Overview of Engineering Workflow Management

IBM® Engineering Workflow Management (EWM) is a team collaboration tool that integrates development tasks including iteration planning, process definition, change management, defect tracking, source control, build automation, and reporting.

Developers use EWM to track their work, share their changes, and collaborate with each other. Team leads and project managers use it to plan releases and monitor progress by viewing plans, dashboards, and reports.

EWM is the Change and Configuration Management (CCM) application in the Rational® solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) and the IBM Internet of Things Continuous Engineering (IoT CE) Solution. These solutions integrate IBM Rational products to provide a complete set of applications for software or systems development.

This image shows the functions in the development lifecycle supported by the CLM and IoT CE
solutions. Overview of Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next Overview of Model Manager Getting started with Engineering Workflow Management Overview of Engineering Test Management Overview of Global Configuration Management Overview of Reporting Overview of Engineering Insights

For a roadmap of how to get started with the CCM tasks, see Getting started with Engineering Workflow Management.

Collaboration and integration across the development lifecycle

EWM makes it easy to exchange information directly in the context of your work. If a work item changes, you and other team members are notified of the change automatically. You can reference the change in chat sessions and link to artifacts. Stakeholders can stay informed about the status of work items that interest them.

Several views enable you to share team information. You can track team activity, present information in more detail, or configure which information is visible at any time.

Many aspects of the development lifecycle are integrated, including agile planning, process definition, source control, defect tracking, build management, and reporting. You can track and manage the relationships between artifacts, promote sound development processes, and gather project information automatically and unobtrusively.

Process configuration and customization

EWM projects follow a process. A process is the collection of roles, practices, rules, permissions, and guidelines that you use to organize and control the workflow for a project. EWM makes it easy and efficient for your team to follow the processes you define. Implementing a process alters the behavior of the tool, which makes conformance with the process more reliable.

You use a process to define user roles and their permissions for performing operations in the context of a project. The initial process that a project uses is defined by a process template. You can modify a template to meet your overall project and team requirements. Each component is process-aware, so you can add rules for behavior in the form of preconditions and follow-up actions.

Processes are very customizable. A process can be more or less restrictive, depending on your team's needs. You can configure a process to enforce different rules at different points in the release. For example, you might want to employ a more restrictive process towards the end of a release to reduce the risk of introducing regressions. One way to reduce risk is to require users to get approvals from team leads or peers before they deliver changes.

For details about configuring processes, see Getting started: Project administrator.

Change management

In EWM, you use work items to track and coordinate tasks, stories, defects, plan items, and enhancement requests. You can customize work items and the workflow process they follow to suit your project. You can also integrate work items with other change management systems, such as IBM Rational ClearQuest®. For an interactive workflow diagram of using work items, see Getting started with work items.

Planning

The planning capability provides tools to help with planning, tracking, and balancing the workload of releases and iterations for entire projects, for teams within those projects, and for individual developers. Plans are accessible to everyone on the team and can change throughout an iteration to reflect the team's position and direction. For an interactive workflow diagram of using planning, see Getting started with planning.

Source control management (SCM)

The source-control system is component-based and has strong support for parallel and agile development and geographically distributed teams. The SCM features integrate tightly with work items, builds, and process-centric automation. EWM also provides integrations with other source control systems such as IBM Rational ClearCase® and Git are also provided. For an interactive workflow diagram of using source control, see Getting started with Rational Team Concert source control. For details about associating Git commits with EWM work items, and using EWM to govern Git operations, see Integrating Rational Team Concert with Git.

Configuration management

The IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM) supports versioning of artifacts in the Engineering Test Management (ETM), Requirements Management (RM), and Design Management (DM) applications. In those applications, versions of artifacts are tracked in configurations. In the Global Configuration Management application, you can assemble configurations from multiple applications. Then, you can track and manage specific versions of artifacts across the development lifecycle. In addition to including ETM, RM, and DM configurations, a global configuration can include a EWM SCM baseline. For details about global configurations, see Global Configuration Management.

You can link EWM work items to specific versions of QM and RM artifacts that belong to global configurations. For details, see Linking work items to artifacts in Configuration Management-enabled project areas.

Build automation

The automation capability provides build awareness, control, and traceability to development and test teams. Team members can track build progress, view build alerts and results, request builds, and trace builds to other artifacts such as change sets and work items. For an interactive workflow diagram of using builds, see Getting started with builds. You can also integrate EWM with Hudson/Jenkins. For details, see Integrating Engineering Workflow Management and Hudson/Jenkins build engine type.

Reporting

The Jazz™ Team Reports component provides an awareness of the actions, behaviors, and progress of a team or project. Visualizing data about the development process can make trends that might otherwise be hidden or obscured more accessible. By making this information available at a glance, reports can enable effective decision-making.

EWM includes an extensive library of report templates, which you can use to generate reports that illustrate the status of a project. Some examples are reports that show build results, blocking work items, work items by team area, work items by priority, and project activity. You can modify templates and create templates. For an overview of Reporting capabilities, see Overview of Reporting.

Dashboards

A dashboard is a web client component that provides information about project status at a glance. Dashboards provide the option to drill down to get more complete information.

You can use dashboards in several ways:

  • Project leads can track project health and trends.
  • Teams can discuss status during scrum meetings by using the dashboard as the data source.
  • Developers can create personal dashboards that show information about the work items assigned to them.
To get started with using dashboards, see Dashboards.

Eclipse client, Microsoft Visual Studio client, and web interfaces

EWM offers several different interfaces, such as an Eclipse client, a Microsoft Visual Studio client, and a web client. The client interfaces provide developers with a rich, integrated development environment for building and delivering artifacts.

EWM also includes the following clients:
  • EWM Shell integration, which enables you to perform source control operations from the Windows Explorer.
  • EWM MSSCCI Provider, which enables you to perform source control operations from other MSSCCI-integrated tools such as MATLAB and Rational Rhapsody®.
  • Command-line source control interface.
  • EWM Interactive System Productivity Facility (ISPF) client, which provides an ISPF interface to perform various Rational Team Concert functions. You can use the interface to edit, check in, deliver, and build code that is stored in a EWM repository.
Note: The EWM client for Microsoft Visual Studio IDE does not support Enterprise Extensions functions.

Specific capabilities for development on System z and Power Systems Software

To support cross-platform development, EWM features native hosting of the Jazz Team Server on z/OS®, Linux for System z®, and Power Systems Software™ on IBM i. EWM also includes an integrated set of collaborative delivery lifecycle tools for System z and IBM i development, including source control, change management, and build and process management. Multitier systems and software development, application modernization efforts, and traditional language artifacts such as COBOL have specialized support. EWM also provides System z and IBM i artifact builds and file system support through Enterprise Extensions functions.

For details about Enterprise Extensions capabilities, see Engineering Workflow Management Enterprise Extensions tours.

Part of the Jazz community

The CLM and IoT CE products are developed transparently on the open and extensible Jazz platform. On Jazz.net, you can download the products and their milestones, track development schedules, join discussion forums, open enhancement requests, and interact with the product developers. To learn more about the products, see the developer-written articles in the Jazz.net library or the topics about complex deployment scenarios on the Deployment wiki.


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