rational Build Forge. Download and install the incubator software to better understand and plan for potential upcoming enhancements. You can also make suggestions and help guide how the functionality is ultimately implemented.

The current incubator provides reports so that you can analyze the configurations, builds, and build logs in a Rational Build Forge environment.

To download the incubator, visit Rational Build Forge 7.1.2 Downloads.