What's new at a glance
- Updated platform support, including support for Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, and Mozilla Firefox 3.6
- IBM® Rational Team Concert™ interoperability, including work item template export
- Ability to export IBM® Rational® Method Composer practices to an IBM® Rational® Jazz™ Team Server
- Ability to define work product states for artifacts and assign states to task descriptor input and output work products
- Improved reuse of process patterns by using "configuration-free" capability patterns
- Simplified process asset management through "auto-synchronized descriptors" that remove the need for manual synchronization of process and method content
- Updated integrations with IBM® Rational® Asset Manager, IBM® Rational® ClearCase®, and the open source Business Intelligence and Reporting Tool (BIRT)
- Support for Eclipse and IBM® Rational® Synergy integration for configuration and change management (CCM) of process assets
- New and updated enterprise, management, and technical practices, including measurement and tool guidance for IBM Rational tools in support of IBM® Rational® Measured Improvement processes and Collaborative Lifecycle Management
- New licensing options that provide more flexibility, including term and floating licensing
- Support for Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) planning and implementation
- Significant performance improvements for loading libraries, browsing, and publishing
- New IBM Rational Unified Process (RUP) configuration based on practices
IBM® Rational® Method Composer is a flexible process management solution that includes both a powerful method-authoring tool and an extensive library of process and best practice assets. The tooling provides capabilities to write (author), tailor, manage, and publish processes descriptions. The process and practice libraries included provide proven best-practice content that you can either reuse as-is or adapt to meet the specific needs of your systems and software delivery teams.
Version 7.5.1 includes these enhanced capabilities, among others described in this article:
- Enables method authors to quickly compose the correct process by listing the appropriate practices, metrics, and tools to meet specific objectives and project context
- Removes previous constraints on the reuse of capability patterns
- Automatically keeps the process in sync when method elements change.
The new Rational Team Concert work item template export option, the ability to define work product states, and the ability to specify input and output work product states for each task descriptor are some of the first steps toward executable process specifications.
Along with these enhanced tool capabilities, these new and updated practices are available:
- Adoption through execution
- Asset-based development
- Asset-based governance
- Software capability program management and method development
- Data design
- Deployment management
- User support and training development
- Project process tailoring
- Risk management
- Staged integration
- Service-oriented modeling and architecture practices
- User story-driven development
- Determination of application modernization strategy
- Setting up a performance measurement system
- Managing performance through measurements
- Product portfolio management
- Systems engineering practices
These practices provide documented guidance for solving common business, management, or technical problems. You can adopt them independently and incrementally to meet your business objectives.
New and updated tool mentors provide guidance for practitioners who use IBM Rational tools for Collaborative Lifecycle Management. Additional guidance on performance measurement, in the form of two new performance measurement practices as well as recommended metrics for each individual practice, supports Rational Measured Improvement processes.
New tool features and enhancements
Updated platform support
Rational Method Composer now supports Windows 7 (32-bit version and 64-bit version operating in 32-bit mode), Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.6 and Red Hat Linux 5 Update 4. In addition, several other updates have been made to support interoperability with Jazz Foundation technology and Rational Team Concert:
- Upgrade to Eclipse 3.5.2
- Upgrade from BIRT 2.5.2
- Upgrade to Oracle Corporation's Java, Version 6
- Upgrade to IBM Installation Manager 1.4.1
Process enactment with Rational Team Concert
Previously, in Version 22.214.171.124, there was an add-in to export a Rational Team Concert work item template, based on a work breakdown structure or portion of a work breakdown structure in Rational Method Composer, but this capability is built into this release. Simply select a node in the Work Breakdown editor and select Export Work Item Template. A wizard walks you through the export process and creates a work item template file for subsequent import into Rational Team Concert. Fine-grained control of which work breakdown structure elements are exported (Phases, Iterations, Activities, Tasks) is provided through the Planned Flag for each element. The work item templates can be instantiated in Rational Team Concert Version 3.0 to create a structured project plan, iteration plan or ad hoc (one-time) set of tasks and activities. Each work item includes a link to the detailed process guidance from Rational Method Composer, so practitioners can get the relevant guidance when and where they need it.
With the updates made to the Eclipse platform (see Updated Platform Support), it is again possible to share shells between these two Rational tools.
Export practices to a Jazz Team Server
Version 7.5.1 introduces an option to export practices to a Jazz Team Server. A tech preview of importing practices to a Jazz Team Server, editing the imported content with a web-based editor, and then exporting them back to Rational Method Composer is available on Jazz.net as part of the Jazz Foundation 3.0 release. (See the Practice Library Application on the Jazz Foundation 3.0 download page.)
Work product states
Previously, you could associate a set of work products with a milestone and specify the required state for each of these work products. However, the work product states were associated with the milestone only, and they were just free-form text, subject to inconsistencies and typographical errors. Now you can specify the possible states for each work product directly on the work product editor. When creating a delivery process or capability pattern, you can select the appropriate state for each work product associated with a milestone. Furthermore, you can select the required state for input and output work products for each task descriptor from the work product tab on the task descriptor Properties editor. (A task descriptor is an instance of a task used within the context of a process or capability pattern.)
Previously, a capability pattern had to be associated with a default configuration. Subsequently, these capability patterns could be reused only in the default configuration or a superset of the default configuration. Version 7.5.1 removes this constraint by providing the option to select -None- as the default configuration when you create a capability pattern. You can use these configuration-free processes in any configuration. Rational Method Composer realization rules are applied at publishing time (or during browsing) to suppress elements and to resolve variability relationships, based on the elements that are part of selected configuration. This greatly simplifies the reuse of capability patterns.
Previously, if a method element was updated, you had to manually synchronize processes that directly referenced the updated element. This tedious task required determining which capability patterns were affected by the change and then manually synchronizing each of these items. A new library preference (Window > Preferences > Method > Authoring > Process Editor) provides the option to select Use auto synchronization for all processes. When this is selected, the library is updated to replace all copies of method elements within the containing capability patterns with a reference to the base element. These so-called auto-synchronized descriptors are always consistent with the base elements by virtue of this reference, not copy, implementation. It is still possible to tailor the descriptors to, for example, suppress an input on a task descriptor. Also, local modifications are highlighted in the process editor, so you can always tell at a glance if and how a descriptor has been modified with respect to the base method element. This enhancement greatly simplifies method authoring and maintenance.
If you chose to convert a library to the auto-synchronization format, it cannot be converted back to the old style of library. Therefore, you will be asked to make a backup of your library before the conversion.
The latest versions of the following products are supported in Version 7.5.1:
- Rational ClearCase Remote Client v7.1.2
- Rational ClearCase SCM Adapter v7.5.0
- Rational Asset Manager client for Eclipse 7.5.0
Synergy configuration and change management
This release supports the Rational Synergy for Eclipse 4.2 interface. This integration provides support for task-based configuration and change management and collaborative method development using IBM Rational Synergy 7.1 and IBM® Rational® Change v5.2 (optional) and Rational Method Composer.
Flexible licensing options
Previously, there was only one license, a perpetual authorized user license, which applied to both the use of the Rational Method Composer tool and the use of the published commercial content. This created a situation where clients that wanted only the right to use the published commercial content had to purchase the tool for all team members. With Version 7.5.1, role-based licensing and additional licensing options are available.
- First, a new authorized user licensing option called the "IBM Rational Method Composer Content Reader" is available for users who just want to purchase the right to use the published commercial content.
- Second, the tool now supports floating and token-based licensing in addition to authorized user licensing.
- Third, both perpetual and term licensing is available.
- Lastly, all license terms have been aligned with the IBM standard license policies implemented recently to simplify the number of license terms across the Rational portfolio.
New and updated practices
The following table summarizes the new and updated practices available starting with Rational Method Composer 7.5.1.
|Adoption through Execution||This practice helps an organization develop and manage a mentoring program to drive successful, lasting adoption of capability improvements.|
|This practice describes a process for identifying, producing, and applying reusable assets. Asset-based development speeds development and reduces cost and risk by reusing assets and artifacts to solve recurring problems.|
|Software Capability Program Management and Method Development||This practice provides a standard approach for managing software capability improvement that is aligned with the organization's strategic goals.|
|Data Design||This practice provides for the logical and physical design of the required databases to support the application.|
|Deployment Management||This practice covers basic tasks for planning and deploying a solution.|
|Developing User Support and Training||This practice supports the development of the training and support materials needed for the successful deployment of software.|
|Project Process Tailoring||This practice describes how to select tools and an appropriate process and how to perform the typical tailoring required for using them on a specific project.|
|Reviews||This practice explains how to prepare for and conduct a review, as well as how to follow up on action items that are the outcomes of a review.|
|Risk Management||This practice describes how a team can continuously identify risks, propose strategies to address risks, and monitor the events that could turn that risk into reality.|
|Staged Integration||This practice describes how to apply staged integration to cope with complexity, identify problems early, and reduce risk.|
Systems engineering practices: ||These nine systems engineering practices cover the systems development lifecycle from Requirements Development through Architectural Design including trade studies. The use of model-based engineering for early model validation and verification is a key element of these practices that reduces risk early in the project.|
Service-Oriented Modeling and Architecture (SOMA) practices:||The IBM® Rational® Service-Oriented Modeling and Architecture (SOMA) Version 2.9 practices define a SoaML-based model-driven approach for developing service-oriented architectures and systems. This collection of four practices is an update to RUP SOMA 2.4. It includes additional contributions from the IBM Redbooks publication, Building SOA Solutions Using the Rational SDP, and the OMG SoaML specification, as well as support for the new IBM® Rational® Software Architect Version 7.5.4 SOA modeling features.|
|User Story-Driven Development||This practice describes how to capture requirements as user stories, which are then used to guide planning, development, and testing.|
|Determine the Application Modernization Strategy||This practice uses deep code analysis to develop strategy road maps in line with an organization's goals for a given application.|
|Setting up a Performance Measurement System||This practice provides guidance for establishing a Performance Measurement System to support timely, informed decisions.|
|Managing Performance through Measurements||This practice leverages the use and analysis of data from the Performance Measurement System to better support key business decisions.|
|Product Portfolio Management||This practice presents a standardized product portfolio management framework that provides the foundation for selecting, balancing, authorizing, monitoring, and controlling the work that aligns with the organization's strategic goals.|
|New RUP configuration||A new RUP process configuration based on practices is provided. This configuration includes a complete RUP delivery process that captures the essentials of RUP in a form that is easier to navigate, understand and tailor.|
|New Disciplined Agile Delivery configuration||A new Disciplined Agile Delivery Configuration is included that supports the Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management process. The configuration is based on 10 practices, consisting of four core agile practices and six scaling practices. A complete process template and user guidance is included to support enactment of the process using Rational Team Concert and a rich set of recommended metrics are described to assess project status and process adoption. This represents an excellent starting point for teams looking to adopt disciplined agile delivery practices and measured improvement.|
- Start with the Rational Method Composer page on developerWorks, where you can find links to technical articles and much more useful information. Then read the three-part series of articles by Edward Tuggle, Jr., Get started with Rational Method Composer.
- To learn more about other Rational products mentioned in this article, start with the developerWorks pages for each one:
- Visit the Rational software area on developerWorks for technical resources and best practices for Rational Software Delivery Platform products.
- Stay current with developerWorks technical events and webcasts focused on a variety of IBM products and IT industry topics.
- Attend a free developerWorks Live! briefing to get up-to-speed quickly on IBM products and tools, as well as IT industry trends.
- Follow developerWorks on Twitter.
- Watch developerWorks on-demand demos, ranging from product installation and setup demos for beginners to advanced functionality for experienced developers.
- 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.
Get products and technologies
- Get the Rational Method Composer free trial download.
- Evaluate 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.
- Join the Rational Method Composer forum to ask questions and participate in discussions.
- Get involved in the My developerWorks community. Connect with other developerWorks users while exploring the developer-driven blogs, forums, groups such as the Rational Caf<eacute/>, and wikis.
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