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/220.127.116.11.532000/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/18.104.22.168.532000/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
I most commonly see DOORS Web Access (DWA) installed on its own server and I prefer this for two reasons:
DWA is resource heavy. It wants RAM and CPU. The DOORS Database server is not resource hungry and can run on an old server with as little as 2GB of RAM. If you add DWA to such a server, the server will have to be upgraded.
Upgrading DWA impacts all DOORS users and the risk is greater than if DWA was on a dedicated server. Upgrading DWA is almost certainly going to require the database server to be restarted. There can also be the occasional DLL compatibility issues if DWA is upgraded but the server is not.
An important related note is that DWA should be close to the DOORS database server. A ping should be less than 50ms between where the database server is running and where DWA is running. I have twice seen DWA put in a remote location (a different city), with ping times significantly in excess of 50ms. The performance was unacceptable with operations such as login and opening modules timing out.
Mutual authentication or two-way authentication (sometimes written as 2WAY authentication) refers to two parties authenticating each other at the same time.
Mutual authentication is typically used only when extra level of security is needed,In technology terms, it refers to a client or user authenticating themselves to a server and that server authenticating itself to the user in such a way that both parties are assured of the others' identity.
Mutual Authentication In UrbanCode Deploy can be between the Server and the Agent or between the Server-Relay Server /Relay Server-Agent.
Mutual Authentication can be configured in either one of the following method:
I> During the Server-Relay Server-Agent installation by choosing “Yes/Y” at the step “Do you want the Server and Agent communication to require mutual authentication?”
II> Ensure that the following properties are set in the Server-RelayServer-Agent install.property file.
The server.jms.mutualAuth property in the server's installed.properties file (in the server_install/conf/server directory) is set to true.
For each agent, the locked/agent.mutual_auth property in the agent's installed.properties file (in the agent_install\conf\agent directory) is set to true.
For each agent relay, the agentrelay.jms_proxy.secure property in the relay's agentrelay.properties file (in the relay_install\conf directory) is set to true.
For each agent relay, the agentrelay.jms_proxy.mutualAuth property in the relay's agentrelay.properties file is set to true.
Configure Server-Agent Mutual Authentication:
1.Open a command-line window and go to the server installation conf directory.
2.Run the following command:
keytool -export -keystore server.keystore -storepass changeit -alias server -file server.crt For EX: keytool -export -keystore server.keystore -storepass changeit -alias server -file server.crt
3.Copy the exported file (certificate) to the agent installation conf directory
4.Import the file by running the following command from within the agent's conf directory
There was a time when either was fine. And it still is if you are only using DWA (DOORS Web Access). However, if DWA is used to integrate with other browser based applications, this becomes a critical point.
Modern browsers do not like mixed content. Which is to say, if an application configured on HTTPS wants to display content from one which delivers that content via HTTP, the browser will block the HTTP content. The user will see a blank dialog. It isn't always obvious to the user that anything has been blocked by the browser , and getting the browser to allow the mixed content can force page reloads.
All of the Jazz based applications are by default on HTTPS, including Rational Team Concert, Rational Quality Manager, DOORS Next Generation, Design Manager and Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager. If you plan on an OSLC (Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration) integration to any of these it is better to configure DWA on HTTPS. This is enabled by default from DWA 9.6 on-wards, though ideally in production you would replace the supplied self-signed certificate with a valid one, seeConfiguring Rational DOORS Web Access to use SSL or TLS
If you leave it with the self-signed certificates the browsers will ask users questions along the lines of "Are you really really sure you want to see this? It's not secure; The world might end and you'll be blamed if you proceed" etc.
In addition to testing the functionality of the mobile apps, you can use Rational Test Workbench to test the performance of the mobile apps. With Rational Test Workbench, you can capture the response time for each step and the resources such as CPU, Physical memory, Virtual memory, Network traffic coming in and out consumed by device and the app itself. Battery level data is also captured.
See this video to learn about mobile performance testing.
October 29 marks a new look for questions and answers about IBM Bluemix and the Rational SaaS services, on the dW Answer forum. The underlying software steps up from OSQA (open-source question & answer) to AnswerHub, a full-featured commercial version of the same platform.
Both OSQA and AnswerHub are developed by DZone, so the change is more upgrade than migration. The dW Answer team worked hard to make the new platform look and feel familiar to existing users, with extensive input from Rational Support and other stakeholders. Katie Meyer's developerWorks blog gives you the scoop on what changes and what stays the same. Bottom line: you should continue to feel at home here.
The interop process (doors.exe) serves multiple users. However it is a single threaded process - it can only do one thing at a time for which it will attach
to one CPU core. So if it is busy with a large operation for one user (for example, a GET on 1000 requirements in IBM Rational DOORS), the other users are hung.
This 'large operation' is not typically seen if you are only using DWA. But it is when IBM Rational Quality Manager (RQM) is involved. The RQM Reconcile feature can be used to run very large GETs and PUTs from/to DWA.
Experience tells us that in RQM-DOORS setups, the number of interops are critical to having satisfactory end user performance. I always recommend at least 4 interops, ensuring there are also at least 4 CPU cores. In configuring this it is also good practice to limit the RAM usage of each interop. They will safely and silently restart if this limit is reached.
To configure, edit the <installation folder>/dwa.start.bat
Locate the section:
rem Interop runs next from the DOORS installation, to establish the connection
start "Interop" /D "%DOORS_PATH%\bin\" doors.exe -Interop -brokerPort %BROKER_PORT% -brokerHost %BROKER_HOST% -data %DOORS_PORT%@%DOORS_HOST%
Jeffrey Krause, a support engineer for Rational Synergy, created a video about the products Project Explorer. Specifically, the video covers how to add saved queries to Project Explorer. This helps answer the question, "How can I get a list of baselined versions of a project to appear in Project Explorer panel in Rational Synergy?"
Rational Developer for System z & i (v9.0): Default font change - This article details the steps needed in order to successfully change fonts within the RSE view.
By default eclipse uses the O.S. default font, therefore the windows default font has to be changed to the desired font which will result in the eclipse fonts being updated.
To change the Windows default font follow the steps below.
1. On the Windows 7 O.S. click on 'Start, type 'Color scheme' and select Change window colors and metrics.
2. Window Color and Appearance panel opens.
3. Click the cursor on 'Message Text' which will display Message Box under Item:
4. Select the desired Font, Size and Color, Apply & OK.
5. Note the eclipse default font has also updated as shown here:
Agenda: The session intends to introduce the latest reporting product, Rational Pubishing Engine, to Rational Rhapsody users; enabling participants to quickly understand how to effectively use RPE, from a Rational Rhapsody point of view. This session will concentrate on the understanding of, the various Rational Rhapsody schemas available, the Rational Rhapsody Application server, creating Rational Rhapsody model specific RPE templates and the document generation process. The session will also touch upon the much needed basics of Rational Publishing Engine and provide tips and tricks for effective and quick template creation. By the end of the session users would be able able to appreciate, the RPE way of reporting from Rational Rhapsody models; over the other trational means (including ReporterPLUS) and look at it, as the future of Rational Rhapsody reporting.
The speaker(s) is part of the IBM Rational Rhapsody Support Team with significant experience in the Software Architecture, Design & Construction domain.
In this three-part introductory series on Bluemix and DevOps Services, Lauren Schaefer, Growth Hacking Engineer and Social Media Lead for IBM DevOps Services, guides you through discovery showing how using these products can prevent you from wasting time! Using the simple app created in Part 1 and the app that uses a Bluemix service deployed in Part 2, learn how to write code that uses the new Bluemix service. Try out the web IDE (no setup required) and learn how to use agile planning tools. End up with an application that checks the prices of items in online stores for you, so you don’t have to surf the web to see if your favorite items are on sale!
Rational Client Support engineers for Rational Test Workbench and Rational Integration Tester were hard at work creating videos covering some important aspects of the programs. There are two series: One series is about using Rational Test Workbench to test Android mobile applications. The other series covers using Rationla Integration Tester with HP Quality Center.
Death to Manual Deployments- "Why is deployment automation suddenly hot? Should I care? If so, what do I need to worry about and where do I get started? In this session Eric Minik will answer these questions and more. A confluence of forces has driven application deployment automation into the mainstream. In this session, we will dive into the trouble spots many organizations have with their application deployments and what that teaches us about what they need from deployment automation. "