IBM RFE Community: How to use groups

IBM® developerWorks Quality Assurance Lead Govind Baliga explains the software request for enhancement process and how to use groups within the IBM RFE Community in Part 6 of a six-part video series on how to participate in efforts to make your technology stronger.


Govind Baliga (, Advisory Software Quality Assurance Engineer, IBM

Govind Baliga is an Advisory Software Quality Assurance Engineer for IBM developerWorks. He is responsible for leading test efforts of various developerWorks community applications such as the RFE Community. He holds an undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems from The University of Arizona, Tucson. When he's not busy finding defects he enjoys practicing yoga, hiking outdoors, and traveling to new countries.

21 April 2014

Your narrator is IBM developerWorks Quality Assurance Lead Govind Baliga: Hello, my name is Govind Baliga, and I work at IBM for developerWorks website, supporting the IBM RFE Community. In this tutorial, we will talk about how to use groups within the RFE Community. To do so, we'll go through a series of steps by visiting IBM RFE Community; then, we go to Groups and we'll show manage members and invitations; then, we will add requests to group watchlist; and finally, we will demonstrate Group forums.

So, let's proceed on to IBM RFE Community. To do so, you must first sign in to IBM developerWorks website. As you can see on the righthand corner, I am signed in. The first thing we'll do is go to the Groups tab.

As you can see, I'm already a member of a few groups here. You can also navigate to Public Groups from the list. From the dropdown display list, select Group, Public Groups and then click submit, and this will display all Public Groups listed in the directory.

In order to join a Group, you simply click on request to join group, and you can provide your reason to join the group. The owner of the group will then get notified and then will approve our decline your request, depending on the reasons you have provided.

So, for our demo purpose, let's proceed on to creating a new group. So, click on create a new group on the top navigation here. All fields marked in red asterisks are required. So, we'll provide a name. We'll just call it demo group. Then provide a brief description. Group visibility can be set into two different types, either public or private. A public group will be listed on the Group directory and then anyone can request to join the group. And then you can approve or decline their request. Private groups will not be listed in the Group directory list. Only members can be invited by the group owner to the group.

If you have selected public, you can also set the request to automatically accept incoming membership. So, you can select the check box here. And further, you can decide whether you want the members to be added as member or administrators. So, there are two radio buttons for that.

Additionally, there are two different fields that are only visible to the group members, which is additional information that you can provide about the group. And you can also provide a URL for the group. So, for this purpose, I'll just leave this blank.

And there's also the option to set up a group forum, which you can request by submitting the Contact Us form. For our demo purposes, I'll just only enter the title of the group and also the description. So, I'll go ahead and click submit. Okay. So, our group is now successfully created. so I can go to the group. Once my group is set up, I can then proceed on to manage the members. To do so, I will click on manage members. As you can see, I'm the sole owner of the group here, and if I want to add others, I click on manage invitations. Here I will click on invite new member to expand the view.

I will then have to invite the developerWorks user by their display name. So, let's take a test user and invite them. Click submit. The invitee will then get notified about the invitation and they can then accept or reject the invitation. That's one way of inviting.

For Public Groups, you will see that there's a manage requests tab. Manage requests tab can be used to accept and decline membership of the incoming invitations. I'm going to switch a group that already has members and invitations so that way, it will be easy to demonstrate.

I will click on the Groups tab and then go back to Groups, and I will use dW Testing Team for a demonstration purpose. I will click on manage members again. I will then click on manage requests. And as you can see, there is a number waiting to be accepted or declined.

So, here, I can choose to see the reason for the request, and I can also change their role to either administrator or leave it as member. And then I can choose to either approve or decline the membership.

So, that's managing membership in a nutshell. Let's proceed on to group watchlist. In a group watchlist, you can add requests within a group so that members and owners and administrators of the group can see which RFEs are listed in the group watchlist so they can they can subscribe to the group watchlist and get notified if there are any changes being made to the RFEs or requests listed in the watchlist.

So, if somebody adds a comment to it or a new attachment's been added to the request or if there's a response from the IBM support team, then the subscribers of the group watchlist will get notified. So, I'm going to scroll down within the group page and click on view group watchlist.

So, here are some requests that have already added to the group watchlist. So, let's go ahead and add a new one. I'll click on the add request tab. From here, I will add the request ID, then click on view headline to see if that's, indeed, the request that I want to add to the group watchlist. I can also select the category to further categorize the request within the group watchlist.

So, I'll leave that blank for right now, and I'll click on add request. You will then see a confirmation message on top that says the request ID has been added to the watchlist. So, if I scroll down the list, you will see that the new request was added on the bottom. As an administrator, I can remove it, but the members of the group will not be able to remove it. I can also categorize this request into categories. And also, any group members can also vote the request.

So this is how you would go about adding requests to the group watchlist. Additionally, you will see there's a ranking feature on top, next to all the requests that are part of the group watchlist. Let's say if I want to make my request to be on top. I simply click on the top button, and this will now... Request ID 50908 will now be listed on top of the watchlist.

So this way, the members of the group will know which request in the group watchlist carries a higher ranking. Additionally, you can subscribe and unsubscribe to watchlists so that you can get notifications. Currently, I'm getting notified. So, you can see unsubscribe button. If I click on it, I will no longer get notified.

If I click on subscribe again, I will get a confirmation message so that I can subscribe to the group watchlist email notifications. You can also download the list of requests in the CSV file, or you can also view the RSS feeds of the requests in the group watchlist.

So, we have covered how to create a group watchlist, manage members within the groups, adding requests to group watchlist and ranking them, subscribe and unsubscribe to group watchlist. Lastly, let me also demonstrate to you the group forum capability that is available as part of the groups.

I'm going to go back to the group landing page, where you can see the description and headline of the group. And on the bottom of the page, you will see the forum section here, and you can click on open the private forum community. And this will list all the...this will open a new window, and you can start creating a dialogue between the group members within the group.

So, if you want to have a general discussion about any given topic, this is where you would go to start a topic and exchange your messages with the group members.

In case you don't see the open the private community forum link, you simply have to click on the Contact Us link which was available on the new groups that you saw previously and fill out the reason to request a new group community forum by providing the group URL, and then the administrators will go ahead and create a group forum for your community.

So, this is the forum I was referring to. And just enter the URL of the group here, select a topic, group creation, and then submit the form. So, that concludes the demonstration of using groups within the RFE Community. So, we have covered groups, manage members invitations, group watchlist and group forums.

Thank you for visiting the RFE Community tutorial, and I hope you found this tutorial very helpful for using groups within the RFE Community. Thank you.


  • If you have questions or need more answers about the RFE Community, please contact us.


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