Configuration management in the QM application

You can use configuration management features in the Quality Management (QM) application to version test artifacts with streams and baselines, create local configurations, contribute to global configurations, and compare artifacts between two configurations.

You can also use configuration management features to do the following tasks:

Note: If your team doesn't do multi-stream development, and doesn't use components and global configurations, you can enable a project to use only baselines: work in one stream and take baselines as needed to capture artifact versions at milestones or critical points in a release. See the related topic.

Configuration management and product-line engineering

Teams use IBM® Engineering Lifecycle Management applications to develop wide-ranging products such as banking software or medical devices. As part of the development process or engineering design, teams create a variety of artifacts, ranging from stakeholder and system requirements, to source code, to test plans and test cases.

In the ELM applications, you use configurations to group a specific set of versioned artifacts. Configurations commonly identify one version, or referenceable state, of each artifact in the set. A team, for example, might group all the requirements for a specific component into a configuration to make it easier to identify and work with all the requirements associated with that component.

On a basic level, configuration management provides a way to manage groups of things and their versions. After activating and enabling configuration management capabilities, you can do these tasks:
  • Create configurations, or groups of artifacts at particular versions
  • Control whether artifacts in the configuration can be modified (stream) or not (baseline)
  • Branch from streams and baselines
  • Compare and merge across configurations
  • Report on configuration-specific data
  • Contribute from multiple applications to an overall shared configuration, or global configuration

To get started, see the related topic about activating configuration management capabilities.

For more information about the terminology used in configuration management, see An introduction to product line engineering terminology.

Components in the QM application

Components represent a collection of versioned artifacts within a project area. Each component is like a building block that represents a physical or logical part of your project. Components make it easier to reuse and work with parts of a project. After you plan and create components, organize project artifacts into them based on your project needs, instead of working with all the artifacts in one collection (configuration). The ability to split a project into finer-grained components gives you these benefits:
  • It’s easier to create versions and variants of a product or system by reusing its parts.

    You can quickly respond to market demands or changing regulations in different geographies.

  • Teams can work independently on different components on different schedules.

For more information about components, see Components.

Local and global configurations

Configurations that are created in the applications, such as IBM Engineering Test Management, are referred to as local configurations. Local configurations contain only artifacts from the ELM application that created them. For example, in Engineering Test Management, you can create configurations that contain a versioned set of test artifacts. You can also assemble configurations that contain other configurations from one or more ELM applications, called global configurations. You contribute local configurations to globally managed configurations by using the Global Configuration Management application.
Application navigation and global configurations
As you navigate between applications, such as the Requirements Management (RM) application and the Quality Management (QM) applications, you enter the application in the context of the configuration that the project lead has set. The configuration name is displayed in the project title bar so that you can easily see which configuration is currently active.
Data linking and global configurations
If a global configuration is set, you work in that context when you link data from other applications that are enabled for configuration management. For example, when you create a link from a test plan in Engineering Test Management to a module in Engineering Requirements Management DOORS® Next, the modules that you see are from the configuration in Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next that contributes to the global configuration.

Comparing and merging test artifacts

If you develop in multiple, parallel streams, or want to review an artifact's history, you can compare test artifacts to see the changes and differences between configurations.

When you compare configurations, you start with a summary of the changes between configurations, which shows the high-level nature of the changes. Next, you can navigate to detailed comparisons of test artifacts. You can also merge changes from one configuration into another.

Reporting on versioned artifacts

When you have test artifacts in different streams and baselines, you can report on test progress and results for a specific configuration. For more information about reporting on versioned artifacts, see the topics in the reporting help.
  • Engineering Document Generation:

    IBM Engineering Lifecycle Optimization - Publishing document-based reports support versioned artifacts.

  • Lifecycle Query Engine and Jazz® Reporting Service:

    Lifecycle Query Engine and Jazz Reporting Service support versioned artifacts.

In an example development team, the configuration management lead enables the configuration management capabilities and creates an initial baseline across the project areas for the Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next and Engineering Test Management streams. The systems engineer works in the context of a configuration, makes changes to requirements, and navigates between links to engineering artifacts in the configuration. The project manager uses the project dashboard to view project status in the context of a configuration.

For more information about configuration management capabilities, see the related information at the end of this topic.