You Can’t Change the Public URI of CLM Applications

So here’s the first thing you need to know when performing administrative tasks on Jazz-based products:

You cannot change the public URI. You cannot change the root context.

I’ve had discussions – long discussions – with lots of customers about this, so let me add this one thing:

Under no circumstances should you change the public URI. Under no circumstances should you change the root context.

This Jedi mind-trick is designed to convince you that you can’t change the public URI or root context after it has been set during setup. Really. You can’t. Just stop thinking about it.

You can get around this constraint by using reverse proxies or virtual hostnames. But this does not change the actual public URI or root context. Virtual hosts and reverse proxies just re-map the URLs.

I know what you’re thinking: Why can’t I change the public URI?

Architecturally, Jazz-based products use OSLC and RESTful interfaces. This means that artifacts (data) is referenced with URLs. When a dashboard shows information from a work item, it’s getting that work item information by traversing a URL. When you get a list of dashboards to choose from, each dashboard is referenced internally by a URL. When an RTC work item links to an RQM test case, it does so through a URL.

All those URLs are written into the database. They’re not dynamically calculated. The actual URL is placed into the database. Jazz-based products construct these URLs by using the public URI and the root context. So if your public URI is  

and your root context is


then every URL that identifies information in the database starts with  

If you change the public URI or root context, you break all those links. And your heart will break too.

I know what you’re thinking now: Why not just do a search/replace of the URLs in the database when we change the public URI or root context? Ah, young Jedi, life is not so simple.

The table structure in the database is optimized for reads. The result is that item content is often stored as blobs (binary large objects), not simple text. And some resource content is not directly interpretable by the Jazz framework because the data is component specific. The URL in these components may be stored as binary, rdf, xml, etc. So identifying and replacing the links is not trivial.

That said, there’s plenty of discussion going on amongst developers about making public URIs more flexible. Stay tuned.

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About the author

Jim Ruehlin is a member of the Jazz Jumpstart team. He consults with customers and IBM staff in addressing complex technical issues with CLM products. His JazzPractices blog contains articles on a wide variety of CLM and Jazz related topics.

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