What's new in Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1

Closing software development and quality assurance gap from concept to code

Learn about the new features in the IBM Rational® Rhapsody® 7.5.1 solution that broaden this leading embedded and realtime systems and software development environment, offering tools that help you quickly create, test, manage and deploy your applications. See how these features and integrations assist your efforts to improve the specification, design, development, documentation and test of your systems and products using the Systems Modeling Language (SysML) and the Unified Modeling Language (UML).

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Paul Urban (purban@us.ibm.com), Senior Systems Market Manager, IBM Corporation

Paul Urban photoPaul Urban has developed systems, software, and hardware in the embedded and real-time systems industry for more than 20 years. He is a senior marketing manager for IBM systems and medical devices. He has worked with Rhapsody software since 1995 in various roles, including as an application engineer, consultant, and product marketer. Previously, Paul developed custom hardware for high-performance computing applications.


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03 December 2009

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Overview Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1

The IBM® Rational® Rhapsody® 7.5.1 product release extends this development environment's systems engineering, software development, and testing capabilities with several new features and integrations that help improve the specification, design, development, documentation, and test of systems and products. Some of the new capabilities include:

  • Manage quality using integrations with the IBM® Rational® Quality Manager (RQM) solution and the IBM Rational Rhapsody TestConductor Add On
  • Develop automotive systems — from concept to code delivery — using AUTOSAR
  • Leverage the Systems Modeling Language (SysML) to clarify complex systems engineering projects
  • Integrate information and generate documentation from multiple tools using the IBM® Rational® Publishing Engine™
  • Customize C++ code generation to meet your coding standards
  • Visually debug existing code more easily using animation
  • Improve local language use with the Japanese language version of the Rational Rhapsody environment

These new features, plus other enhancements, helps systems engineers and software developers collaborate better, delivering high quality systems faster.


Full test life cycle using the Rational Quality Manager and Rational TestConductor integration

Quality assurance teams are often brought into the development lifecycle too late – after requirements are set and errors introduced into the design. To remedy this, IBM has integrated the Rational Rhapsody TestConductor and the IBM® Rational® Quality Manager solutions so that they create a live test plan that spans the entire product life cycle, providing a consolidated view from requirements to final product delivery. By bringing model-based tests into your overall testing suite, this integration helps you use the Rational Quality Manager solution to enhance your model-based testing inside a powerful generic framework. The integration works by using the Rational Quality Manager solution to manage different kinds of tests, test executions and tests results; the Rhapsody TestConductor tool uses the UML testing profile to automatically specify the test architectures and test cases, executing the tests to pinpoint design model failures. The Rational Quality Manager displays requirements, test cases, and other resources in one server-based document, helping geographically dispersed team members exchange information in realtime. The integration also helps enable risk-based testing, assisting QA teams as they prioritize testing of specific features and functions based on their importance in the overall project and likelihood or impact of failure. The ability to prioritize, combined with new reporting dashboards, offers product managers a more realistic view into product performance against set business objectives to better ensure that your project stays successfully on track.

Figure 1: Manage Rational TestConductor tests with Rational Quality Manager
Graphic shows TestConductor and RQM integration

Larger view of Figure 1.

Rational Publishing Engine integration

You can extract information from the Rational Rhapsody model for publishing with the Rational Publishing Engine. The Rational Publishing Engine is an automated document generation solution designed to produce documentation from systems and software engineering data. Such documentation is often subject to complex style and format requirements imposed by internal standards groups, customers, suppliers, partners even government or industry regulatory bodies. The Rational Publishing Engine is optimized for ease-of-use, scalability, and can be used as another option for report generation in addition to Rational Rhapsody, the Rational Publishing Engine provides extractors to products, including:

  • IBM® Rational® DOORS®
  • IBM® Rational® Tau®
  • IBM® Rational® ClearCase®
  • IBM® Rational® ClearQuest®
  • IBM® Rational® Quality Manager
  • IBM® Rational® Focal Point™
  • IBM® Rational® TestManager
  • IBM® Rational® RequisitePro®
  • IBM® Rational® Requirements Composer
  • third party tools such as REST enabled and XML data sources
Figure 2: Rational Rhapsody information can be included in Rational Publishing Engine templates
Diagram shows Rhapsody information in a Rational Publishing Engine template

Larger view of Figure 2.


Systems engineering improvements

Systems engineers are turning to the Object Management Group's (OMG) SysML language to specify their designs and analyze complex requirements, using a standard language to collaborate and deliver cohesive specifications. The Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 solution provides refinements with SysML 1.1 that help improve the display of information on block definition diagrams, internal block diagrams and activity diagrams. In addition, systems engineers can take advantage of Eclipse support for the systems engineering editions of the Rational Rhapsody environment — which enables systems engineers to utilize the Rhapsody tool within the IBM® Rational® Team Concert environment.

Block definition diagram and internal block diagram improvements

You can now view attributes, operations, flow ports and ports inherited from super blocks on block definition and internal block diagrams and features dialog of the derived class. This is done through a check box in the display options dialog on diagrams, or in the features dialog of a block or class. This feature also works for UML.

Figure 3: Viewing attributes and operations of super blocks and classes
Screenshot shows the attributes and operations of super blocks and classes

Larger view of Figure 3.

You can also use the display option operation to show compartments for association ends and parts on block definition diagrams, internal block definition diagrams or UML class diagrams.

Figure 4: Display compartments with association ends and parts
Graphic shows view association ends and parts

Larger view of Figure 4.

Improvements to the display of flow port information on diagrams are available in the Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 solution through the display options operation. A new tab for flow ports is added to the features dialog of blocks.

Figure 5: Display flow port information in new tab
Image shows the new tab for flowports

When using SysML with the Rhapsody 7.5.1 environment, by default when you drag a part onto another block that does not own it, a reference part is created with dashed lines. If you want to change the parent of the part, right click it and choose the reparent operation. This behavior is controlled by the property General:Graphics:AllowObjectReparenting. Setting this property to True will automatically reparent the part.

Figure 6: Reference properties appear as dashed lines
Image shows reference properties appearing as dashed lines

Larger view of Figure 6.

You can now display ports of a class or a block diagram on its internal block diagram frames.

Figure 7: Display ports on diagram frame
The screenshot depicts display ports on diagram frame

Activity diagram enhancements

Activity diagrams are improved in the Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 tool, specifying parts on activity diagram swimlanes so that they represent internal behavior, showing parameters on activity diagram frames and displaying more information about pins.

Figure 8: Swimlanes and activity partitions representing parts
Picture shows parts specified in swimlanes
Figure 9: Activity parameters on diagram frame
Graphic shows the diagram frame

Larger view of Figure 9.

Figure 10: Display options for pins
Screenshot shows the display options

Callout notation for "allocation to" and "allocation from"

Representing allocation information is easily in a comment using the Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 solution. Two new properties are created for SysML with Rhapsody for comments: Model:Comment:IsCallOut and Model:Comment:CallOutCompartments. After you draw the allocation relationships, create a comment. Set the property Model:Comment:IsCallOut of the comment to be True. Draw an anchor to the source or target of the allocation and the comment will become a "callout" showing the allocated from / to relationship.

Figure 11: Display allocation information in comment
Picture shows display allocation information

Parametric diagram binding connector alignment

The Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 solution features improvements to the SysML binding connector on parametric diagrams capability so that you can set the compositional context of attributes. The context is set by a dialog box, invoked by right clicking on the attribute and selecting "Bind to context". In addition, three tags are added to the binding connector:

  • SourceContext: the context of the source end of the binding connector
  • TargetContext: the context of the target end of the binding connector
  • Value: the value shared by the source and the target ends (both need to have the same value)May
Figure 12: Binding attribute to a context
Photo shows binding to context browser dialog box

Systems engineering with Eclipse and Rational Team Concert

The IBM® Rational® Rhapsody® Designer for Systems Engineers and the IBM® Rational® Rhapsody® Architect for Systems Engineers tools are now supported within the Eclipse platform. A specialized modeling perspective for systems engineers is available to provide a SysML and UML modeling environment tailored for systems engineers. Working within the Eclipse environment helps enable systems engineers to take advantage of capabilities of Eclipse, such as being able to perform team collaboration using Rational Team Concert.

MODAF service views

The Ministry of Defence Architecture Framework (MODAF) support in the Rational Rhapsody DoDAF, MODAF and UPDM Add On solution is upgraded with the inclusion of service views, offering support for the MODAF 1.2 standard.


Embedded software development improvements

The Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 solution helps improve support for software developers targeting embedded and real-time systems with customizable C++ code generation for better control over generated code. In addition, the tool provides more compliance with MISRA C++ standard in generated code and framework, and improves animation of existing code to help validate it without minimal impact on code. The latest refinements improve synchronizing model and code information when roundtripping capabilities, too.

Visual debugging of existing code

Most development projects do not start from scratch, but attempt to use an existing code base. To effectively leverage this code base, it is important to understand how it works and validate that it works properly. This is a challenge if the code documentation has not been maintained. The Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 product helps you meet this challenge by improving the animation of reverse engineered code allowing you to add instrumentation for animation, validate the code and then remove the instrumentation to return to the original code. This capability is enabled for C and C++ code by applying the "codecCentric" settings to the model, and it occurs automatically when reverse engineering code. You can enable animation from the configuration settings, or by context menu of a sequence diagram.

Roundtripping improvements

The Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 environment helps improve your ability to work in the model or code and to synchronize any changes you make in either view. You can now roundtrip the manually entered portion of a constructor's initializer for C++ code. Also, you are able to reorder the struct and union attributes in code and your model will maintain this order. Finally, you can add or remove namespaces in code, and the model is updated to reflect these changes when you use C++ with the code centric settings applied.

Generation of associations as references

Developers using C++ can specify that an association between two classes be implemented as a reference, instead of a pointer, to provide greater control over generated application. A field is provided to specify the initial value of the reference.

Figure 13: Using references for associations
Graphic shows generating references for associations

Larger view of Figure 13.

Code Generation Customization

The Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 solution provides you with the ability to further customize C++ code e generation to help deliver applications meeting corporate and industry mandated coding standards. The code generation process consists of two phases. The first phase is simplification, which transforms the model into a simpler version. The writing phase follows, which translates the simplified model into code. By modifying properties to control the output, some customization of code generation could always be done in the Rhapsody tool. To make this an easier process, hooks are now provided to create helpers using standard Rhapsody API's that can manipulate the simplification phase to create a simplified model that translates into C++ code.

Figure 14: Define helpers to customize C++ code generation
Screenshot shows C++ code generation

AUTOSAR concept-to-code workflow

IBM Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 environment offers improved support for the AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) standard by adding a transition from the AUTOSAR software architecture to the behavioral software designed using the Unified Modeling Language (UML) — generating C code for the entire software component that integrates with the AUTOSAR RTE. The Rhapsody solution helps enable a workflow where you can define and dynamically analyze your requirements in SysML so that it flows into the software architecture and behavior designed using UML. From here you can generate your production application C code, integrating it with the AUTOSAR RTE.

Figure 15: Model behavior targeting AUTOSAR
Picture shows model in AUTOSAR

Larger view of Figure 15.

Improved MISRA C++ compliance

The Rational Rhapsody tool's code generation and framework is enhanced to support more guidelines recommended for MISRA C++, helping your teams create more reliable and safer code.

AUTOSAR authoring using Eclipse

The Rhapsody 7.5.1 environment helps enable teams using the AUTOSAR authoring profile to leverage the Eclipse platform integration for authoring, import and export of ARXML files.

New event implementation using MicroC profile

A new implementation for events is provided when using the MicroC profile that assists MISRA-C compliance of generated C code when you are working in the Rational Rhapsody Developer for C++, C and Java tool. A single reference type, RiCEvent, is used for all generated events and also holds a reference to the event's data (if any exists), and a dedicated type is generated only for events with data. The memory management for generated events in the generated code and RiCEvent in the MicroC framework is changed so that it no longer uses the RiCMemoryManager. Instead, each event is allocated an RiCEvent from the MicroC framework from a dedicated, customizable, fixed size pool of RiCEvent reference types.

If you are working with an event with data, an additional customizable, fixed size pool is generated to allocate your data part of the event.

Support active files with MicroC

The Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 toolset extends the support of the Extended Execution Model used with MicroC profile to include active files.

Framework Compilation for MicroC model

The Rational Rhapsody Developer for C tool helps optimize your application's build process using the MicroC framework by only compiling the framework if there were changes that require it to reduce the amount of time in the build process.

Improved hierarchical repository management

The Rhapsody solution is able to store model information in a flat or hierarchical fashion where each package in the model is represented as a directory in the file systems. The Rhapsody tool helps improve synchronization of the model and configuration management repository when renaming, moving, deleting, specifying a package so that it is stored as a directory or converted to a package as a directory to flat structure. When these operations occur, an appropriate action is performed in the configuration management repository to restructure it to reflect the Rational Rhapsody model. This capability is available when using Rational ClearCase or IBM® Rational® Synergy™ 7.1 (or later) and the MSSCCI 2.1 (or later) products. Synchronization is enabled with the properties RenameDirectoryActivation, MoveDirectoryActivation, DeleteDirectoryActivation, and StoreInSeparateDirectoryActivation under ConfigurationManagement:SCC.

Improvements for Ada development

The IBM® Rational® Rhapsody® in Ada™ tool includes new capabilities to model static classes to help you develop safety critical applications through improvements to the reverse engineering of existing code, and the creation of custom makefiles features. A static class is an Ada package that contains only static attributes and operations and this construct is supported for code generation, reverse engineering and animation. Existing Ada code bases can be visualized in the modeling environment using reverse engineering of the code while preserving the original source code, assisting your process with better design understanding and documentation. The code can be used within the Rhapsody model and compiled and linked into your Rhapsody project. Lastly, new features make it easier to create a new compiler environment with the ability to create new makefile templates to support the environment.

Improvements Rational Developer RulesComposer Add On

The Rational Developer RulesComposer Add On tool allows you to read models from IBM® Rational® Rose® MDL files, helping enable you to create a rule set that can transform a Rational Rose model. In addition, external file mapping rules are provided that allow you to edit all generated files in the Rational Rhapsody environment — even if the rule set customizes the filenames and project folder tree, creates more than two files per object to generate or customizes the make and main files. The Rhapsody meta model in the Rhapsody Developer RulesComposer tool is updated to include improvements on tag data stored in the model, such as:

  • Multiplicity
  • Value specification
  • Literal specification
  • Instance value

Enhancements to the Rhapsody family of products and complementary solutions

XMI customization and Rational Tau and Rational Statemate support

The IBM® Rational® Rhapsody® Developer RulesComposer Add On™ product now includes rule sets for XMI import and export features, helping you customize the import and export functions of your model information. XMI Rule sets are included for the Rational Rhapsody, Rational Tau 4.3, and the IBM® Rational® Statemate® 4.6 solutions, helping enabling you to customize the exchange of information between those tools or any other modeling tool that uses XMI. A Rational Rhapsody installation is required to launch the export and import functions from the Rational Tau or Rational Statemate solutions.

XMI support for SysML 1.1

The import and export of SysML 1.1 information is enhanced in the Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 solution to help improve exchange of behavioral flow ports, satisfy relationships and viewpoints, benefitting you with a more effective exchange of model information using SysML 1.1.

OMG Model Interchange Working Group (MIWG)

IBM is participating with other vendors in the (OMG's model interchange working group) to help improve the interoperability and exchange of model information between tools. The Rational Rhapsody solution's XMI support is validated at least through MIWG test case 2 with some validation into test case 3.

Partial import and export of XMI

Frequently, your project development team wants to exchange only a subset of a model. The XMI import and export capability now provides an option to import or export only a portion of the model information, offering more flexibility and scalability when exchanging model information.

Rational ClearCase Remote Client

Support is now provided for using Rational ClearCase Remote Client when using the Eclipse platform integration of Rational Rhapsody enabling developers leveraging the development capabilities provided with Eclipse to perform team collaboration with Rational ClearCase.

New help system

To provide a better user experience, the IBM Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 solution now uses the IBM Rational help system. The help system provides a variety of ways to find the information you need. The table of contents is organized into task categories. Browse each category to see the hierarchy of general tasks and their supporting child tasks, or use the powerful search and index functions to browse information by keyword. While working in the product, you can access context-sensitive help by pressing F1. For more information about using the help system, open the help and search for "Help system overview".

Figure 16: The new help system is easier to navigate
Page view of the new Rational Rhapsody help system

Larger view of Figure 16.

Japanese version of the Rhapsody environment

The IBM Rational Rhapsody model-driven development solution is available in a Japanese version with a Japanese language interface, with Japanese context sensitive help and Japanese documentation tools. Additionally, an integration with the IBM Rational Publishing Engine™ product allows generated documentation to contain Japanese characters. Multi-byte support is enabled, by default, to allow you enter Japanese characters into the description and label fields of your Rhapsody model.

Multiple instances of Simulink block

The Rational Rhapsody toolset's interface with The MathWorks™ Simulink® environment is improved, allowing you to create multiple instances of the same Simulink block object within the Rational Rhapsody model so that you can simulate more complex architectures and controls.

Improved Rational SDL Suite interface

The interface to the IBM® Rational SDL Suite™ is improved with capabilities designed to help you model protocols and architecture together, including:

  • Support for SDL Suite models containing SDL packages
  • Import user defined types (signal parameters)
  • Support by pointer parameter (char*) data transfer
  • Support RPC ( Remote Procedure Call)
  • Support SDL threaded integration models

Improved Rational System Architect interface

The Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 solution offers an improved integration with the IBM® Rational® System Architect™ tool by enhancing the information import feature between the tools, so that it exchanges more information from high-level architecture modeling into the Rhapsody environment. New capabilities include:

  • Import of all diagrams
  • Import multiple diagrams in one session
  • Creation and population of diagrams automatically
  • Import of all attributes
  • Dynamic selection of import map
  • Improved handling of duplicate elements
  • Improved import wizard

Improved Siemens Teamcenter Integration

When you use the Siemens Teamcenter® product with Rational Rhapsody environment, you can take advantage of improved support for import and export of more types including:

  • Dependencies without stereotypes,
  • Actions in activity diagrams and attributes of actions
  • Action blocks along with sub-actions
  • Object nodes in activity diagrams along with "State" attributes
  • "ID" and "Specification" attributes of requirements
  • Constraints along with "Specification" attributes of constraints
  • Control flows and initial flows between actions in activity diagrams.

The following items are only exported from the Rhapsody solution to the Teamcenter product:

  • "Represents" attribute of object node in activity diagram
  • "Anchored Elements" attribute of constraints
  • Export swimlanes in activity diagrams from Rhapsody with "Represents" attributes

Wind River Workbench 3.1 support

The IBM® Rational® Rhapsody® Developer™ 7.5.1 solution offers support for the Wind River® Workbench 3.1 and Wind River VxWorks 6.7products. In addition, support has been dropped for Wind River Workbench 2.6 product.


Summary

The Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 solution provides an integrated product development environment that helps you improve your systems engineering and embedded software designs, from initial requirement analysis to design implementation and test. You are able to manage quality as an integral part of the development process, assisting efforts for development and test to work together with an integration between the Rational Rhapsody TestConductor and the IBM® Rational® Quality Manager products. Systems engineers are able to use improved SysML 1.1 capabilities to specify and manage designs more flexibly. Software developers can reuse and understand existing software, helping you deliver robust applications that meet safety standards and target automotive applications using improved AUTOSAR features. The Rational Rhapsody 7.5.1 solution provides an integrated systems engineering and embedded software delivery solution that helps facilitate team collaboration, promotes quality and maintains design information consistency.


IBM Rational Rhapsody packaging changes

Integrations with other IBM Rational products are now included within the IBM Rational Rhapsody base products for users on active maintenance (Subscription and Support). IBM Rational Rhapsody base products are:

  • IBM Rational Rhapsody Developer V7.5.1
  • IBM Rational Rhapsody Developer for Ada V7.5.1
  • IBM Rational Rhapsody Developer for C++, C, and Java V7.5.1
  • IBM Rational Rhapsody Architect for Software V7.5.1
  • IBM Rational Rhapsody Architect for Systems Engineers V7.5.1
  • IBM Rational Rhapsody Designer for Systems Engineers V7.5.1

Packaging changes

The IBM Rational Rhapsody Interfaces Add On is no longer available for new license purchase but the product’s functionality is distributed into the base IBM Rational Rhapsody products and the IBM Rational Rhapsody Tools and Utilities Add on. Users who previously purchased the IBM Rational Rhapsody Interfaces Add On can continue purchasing renewal Subscription and Support (maintenance) for their current licenses. In the future, if they wish to add additional licenses for XMI and the MathWorks Simulink interface, they will need to purchase the IBM Rational Rhapsody Tools and Utilities Add On.

The IBM Rational Rhapsody Gateway Add On is no longer offered as a separate product for new license purchase. Basic IBM Rational DOORS and IBM Rational Requisite Pro export of model information is moved into the Rational Rhapsody base products. All other capabilities in the IBM Rational Rhapsody Gateway Add On (including but not limited to impact analysis, coverage analysis, interfaces to other non-IBM requirements management tools, and advanced capabilities of the IBM Rational DOORS and IBM Rational Requisite Pro interfaces) are moved into the IBM Rational Rhapsody Tools and Utilities Add On.

Users who have previously purchased the IBM Rational Rhapsody Gateway Add On can continue purchasing renewal Subscription and Support (maintenance) for their current licenses. In the future, if they wish to add additional licenses for impact analysis, coverage analysis, interfaces to other non-IBM requirements management tools, and advanced capabilities of the IBM Rational DOORS and IBM Rational Requisite Pro interfaces, they will need to purchase the IBM Rational Rhapsody Tools and Utilities Add On.

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