Product configuration tree moved from Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager 6.0

The Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager product configuration tree provided the capability for teams to visualize their products in a hierarchical tree view. Starting in release 6.0, the Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager product configuration tree view was reworked and moved to the new Global Configuration Management (GCM) application. Both applications are now included in the Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) product family. The Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager queries, views, and impact analysis are still included in version 6.0.

As the following images show, there are distinct differences between the tools, which are outlined in this paper.

Image shows product configuration tree view, expanded

Image shows configuration tree view, expanded

A configuration is a baseline or stream that contains a set of your artifact versions and links. A global configuration represents a physical or logical piece of your product offering across applications. Use global configurations to assemble relevant artifact versions and links of your requirements, design models, test plans, and source code, for a specific component release or product version within and across the applications that you work in and integrate with.

Both Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager and GCM provide platform-level services and user interfaces for CLM and Rational Solution for Systems and Software Engineering (SSE) lifecycle management applications. In both tools, your teams work in their familiar applications to create artifacts in a project area, which are later contributed to a configuration hierarchy.

In the case of Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager, a project or team lead queries the index for product configurations from the CLM applications and then organizes them in a hierarchical view by using the product configuration tree. The lead sets dimension and value pairs for a configuration, so that the pairs determine the versions of all the products in that configuration. Many features are available to help the lead manage configurations in the configuration tree. The features are outlined in the table.

In the case of GCM, configurations are contributed directly from the CLM applications. A configuration lead then assembles the local configurations into global configurations. Within a global configuration, when a milestone is met, CLM teams contribute baselines, which take the place of streams in a staging baseline. After the global configuration is frozen, the global configuration that contains the baselines ensures that artifact versions linked across applications resolve to the correct versions. Features are available to help the lead manage the global configurations in the hierarchical tree view. The features are outlined in the table.

Comparison of tree view features in Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager and GCM
FeatureFeature name in Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager, v5.0.2 Feature name in Global Configuration Management, v6.0
Application programming interface (API)Limited read-only APIAPI compliant with draft Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) Configuration Management specification
Artifact version resolution for linking across applicationsDimensions (automated)Add baselines from CLM applications to a global configuration (manual)
Branch a configuration/ Create a variantCheck Out New BranchCreate Stream (from a baseline)
Compare configurationsCompare with Last Baseline Compare Product ConfigurationsCompare With
Configurations work with and in Views, Queries, Impact Analysis, ReportsAvailable through dashboardsNone in GCM; Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager, v6.0 provides a Technical Preview for reporting on artifacts in configurations.
Context-sensitive links from work itemsNoneConfigurable links through defined releases
Copy a configurationCreate a Copy (from modifiable) Create a Modifiable Copy (from baseline)Create Stream (from baseline)
Create baselineCreate a BaselineStage Baseline
Create private test areaNoneCreate Personal Stream
Custom collectionsProduct groupingsNone
Dimensions*See “Product nodes” belowNone
Find where a configuration is usedFind UseFind Where Used
Grouping nodesArbitrary groupings allowed in treeEvery node is a configuration in tree
Import products from other toolsImport ProductsConfigurations in other applications contribute to global configurations.
Link to artifacts in CLM applications (requirements, test plans, designs, work items)Add Link to ArtifactGCM sets the configuration context that your development applications work with, and determines the artifacts, their versions, and the links that the applications show.
Manage configurationsMove, Reuse, Remove, Rename, Replace Version, Replace BranchMove, Reuse, Remove, Rename, Replace, Reorder
Open in CLM applicationOpen ViewOpen in New Window
Product nodesProduct tree ( dimension and value pairs drive automated node selection; pinning overrides automatic selection; custom properties supported)None
Project areas for access controlSingle project area supportedMultiple project areas supported
SearchQuick SearchQuick Search
View historyShow Audit History Audit in Product propertiesNone
View version skewNoneDetect Component Skew

The product configuration tree view move from Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager to GCM provides a deep integration with streams and baselines (called configuration management) across CLM applications. This change means that your teams can select a configuration in your familiar application, and your application automatically shows the engineering artifacts and links that are part of the selected configuration. In the GCM application, your teams can use global configurations to assemble, visualize, manage, and analyze global streams and baselines across CLM applications. This capability was available to Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager teams in a very limited capacity, even though teams wanted a tighter integration. GCM provides that tighter integration.

In the table, you can see the features available in each tool. However, the changes go a bit deeper than that. For example, the differences between the “Grouping nodes” feature means that the GCM hierarchical tree view is not a 1:1 replacement for the Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager hierarchical tree view. That is, in the GCM application, you must group configurations under another configuration, which is not the case in Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager, where the product tree allowed arbitrary groupings.

Consider the following alternatives to decide which best suits the needs of your team.
  • If you use the Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager hierarchical tree view, you can continue to use it in its current capacity by remaining in the v5.0.2 product. Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager v5.0.2 is currently a supported IBM product.
  • If your team uses the Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager hierarchical tree view to manage components and configurations of those components across CLM applications, and to navigate to the right context in those tools, then the GCM application is the intended replacement. Your team can recreate their product trees as global configurations in the GCM application.
  • If your team uses the Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager hierarchical tree view as an abstract model for a product line and its variants, with limited interaction with other CLM applications, then GCM might not be the best fit. Your team might consider alternative solutions, such as Rational Asset Manager or Rational Rhapsody Design Manager.

The hierarchical tree view capability is now tightly integrated across and within CLM applications with the new Global Configuration Management application. If you have projects that might benefit from the global configuration capabilities, take a look at more information about GCM and evaluate the capability.

If this article doesn’t address your current situation, contact the product manager Gary Cernosek.

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