What's new in Rational Software Architect 9.0 and Design Manager 4.0.3

With IBM® Rational® Software Architect V9 you can model REST services that can be accessed using IBM® Worklight® software, build OSLC-compliant tools with the Eclipse Lyo Software Development Kit (SDK), and import and export UML models. Take advantage of support for new platforms, extended Business Process Model and Notation, and the ability to import Microsoft™ Visio diagrams into Rational Software Architect. In IBM Rational Software Architect Design Manager V4.0.3, new functions make it easy to manage design changes, collaborate effectively, make use of lifecycle traceability, and understand the impact of a requirement or design change. In addition, you can now capture architectural decisions as part of models.

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Sanjesh Raj Nair (sanjesh.nair@in.ibm.com), Senior Staff Software Engineer, IBM  

author photoSanjesh R Nair is on the Rational Software Architect development team. He works in the India lab. He has been involved in developing modeling tools for various domains, including: C++, JAVA, SOA, Spring and OSLC. Sanjesh has been part of the Rational Software Architect development team for more than 5 years.



26 November 2013

What's new in IBM Rational Software Architect 9.0

IBM® Rational® Software Architect 9.0 includes many new features and corrects some existing bugs. This article focuses on the new capabilities to help you:

Model REST services that can be accessed using IBM Worklight

New adapters enable you to model REST services for OSLC and SOA services. These can be accessed from a mobile device using the IBM Worklight Solution.

Worklight SOAP adapter

You can generate Worklight HTTP adapters to access SOAP-based services from web services or SOA models. You can also generate client stubs to connect to the adapter procedures.

Worklight Cast Iron adapter

IBM® Websphere® Cast Iron® helps you integrate applications, regardless of whether the applications are located on-site, or in public or private clouds.

Transform support to generate Worklight Cast Iron adapter procedures from the REST model is now available. Figure 1 shows the initiation point of Cast Iron orchestration. You can also generate client stubs that allow mobile application connect to the adapter procedures.

Figure 1. UML-to-Worklight Cast Iron transformation
Wizard to transform UML-to-Worklight Cast Iron

Click to see larger image

Figure 1. UML-to-Worklight Cast Iron transformation

Wizard to transform UML-to-Worklight Cast Iron

Build OSLC-compliant tools with Eclipse Lyo SDK

OSLC (Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration) specifications enable the integration of software development products and services. Eclipse Lyo is an SDK to help the Eclipse community to adopt OSLC specifications and build OSLC-compliant tools. Rational Software Architect now supports the models that target Eclipse Lyo SDK. See Figure 2 for an example. This support also includes a set of template models for both service modeling and data modeling. A Change Management Template model that makes it easier to model services in this domain and acts as an example for other domains is also available.

Figure 2. Sample OSLC modeling diagram
Sample model diagram for Bugzilla application

Click to see larger image

Figure 2. Sample OSLC modeling diagram

Sample model diagram for Bugzilla application

Import and export UML models and new supported platforms

Rational Software Architect extends support for the import and export of UML 2.4 models and includes support for the Mac OS X platform:

  • UML 2.4 models: Can now be imported and exported in XMI interchange models as EMX models. The diagrams have to be recreated, though.
  • Eclipse Juno (4.2.2): Rational Software Architect now comes with the Eclipse Juno (4.2.2) platform, which includes:
    • Refreshed user interface
    • Global search bar
    • Themes
    • Other features to enhance user experience and support better integration.
  • Mac OS X 10.6 and later: As shown in Figure 3, Rational Software Architect now supports the Mac OS X platform.
Figure 3. Rational Software Architect on MAC OS X 10.6
Apple window showing Rational Software Architect

Extended Business Process Model and Notation

Rational Software Architect now supports XML Process Definition Language documents. It includes support for new Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) elements. Rational Software Architect also it possible to link collaboration and choreography models.

Import XPDL 1.0 documents

XML Process Definition Language (XPDL) 1.0 documents can now be imported to Rational Software Architect as BPMN models, as shown in Figure 4. User interface, framework, and transformation rules for XPDL elements are provided. It includes:

  • Creation of a single BPMN process model for the input XPDL model with processes
  • Item definitions
  • Tasks
  • Call activities
  • Gateways
  • Start and end events
  • Resources
  • Sequence flows.

Lanes described in vendor specific elements in XPDL model will be imported but other vendor-specific elements will be ignored during the import. You can add additional import transformation rules for vendor-specific XPDL elements by using Eclipse extension points. You can also generate XPDL import reports.

Figure 4. XPDL 1.0 import
Wizard shows selecting an import source

Support for new elements

Event-based gateways and complex gateways can now be modeled in process, collaboration, and choreography diagrams.

BPMN looping activities can now be modeled. They can also be configured from the Properties view.

Errors can now be added from the Project Explorer and Error Event Definitions. Events are added from the Properties view.

You can import and export all the newly added elements to the BPMN 2.0 format.

Figure 5. Newly supported BPMN elements
Diagram of new tasks and events in a blank process

Click to see larger image

Figure 5. Newly supported BPMN elements

Diagram of new tasks and events in a blank process

Link collaboration and choreography models

You can link collaboration and choreography. Participants and message flows of collaboration models in choreography tasks can be referenced through the Properties view and dialog boxes when creating choreography tasks.

Import Microsoft Visio diagrams into Rational Software Architect

Microsoft™ Visio diagrams and shapes can be imported to Rational Software Architect as Sketcher diagrams. This allows hosting the Microsoft Visio artifacts in the product as a pure notational diagram. Sketcher, by its inherent capability, enables end users to organically convert Microsoft Visio diagrams into target domain models, such as a UML model or a topology model.

You can import Microsoft Visio BPMN diagrams into Rational Software Architect as BPMN models, as shown in Figure 6. Other workflow diagrams such as flowcharts can also be imported as BPMN models by using the mapping capability. This import ability enables automatic migration of Microsoft Visio BPMN diagrams to BPMN models to take advantage of wide-ranging modeling capabilities in the product, such as evolving service models from BPMN models.

Figure 6. Visio import wizard
Fields for source file, diagram type, destination

Automate deployment planning

As shown in Figure 7 and Figure 8, the import feature of the Tivoli® Application Discovery Manager can be used to import the discovered contents from:

  • Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database (CCMDB)
  • WebSphere® MQ and WebSphere Message Broker (including MQMessageFlowNode information).
Figure 7. Deployment diagram with newly added properties
Screen capture of properties by domain

Click to see larger image

Figure 7. Deployment diagram with newly added properties

Screen capture of properties by domain
Figure 8. Newly supported properties
Screen capture of the Properties view

Click to see larger image

Figure 8. Newly supported properties

Screen capture of the Properties view

In addition, the import feature now supports custom mappings, which can be used to define new mappings between Tivoli Application Discovery Manager's Common Data Model (CDM) elements and Rational Software Architect Deployment Planning and Automation (DP&A) elements. The existing mappings can be overridden.


What's new in Rational Software Architect Design Manager 4.0.3

Rational Software Architect Design Manager has many new features to help you take advantage of:

Improved access control and platform support for configuration management

Improvements to the Configuration Management application include:

  • Access control for configuration space and workspaces
  • New platform support for AIX®.

Access control for configuration spaces and workspaces

Access control for configuration spaces and workspaces is now available in the Configuration Management application. Each configuration space has a corresponding Rational® Jazz™ project area that is available through the host/vvc/admin page. Using the Jazz project area user interface, administrators can choose which users can see the content of this configuration space (such as workspaces and snapshots). All you have to do is modify the members list and adjust the access control. Administrators can also choose which write permissions specific users have by using the operations on the Permissions/Team Configuration page of the project area. For example, user A can create a snapshot, but user B cannot. Additionally, you can associate Jazz team areas with specific workspaces to limit write permissions for a workspace to a select group of users.

New platform support for AIX

The Configuration Management application can be installed on an AIX operating system.

Enhancements to the Design Management Server

The Design Management Server now offers:

New editing permissions

New editing permissions are available in addition to the existing Edit a design resource and Force the unlock of a design resource permissions. These new permissions provide more fine-grained permission control when you edit design resources by using the web client. The Edit a design resource permission is still the default permission when you use the default process templates and it includes rights to create, modify, and delete design resources.

To use the more fine-grained permissions, you need to clear the Edit a design resource permission. The new permissions are as follows:

Create a design resource
Allows you to create and modify design resources
 
Modify a design resource
Allows you to only modify a design resource
 
Delete a design resource
Allows you to only delete a design resource
 

Access control for resource editing

The access control for Configuration Management is integrated into the Design Management editing process. To edit a Design Management resource, you must also have the Update permission for the Configuration Management application. Without this permission, you have read-only access to resources, even if you have Design Management editing permissions. With the new Configuration Management access control, you cannot access a Design Management workspace if you do not have access to the corresponding Configuration Management configuration.

Printable format for rich text documents

You can view a rich text document in a printable format by using the view-in-printable-page action. This action opens a new window with the content of the document in a format that is ready to print. You can also include comments on this printable page. Comments are added below the text element that it is related to, or at the bottom of the page if the comments does not relate to a specific text element.

Figure 9. Rich text in a printable format
View in Printable Page action for Rich text

Access to short links for resources

In the breadcrumb display in a resource editor, a button is now available to retrieve the short link for the URL of the selected resource. The short link is useful if you want to copy the link for inclusion in an external document or email.

Figure 10. Short link
Button to retrieve the short link

Zoom-to-fit action

For sketches and ontology diagrams, a new zoom-to-fit action is available if the diagram extends beyond the browser size. This action provides a quick view of the entire contents of the diagram. The Zoom to Fit button is located next to the zoom slider.

Figure 11. Zoom to fit
Screen capture of Zoom to Fit button

Support for Rational Publishing Engine Studio type casting

The Design Management reporting service now has limited support for Rational® Publishing Engine Studio type casting. In the Data Source Schemas view of Rational Publishing Engine Studio, you can select the type of a property and, on the toolbar for the view, click Cast to Type. A list of types that are defined in the schema is displayed, and you can select one of those types as the casting type. You can then use that casting type in layout controls to obtain specific properties that are not defined on the original property type. This casting mechanism is more efficient than using dynamic data source configurations, which send more requests to the Design Management reporting service, but might not apply to all scenarios.

New use case and process domains

New lightweight agile domains are now to help extrapolate designs. You can use the Use Case domain to identify the use cases that are relevant to your design, and how they relate to each other through includes or extends relationships. You can also describe the actors or roles that execute the use cases. Because the actors and use cases are Design Management resources, you can review and comment on them, as well as link them to other Design Management resources or Rational® Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) resources through OSLC linking. You can use the Process domain to describe simple processes that are associated with use cases or other Design Management resources. A process describes simple actions and decisions that flow between each other.

Figure 12. Newly supported agile domains
Available and associated domains

New Architecture Decision and Knowledge (ADK) ontology and domain

Architects can use the Architecture Decision and Knowledge (ADK) ontology to track design issues and decisions in Design Management. If the design issues are linked to formal model artifacts, the design elements can be traced back to a particular decision or issue. Alternatively, you can add links from model artifacts to an issue to identify all the resources that are affected by that issue. Different alternatives to design issues can be tracked and explored during the design process to achieve the best decision for an issue.

Figure 13. Architecture Design and Knowledge domain
ADK domain available in Associate Domains wizard

Improvements to sketch diagrams

Sketch diagrams are improved. You can modify the color and font in the diagram editor. These improvements enable you to highlight or differentiate elements from other items in a sketch diagram. Sketch diagrams now have printing support so that you can view a sketch on a browser page that is separate from the web user interface and print it or copy it into an image file.

Support for table widgets

New default and custom table widgets for collection properties are available. A table represents a collection for a property and has columns that correspond to the properties of its type. The table columns are generated automatically unless you define a custom table widget constraint that determines the column properties.

Figure 14. Custom table widgets for collection properties
Sample table for collection properties

High availability environment support

The Idle Standby configuration enables recovery from failover to help ensure minimal impact on business operations during planned or unplanned server outages.

A new Rational Software Architect extension for design management

New support and functions in this release include:

  • Viewpoint support for the Rational Software Architect Eclipse client
  • A separate Rational Software Architect extension application
  • Support for Rational Software Architect 9.0
  • New platform support for AIX

Viewpoint support for the Rational Software Architect Eclipse client

You can now switch viewpoints for the selected project area from a drop-down menu in the Design Explorer view or from the Design Repository preference page. You can use this action to view Design Explorer content from different viewpoints, similar to what you can do in the web client.

A separate Rational Software Architect extension application

You can now use dedicated servers to render Rational Software Architect diagrams. When you install Design Management, you can have the Rational Software Architect extension application installed on the same server or on another server, or both. Rational Software Architect extension applications that are not co-installed with Design Management can be registered on the administration pages. The Design Management rich client can be installed into the Rational Software Architect 9.0.The Design Management application can now be installed on an AIX operating system.

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