Our Jazz.net authors have been quite productive recently writing and publishing a slew of blog posts on the topics of DevOps and Continuous Delivery. Check out a selection of posts below from the subject matter experts themselves as they discuss deep technical topics that can help you improve your own release cycles, performance, and efficiency in deployments!
DevOps Culture - Retrospectives and continuous improvement- In the Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) project we have declared three imperatives for improvement in order to increase our agility with a goal of continuous delivery: culture, process, and tools. Of these three things, culture is, in my opinion, the most difficult thing to change because it’s less tangible than processes and tools and because culture is often deeply ingrained in an organization and a team. Consequently, cultural changes can take a long time to implement. This is the first in a series of posts where I’ll discuss some of the important cultural issues and changes that we’ve tackled in the CLM project.
DevOps for Dummies now available!-You have probably heard about DevOps but you want to cut through the hype and understand more about this approach. That is the genesis of DevOps for Dummies, authored by IBM’s Sanjeev Sharma. It is written to appeal to both practitioners and managers and to show you how you can apply a new DevOps approach to more rapidly deliver innovative applications and services that solve real business problems.
Rapid build deployment using IBM UrbanCode Deploy- Previously I have focused on build performance in posts like Speeding up the pipeline by slowing down builds and Rethinking personal builds, but there is a lot more to a continuous delivery pipeline than build times. Once a build produces artifacts, you need to do something with them. Often the next step is to install the product onto a machine for either testing or production use. The installation is typically a process such as copying a zip to a machine and unzipping it or running an install program, but can sometimes be more complicated when special configuration is required. Below I describe how we have started using IBM UrbanCode Deploy to allow builds to easily and automatically install, configure and invoke server applications onto machines in the cloud before an application installer has even been created.
Working towards continuous deployment in Jazz.net- I have worked for IBM for about 20 years, moving back and forth between development, customer support and IT operations roles. Working in these different roles helped give me perspective for my current role as the manager for Jazz Continuous Deployments/DevOps. In this role I am responsible for ensuring that our multiple staging and self-hosting environments are stable and always using the latest driver or sprint of the Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) products. We are not yet at the point where we can automatically deploy a new driver daily to production, but we are working towards that goal.
Unify your test automation for continuous delivery- This is the second article about testing in our Continuous Delivery series to share practices we have adopted in our own development team within Rational Team Concert (RTC). The presented techniques are used to control software evolution and to improve the quality of our code base. Since there is a variety of IBM and open source tools we are using, we focus here on the practices and techniques rather than on particular tools.
From ‘use what we sell’ to ‘practice what we preach’- This is part three in our blog series describing the transformation of our internal ALM development organization toward a Continuous Delivery model. In this series, we describe the motivations behind adoption of a Continuous Delivery model and the many challenges we faced as we embarked on this transformation from both the planning and execution perspectives.
Role of the run team in our Continuous Delivery process- I am one of the developers in the Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) project contributing to the Tracking and Planning (TAP) functionality of Rational Team Concert (RTC). I have been part of the TAP team from last four years and involved in delivering RTC in longer and shorter release cycles. You would have read posts written by my colleagues on how we changed our processes and organized our teams for adapting to the Continuous Delivery lifecycle. This blog is the continuation to these posts, in which I’ll be talking about the "Run Team" and its necessity and role in delivering quality values to our product. We have been running the Run Team from the last four releases (since 4.0.1) and I was part of the team for three releases and led the team during two releases.
Rational Team Concert source control makes continuous delivery easier- Rational Team Concert (RTC) has started releasing quarterly. Since large features rarely fit into such short cycles, we’re making heavy use of RTC’s branching and merging functionality. That could result in merge hell, but it doesn’t. This post will give you an idea of how the RTC team uses our own source control management system, and show how its design helps large teams maintain many branches without nightmarish merging.
How does Rational ‘do Continuous Delivery?’- This is part two in our blog series describing the transformation of our internal ALM development organization toward a Continuous Delivery model. In this series, we describe the motivations behind adoption of a Continuous Delivery model and the many challenges we faced as we embarked on this transformation from both the planning and execution perspectives.
Organizing our teams for Continuous Delivery- You may have been reading the blog posts of my colleagues around continuous delivery including the motivation behind it, our focus areas as we transformed from annual to quarterly releases, and some process improvements that we implemented. Continuing this theme, in this blog I’ll write about one of the most dramatic changes that we underwent as a development team to support continuous delivery - the restructuring of the team itself into a new avatar that we like to believe is more agile and more user focused than it was earlier.
Rational DOORS v9 x: Requirements Change Management Options- IBM Rational DOORS v9 x: Change Management by Systems Engineer Steve Grossman. This video explores two options for Change management for requirements in IBM Rational DOORS:
1. The Change Proposal System or CPS, that is built into DOORS
2. Integration with OSLC-based change tools such as Rational Team Concert
I'm constantly amazed at the great information our developerWorks authors produce on such a consistent basis. To prove that point, here are the latest articles from the past week that have gone live on developerWorks Rational:
Develop reliable software with DevOps
By: Bob Aiello, Consultant and Technical editor, CM Best Practices Consulting (Division of Yellow Spider, Inc) and Leslie Sachs, COO, Yellow Spider, Inc.
Bob Aiello and Leslie Sachs teach you how to create reliable systems using principles and practices that are emerging as part of DevOps.
Products: IBM Rational Requirements Composer, IBM Rational Focal Point
A macro-pattern for public sector systems architecture
By: Jan K. Gravesen, Executive Architect, IBM
Jan Graveson gives you a common systems architecture pattern to help you accelerate the design of new systems architectures for the public sector.
Product: IBM Rational System Architect
JazzHub: Collborate in the cloud in less than 10 minutes
By: Jean-Louis Maréchaux, Worldwide Technical Enablement Lead, IBM and Fariz Saracevic, Lifecycle Scenario Architect, IBM
Jean-Louis Maréchaux and Fariz Saracevic take you on a tour of Jazz Hub in this scenario-based article. With Jazz Hub your team will quickly and easily collaborate on projects.
What's new in IBM Rational Application Developer V9.0 Portal Tools
By: Mansi Gaba, Staff Software Engineer, IBM
Mansi Gaba introduces you to the new and enhanced features. Support for jQuery tooling, the Maven framework, Mac OS, and simplified Dojo mobile view creation are some of the top improvements.
Product: IBM Rational Application Developer
Here's the most recent list of the latest and greatest downloads which have gone live from Rational Support since October 16th! These links below are provided to help you find the fixes you need in order to stay up to date and successful with your Rational products.... Plus, don't forget to check out the downloads tag to see any of the fixes you may have previously missed:
0:14 - Integration with Build Forge 3:45 - Continuous integration servers working with UrbanCode Deploy 4:40 - Example Ant tasks to add different capabilities 8:53 - Verification of live systems 9:51 - Integration with RQM - prechecks 12:30 - Integration with RQM - steps
We're knee deep into fall now, and well into November already! How did that happen? I'm not sure of the time-space continuum shift that has truncated this year, but what I am sure of is that our awesome developerWorks authors have been steadily publishing their great articles regardless of how short or long the year has seemed... Here are the latest articles from the past few weeks which have gone live on Rational developerWorks:
Analyzing data in an agile world By: Scott Snyder, Senior Performance Architect, IBM
Learn to interpret test results in an adaptable way. Scott Snyder shows you the techniques and tooling that should make data analysis more interactive. Product: IBM Rational Team Concert
Develop a hybrid mobile application using Rational Application Developer By: Hamid Kalantari, Staff software engineer, IBM
Top 10 modeling hints for system engineers: #10: Forget 7 ± 2 By: Bruce Douglass, Rational Chief Evangelist, Systems Engineering, IBM
Bruce Douglass gives one hint a week to help you with modeling. This 10-week series starts with #10: Forget 7 ± 2 Products: IBM Rational Rhapsody, IBM Rational System Architect, IBM Rational Software Architect
Debugging optimized code By: Rajan Bhakta, Technical Architect, z/OS XL C/C++ compilers, IBM
Rajan Bhakta gives you ways to make the right tradeoffs to get the easiest possible debugging and fastest possible optimization. Products: IBM C/C++ Compiler
Adopting the IBM DevOps approach By: Paul Bahrs, Chief Architect, Emerging technologies, IBM
This practice-based framework will help you assess your current practices and build a roadmap to DevOps adoption.
Be smart with virtualization, Part 2 By: Mike Donati, ClearCase Performance Team Lead, IBM, Ryan Smith, Software Performance Analyst, IBM, and Grant Covell, Senior Development Manager, Rational Performance Engineering, IBM
Part 2 of this article series brings you even more best practices for using IBM Rational software in virtualized environments. Products: IBM Rational Team Concert, IBM Rational ClearCase
IBM SmartCloud Enterprise and V9 Rational IDEs simplify application development By: Jean-Yves B. Rigolet, Rational IDE Cloud Architect and Lead, IBM
The new Version 9 rational IDEs are now available on the Smart Cloud Enterprise. No more install and configuration, just continuous access to your development environment from multiple devices. Learn more from Jean-Yves Rigolet. Products: Rational Developer for System z, Rational Developer for Power, IBM Rational Software Architect, IBM Rational Application Developer, IBM Rational Team Concert
Server-side mobile application development By: Bhargav Perepa, WebSphere Architect and IT Specialist, IBM
A five-part article series that explains how to use IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software and IBM® Worklight together to develop applications for mobile devices. Bhargav Perepa walks you through the entire process. He provides application and sample configuration files to guide you through the steps. Products: IBM Rational Application Developer, IBM Worklight
The IBM Support Portal has a new look. You have suggested improvements for the IBM Support Portal. We've listened, and our new, simplified website is now available. The simplified design presents the most important content for your product to help you find the information you need, when you need it. After selecting a product from the top of the page, you'll find links to fixes, updates, best practices, product documentation, troubleshooting technical notes, social media channels, tools and resources, and so much more. Please visit the new site today at support.ibm.com!
At the IBM Electronic Support blogyou will find an overview of the main pages of the new IBM Support Portal and a description of how to navigate within this new design. Note:Clicking on the images in this linked article will open full-size images in a new browser tab for greater visibility to the discrete features.
A developerWorkslearning circle is a community space where people come together to learn about a subject. The learning circle offers targeted resources and guided learning activities, selected by subject matter experts, that you can use to build your personal learning roadmaps.
Darrel Rader, a technical skills and development leader in IBM Rational has built this amazingly short (only 6 slides!) but robust presentation on slideshare.net to help explain what learning circles are:
Now that you know what a learning circle is, did you know we've got five of them currently rolled out (with more to come)? Check out the great learning circles below, choose one, and dive in! These learning circles focus on aspects of the product and application lifecycle:
Because you may not have time to browse all the resources and mingle with other learners in one sitting, learning circles help you create your own personal roadmaps, your pathways through the resources.
You can check off items as you complete them, break away whenever you need to, and easily return anytime. No guesswork; no wasted time trying to recreate where you were.
You can keep your progress confidential, of course. But you also have the option of easily sharing your progress with a mentor, your manager, or your team so you can all progress together.
In this six part demo series on developerWorks, we show you the ins and outs of IBM Rational Solution for Systems and Software Engineering. All six of the articles below will take you to pages on developerWorks from which you can either click to view the demo, or download the video and transcripts for review later or in secure environments.
Title: IBM Green Hat Licensing Concepts and Management Abtract: This white paper covers different licensing aspects of IBM Green Hat products such as requirements, status output inferences, and Processor Value Unit (PVU) licenses. Author: Pankaj Sharma
Title: Managing Test Data under Rational Performance Tester Abtract: This white paper provides a scenario based approach of how you can correlate an encoded value handled within IBM Rational Performance Tester (RPT). Author: Neeta Stanley, Vinay Jagadeesh and Rajesh Avanthi
DevOps is reshaping the future of ALM as noted in a recently published Forrester report, Continuous Delivery is Reshaping the Future of ALM, saying "DevOps is now noisily elbowing its way into the mainstream- the revolution is just beginning, but it’s real and the time to act is now."
IBM DevOps is an essential enterprise capability for continuous delivery that enables organizations to seize market opportunities and reduce time to customer feedback. DevOps enables organizations to adopt and continuously improve in lean and agile practices through shared learning, while extending the boundaries of agile to encompass the full business/client value stream. Effective ALM is a key practice that helps organizations implement a DevOps approach because it allows them to efficiently deliver applications and services with robust performance, transactional integrity, security and control.
We ask that you continue to participate and contribute your ALM expertise to the DevOps Community moving forward. Join our new DevOps Communityto post questions to the Forum or get community insights from our Blog. We look forward to exchanging ideas with you.
We are glad to invite you to the OpenMic* session on "ClearCase 8.0.x - New features and Planning for Upgrade". Keeping in mind that version 7.1.2.x is reaching its ‘End of Support’ by April 2014, this session will help you in planning your ClearCase upgrade to latest supported version. Please join us virtually for a one hour long session on Wednesday, October 23rd 2013 at 3:00 PM IST.
*OpenMics are a series of conference calls and/or webcasts where technical experts share their knowledge and answer your questions on a specific technical topic.
Topic: ClearCase 8.0.x - New features and Planning for Upgrade
IBM Rational ClearCase 8.0.x.x being the latest version has many new features introduced. We would be presenting the new features, advantages of ClearCase 8.0.x.x and upgrade instructions.
When: 23rd October 2013 3:00pm IST (GMT+5:30)
Following are the key areas which we would cover:
Introduction to ClearCase 8.0.x
CCRC WAN Server
Why ClearCase 8.0.x
Planning your upgrade to ClearCase 8.0.x
Technote to be referred and useful links
Upgrade assistance program
Amarnath Srinivas has been a part of IBM Rational Client Support supporting WW clients on various CCM Products like ClearCase, Synergy, Change, ClearQuest. He has overall 9+ years of experience in IT industry mainly in the Configuration management and Network domain. Currently he is performing the role of Technical Support Specialist for ClearCase. He is also part of IBM lab IT infrastructure team hosting and managing ESX environment for WW Rational Client Support.
Avinash Srinivasamurthy is a Staff Software Engineer at IBM Rational Client Support. He is an Accelerated Value Leader for a major Telecom and a Banking client. He also performs the role of Technical Support specialist for ClearCase. With a Masters degree in "Software Systems", he has 7 years of experience in the IT industry mainly in the Configuration management domain. He has been actively involved in the ClearCase implementations and the Upgrade assistance program for major clients.
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September is but a memory, but we've not forgotten! These are the top 20 technotes forRational Licensing that were reused during September to help solve your PMRs. Last month the following technotes were the most heavily reused when closing PMRs opened by you, our clients. We hope that highlighting them here will help others encountering the same or similar issues also find quick resolution:
Here's the most recent list of the latest and greatest downloads which have gone live from Rational Support since September 17th! These links below are provided to help you find the fixes you need in order to stay up to date and successful with your Rational products.... Plus, don't forget to check out the downloads tag to see any of the fixes you may have previously missed:
Are you curious to know what actions take place internally during the "Performing Test Log Data Transfer" stage in Rational Performance Tester (RPT)?
Here's some background on what happens during the "Performing Test Log data transfer" state:
STAGE-1) During the test, stub files will be created in a temporary directory in a system's temporary location on the RPT workbench system. This directory will have a name like rpt.<ScheduleName>.<number>.
For example: If you have agents named Agent1 and Agent2, the stub files will have names like:
As the playback is running, the actual traffic is written to corresponding files on the agent machines under the agent's deployment_root directory.
STAGE-2) When the playback reaches the "Performing Test Log data transfer" state, RPT will first move the files from the agents to the same temporary directory (rpt.<ScheduleName>.<number>), replacing the stub
files. This is done serially for each agent (i.e. files are moved from Agent1, and then from Agent2, ...). During this step, ideally the ACWinService.exe on the agent currently transferring files will show CPU
use of 5 - 15 %.
STAGE - 3) Once the files are retrieved from all the agents to the temporary directory, the files from all the agents are combined into two files with names like DLRDirectoryAreaPagingFile<number>.dat and DLRPagingFile<number>.dat in the system's temporary location.
STAGE - 4) After the two above files are completed, the rpt.<ScheduleName>.<number> directory is removed.
STAGE - 5) Finally the data is combined into the .executiondlr file in the project. You may check with the files and find out in which stage RPT is completing.
From a product perspective, whenever you encounter a peculiar error or behavior it becomes difficult to think of a starting point that could help you drive towards understanding the cause. Such scenarios demand more information and to have a keen look into the log files generated by the respective application. Such logs as meant to accumulate the granular information based on the configuration or settings imposed while working on a asset under test.
In-line to this from troubleshooting point of view, the initial gathering of data such as logs, product versions and system data plays an important role in investigating the problem reported. A new step towards designing a data collection executable which will help you to retrieve the following information and provide it to IBM support for investigation was put into practice successfully when we released the Data Log Collection Utility last week.
Following are a few data points that this .exe file gathers:
Vital Rational Performance Tester logs
Information about the Product Version installed.
Platform System Environment Details
The intention of designing this utility is that it would help avoiding the initial 3 - 4 interactions required by the Technical Support Engineer to collect basic system and log information. Thus reducing the resolution time cycle of the Problem Management Record.
For more information on how to execute this data collection utility, you may refer the following link:
Check out this new CLM whitepaper from Rational Client Support's AVP team member Dayal Sachdev!
Dayal knows that clients today face challenges scaling Jazz environments appropriately and maintaining them, and has written this whitepaper that describes one approach to monitoring a server layer and captures those results for analysis using Resource Monitoring with IBM Rational Performance Tester. The target audience is administrators whom are in charge of hosting and maintaining Jazz CLM tools today while having a moderate understanding of load testing concepts and Jazz tools.
This is an introduction to the Rational Client Connect program from the Rational Support team. This program helps you get started with electronic support activities such as downloading software, obtaining licenses keys, finding content, and submitting service requests to support.
One of the IBM Rational Team Concert (RTC) users, having an integration with Focal Point (FP) were planning to move the production database
to test. On refreshing the test database, as they had RTC-FP integration in production, the same links would be preserved in the artifacts in test.
They had a concern if these links will be preserved in RTC, even in the test area after refresh. Of course, they would edit the Friends connection,
to point to the Test.
Here are the steps that I suggested and one of which was successfully used by the customer to isolate production from test (step 2).
The RTC links will be preserved in the Test area after refresh.
If the plan is to have a Test environment without the RTC links (in test database) to point to the production data, there are 2 options one can choose from.
Isolate the production and the test environment at network level.
Below are the details of each of these options:
1. Server Rename
Server rename is one of the approaches to achieve this. However, this has it's drawbacks and risks, explained in the links below:
This should definitely be the last approach one can take, after raising a Problem Management Record (PMR) with IBM Rational Support.
a. Server rename and the things to be aware before proceeding:
NOTE: One needs to make sure that there are no possibilities of communication exchange between the test and production servers at all.
a. First, ensure that production and test servers are isolated at the network level so that any communication attempt is blocked.
This is to make sure the Test environment should not insert or update anything on the production environment.
b. Install CLM applications, Websphere Application Server (WAS), database on the test server following the usual methods.
c. Restore the copy of production databases in the test server.
d. Ensure the password of the database user (which is used in the CLM applications to connect to the database) is different than in
production. This can be the DB instance user, if one has used so.
Now, one needs to tell the server on how to connect to the new databases (the ones which were restored in Test environment), where the password
To get the encrypted password:
f. Run the jts/setup till Step 3 - Configure Database and
look at the jts/teamserver.properties file (which should now be in the process of getting regenerated) for the encrypted password.
Copy it in a word editor. The property name to look for the password is
g. Copy over the entire .../server/config directory from the production server to the Test server and open each of the teamserver.properties
file and update the password as noted in the above step.
i. Create an entry for production server in /etc/hosts file of test server.
Start the application in WebSphere and test.
NOTE: It is best to test this when production environment is offline or down for maintenance to avoid any unforeseen problems.
At this stage, the Test environment can only be accessed from test server and not from any clients, as the DNS is unaware of the alias in
To access the Test Environment, users can put a similar entry in their respective machines /etc/hosts file to point it to the Test environment.
The IBM Rational Client Success Team is holding an Open Mic session covering access to the Rational product Help content. This session is essential to anyone in need of web based help delivery or secured environment help content delivery alike. Add this session to your calendar today so you don't miss this important topic.
Title: Configuring, administering, and troubleshooting access to Rational product help Date: Wednesday, 23rd October 2013
Time: 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
Duration: 1 Hour
Christopher P. Austin - Infrastructure Software Engineer
Margaret Eker - Content developer
Hadar Hawk - Information Architect
Sandra Liles - User Assistance manager
Overview: Rational products support web-based delivery of help which provides options for delivering product help content to users. By default, users access product help content from an IBM server hosted on the internet. If internet access is not available due to security or environmental issues, Rational product users and administrators also have options to download the help for local use or set up an intranet server to host and deliver the help content. Join us to learn more about the help delivery options, how to determine the best option for your environment, and get tips on configuring, administering, and troubleshooting Rational product help content.
Overview of help delivery options and deployment scenarios
Configuring and administering product help for web-based products
Configuring product help for Eclipse based products
IBM Rational Rhapsody family provides a collaborative design, development and test environment for systems engineers and software engineers. It uses Systems Modeling Language (SysML) and Unified Modeling Language (UML) to enable rapid requirements analysis and visual, model-based design.
The UML diagrams are views into the underlying semantic system model; each kind of diagram emphasizes some aspect of the model.
Example - Dynamic aspects is represented by behavior diagram - State chart.
Statecharts define the behavior of objects by specifying how they react to events or operations. The reaction can be to perform a transition between states and possibly to execute some actions. When running in animation mode, IBM Rational Rhapsody highlights the transitions between states.
The discussion covers few modeling challenges with state chart using Rational Rhapsody and how to over come those challenges:
1) Evaluation of condition connector in state chart
A scenario where a variable (count) is decremented before the condition connector and is expected to terminate if value of variable is 9 (count==9).
However, on executing you observe that the condition doesn’t take the change in the variable on the transition. Instead it takes the initial value of the variable for comparison.
The work around here is to have an additional dummy state in between to get the desired output.
2) Multicasting with rapid ports in layered structure
Currently, the multicasts of event via rapid ports (ports that have no provided/required interfaces) are supported only from a direct invocation.
Example - One sender object and two receiver objects
Consider a scenario where the event is first sent from the Class A's object(itsA) and then it reaches the Class B's object(itsB), from where it is delegated to its 2 inner parts(itsB1 and itsB2
No multicasting is available on having multi layered structure.
The Workaround is to add an additional state chart and MULITCAST_GEN() macro in class B.
3) Working of Reaction in State
In a single state for a Reactive class, you would expect to continuously print a statement after elapse time of tm (1000). However, upon execution it prints only once instead of continuous timer.
Using a tm (1000) as a trigger for a reaction in state means that 1 second after you enter the state you'll be triggered. It's not a continuous timer.
To restart the timer you have to exit the state and re-enter it. It needs a design change as below.
4) Combining Junction Connector and Condition Connector in a state chart
You would like to have several events from a state and a condition to determine the other state.
You cannot join several transitions into a condition connector neither you can have a transition from a junction connector to a condition connector.
However, you can model to add a dummy state in between that will further evaluate for condition connector.
Time to slow it down a bit on this autumnal Friday morning. So sit bad, grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and take some time to read the following articles that went live on developerWorks Rational this week. And while you're at it, register for the upcoming webcast and maybe even check out some of the featured trials and downloads too:
Maven integration with Rational Application Developer By: Manish Aneja, Project Lead, IBM and Awanish Kumar Singh, Software Engineer, IBM
Awanish Kumar Singh explains how Maven tooling can be integrated with Rational Application Developer's portlet tooling features to enhance both the development and the build experience. Product: IBM Rational Application Developer
DevOps adoption: tools, processes and culture By: Adrian Cho, Program Director, Continuous Delivery Evangelist, IBM Rational
Read how IBM is adopting DevOps, and where this adoption is leading us to in this blog post written by Adrian Cho.
IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software
IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software accelerates the development and deployment of Java, Java EE, Web 2.0, mobile, OSGi, portal and service-oriented architecture (SOA) applications. Both expert and novice developers can increase productivity and efficiency by using its many integrated capabilities for easier development, testing, analysis, and delivery of applications. The IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software evaluation is available as a download, sandbox, or in the cloud.