What's new in IBM Rational ClearQuest Version 7.1

Change management, schema, reporting, import, and security enhancements

Schema design, reporting, import, and security enhancements are just a few of the new capabilities and features in IBM® Rational® ClearQuest® Version 7.1. New command line, Web client, and Rational ClearQuest Designer interfaces combine with an out-of-the-box application lifecycle management schema, and a new change management server and API.

Michael Manning (memannin@us.ibm.com), Rational ClearCase Product Manager, IBM

Michael Manning is a Sr. Product Manager for IBM Rational ClearCase and ClearCase MultiSite. He's been working with ClearCase for more than ten years in Engineering and Product Management roles.



24 November 2008

Also available in Chinese Russian

Software development teams use IBM® Rational® ClearQuest® to manage change in their development environments. Rational ClearQuest is a flexible change management tool suitable for multiple process management uses. It integrates with IBM® Rational® ClearCase® for both base and UCM configuration management.

Summary of key advancements

Following is a quick summary of what is new in Rational ClearQuest Version 7.1:

  • New Rational ClearQuest Web client with capability equivalent to the native client
  • New command line interface (CLI)
  • Rewritten Rational ClearQuest Designer, with new features to reduce the time you need to spend on schema design
  • Rewritten import tool, with multi-platform support (Microsoft® Windows®, Linux®, and UNIX®)
  • Out-of-the-box ALM schema: integrated with Rational ClearCase UCM and IBM® Rational® RequisitePro®
  • Enhanced security: FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) 140-2 encryption
  • Enhanced, flexible, "pull-data" reporting
  • CM Server and CM API provide robust infrastructure for Rational ClearQuest and Rational ClearCase

The 7.1 release of IBM Rational ClearQuest is one of the richest change management offerings since Rational ClearQuest was first introduced. IBM has rewritten most of the important client interfaces, including Rational ClearQuest Designer, Rational ClearQuest Web, and the Rational ClearQuest CLI. This release also introduces a versatile schema (ready for you to use as-is) for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). The schema integrates with other essential Rational lifecycle tools, Rational ClearCase and RequisitePro.

Beyond these major enhancements, V7.1 provides new security and compliance capabilities (like FIPS 140-2 encryption compatibility and IPv6 support). It also has expanded reporting capabilities, enabling a pull-data model that supports multiple reporting tools: Business Objects® Crystal Reports®, Eclipse™ BIRT, and Actuate®. IBM® Installation Manager consolidates all of IBM's platforms into a single install technology that provides better install and uninstall performance, reduces the downtime required to bring new servers online, and provides backout capabilities if updates need to be rolled back.

The business benefits fall into three high-level categories:

  • Lowered total cost of ownership (TCO)
  • Improved governance, compliance, and lifecycle management
  • Improved time to value and return on investment

Rational ClearQuest Web client

In Rational ClearQuest 7.1, the Web client has been completely rewritten using Web 2.0 technologies, and for the first time presents a weightless browser interface with complete parity to the traditional, thick native client, as shown in Figure 1. Rational ClearQuest Web has a new, IBM® WebSphere® Application Server-based CM Server as a backend. This provides not only a usable, highly functional user interface but a robust, scalable, and administrable infrastructure. Taken together, these functionalities eclipse those found in earlier releases of the product.

Figure 1. Rational ClearQuest Web UI in V7.1
image of workspace

Other capabilities and benefits of Rational ClearQuest Web V7.1 include:

  • Full, Google™-like text search
  • Persistent personalized settings
  • Rational ClearQuest Favorites for quick access to your most common queries
  • Multi-row select and multi-record updates
  • Query Wizard
  • Full sorting of Result Set
  • Parity with native client

Rational ClearQuest Designer

Rational ClearQuest Designer has been completely overhauled in V7.1 to simplify schema development using the Eclipse development environment. You can leverage Eclipse extensibility to choose your editor, and take advantage of the embedded EPIC Perl Editor (with its rich syntax highlighting and error checking). Rational ClearQuest Designer features make it easy for you to compare and merge schema versions. In addition, the new error visualization feature emphasizes schema validation problems and makes it easy to trace errors to their source, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Rational ClearQuest Designer error visualization
image of workspace

Rational ClearQuest Designer features include:

  • Role-based Eclipse views
  • The Multiple Test Configurations feature, for targeting tests to native, Eclipse, or Web clients
  • The History feature, for comprehensive view of schema revisions

ALM schema

The ALM schema provides a set of records with relationships that help your teams manage the work involved in delivering software projects, which is its principle role. Figure 3 shows this project-level The ALM schema also provides useful building blocks and frameworks that facilitate custom configurations to fit into every enterprise. The ALM schema is delivered with Rational ClearQuest V7.1 as a set of packages and a schema. The ALM Packages can also be applied to Rational ClearQuest Version 7.0.1.

Figure 3. Rational ClearQuest ALM project-level process support
diagram of defect record lifecycle

Benefits include that the ALM schema:

  • Integrates with other Rational products, providing full development lifecycle
  • Boosts team performance
  • Streamlines your ability to deliver software without extensive schema development
  • Reduces the cost of ownership and increases return on investment
  • Simplifies compliance initiatives and streamlines audit trails

CM Server

CM Server provides the new infrastructure for Rational ClearCase Remote Client V7.1 and Rational ClearQuest Web V7.1. Built on the industry Enterprise standard Websphere Application Server, CM Server provides a high-performing server-based deployment model that’s easily managed, administered, and upgraded, as shown in Figure 4.

The IBM Rational ClearCase and Rational ClearQuest 7.1 releases introduce the Change Management (CM) Server, which provides server-side support for Wide Area Network (WAN) interfaces to Rational ClearCase and Rational ClearQuest. CM Server is a unified application server for both Rational ClearCase Remote Client and Rational ClearQuest Web. It leverages the performance, security and scalability of WebSphere Application Server (Version 6.1.0.15). For detailed information regarding CM server architecture, deployment and administration, please refer to the Rational ClearCase 7.1 Information Center, listed in the Resources section.

Figure 4. CM Server architecture
diagram of CM server architecture

CM Server provides many advantages:

  • Single technology stack for Rational ClearCase and Rational ClearQuest servers
  • Infrastructure for WAN based clients: Rational ClearCase Remote Client and Rational ClearQuest Web
  • Industry-standard WebSphere Application Server-based application servers
  • Horizontal and vertical scalability
  • 30% - 50% Performance improvements over 7.0.1

CM API

CM API is a Java™ API that replaces the Rational ClearCase Automation Library (CAL) and the Rational ClearCase UNIX API with a cross-platform interface drawn from industry standards. It is suitable both for framing infrastructure and for writing real integrations.

Benefits of CM API include that it:

  • Is a unified, client-side Java API for Rational ClearCase and Rational ClearQuest access
  • Is based on Java™ Specification Request (JSR) 147, Workspace Versioning and Configuration Management (WVCM) specification
  • Has a common Rational ClearCase and Rational ClearQuest Data model with domain-specific services
  • Supports customer and partner ecosystems

Rational ClearQuest command line interface (CLI)

New cross-platform, scripting commands are available to help you access Rational ClearQuest information from the command line, as shown in Figure 5. With them, you can do the following:

  • Submit, edit, or find records
  • Add or remove attachments for a specific record
  • Create, rename, delete, or modify queries

There is also a run_script command, which enables you to execute a file containing a set of the above commands from the command line.

Figure 5. Rational ClearQuest CLI
image of new command line interfaces

Rational ClearQuest CLI benefits and capabilities include:

  • Cross-platform scripting language for build-script integration
  • Command aliasing
  • Unicode and Globalization support
  • Fully documented help with command usage pages
  • Extensible (based on CM API)
  • Source code exposed on IBM® developerWorks®

Other new features and enhancements

Other Rational ClearQuest V7.1 capabilities include the following:

  • IPv6 Support (Supports customers that must comply with federal standards)
  • FIPS 140-2 Support
  • Ability to disable the Remember Password option
  • Multiple directory servers and domains
  • Rational ClearQuest Web workspace folder access control lists (ACLs)
  • Structured and unstructured search features
  • IBM Installation Manager
    • Cross-platform installer
    • Eclipse-based

The 7.1 release of Rational ClearQuest contains more than 375 customer requests for enhancement (RFEs), selected for their contribution to core business values:

  • Time to return on investment
  • Reduced total cost of ownership
  • Governance, compliance, lifecycle capability

The chart in Figure 6 illustrates the mapping of Rational ClearQuest RFEs to these business values.

Figure 6. RFEs by business value
image of pie chart

For more detailed information about the 7.1 release of Rational ClearCase, see the references provided in the Resources section, following.

Resources

Learn

  • For more information on ClearQuest and other change management products, visit the Change and Release Management page on ibm.com
  • Visit the Rational Software area on developerWorks for technical resources and best practices for Rational products
  • Visit the Rational ClearCase Information Center, where you can view, browse, and search on-line information related to the CM server, the CM API, and the Rational ClearCase product family.
  • To understand the differences between Rational ClearQuest V7.0.1 and V7.1 Web clients, read this Technote
  • For information on Rational ClearCase performance and access to Rational ClearQuest benchmarks and other reports, visit developerWorks
  • For information on supported Platforms in 7.1, see this Technote
  • For information about Rational ClearQuest ALM, read the ALM Redbook
  • Learn about the ALM packages for Rational ClearQuest in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this Rational Edge article.
  • Visit the Rational software area on developerWorks for technical resources and best practices for Rational Software Delivery Platform products.
  • Subscribe to the IBM developerWorks newsletter, a weekly update on the best of developerWorks tutorials, articles, downloads, community activities, webcasts and events.
  • Subscribe to the developerWorks Rational zone newsletter. Keep up with developerWorks Rational content. Every other week, you'll receive updates on the latest technical resources and best practices for the Rational Software Delivery Platform.
  • Browse the technology bookstore for books on these and other technical topics.

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