r8 - 2019-06-24 - 23:50:09 - Main.fryerkYou are here: TWiki >  Deployment Web > DeploymentIntegrating > IntegratingWithConfigurationManagementEnabledCLMApplications

Enabling your application to integrate with configuration-management-enabled CLM applications new.png

Authors: KathrynFryer
Build basis: Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) 6.x

In version 6, Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) introduced new configuration management capabilities in the requirements, test, and design domains. These capabilities represent the first implementation of the OASIS OSLC Configuration Management specification (in draft as of December 2015), and include support for versioned artifacts, streams and baselines, and global configurations for lifecycle data.

Many third-party applications, including in-house client applications, have developed integrations with the CLM products, often by using OSLC linking. Because of the changes associated with configuration management, described in this article, many of these integrations will not work correctly in an environment that uses configurations until the 3rd-party application implements a basic level of support for configuration management.

This document describes different integration scenarios and what an application must implement to realize them. It is intended for the application owners and developers of those 3rd-party applications. It assumes:

  • You are already familiar with the CLM configuration management capabilities (see this article for more details), with a basic understanding of streams, versioned artifacts, and one-way directional linking.
  • Your third-party application already complies with the OSLC Core 2.0 specification.
  • Your third-party application already supports a way to define friendships and project associations with the CLM application you integrate with. (If you are writing a new application, refer to the relevant OSLC specifications and CLM Knowledge Center to learn about defining server and project associations.)

Important references include:

Impacts of configuration management

Configuration management changes how artifacts are managed, used, and referenced in CLM:

  • How artifacts are stored: They are versioned, and associated with a configuration (stream or baseline).
  • How artifacts are referenced or requested: Their URIs are resolved using a specific configuration context.
  • How cross-application links are managed: Links are directional. The "owning" or source application stores the link details with the artifact and publishes to the Link Index Provider; the target application does not store the link details with the artifact, but queries the incoming links (or "back links") from the link index when needed. By comparison, in non-configuration-enabled environments, applications create and store physical back links with the artifact; any existing back links are removed when a project area is enabled for configuration management. For a list of links and owning/target applications (which correspond to OSLC domains), see the following table; you can use the list to determine which links your application would own. (Link types that are constrained to artifacts within an application, such as those between requirements in an RM project, might or might not be managed using the link index.)
  • How OSLC links are resolved: They resolve first within the context of a defined configuration, and then across providers through a global configuration that contains configurations from more than one application.

Table 1. Link types and their owning domain/application. In alphabetical order by owning domain, target domain, and link relationship. directional_link_table1.png

If your application already integrates with the CLM applications, those integrations may not work correctly in a configuration-aware environment. For example, if your non-configuration-enabled application has existing links to artifacts that have been versioned (in an existing CLM project area that enabled configuration management), those links will always resolve to the artifact in the initial or default stream; over time, as new branches of the stream are created, you cannot assume the default stream contains the correct artifact version. You cannot create new links from a CLM versioned artifact to artifacts in a non-configuration-enabled application. If your application owns the links, the CLM artifact will no longer show the incoming link.

To ensure your application's integrations to CLM continue to work in a configuration-aware environment, you must implement an appropriate level of support for configuration management. This document describes multiple integration scenarios and what an application must implement to realize them.

Note: The CLM applications provide various examples of how to support configuration management. Rational DOORS Next Generation (DNG), Rational Design Manager (RDM), and Rational Quality Manager (RQM) include versioned artifacts and configurations; RDM is considered "compatible" and allows some linking to non-versioned artifacts. The RTC SCM component provides advanced change and configuration management support for source code artifacts; these artifacts are not defined by an OSLC domain and don't use OSLC to create links, but can contribute baselines, snapshots, and streams to global configurations. The Rational Team Concert (RTC) or CCM work item system does not provide configurations or versioned artifacts, but supports linking to versioned artifacts and setting configuration context. (Technically, the work item system is provided by the CCM application within CLM, which is available based on licensing, but we will refer to it as RTC for simplicity.)

If you do nothing to your application

In general, linking between artifacts in configuration-enabled containers (project areas) and non-configuration-aware containers is not supported, and does not work in a way that is useful. If you do nothing to your application, your integration use cases will not work as expected with configuration-enabled CLM projects, with a few exceptions:

  1. If you link or synchronize only with RTC plans or work items, and those work items don't link to versioned artifacts in DNG, RQM, or RDM (or such links are ignored or deleted in the 3rd-party application), the integration should continue to work without changes to your application. RTC does not version work item or plan artifacts.
  2. If you copy a static URL to link to requirement or test artifacts, the URL will include the configuration context and will resolve correctly to display the CLM artifact in the correct context.
    • Copying the artifact URL from a link attribute value (right-clicking the artifact identified in an existing OSLC link and selecting Copy Link Location) yields a URL you can use in a REST command or to display the artifact in a browser.
    • Copying the URL from the browser address field gives you a different syntax; you would need to derive the correct URL to use it to access the artifact programmatically.
  3. If you enable execution of RQM tests in a separate application, and you used the recommended APIs from IBM to accept URLs from RQM for the test to run and the target location for test results, the integration should continue to work. RQM provides URLs with the correct version and configuration information, and the third-party application can treat them like any other URL. Contact your IBM representative for updated CLM v6 information to validate your implementation. If you do NOT use the APIs, you should modify your adapter to use the APIs, which are available under special agreement from IBM; contact your IBM Business Development or client rep.
  4. If you use the Rational Design Manager SDK to publish model content as RDM resources, and followed the steps defined on Jazz.net, you have already implemented a mechanism to request and select target RDM configurations (or to use the default) for publishing. This mechanism will continue to work in v6, although you should test and validate the integration. However, you cannot yet specify a global configuration, only a local RDM configuration - meaning that if you work in a global configuration context, you'll need to know which local RDM configuration contributes to that global configuration.
  5. If you link to design artifacts in RDM, and expect those links to always resolve to the default configuration (as specified in RDM), your integration should continue to work. You can create links between RDM and third-party applications that do not support configurations, but those links always resolve to the default configuration set in RDM. DNG and RQM configuration-enabled projects will not allow users to create new links to or from applications that do not support configurations.

If these exceptions do not apply to your application, you likely need to take some action to ensure your integrations work correctly with configuration-enabled projects.

How to enable your application

What you must do to enable your application for configuration management depends on the usage scenarios you want to support. In the next sections, we explore the following scenarios, which build upon each other:

Scenario1. Enable users to set a global configuration context to use with your application.
Your application doesn't need to have versioned artifacts or configurations. This support is required for all the following scenarios; in and of itself, it does not provide much practical functionality.

Scenario 2. Enable users to create OSLC links between artifacts in your application and versioned artifacts in DNG, RQM, or RDM
- for example, to indicate that a test case in your application validates a requirement in DNG, or a task or work item implements a requirement in DNG. Your application doesn't need to have versioned artifacts or configurations.

Scenario 3. Enable users to define configurations (streams and baselines), and potentially to version artifacts, in your own application.
The OASIS OSLC Configuration Management specification describes how to implement configurations and artifact versioning. Note that the specification does not mandate versioning of artifacts, and suggests that ChangeRequests in particular should not be versioned.

Scenario 4. Enable users to contribute configurations from your application to global configurations,
to group a particular set or configuration of artifacts with artifacts from the CLM application(s). Your application must provide configurations as described in the scenario above.

Scenario 5. Enable users to report on data from your application along with the CLM application data
using the Jazz Reporting Service Report Builder or Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager (RELM, which requires additional licenses to CLM). Reporting doesn't require versioned artifacts or configurations, but does behave differently if your artifacts are not versioned.

Before implementing any of these scenarios, your application administrator must take steps to enable your application and its users to access the Global Configuration Management (GCM) server:

  1. Your application administrator must set up a friend relationship between your application and the global configuration provider (the CLM Global Configuration Management [GCM] server), to enable communication between them. This step is similar to how you establish friendships with the other CLM applications you integrate with.
  2. Your application users need permission to access the GCM application and the appropriate project areas within it. If they don't already have access, your GCM or CLM administrator needs to add them as users and project area members.

Service provider properties for CLM integration

The CLM applications also check for certain properties in your service provider documents when initiating an integration operation, to determine your application's configuration management support. For example, when a user tries to create a link from a DNG artifact to another application, DNG checks the application's globalConfigurationAware setting to ensure compatibility or support for configurations before opening the artifact picker; the Global Configuration Management (GCM) application also checks the globalConfigurationAware setting when responding to requests. These properties are not defined in the OASIS OSLC specification, but are required to integrate with CLM.

Add the following properties to your application's service provider documents, using the http://jazz.net/xmlns/prod/jazz/process/1.0/ namespace. (The following examples use the prefix jfs_proc to represent that namespace):

  • globalConfigurationAware. The CLM applications check this value when establishing a connection to your application's provider, such as when creating a link or requesting an artifact. If the provider's value is no, DNG and RQM do not permit the user to create or modify a link to the provider; RTC and RDM simply treat the application as if it doesn't support configurations. If you don't specify this property, the value is assumed to be no. Set the value to:
    • yes if your application supports configurations and versioned artifacts.
    • compatible if your application does not support configurations, but it can still link to or interact with versioned artifacts (because you have implemented Scenarios 1 and 2 above).
    • no if you have no support for configurations or versioning.
    • For example: yes

  • supportContributionsToLinkIndexProvider. For links that your application "owns", indicate whether you provide a TRS feed that populates the Link Index Provider with information for the target application (true) or not (false). For example: true
    • The Link Index Provider (LDX) stores information about the links; the target application artifact, which does not store any incoming link information, can then query LDX to request information about those links in order to display them.
    • If you do not provide information to the link index, the target DNG and RQM artifacts cannot show the incoming link from your application artifact. For more details, see Scenario 2 below.
    • The CLM applications do not check this value today, but assume that if a provider has declared support or compatibility for configurations (in the globalConfigurationAware property), it provides information to the Link Index Provider.

  • supportLinkDiscoveryViaLinkIndexProvider. For links that your application does not "own", indicate whether your application queries the Link Index Provider to get information about incoming links from other applications (true) or not (false). For example: true
    • Of the CLM applications, only RTC checks this property. If the application supports link discovery, RTC provides link information to LDX; otherwise, RTC attempts to create incoming links (back links) in the application. The other CLM applications do not create incoming links in any application when configurations are enabled. Unless your application "owns" all link types it uses, when you support linking to versioned artifacts, you should adopt the link discovery mechanisms.

Scenario 1: Enable users to set a configuration context for your application's artifacts.

With configuration management enabled, artifact references are resolved in the context of a configuration; cross-project or cross-application links require a global configuration context. Whether your application defines its own configurations or not, your users will need to set or select a configuration context when creating or referencing artifacts using OSLC links, and your application needs to store that context. This capability is necessary to support the linking use cases described in the next scenario.

To ensure that users can select a configuration context:

  1. Your application users need to be able to select the desired global configuration context to use, from the appropriate GCM project area. Your application can locate and use URL for the global configuration "picker" or selection dialog box from the GCM application's service catalog, using the typical OSLC discovery mechanisms. When your application opens the dialog box, the GCM application lists the available configurations; the user can then select or change the configuration they want from the list.
  2. Your application needs a way to store the selected configuration context for future use - options include a property of the user's session setting (such as a session variable); a user preference; an attribute or property of an artifact or project area; potentially even as an additional property of a link to the artifact; or some combination of these. How you implement depends on your application and usage scenarios. The RTC work item system uses a somewhat complex combination of mappings and attributes; other implementers might use a simpler implementation of a session variable, or a user-container attribute. Your application will need to include this context when making requests of other configuration-enabled applications.
  3. Your application users need to be able to determine the current configuration context. Your application needs to display or communicate the context in some way. The CLM applications use the configuration context menu in the main menu bar.
  4. Optional: Your application might allow an administrator to set a default configuration context, so the user does not need to make that decision. If you choose to provide such an option, you'll need a mechanism for the administrator to select the configuration from the list of global configurations, and store and display it so the user knows which configuration they are using. You might also need to consider whether and how the user can override that default.

Scenario 2: Enable users to link between your application's artifacts and versioned CLM artifacts.

For configuration-enabled projects, links are directional: there is a source or “owner” artifact and application, and a target (see the Link Table above). As a result, there are multiple steps involved in establishing links between your application’s artifacts and the versioned artifacts in CLM:

  1. Enable users to create links from your application’s artifacts to CLM artifacts by passing and accepting the configuration context in all artifact requests.
  2. Ensure that users can create links from CLM versioned artifacts to your application.
  3. Enable users to create, see, and maintain links between your application’s artifacts and versioned CLM artifacts, regardless of which side initiates the action or “owns” the links. This step requires adopting the Link Index Provider (LDX) so the “target” application artifact can resolve incoming links.

If your application “owns” all of the links to the CLM application (or conversely, the CLM application “owns” all of the links), you could conceivably implement steps 1 and 2, and adopt LDX in a second phase. However, until you adopt LDX, the user can only see, modify, or follow the link from the “owner” artifact to the target artifact; the target artifact will not show any indication that the link exists. That level of implementation might be sufficient for a small set of use cases. In the long term, you should adopt LDX so the user can see incoming links as well, and modify and traverse links between artifacts regardless of which application owns them.


  • One special case exists: a user creates a link from your application to an RTC artifact, where RTC "owns" the link. If your application does not use LDX (supportLinkDiscoveryViaLinkIndexProvider is false), RTC tries to create an incoming link in your application. None of the other CLM applications create incoming links when configuration management is enabled.
  • Because CLM artifacts no longer store incoming links (links they do not "own") as properties, when you request the artifact (using REST GET, for example), the resource returned does not include those incoming link values. If your application requires those properties, you need to make a second request to LDX to get them. Also be aware that LDX stores the link properties using the forward link property (for example, validatesRequirement), which might not be the same label your application would use to show the incoming link.

a) Enable the user to create links from your application to a versioned CLM artifact (new or existing)

When the user creates the link:

  1. If the configuration context is not already set, the user chooses the desired configuration context for the CLM artifact from the list of global configurations, using the GCM application's delegated selection dialog box, as described earlier. Save the selected configuration context.
  2. Include the configuration context in the header or URI of the CLM request to create the link (and the artifact, if appropriate), as described in the "Configuration Context" section of the OASIS OSLC CM specification.
  3. If your application "owns" the link, save the link values with your application's artifact. (If your application does not "own" the link, you need to adopt LDX so you can display the incoming link. See step c below.)

When the user follows or modifies the link from your application to the CLM artifact, or when your application shows a preview (rich hover text) on mouse-over, include the configuration context in the request header or URI to ensure that you display the correct version of the artifact, as described in the Configuration Context section of the OASIS OSLC CM specification.

b) Enable the user to create links from the versioned CLM artifact to a (non-versioned) artifact in your application

  1. Ensure that the CLM applications can determine that your application supports configuration management: Update your service provider document to set the property globalConfigurationAware to yes (if you fully support the configuration management specification, and can only integrate with enabled applications or service providers) or compatible (if your application is configuration-aware, and can support integrations with enabled and non-enabled providers). If you do not specify the property, or set its value to no, the DNG and RQM applications will give an error, and will not display your delegated artifact selection or creation UI. (RTC and RDM will display the delegated UI, but might not pass the configuration context.)
  2. Accept and process the configuration context passed with the link creation request.
  3. If the user is linking to an existing artifact, filter the available artifacts based on the configuration context, where appropriate. (If your application implements versioned artifacts, you must use the configuration context to filter and set the link to the correct artifact version.)
  4. If your application "owns" the link, save the link values with your application's artifact.
  5. If the CLM artifact "owns" the link, it will store the link value with the CLM artifact, and send information about the target to the Link Index Provider (LDX). In that case, your application must adopt LDX to display the incoming link to the user (see step c below).

c) Enable users to see and manage links between artifacts regardless of link ownership

To ensure that users can create, modify, view, and traverse links between your application and the CLM applications, regardless of link ownership, you need to adopt the Link Index Provider (LDX). How you adopt and use LDX differs depending on whether your application "owns" the link or not. See the Link Table above to determine link ownership.

  • For links your application "owns", the CLM application does not store any physical data with its artifact, but queries the link information from LDX. To ensure that the CLM artifact displays the incoming link, you need to populate LDX with the link data:
    1. Create an OSLC TRS feed for the link properties for your resources, and define the feed in your application's rootservices document. Refer to the OSLC Tracked Resource Set and Indexable Linked Data Provider specifications for details on defining and publishing tracked resource sets.
    2. After your application is installed, an administrator must manually register the TRS feed as a data source in the LDX administrator UI at https://SERVER:PORT/ldx/web/admin/data-sources (replacing SERVER:PORT with the server and port values). There might be a more automated registration mechanism in a future release.
    3. Tell the CLM applications that you contribute to LDX by setting the supportContributionsToLinkIndexProvider property to yes in your application's service provider documents.
  • For links that the CLM application "owns", the CLM application stores the link with its artifact and populates the target information to LDX. Although in the past, your application might have stored the other end of the link with the artifact, you should now query LDX for the link information when required. Otherwise, users of the CLM application might delete or modify the link without your application being updated, rendering the link data invalid. To query LDX for link information:
    1. Discover the Link Index (ILinkIndexService) API endpoint, which is defined as a resource in the LinkProvider property in the CLM application's Service Contribution Resource (/scr) document.
    2. Query LDX for the link information using that Link Index API endpoint and the queryForLinks API or query REST command. See the Backlink Index article on Jazz.net for details on the API syntax. For example, to get all "Implemented By" and "Validated By" links for a DNG resource in a specific configuration context: POST https://SERVER:PORT/qm/linkIndex/query Content-Type: text/json Accept: text/json ---Content--- { "targetURLs": [ "https://SERVER:PORT/rm/resources/_q6HmUnl7EeSIQetY5MAdvQ" ], "linkTypes": [ "http://open-services.net/ns/cm#implementsRequirement", "http://open-services.net/ns/qm#validatesRequirement" ], "gcURL": "https://SERVER:PORT/gc/configuration/4" }
    3. Tell the CLM applications that you query links from LDX by setting the supportLinkDiscoveryViaLinkIndexProvider property to yes in your application's service provider documents.

Scenario 3: Enable users to define configurations in your own application.

You might choose to enable users to define different configurations and potentially versioned artifacts within your own application, to increase reuse, enable variants and parallel development, and participate more fully in global configurations. Note that the OASIS OSLC Configuration Management specification does not mandate versioning for all artifact types, and suggests that ChangeRequests in particular should not be versioned.

  • You need to support the underlying capabilities and services:
    1. Implement support for components and configurations as defined in the OASIS OSLC Configuration Management - Configuration Resources specification section.
    2. Produce RDF resources compliant with the OASIS OSLC Configuration Management specification (versioned resources, configurations, streams, and baselines). Refer to the spec for details.
    3. Publish your RDF resources by using an OSLC TRS feed, including versioned resources and local configuration resources. Refer to the OSLC Tracked Resource Set and Indexable Linked Data Provider specifications for details on defining and publishing tracked resource sets.
    4. Tell the CLM applications that you support configurations by setting the globalConfigurationAware property to yes in your application's service provider documents.
    5. When integrating with other application providers, check their globalConfigurationAware property and take appropriate action based on the setting. (Note: "appropriate action" depends on whether your application is compatible with both providers that support configurations and those that don't; if you can only integrate with providers that support configurations, you need error handling to alert users that you cannot integrate with providers that don't support configurations.)
  • If you want users to be able to choose whether to enable configuration management in a particular application instance or container, provide an option or "switch" to enable the support (as DNG and RQM do for each project area).
  • Enable users to set the local configuration in your application, as well as a global configuration context (as described previously). See the Delegated UI section in the OASIS OSLC Configuration Management - Configuration Resources specification section. Note: If you do not support global configuration protocols, your application must set a default configuration that will be used to resolve incoming links.
  • When a user creates, displays, modifies, or deletes an artifact, ensure that your application passes the correct configuration context information in the header of the request, as defined by the OASIS OSLC Configuration Management specification.
  • If you want users of other third-party, non-configuration-enabled applications to link to your application artifacts, consider explicitly defining a "default configuration", as RDM does. Otherwise, you can default to the initial configuration, as DNG and RQM do.
  • Support directional linking, as described in the previous scenario on linking:
    1. Remove or ignore any incoming links (back links) in your application (links your application does not "own").
    2. As described in scenario 2, when a user creates an OSLC link that your application owns:
      1. Register your TRS feed (that includes link resources) with the Link Index Provider (LDX) - either manually, or using the APIs and commands as described above.
      2. When creating the link, store the link information with the artifact in your application; your TRS feed will publish the reverse link information to LDX for the CLM applications to query.
    3. When displaying your own artifact (either in your application, or in a delegated UI like a rich hover preview), query LDX to get link information and display it in your application with any links that are physically stored there.
    4. Tell the CLM applications that you use LDX by setting supportContributionsToLinkIndexProvider and supportLinkDiscoveryViaLinkIndexProvider properties to yes in your application's service provider documents.

Important: In most cases, if you are implementing configurations, you will also want to contribute to global configurations, to enable cross-application linking within the global context. If you are implementing in stages and your application does not yet support global configuration protocols, you must provide a default local configuration to resolve links from other applications (namely CLM artifacts).

Scenario 4: Enable users to add your application's configurations to a global configuration.

This usage scenario assumes that your application can represent configurations and versioned artifacts, that can be contributed to a global configuration, as described in scenario 3 above, and per the OASIS OSLC Configuration Management specification.

Note: At this time, you cannot contribute aggregate or composite configurations to the CLM Global Configuration Management (GCM) application; it expects that "local" configurations do not have any sub-configurations. This does not apply to SCM configurations, since references to the artifacts in SCM configurations are never resolved in a GC context.

To enable a user to contribute your application's configurations to a global configuration:

  1. Indicate your configuration is a valid contribution by giving it the oslc_config:acceptedBy property set to the value oslc_config:Configuration.
  2. Define your available configuration service providers in a catalog, and point to it from your rootservices document, for example: .
  3. Allow the user to select from your available configurations by providing a delegated "picker" UI that the GCM application can call to display and filter the list of available configurations.
  4. When the user links to or from your application, use the global configuration context to correctly resolve both incoming and outgoing references and resolve to the correct configuration and artifact.

Scenario 5: Enable users to report on your artifacts with configuration-aware reports

RELM and Jazz Reporting Service and Report Builder can report against projects with configurations using a special data source, the Lifecycle Query Engine using Configurations. To include artifacts from your applications in reports, your application must populate this data source. (Note that RELM requires an additional license to the CLM applications.)

To enable users to build and run reports on configurations that include data from your applications:

  1. Publish your RDF resources using OSLC TRS feeds, as described in Integrating external data sources with LQE and Report Builder. Refer to the OSLC Tracked Resource Set and Indexable Linked Data Provider specifications for additional details on defining and publishing tracked resource sets.
  2. Register your TRS feeds with the LQE data source:
    • If your application can register as a JTS extension (see https://jazz.net/products/DevelopmentItem.jsp?href=content/project/plans/jia-overview/index.html for details), its services can be queried from LQE. A CLM administrator can run setup on LQE, and it will find and add your application's TRS feeds.
    • If your application does not register as a JTS extension, or if you want, a CLM administrator can manually add the TRS feeds from the LQE Data Sources administration page (https://SERVER:PORT/lqe/web/admin/data-sources), using the feed itself or the rootservices URL for your application.


  • This process is the same for applications that don't support configurations but use LQE (without configurations) as a data source for reports.)
  • If you contribute non-versioned artifacts (that is, you do not support versioning or configurations, but populate LQE), those artifacts are considered part of all configurations, even if a user created links to or from them in the context of a specific CLM configuration. Those artifacts will then appear in reports against any configuration.

Finalizing your implementation

After completing the steps required to support the integration scenarios for your application, you'll need to validate them and publicize your new configuration support.

As the CLM implementation of configuration management matures, there might be other services where your application could participate, such as the link validity service. Information on those special topics will be addressed separately, as they are made available for external consumption.

Please contact your IBM representative if you require assistance, and also when you have validated support for configuration-enabled projects, and the version you have tested with. If you have questions, or feedback or helpful additions to this article, please post a comment here, or on the Jazz.net forum.

Related topics:

External links:

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Pngpng directional_link_table1.png manage 58.7 K 2015-12-16 - 14:35 UnknownUser This table lists the link types and their owning domain/application In alphabetical order by owning domain, target domain, and link relationship
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