WHAT COMPELS AN IBM PARTNER TO PUT SUCH A MAGNITUDE OF TRUST IN IBM RATIONAL AVP?
IBM has very complex relationships with many of the world’s largest companies. We’re competitors, joint venture partners, OEM buddies and collaborators. We each fiercely guard any competitive edge and use it to relentlessly hammer each other. All is fair in love, war and the technology business.
One of IBM’s largest competitors is also one of IBM's most important business partners for software and systems. This Consulting Firm’s goal is to standardize how they approach software delivery for their clients. They consider Rational to be a good technology fit in this area, so they have made the Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution and other Rational products the critical foundation of their software delivery process. This is a clear endorsement of IBM Rational products and strategy by one of the world’s leading companies.
Since 2007, this Consulting Firm has also invested in a successfully evolving partnership with the experienced Rational Accelerated Value Program (AVP) team. AVP is Predictive, Preemptive and Proactive - bringing fast ROI for Rational Software clients across the globe. Consulting Firm relies on their AVP team for advice on their overall software deployment strategy, guidance on successful roll out of Rational tools, and the management of expedited resolution for cost-inducing software issues. The client considers the AVP team to be a high value extension of their own teams and have granted access to several of their internal systems and environments to make collaboration and troubleshooting easier- showing ultimate trust with IBM AVP.
The flexibility and personalization of the Accelerated Value Program has meant that the service continuously adapts to align with Consulting Firm's needs, so it is no surprise that the by the end of their current contract they will have been a AVP client for a full decade! AVP’s comprehensive knowledge of their customer’s business goals, ecosystem and topology helps ensure that the team is well positioned to dynamically respond to changing business conditions, partnering for continued success.
EXAMPLES OF HOW CONSULTING FIRM’S BUSINESS WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPACTED WITHOUT THE GUIDANCE OF THE EXPERIENCED RATIONAL ACCELERATED VALUE PROGRAM TEAM
1. IBM’s CLM Development identified a serious security vulnerability (not Heartbleed, but having significant threat potential due to Consulting Firm’s large customer base) allowing a remote user to execute arbitrary code on a CLM server without authenticating. With AVP’s intimate knowledge of Consulting Firm's CLM deployment model, we immediately realized the devastating impact this vulnerability could have if exploited on any of Consulting Firm's 1000+ CLM deployments. Working with IBM Level 3 support and IBM Legal, the AVP team were authorized to notify Consulting Firm of this vulnerability more than a week before it was to be published. This gave Consulting Firm enough time to remediate all of their servers prior to the vulnerability becoming public.
2. Working with IBM Level 2 support and IBM Development, the AVP team arranged for the delivery of more than 20 hotfixes for Consulting Firm's CLM deployments in 2013. Without these hotfixes Consulting Firm would have had to upgrade all 1000+ of their CLM deployments to each quarterly release. Avoiding 5 additional upgrades saved Consulting Firm $3.08 million (1000 deployments X 8 hours per upgrade X 5 upgrades X $77/hr FTE cost).
OVER THE PAST YEAR, THE AVP TEAM HAS COLLABORATED ON SEVERAL WINS WITH CONSULTING FIRM’S STAKEHOLDERS. READ JUST SOME OF THE IMPRESSIVE AVP ACHIEVEMENTS BELOW:
Guiding more than 1,000 successful deployments of the CLM applications for Consulting Firm's clients, including many brands that are household names
Facilitating rapid resolution to production issues in order to keep Consulting Firm's 40,000+licensed Rational users productive. AVP drove resolution of over 100 Consulting Firm PMRs in 2013 facilitating the correct focus from support delivery and development.
By managing Consulting Firm's enhancement requests and explaining the business case to IBM Development and Product Management, AVP helped with the delivery of 5 of Consulting Firm's most important and strategic requests in CLM releases in 2013.
Providing advance warning of changes impacting Consulting Firm's hosting and deployment model - lowering risk and preventing costly issues form occurring.
Defining product upgrade and roll out plans with the client enables Consulting Firm to annually upgrade each of the 20 Rational products covered under AVP. Meticulous AVP planning, guidance, and environment preparation are critical for driving successful projects where risk is heightened.
WHAT’S AHEAD FOR THE CONSULTING FIRM’S AVP PARTNERSHIP IN THE FUTURE? Looking ahead, because there has been significant growth in Consulting Firm's' Rational portfolio, AVP has already advised and set a schedule to sunset support of older Rational tools over the duration of the contract. This will assist Consulting Firm in making the most of its investment in Rational tools, not only by having the latest technologies and functionality, but also by following the trusted advice on how to best use those tools to meet every business goal efficiently.
How BlueMix Works- This video shows how the IBM BlueMix service works to help you build apps and solve problems! This video was originally broadcast during an IBM employee Think Friday cloud innovation day.
Develop and deploy your next
app on the IBM Bluemix
To our entire global audience of both clients and IBMers alike: we wish you the best today, and are extremely thankful you have chosen to follow us here on Notes from Rational Support. Even more so, we are thankful that you've found our efforts to be beneficial to your end goals. Cheers to you all!
As is the custom this time of year, those of us in the United States, and the expats living abroad are likely deep in the throes of celebrating a day of thanks by feasting upon a traditional Turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
Of course that means the Rational Support North American crew is largely out of the office today and tomorrow (Nov 27th and 28th). But have no fear, we do have crews still available to assist with your critical issues if needed!
Four great articles give you 5 minutes of smart in bite-sized chunks. As we move into the holiday weekend for our U.S. based employees and clients, these articles will give you a quickly consumable bite of information, but don't be deceived, these will serve to whet your appetite for even deeper information once you dig in. So grab a cuppa, and take 20 minutes to absorb this great info and lay out a plan for follow up in the coming slow-down.
5 minutes of smart: Tracing project requirements- By using an automated tool to facilitate tracing project requirements (in this case, Rational DOORS Next Generation), you can take charge and make managing project requirements a smooth, continuous process.
5 minutes of smart: How to link requirements to development artifacts- An important initial task to successfully manage requirements in a development project includes linking requirements and artifacts. Choosing the correct link type is key. Learn about links types in a typical RM tool such as Rational DOORS Next Generation. You can also experiment with the DOORSng tool in a 60-day free trial.
5 minutes of smart: Detect and analyze runtime problems with probes- By using an automated tool to facilitate development code testing (in this case, Rational Application Developer for WebSphere), which uses the Eclipse-based Probekit framework of Java code fragments that can be inserted into a program to provide information as the program runs, you make it easier to obtain vital runtime data on your code component.
IBM Support Portal release 9.2 is on track to be deployed on December 3, 2014. This release focused mostly on improving our support for users on mobile web browsers.
Enhanced mobile support
Beginning in December, when you visit IBM Support Portal with your smart phone or tablet, you'll experience a new and improved site that offers nearly all the features of our full site. Using modern "responsive/adaptive design" techniques, we have created a single site that works well on small, touch-screen devices as well as larger devices and desktop displays. The new design is "lighter", not only in appearance but also in the amount of data it sends to the browser for each page. This improves overall performance and enhances ease of use, especially on a small touch screen.
Here is the current mobile Support Portal page, with its limited feature set:
And here is the new design, which includes almost all the features of the full site:
As you can see, all the content from the full site is available on the new mobile site. Searching for products and content is still available on the first screen. You also get access to "My products" and your recently viewed products, and premium support customers can access all of their extra content and services from their mobile devices.
Content display has also been given a mobile makeover. Content links are listed first, and the filtering controls are at the bottom of the page:
A few features have not been "mobilized" yet, including:
Browse for products. This feature is not available on mobile devices in the current release.
Call Home Web. This feature is available, but will not display in a mobile-optimized format.
Support Technical Exchanges. This feature is available, but will not display in a mobile-optimized format.
We plan to provide mobile-optimized experiences for these features in a future release.
TheMy Notifications tool is not new, but is one of my favorite IBM support tools and recently went through some updates to improve usability. It provides users with regular, proactive IBM support email alert messages or RSS feed updates - either daily or weekly.
WithMy Notifications you can receive daily or weekly announcements through e-mail, custom Web pages and RSS feeds.
These customizable communications can contain important news, new or updated support content, such as publications, hints and tips, technical notes, product flashes (alerts) and downloads and drivers.
The tool allows you to customize and categorize the products you want to monitor and any of the available delivery methods to suit your support needs.
Subscribe to stay informed about the products you use - Receive proactive notification of known critical fixes and updates, as well as new or changed content, to help identify critical issues before they become a problem.
Create multiple subscriptions as needed - Quickly and easily create one or more subscriptions to the products and categories of content that are of interest to you.
View notifications on the Support Portal - See your subscriptions and recent messages when you sign into the Support Portal.
Choose how and when to receive notifications - Select how often you want to be notified and how you want to receive the notifications. Multiple delivery methods, including daily or weekly email, RSS/ATOM feeds, and web-based folders, are available.
Go toMy Notifications now to create and customize your subscriptions. All you need is an IBM ID and password. You can register for an IBM ID using the registration link on the My Notifications login page if you have not done so. Registration is FREE!
Good Day Everyone from Rational Client Success for Rational Rhapsody
Thank you All for making time to attend the following OpenMic sessions held in the month of October 2014. We have now uploaded the presentations and video recordings of each session for your reference. You can access the same using information below:
In this season of The Newsroom a USB drive retrieved from a toilet tank (really?!) is used by an investigative journalist to download thousands of stolen confidential documents to a single air gapped computer. The illicit information blooms across the screen and the leaked documents reveal espionage.
In the real world, privacy and security are top priorities for Defense Company (DC). To maintain different levels of program security Defense Company operates more than 300 distinct, secure, isolated development environments. Air-gaps prevent the sharing of network services and systems are disparate. Adding to the complexity, domain names are deliberately different as well.
Application servers are also disparately configured and every new request requires special handling. With configurations that vary from one environment to another, software installation and troubleshooting have been a growing headache for the small DC tools team. Users grew frustrated waiting for an application support engineer with the right security level to travel to closed sites for troubleshooting. Changes in defense spending led to layoffs and retirement, shrinking the tools team as closed environments continued to proliferate. Finding a better, more cost effective way to deploy software was the impetus for partnering with Rational Accelerated Value (AVP).
Accelerated Value Program
IBM Software Accelerated Value Program is a technical advisory service that provides extended, personalized end-to-end proactive services, preventive advice, risk management, knowledge sharing, and real-time enterprise level problem management to accelerate software deployment, adoption, and post production software management.
The Defense Company’s initial vision was to have set of ‘golden’ images for their Rational tools that could be electronically distributed to users in any environment. Because Rational Team Concert (RTC) is the keystone to team collaboration, it made sense to make that the top priority and an open-area replica environment was created to facilitate integration testing and troubleshooting.
The Rational AVP and DevOps Impact
As IBM’s virtualization capability has grown, AVP and the DevOps team have enabled Defense Company to deliver a modular, standardized, immutable RTC package for integration and deployment across all environments – resulting in significant savings for just one tool. Defense Company’s average RTC closed area technical implementation deployment effort was reduced from 160 man hours per implementation to less than 7 hours per implementation – a whopping 95% reduction. This saves Defense Company $3.29M annually – just on yearly RTC deployment costs! The company also saves countless support hours by troubleshooting bugs in the open area replica environment instead of traveling to each site.
What next for Defense Company?
Defense Company plan to implement uDeploy (UrbanCode Deploy - a tool for automating application deployments through environments) to automate installation, configuration and runtime verification of Defense Company’ complete Rational portfolio.
Rational AVP is a critical partner for Defense Company in helping to gain maximum value from its Rational software which helps the client to reduce costs, and accelerate productivity!
The holidays are nearly upon us! As we come closer to server and code freeze dates we know you want and need these downloads, so here's the most recent list of the latest and greatest downloads which have gone live from Rational Support since October 9th! These links are provided to help you find the fixes you need in order to stay up to date and successful with your Rational products. Be sure to check out the downloads tag for previous posts as well:
The choices you make when deciding how to deploy and maintain Rational products can affect the environment’s scalability, performance, flexibility, and availability. Did you know that there might be deployment guidance and best practices available for your Rational product beyond the content found in IBM Knowledge Center?
The Deployment Wiki at https://jazz.net/wiki/bin/view/Deployment/WebHome contains hundreds of articles about deploymentwritten by technical experts on commonly deployed Rational products and solutions. From planning your deployment through installation, tuning, monitoring, and troubleshooting, the wiki can help you optimize the performance of your Rational products.
The wiki is under continuous development, with new articles and regular updates added as they become available. We encourage your feedback and participation in the deployment community.
Build an App for That with Bluemix! Are the needs for new business apps outstripping your enterprise's ability to deliver? Is the business asking for: simple mobile apps based upon existing systems? Situational apps for their department? Simple B2B apps to streamline collaboration and information sharing with customers, suppliers, or partners?
Learn about IBM's new cloud solution for Business Developer apps. This solution makes it easy for non-developers to easily deliver web and mobile business apps, while making use of existing IT assets, and also providing IT with the visibility and control they need to manage a self-service app platform for the business.
Company Background Credit Union is an IBM Software Accelerated Value Program (AVP) client and has AVP coverage for multiple brands and products - Rational, ECM, WebSphere, and ESS AVP teams work together and share expertise to help ensure Credit Union has seamless integration between products and tools, and that the client is gaining optimal value from their software investment.
Rational AVP Assisted Focus Areas and Achievements
Deploying of WebSphere products (WPS, BPM, WS) - starting with WAS 8.5.5+ using Build Forge (BF) and Rational Automation Framework (RAF)
Expanding BF/RAF platform so that other Credit Union teams can also manage their systems
Enhancing current procedures used to deploy applications to Credit Union infrastructure
Allowing Credit Union operations team to do more Tier 1 tasks for Middleware
Extending operational procedures to start / stop services, and improving triage of outages by COS team (such as validation of jobs that can be sent to each tier to identify which component is having issues)
Separating CCRM (Build and deployments) activity from COS and Middleware (Production Ops control), specifically taking application deployment tasks away from operational tasks. In production where the common Build Forge will run, instances of RAF would be for CCRM with another instance for the WebSphere, Middleware and COS teams - so that roles and responsibilities for each RAF instance will be isolated.
Setup and Installation of new BF/RAF 3.0.x Environments
Stage 1 – UNIT Setup
Stage 2 – Test and Integration
Create 2nd test instance of RAF used by different team's CCRM, Middleware and COS and their shared roles.
Proof of Technology – Concept of automating deployment of WAS 8.5.5 and fixpack 1 to a target environment
Prepared an AIX environment to test Credit Union's requirements
IBM tested in house and recorded process for reuse
Demo / Review to Credit Union team successful results
Assist next steps for Credit Union to apply in the UNIT environment
How is Credit Union using Rational Automation Framework?
Used by COS – The 24/7 operations center monitoring ATM's, System Alerts and more.
Used by CCRM – Change Control and Release Management.
Used by the Middleware Team – to support WebSphere products, configuration, and in conjunction with CCRM for application deployments.
Used by Tier-1 operations – Start/Stop and control traffic and helps validate infrastructure during incidents/outages.
Used by various AppDev teams – read only permissions on viewing RAF logs for Application Deployments.
Example of how Rational AVP contributed to a client goal/challenge The Credit Union requirement was to install a vertical cluster with 7 total nodes.
Achievement The Rational Accelerated Value Leader (AVL), along with RAF and Deploy SWAT Engineer, were able to automate this with an outstanding result whereby with RAF, the task is accomplished in under 50 minutes. as opposed to the same task taking 4 hours when performed manually.
What does this mean for the client?
1 person manual effort 4 hours
1 Install X 4 hours X $77 FTE = $308
1 person with RAF 50 minutes
1 install X .83 hours X $77 FTE = $63.91
1 person manual effort 12 hours
1 Install X 12 hours X $77 FTE = $924
1 person with RAF 4 hours
1 install X 4 hours X $77 FTE =$308
Team of 10 doing 100 WAS deployments/year = $616K Savings
Having an issue with your software? Do you want to provide feedback? How about staying up to date on the latest content for your product? You have a variety of support services and tools from which you can choose!
As a new member of Rational Client Support or an existing one looking for a refresher, it is helpful to know where to go when you have a particular question, problem or goal. We have pulled together a series of videos that help you with that.
The videos, which you can find collected here, provide information on Rational Client Support services and IBM Support services in general. The videos provide an overview of the service or information on getting started. Topics include, but are not limited to:
An overview of IBM Electronic Support
Downloading installation files from IBM Passport Advantage
Social networking channels for Rational Client Support
Here is one of these videos from the Rational Client Support YouTube channel that demonstrates how to log into the IBM Rational License Key Center:
There might be some additional videos added to the list over time. So, keep this page bookmarked and keep it in mind when you are curious about our support and services.
image credit: Some rights reserved (cc) by Aranami
The locking model of DOORS means that the creation of links from RQM (Rational Quality Manager) to DOORS will fail if the module or object is locked in DOORS with the following error:
If you "Cancel", nothing should happen. No link is created in either application. If it's you who has the module open in exclusive edit mode in DOORS (and I do this all the time, I guess I'm not alone...), it's an easy fix. Close it in DOORS and check "Try again".
But if you continue and "Save the partial changes", what have you done? You have created a link from RQM to DOORS but not from DOORS to RQM. This could impact reporting if the reports are only looking in DOORS as there is no link to the test case in DOORS. How do you fix that?
In DOORS, you could create the link to the RQM object. But also in RQM there is a little known but very nice feature that came in 4.0.1 for checking the state of these links. See:Ability to see back link status in traceability view. Here's a screenshot from RQM 5.0.2 RC1:
The missing links are identified and can be fixed by the broken link icon.
This has been implemented as a user setting. A customer recently asked why is this not the default? Well, consider the actual impact of this if you have thousands of test cases linked to requirements. It will send thousands of requests to DWA. With hundreds of users, DWA would need to be scaled to manage that increase in load. I would leave this feature for the users who need it. I would not activate it for every user as every user is not interested in the link status.
A splash screen is a graphical control element consisting of window containing an image, a logo and the current version of the software. A splash screen usually appears while a game or program is launching.
Splash screens cover the entire screen or web page, or simply a rectangle near the center of the screen or page.
Most customers would like to modify the splash screen on the applications and replace the default IBM Logo with their company logo.
1. Stop the UrbanCode Deploy Server/Release Server
CD to $UCD_Install_Directory/opt/tomcat/webapps/ROOT/static/126.96.36.199.532000/lib/webext/images/webext/login Directory
2. Rename the existing ibmLogoDark.png to a different name
Copy the required logo to the same location in .png format (50PX preferred)
3. Rename the logo to ibmLogoDark.png
CD to $UCD_Install_Directory/opt/tomcat/webapps/ROOT/static/188.8.131.52.532000/lib/webext/css/webext/login.css
4. Edit the login.css file modify the padding-top to 150 or a appropriate value to place the image in the Logic Frame
Customizing IBM Rational Team Concert (RTC) attributes for adding the attribute values stored in two Integer attributes in RTC & getting the resultant SUM on the third attribute can be accomplished by following the steps outlined below:
Login to CCM/admin Screen
Click on Advanced
Enable “Enable Process Attachment scripts --> "True”
Open the Project Area using the Eclipse Client
Click on Process Configuration-->Project Configuration—>Configuration Data-->Work Items
Choose the Correct Work Item Type-->Attributes-->create 3 new Attributes of the Type Integer-->Example A2, A3, A4
Add these attributes to the editor presentation
Once the above attributes are added, click on Attribute Customization-->Calculated values-->Add