IBM® Rational® Focal Point™ helps you elicit, analyze, prioritize, and plan for meeting demands according to business value so that you can make value-based decisions for your organization. It can improve organizations' abilities to manage and monitor software and systems projects, IT services, and products as investments. IBM provides different configurations for the various types of portfolio management tools, and you can compare information across individual use cases. It bridges the gap between the business and development by centralizing information that is essential to decision-making, status reporting, and portfolio reviews. It also automates tactical activities, such as request capture. Therefore, it can provide consistency and an audit trail for the evaluation and approval processes. In terms of more granular capabilities, it offers business-case planning and follow-up, high-level resource planning, the ability to manage through scorecards and stage gates, and it allows customers, communities, and internal stakeholders to vote on the value of features or products for selection and prioritization, using the pair-wise comparison method.
Rational Focal Point includes predefined user types and member access levels that you can set while configuring Rational Focal Point users. When you add a user, two instances of the user's account are created. First, the user is added to the database and listed on the Manage Users page. Second, the user is added as a member of one or more workspaces. To access a workspace, users must be members of that workspace, even if they are administrators. The software includes several predefined user types and member access levels.
- Global administrator
- Global administrators have full administration rights. These users are administrators of application and security settings, workspaces, templates, report templates and users. Tip: Users who are not Global Administrators but should have one or more global responsibilities can be given custom access in Permissions.
- Regular user
- A user with non-administrative access to the application. These users do not have administration rights. However, administrators can grant regular users permissions to complete various administration tasks, both on global and workspace levels.
- Team user
- These users are like regular users, but team users cannot use Gantt charts or the Prioritization, Visualization, and Plan features.
- Stakeholder user
- These users can add elements and edit the elements that they have created, but they cannot edit any other element.
- Workspace administrators
- Workspace administrators can see and edit information in the views that they are granted access to, can configure and administer the workspace, and can manage members.
- Regular members
- Regular members can see and edit information in the views where they have been granted access. In addition, regular members can be granted permissions to complete various administration tasks in a workspace.
- Read-only members
- Read-only members can see but not edit information in the views that they are granted access to by the User Administrator. If read-only members are granted the Add views permission, they can add elements. If they are granted administrative permissions, they can also do various other tasks, depending on their other administrative permissions.
Within a workspace, the User Administrator can set as either a Global Administrator or a regular member. Depending upon how the global admin access is set, a different admin action level appears for a global level and a workspace level. The same is true for the privileges of a Workspace Administrator.
Table 1 shows the differences between permissions at a global level and at a workspace level for a global administrator and for a Workspace Administrator.
Table 1. Global level actions
|Actions||Global Admin and Workspace Admin access||Regular user access and Workspace Admin access|
|General information and settings||Yes||No|
|Administer Workspace Templates||Yes||No|
|Administer Global Attributes||Yes||No|
|Administer Report Templates||Yes||No|
|Administer Report Images||Yes||No|
|View general information about the application - About Rational Focal Point||Yes||Yes|
|Administer Mail Settings||Yes||No|
|Administer Support And Contact Settings||Yes||No|
|Administer Proxy Settings||Yes||No|
|Administer Login Page Settings||Yes||No|
|Administer Application Security Settings||Yes||No|
|Administer Data Access Settings||Yes||No|
|Administer Server Friends||Yes||No|
|Administer Server Consumers||Yes||No|
|Administer General User Settings||Yes||No|
|Administer Rational Directory Server Settings||Yes||No|
|Administer All User Attributes||Yes||No|
|View User Logs||Yes||No|
|View All Online Users||Yes||No|
|Find Rational Focal Point Users||Yes||No|
|Execute SQL Commands||Yes||No|
|View Cache Usage||Yes||No|
|Administer Business Rules||Yes||No|
|View statistics and the state of the expression queue||Yes||No|
|Verify that the content of the database matches what is expected at the code level||Yes||No|
|Broadcast messages to all users||Yes||No|
Table 2. Workspace level actions
|Actions||User with Global Admin and Workspace Admin access||User with Regular Access and Workspace Admin access|
|List All Modules in the Workspace||Yes||Yes|
|Generate Reports and Create New Report Types||Yes||Yes|
|Configure Workspace Information and Settings||Yes||Yes|
|Configure Modules and the Module List||Yes||Yes|
|Configure the Attributes in the Modules||Yes||Yes|
|Configure Views For Modules||Yes||Yes|
|Configure Notification Settings||Yes||Yes|
|Configure Integration Settings||Yes||Yes|
|Configure Workflow Definitions||Yes||Yes|
|Configure Member and Member Folders||Yes||Yes|
|List Members Logs||Yes||Yes|
|List Online Members||Yes||Yes|
|Find Members in the Workspace||Yes||Yes|
|List logged changes that have occurred in workspace||Yes||Yes|
|Display general information about the application||Yes||Yes|
|Execute SQL Commands||Yes||Yes|
|List Online Users||Yes||Yes|
- For more about Focal Point:
- Browse the Rational Focal Point overview page, as well as the developerWorks page, where you'll find data sheets, system requirements, specific benefits, and related articles and white papers.
- Watch these brief demos:
- Check the Rational Focal Point 6.5 Information Center for the user guide and links to other useful resources.
- Check the documentation sections for Managing users, Granting workspace permissions, and Global permissions in Rational Focal Point.
- Visit the Rational software area on developerWorks for technical resources and best practices for other Rational Software Delivery Platform products.
- Subscribe to the developerWorks weekly email newsletter, and choose the topics to follow.
- Stay current with developerWorks technical events and webcasts focused on a variety of IBM products and IT industry topics.
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- Watch developerWorks on-demand demos, ranging from product installation and setup demos for beginners to advanced functionality for experienced developers.
- Improve your skills. Check the Rational training and certification catalog, which includes many types of courses on a wide range of topics. You can take some of them anywhere, any time, and many of the Getting Started ones are free.
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- Download a free trial version of Rational software.
- Evaluate other IBM software in the way that suits you best: Download it for a trial, try it online, use it in a cloud environment, or spend a few hours in the SOA Sandbox learning how to implement service-oriented architecture efficiently.
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Anurag Saraf is a Rational Tools Administrator in the IBM Software Labs in Pune, India. He works with the IBM Systems and Technology group in Rochester, Minnesota and supports their Rational tools environment, which includes Rational ClearCase, Rational ClearQuest, and Rational Focal Point. He has been with IBM for more than five years and has written for developerWorks previously.