Authors Bob Aiello (email@example.com), Consultant and Technical editor, CM Best Practices Consulting (Division of Yellow Spider, Inc) and Leslie Sachs (LeslieASachs@gmail.com), COO, Yellow Spider, Inc. take you through a six part series on DevOps best practices ranging from an introduction and overview of concepts through security, implementation of ITIL, ALM, using the cloud, and of course testing.
DevOps best practices: Part 3. Implement ITIL with DevOps- Many organizations embrace the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF) IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) v3 framework, which provides guidance on the processes and functions that help implement quality IT services. However, organizations struggle with how to implement ITIL processes such as change management, service asset and configuration management, and release and deployment management. This article shares practical guidance on how to use DevOps practices to implement the processes and functions described in the ITIL v3 Core Transition from Service Design to Service Operation.
DevOps best practices: Part 4. Drive agile Application Lifecycle Management with DevOps- DevOps provides a set of principles and practices that help development and operations teams to work together more effectively. Most organizations recognize that that there are other key stakeholders, such as information security, Quality Assurance (QA), testing, and many others who can also benefit from the DevOps approach. Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) helps to define the entire software and systems lifecycle, which encompasses a wide range of tasks and stakeholders. These stakeholders play an essential role to create reliable and secure systems. Apply the DevOps approach to improve communication and collaboration to drive the entire application lifecycle. Learn how to use DevOps to understand the dependencies between each of the stakeholders in the application lifecycle.
DevOps best practices: Part 5. DevOps in the cloud- To realize the true value of cloud-based software development and cloud-based operations, apply DevOps practices to help mitigate the potential pitfalls and risks associated with cloud-based computing. Learn how to use DevOps best practices to ensure that your organization can both use cloud-based development tools and processes and implement scalable, cloud-based operations successfully.
Rational Rhapsody Tables: The Basics of Tables - In this video Technical Specialists Andy Lapping takes you through the use of the basic, yet powerful Rhapsody concept of tables. Table cell data is generated in Rhapsody from the information already in the browser. Andy also covers table layouts, structure and properties and then performs some example scenarios.
More IBM Rational Rhapsody Tables tutorials can be found below... click through the titles to view them!
Rational Rhapsody Tables: Populating Cell Data Using the API- In this session Andy Lapping takes you through using the API to populate table data. This is the 3rd video in a series of using IBM Rational Rhapsody tables, in-depth. Tables can be a powerful way of collecting and arranging project model data for other uses.
This three-part tutorial walks you through building a multi-tier web application from scratch, using IBM® Rational® Application Developer, the Java Persistence API (JPA), Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs), REST web services, and — for a rich Web 2.0 front end — the Dojo Toolkit. You'll end up with a fully functioning web application that displays data in a table that users can edit by double-clicking any cell.
Rapidly build a rich three-tier web app, Part 1: Build the database- The application architecture uses REST services to decouple the UI from the server, and it uses EJBs and JPA to provide a correctly tiered enterprise application. Some of these layers are unnecessary for the sample application, but the intent is to provide a well-architected example that can be scaled for a more challenging problem space. The high-level steps the tutorial follows are:
Build REST services for displaying and modifying the data and a rich Web 2.0 interface to use the services. (Part 3).
Deploy the application to the IBM Bluemix platform-as-a-service. (Part 3).
Rapidly build a rich three-tier web app, Part 2: Build the application tier- In part two of this three-part tutorial, learn how to use IBM Rational Application Developer and IBM Bluemix to rapidly build and host a multi-tier Java Enterprise Edition (JEE) app. Find out how you can save time in each stage: creating the data model and database, generating the data access code using the Java Persistence API (JPA), writing the Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs) and web services, and using Dojo to create a rich web UI for viewing and modifying the data. When the application is complete, you'll deploy it to IBM Bluemix, the IBM Platform as a Service (PaaS).
Rapidly build a rich three-tier web app, Part 3: Create a rich web UI- In Part 1 you created a database on IBM Bluemix, connected to it from Rational Application Developer, and populated it with sample data. In Part 2, you created the application tier consisting of an EJB for managing the business logic and Java Persistence API (JPA) entities for interacting with the database. Here in Part 3 you'll expose the EJB methods as REST web services and build an editable Dojo data grid for viewing and modifying the data. Finally, you'll deploy the application to IBM Bluemix.
This three part series of articles presents two mechanisms for integrating IBM Rational Team Concert™ and IBM® UrbanCode Deploy to create a continuous delivery process. The first approach included in Part 1 is a packaged out-of-the-box implementation that is easy to set up. The second approach, presented in Part 2 and Part 3, uses extensions to the Ant build.xml file.
Rational Developer Traveler, v1.0.3: Navigator and Shell (Video 1 of 3)- This 3 minute video features the Rational Developer Traveler Navigator View and TSO Shell, which is new in version 1.0.3. In this video you will see how to view the MVS file system with the Navigator view, create a Partitioned Dataset with the Navigator view, and then use the provided TSO Shell to copy an application into the newly created Dataset.
Rational Developer Traveler, v.1.0.3: Edit and Submit (Video 2 of 3)- This 3 minute video explains how to edit JCL with Rational Developer Traveler and then submit the JCL for processing on the host environment. You'll learn how to use the Rational Developer Traveler Editor to modify the application that was copied in the first video of this series. When the updates are complete, the JCL will be submitted for processing on the host environment using the option found within the RD Traveler editor.
Brian Svihovec is a Senior Software Engineer at IBM, where he has worked in Research Triangle Park (RTP), NC since 2001. Prior to working at IBM, Brian obtained a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. While working at IBM, Brian spent 11 years as a member of the Rational Business Developer team, developing an Eclipse based IDE for the EGL programming language. For the past 2 years, Brian has been working on Rational Developer Traveler, which is a Lean Startup experiment to validate the benefits of a Web Based IDE for z/OS. When Brian is not working he is usually out for a run, playing roller hockey, or spending time with his family. Brian Svihovec, Rational Developer Traveler Web Client Lead (svihovec @ us.ibm.com)
This week, we asked Rational Support IBMers what tip or trick they'd like to share... below you'll find some great advice about global collaboration, using Lotus Notes and associate applications more effectively, and information on making Support Portal more effective for YOU!
First up is Wendy Page, an RCS Software Advisory Team manager, with some recommendations for collaborating with global teams. Wendy notes: "When working with remote colleagues, especially in foreign labs, I take a couple of minutes to ask them about something in their locale before beginning a work conversation. For instance, when I next talk to my CDL development team, I will ask them about their New Year's Holiday, whether they traveled to see family, what traditions they celebrated. Sometimes I ask about the weather, especially if I know that a team may be battling extremely cold weather (Europe), or ask if my colleague has family near flooding in Brazil. This helps me understand the context under which the team is working, extra strains in their work day that I may not be aware of. It also builds a sense of connection with our remote teammates and labs."
Paula Cox, a Rational Client Programs manager, has some great tips for using tables in Lotus Notes: In Lotus Notes (perhaps we can have a thread on JUST Notes tips)...two things have made everything easier.
When you have a table in a Notes document (email, teamroom document) you can move a row up or down in the table. To do this, highlight just that row, and press CTRL + Up arrow (or CTRL down arrow) to move that row up (or down)
To get a table into a Notes document that you edit (not a image), you can: a) copy the cells from a spreadsheet b) in Notes choose Edit -> Paste Special ->Rich Text If you -just- paste, you'll get a screen image, not an editable table.
Hope it has helped as much as it has helped me!
Debra Johnson, another Rational Client Programs manager, has even more advice surrounding Lotus Notes: One of the things in Lotus Notes Teamrooms, email, databases etc., that Paula Cox (thanks Paula- she is our Lotus Notes guru) taught our team was to use the 'shift' plus the 'minus' key to minimize the open documents. This helps if you need to find a category or event from the list. To use this function, click in the results, then press the 'shift' and 'minus' keys; it will collapse everything in that window to the highest level.
Lastly, our eSupport guru Pat O'Connor gives us some simple but highly effective tips on using the Support Portal: For the IBM Support Portal:
Customize your experience - this is YOUR IBM Support Portal, so first select the products that you are interested in - you can always change them later. This will help you find your answers quicker and easier - your navigation and searches will be scoped to only the products you have active on your page!
SIGN IN - Very, very important! Once you are in the IBM Support Portal, there is light blue box in the upper right corner: "Sign in to access your authorized content and to customize your pages." Signing in will save your customization on the IBM site, so that deleting your browser's cookies or changing computers doesn't result in you having to re-customize your IBM Support Portal pages every time you arrive at YOUR IBM.com site!
So, there you have some great tips and tricks from the people who work with these tools, sites, and distributed teams every day... do YOU have any tips to share? Anything that you find makes your life a little easier or efficient? Work related or otherwise, we're all ears and eager to learn new ways to improve!
image credit: (cc) the incomparable flickr user AndyP UK .
Passion.... Joe Robinson recently wrote an interesting article on the topic over at the Huffington Post. In that article he posits that "Stocking up on positive events is important because we're usually in a losing battle against the negative avalanche barreling down on us from all sides." In the support world, we often see this exemplified, as we only get calls when there's an issue; no one calls us to tell us when products are working perfectly. I think Joe is on to something with his article, so rather than dwell on the problems sitting in our queues, let's talk a bit about our passions and what really gets us excited.
What ARE our passions in RCS? I'm glad you asked...
For Conny Postma, one of our Accelerated Value Specialists, passion is about her family: "I'm the proud mother of a teenage boy. My husband has been a stay-at-home father for most of the time." But that's not the whole of Conny's passion either as she goes on to note: "That gave me the opportunity my to pursue my other passion: working in Support! I really like to dive into technical issues, while at the same time talking and dealing with real human beings, also called clients and colleagues. But, also I'm very passionate about Astronomy: If time and weather allows I'm staring into the night sky and admiring the wonders of the stars and planets that surround us. That is such a peaceful and relaxing experience... "
Taking a different approach to the question, Kelly Smith, whom you all know as co-author of NFRS and overall knowledge activist, tells us her passions revolve around effective and open knowledge-sharing! She notes: "Email is where knowledge goes to die, says Bill French, and this blog post explains it much better than I ever could. In short, if you are providing an answer, that answer is best captured someplace it can easily be found and reused by others... and usually, that's not in your head or in your inbox. Worse, if it's in MY head, chances are that *I* won't even be able to find it when I need it again. Working smarter means not answering the same question over and over again... but providing the answer once where others can find it."
For myself, I find my passion in various places depending on what my life needs at any given moment. Sometimes I like to dive into a project that involves building or modifying something with my hands, like my latest kick to modify a vintage 1930's phone to a digital system functional for my day to day work. Other times, I have a driving need to create in a more artistic manner, which is where my love for photography comes into play. Even other times, I simply find passion and enjoyment from helping other people solve issues plaguing them; no surprise why I work in support on that one... but more than all, I find passion in writing; communicating thoughts and ideas to the world, be it in blog form, technical documentation, or just day to day correspondences. Of course if I just have to get away and clear my head, I hop on my motorcycle and ride off into the sunset... wheels on the ground, of course.
You've heard a few of ours, now we'd love to hear what -your- passions are. What drives your life beyond work? What passion keeps you coming back to work?
There's no doubt that "social" is the new web. Over the past two years we saw businesses adopt social networking at an unprecedented pace. But what will this year bring in the social spaces? More particular, what role will social business play in software support in 2011? We posed that very question to Rational Client Support and found a myriad of ideas and opinions.
From one of our Rational System Architect and Modeling TSEs, Pritesh Patel, we get the high level view of social business: "The information highway has become a social gathering place where more and more people using it are being seduced by digital media. You no longer have to invite someone for a cuppa tea to have a chinwag and gossip. In support, we have a huge bucket full of data (gossip) that we share. We can now reach out to our clients and provide them with necessary information, which can then reverberate across our various social-business channels. All major organizations are using these tools to create a buzz and that's what we're doing also. We promote support and build a different kind of rapport with our clients."
Sumant Renukarya, a Rational Synergy and Change TSE follows on Pritesh's view with: "We already see a major shift in the way the information is spread, thanks to social networking. At support, the following points play a major role with social networking: social business provides quick access to the required information like specific product related installers, fixpacks, readmes, etc. Promoting events and hence better attendance. And it adds a personal touch with clients, developers, and support personnel."
One of RCS' Knowledge Managers, Phil Wall, points out that: "Social Media in 2011 needs to be more interactive. We have been serving up information, videos and education through our Notes From Rational Support, Twitter, and Facebook channels almost like how a Newspaper reports the news to subscribers. What will make our social business channels more interesting to our community in between relevant information sharing?"
And that, dear readers, is a great question. What will make our presence more interesting? I'll leave you with these two additional questions in hopes of finding out: What do you think 2011 will hold for software support in social business? What would you like to see from us in these spaces?
IBM has been driving the "Smarter Planet" concept for quite a while now, both formally as a campaign and even longer as a general ethic of business.
To drive home a personal perspective of this global focus, this week we asked: What are you doing to make the planet smarter? Here are some of the responses we received from colleagues around the world:
Umberto Ghio is focused on a very personal way of making the planet smarter: I am trying to get smarter myself. As I am part of the planet, by improving myself I am contributing to the overall "smarter planet" ideal. How? I try to do things in a different way, make some efforts to imagine a better solution for each problem I am facing, even if it is an old known problem with a old known solution. Learning; learning something new is the best way to keep your brain young, and opens doors you never even imagined. I do as much as I can not to be obvious; do you get the same question 20 times? I try providing a different (but correct) answer to each one. I try to be as polite and kind as possible; it's too easy to be rude or too focused on yourself. Fun; I try to have as much fun as possible, and I try to involve as much people as possible. Spread the fun, you will never be wrong. A smarter planet? That is one in which everybody is happy
The efforts to make the planet smarter can also be demonstrated in different ways and shapes based on roles and responsibilities people take in their day to day life. As Hamid Kalantari notes, this includes both personal and business roles and responsibilities, and in our support organization this is done by:
Optimizing time to solution for PMRs by making sure the provided solution is applicable to the issue the client is facing and by engaging required resources actively while problem determination process is done.
Improving self-assist by providing quality content including technotes, developerWorks articles, and IEA modules
Improving productivity and clarity while working with clients by using existing tools such as AOS (Assist On Site).
Increasing awareness of existing self assist content as well as communities and forums like developerWorks
Being as clear as possible while communicating
Expanding and deepening technical skills in high demand areas
Nanesh Bhamkar postulates that a "thought" can definitely change lives. To help make the planet smarter he is currently growing his personal network so that the thoughts can be implemented, noting that in a developing nation like India, new technology is reaching only 5% of the crowd, while the majority of people are still waiting for it to make their lives smarter. He believes this is possible with a good network and support.
We can also compartmentalize smarter planet ideas into professional and personal as Sumant Renukarya has shown us: At work: I focus, daily, on how to improve my own skills with assisting clients, I try to figure out what else I can improve, and of course I continue my own education. Off work, there are a lot of small ways in which I am contributing to make a smarter planet. I teach Yoga; healthier people are a smarter planet I reach out to children and instill with them the importance of education. I use water efficiently, and in turn, save water. And here's an easy one: I switch off the power when it is not in use!
Lastly, we all know the following big industries:
The Auto industry is making the planet smarter with their innovative hybrid & fuel-efficient cars.
Hi-tech and mobile device companies are making the planet smarter with new efficient electronics, smart devices, and cutting-edge high efficiency technologies.
Imaging companies are making the planet smarter with new imaging devices like high resolution digital cameras, optical recognition, medical imaging, pattern recognition software, etcetera.
The Medical industry is making the planet smarter by constantly improving quality of life through their advances in technology.
And Aerospace is also working to make a smarter planet through satellite mapping technologies, and a breadth of other innovative advances.
What do they have in common? Well, Howard Hsiao has a brilliant take on this question: Besides the fact that companies in each of those industries are well known and innovative, there is one other thing they have in common which is far more important than anything else: They are supported by IBM Rational Client Support!!! Howard goes on to say: I am really proud that I am part of Rational Client Support and can provide support to those companies making the planet smarter. Whenever I interact with clients and keep their business running smoothly, I know that I am making an indirect but important contribution to a smarter planet.
So.... what are YOU doing to help make the planet smarter? We'd love to hear your ideas in the comments section!