IBM RFE Community: How to search for an RFE

developerWorks explains the technology request for enhancement process

IBM® developerWorks Advisory Software Engineer David Salinas explains the software request for enhancement process and shows you how to search for an RFE on the IBM RFE Community in Part 3 of a five-part video series on how to participate in efforts to make your technology stronger.

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Scott Laningham (scottla@us.ibm.com), developerWorks Podcast Editor, IBM developerWorks

Scott LaninghamScott Laningham, host of developerWorks podcasts, was previously editor of developerWorks newsletters. Prior to IBM, he was an award-winning reporter and director for news programming featured on Public Radio International, a freelance writer for the American Communications Foundation and CBS Radio, and a songwriter/musician.



22 August 2011

Your narrator is IBM developerWorks Advisory Software Engineer David Salinas: Hello. My name is David Salinas, and I work at IBM®. I work on the IBM developerWorks website supporting the IBM RFE Community. Today's tutorial is on searching for RFEs on the IBM RFE Community. And to do that we'll go through a series of steps.

First, we're going to obviously go to the IBM RFE Community. Once there, we're going to search the RFE functionality. Once we're on the search page, we'll actually enter in the particular criteria in order to filter our search results to match what we're exactly looking for.

Once we're actually looking through the search results, we'll click on an individual RFE to view that record. And then, once we're able to view that record, that will conclude basically the information that will be provided in this tutorial.

Figure 1. Steps to search for an RFE
Steps to search for an RFE

So let us begin by going to the IBM RFE Community. So this is the IBM RFE Community, and you'll notice that I am logged in as indicated in the upper righthand side with my display name being shown.

Figure 2. The RFE Community
The RFE Community

Once we're on the actual IBM RFE Community, you can actually filter your view of the IBM RFE Community at least initially based on the landing page. In this particular case we're looking at the general landing page. There's also brand-specific landing pages, and to get to those you click on the individual brand name on the righthand side. In this case, we're going to go to Rational®.

Figure 3. Specific-product RFE page
Specific-product RFE page

So here you'll get a different view of the IBM RFE Community that represents the Rational brand. And from here we're going to click on search RFEs. By clicking on search RFEs, you're going to be taken to the search submit RFEs view, which is basically the search functionality of the IBM RFE Community.

Figure 4. The RFE search functionality
The RFE search functionality

Once you're here, you can actually tailor your search to a specific brand, product and other criteria as well. So first, notice that you can change your criteria at any time to rather than searching a particular brand you can search all brands by doing that and clicking submit, clicking search, you'll get a view of all the RFEs that exist on the platform.

But this is a little too much for us and we know we're sort of interested really in Rational products. So in this case, we're going to go back to the brand criteria and we're going to select Rational. And then we're going to select individual product family. And we only have one in this case. Then we'll click search. That narrows down our view of the number of RFEs as well.

That's still a little too much information for us.

So let's go ahead and then individually select an individual product, in this case we're going to go ahead and select IBM RFE Community. And then we're going to go ahead and click search. And that narrows down the number of RFEs to 127.

You can also change the results per page by using the criteria there as well. So in this case we're going to change it from default of showing 20 records per page to 100.

This still seems like an awfully lot for us to consider.

So probably want to narrow it down a little further. So we're going to use the component to sort of indicate which ones we want to look at. And in this case we're going to narrow down the components of the overall site and clicking search, we will now get down to 19 RFEs.

So there's basically 19 RFEs on the community that are related to the Rational product, the IBM RFE Community in the component overall site. And this is regardless of whatever state it may be.

And here you will notice several records. So we're going to go ahead and look at one RFE that we'd like to look at, which is basically regarding accessibility.

By clicking on the individual record, I'm now taken to the actual RFE.

Figure 5. The RFE record
The RFE record

And it will tell me here that it's been voted for, there's two people watching it, it has no attachments. Notice that I haven't voted for it and additionally, I'm not currently watching it.

Since I'm so interested in this RFE, I'm going to go ahead and vote for it. And notice the number of votes has increased. Additionally, I'm going to add it to my watch list since I'm interested in this RFE.

So at this point we have gone to the IBM RFE Community, we've searched for an RFE. We've actually found an RFE and we've actually interacted to a degree with that RFE.

So let's go back to search RFEs one more time. We'll click here, back to search. And we're back to the original criteria and search results that we had.

What we're going to do is that I want to walk a little further through how the other ways that you can filter your search results:

  • You can also filter by state. These are the individual statuses that an RFE can get into.
  • You can, if you know the display name of the individual that submitted the RFE record, you can filter by up to 20 of those.
  • Same thing with keywords, if you want to search for particular keywords you can use that as well. Once again, they're separated by comma, up to 20 keywords.
  • There's another way you can search for RFEs as well, and that's if you know a specific ID. So the one that we had clicked on was 12179. So by clicking on the search by RFE IDs or RATLC numbers I can then enter in a number here.

I'll go ahead and enter the number 12179. You can enter up to 20 IDs here as well; they all need to be comma separated. And once I do that and click the search button, I should only see one record, and it was that one record I had already voted on.

So this represents how you can use the search functionality to narrow down the RFEs you want to look at or the ones you possibly would be interested in.

I should also let you know that any time you're using search and you actually have search results, the actions section underneath the search results download as a .CSV file, will allow you to download all the RFEs that are in a search result into a CSV file that you can then use for your own purposes, either printing and so forth. Since it's a .CSV — or Comma Separated Value file — you can then use that with Lotus 123, Symphony, Google Docs or of course, Microsoft Excel.

So where does that leave us?

  • We've basically gone through the steps to be able to search for RFEs, to once we find them to be able to take some actions on there to have some further activity and collaboration with that RFE record.
  • We've been able to sort of understand how we can use search to narrow down the search results to fine tune to the RFEs that we are particularly interested in.
  • And then finally, to download those search results into a CSV file that we can use for our own purposes and data understanding.

So that all was done on an IBM RFE Community. And here's the URL in case you're not familiar with the IBM RFE Community.

We hope that you'll take the information provided to you in this tutorial, to be able to go out to the IBM RFE Community and be successful in finding RFEs you're interested in, watch them and additionally taking some time to be active in those records and provide additional information to either comment or actions by voting for the ones that are your favorite RFEs. Thank you for your usage for the IBM RFE Community.

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