It's that time of the year again - Innovate - IBM's Technical Summit - is going to be going on week of June 3, 2013 in Orlando, Florida.
I am excited to share that we will once again be hosting a Super Women's Group networking receptionto enable networking and mingling for IBMers, customers, and BPs. This year, we will also be hosting a panel discussion of women executives from IBM, 2 IBM clients, and an IBM business partner.
The theme of this panel discussion is "Staying Ahead in your Career" and will focus on issues ranging from how to take risks in your career to the importance of building strong relationships to ensuring you have a seat at the "big" table. I'm delighted that April Slovensky from Deloitte Consulting LLP has agreed to be my guest on this panel. April leads Deloitte Global's Methods & Tools organization which focuses on enabling client service professionals to deliver client solutions in an effective manner. April has served as a leader of Deloitte’s Women’s Initiative (WIN) - delivering programs aimed at developing and retaining women. April manages to combine a successful career with her family life and many outside interests. I can't wait to hear how she does it all!
I hope you can join me and my colleagues for these exciting events. Here's a link with details for both the panel discussion and reception as well as how to RSVP:
Unable to attend or want to pose some questions? Please feel free to comment on this post. I will post a summary of the event and some of the tidbits I gleaned from the panelists after the event. Hope to see you there.
A scenario where, the IBM Rational Performance Tester (RPT) recording showed the message: 'This program cannot display the webpage'.
RPT successfully recorded the web page, but the browser rendering was not as expected. The playback worked fine. The below message was seen in the browser panel of RPT:
The script also had the required certificates in place.
Rational Team Concert server is expected to have a common user base management. In order to correctly perform process enforcement for Git operations by Rational Team Concert it is imperative that the identity of the Git user be known to Rational Team Concert. Therefore, the need to have a common user base across Rational Team Concert and Git server (Apache HTTP server) via a different LDAP arrangement.
We can still get the integration done using a common user name with different user base across Rational Team Concert and Git server via an different LDAP arrangement.
Example: Git is configured with Apache DS LDAP and RTC configured with different LDAP registry.
Note: Common user id used for both GIT and RTC using different registry (with different password) and provide all necessary permissions.
Below are checkpoints for verifying the integrations:
1) Verify the GIT login, just to ensure GIT login is fine
$ git remote show origin
2) Verify the GIT GIt repo configuration
Update respective "repokey" and "repourl" information
3) Verify the GIT GIt repo configuration
Update respective "pre-receive" and "post-receive" hooks information
Note: The above configuration will give a clear understanding about RTC-GIT integrations and using a common user name with different user base across Rational Team Concert and Git server via different LDAP arrangements.
There are two kinds of knowledge - tacit and explicit.
Tacit knowledge is the knowledge in your head. Knowledge you haven't shared. Explicit knowledge is knowledge written down and shared. Tacit knowledge is good, but explicit knowledge is better, particularly in a technical support context. In Rational Client Support, we've built a robust knowledge management program, based on knowledge-centered support best practices, aimed to equip the organization to capture knowledge effectively for reuse, not only internally, but outside the firewall as well.
The support engineer on the other end of the phone not only brings to bear his/her own expertise on an issue, but also has at hand our knowledge base built on the collective experiences of the organization and clients to date. We solve a problem once, and then reuse the solution, building upon it as experience dictates.
Capturing knowledge is not something we do in addition to solving problems....it is the way we solve problems.
Innovate 2010, the Rational Software Conference, is less than a month away, and it's starting to feel real now.
Some of what you can expect at Innovate 2010, from a Rational Client Support perspective:
Several Rational Client Support speakers will be presenting sessions at Innovate 2010:
Brianna M. Smith: Using Requirements Composer to improve the requirements review process with IBM CIO projects. A survey of IBM Rational's Requirements Management Tools
Zhe Leonard: You Rang? Real Support Calls from Real Rational Quality Manager Customers,
James Chung: How to reference a datasource using Resource Injection in a JEE application using IBM Rational Application Developer (IRAD) and WebSphere
Bertrand Durou: Closing the Loop: From Support Request to ALMRequest and Back with Client Lifecycle Management on IBM Rational ClearQuest
Christian Glockner: Closing the Loop: From Support Request to ALMRequest and Back with Client Lifecycle Management on IBM Rational ClearQuest
Ali Manji: Case Study: Creating a Global ALM Environment with Rational Team Concert and Quality Manager
Stuart W. Poulin: Decomposing the IBM Rational ClearQuest ALM 1.1 Schema
The Technical Support Café
Europe 4 Dolphin Hotel (Lobby Level) Looking to meet Technical Support management? Want an opportunity to share your feedback with our Technical Support executive? Need to know how to get some attention on one of your important pmrs? Want to come to one of our lightening sessions to learn some technical tips and tricks? Have you heard about our improvements to the Support website with the Support Portal? Do you know how to leverage our Electronic Service Requests(SR)? Well, look no further. Come talk to Rational Client Support in the Support Cafe! We have moved from the Solution Center into our own room. Come and enjoy some refreshments and discuss your Support needs when YOUR schedule permits. We are here to assist you and share some knowledge with our rolling lightening sessions. Stop by and check it out!
Red Carpet Lounge exclusively for Accelerated Value Program Clients Asia 5 Dolphin Hotel (Lobby Level) The Rational Accelerated Value Program Team is proud to host an “invitation only” experience for you at Innovate 2010 - The Accelerated Value Red Carpet Lounge.
The Red Carpet Lounge (RCL) is available to you throughout the conference where we focus on presentations and round tables with management/development/product management that can only been seen in the Red Carpet Lounge. It is also a place to relax, enjoy a soft drink, coffee or snack, connect to the Internet, do a little work, and much much more. You will have the chance to meet with other Accelerated Value Program Clients, Rational Product Managers, Executives, and Engineers as well as many Accelerate Value Leaders and Specialists.
Red Carpet Lounge Welcome Reception: Sunday, June 6, 5:00pm - 6:00pm Red Carpet Lounge: June 7-10, 8:00am - 5:00pm
DOORS Web Access (DWA) 9.6+ includes a translation layer that converts the DOORS data to a format that can be loaded to a DOORS Next Generation datawarehouse, using the same ETL (Extract, Translate, Load) jobs used for DOORS Next Generation. This blog covers linking them and running an ETL.
There are three prerequisites:
Insight 220.127.116.11 is installed and configured with Rational Reporting Data Model (DW+CALM)-no-security.zip. It is important it has the –no-security one.
A DOORS Next Generation data warehouse has been configured.
DOORS Web Access 9.6 or later and DOORS are installed and configured.
These are not minor depending on your background. If like me your background is in DOORS I would recommend you get help on the Insight setup.
Stop DWA and edit <DWA Install>\server\festival\config\festival.xml to have in the f:properties section:
Copy etlfiles.zip to the Insight box and unzip it; there should be a doors.xdc file inside.
Open the doors.xdc in the XML Data Configuration Tool.
Note that there are two nodes, one for RRC and one for DOORS. By default, it is configured to pull data from both DOORS Next Generation (which used to be called RRC) and DOORS 9. For this setup I’m not interested in pulling data from DOORS Next Generation. So I change the RRC group to DOORS 9 and set authentication type to Form and enter DOORS username/password. Rename it and delete the original DOORS one.
It should look like my screenshot, note the Form Security URL must be blank and the Authentication type must be Form.
If you're looking for a complete look at everything that's happening in social media at Innovate 2011 this week, let this blog post be your guide. If you're the type who prefers the Cliff Notes basics, here you go:
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.
Wow, I can't believe that 2011 is almost over. It's been quite a year, and continuing the theme, I'd like to share my own subjective look at some of the highlights - the Year in Review on Notes from Rational Support.
This is not an inclusive
list of all the best content on NFRS in 2011. In order to get that, you
might as well sit back and read the whole year. Or maybe you just want the IEA (IBM Education Assistant) stuff. Or posts on ClearCase. Or Jazz. You can explore our content by tags.
And, of course, this is my own opinion as to some of the best, most useful, informative,
or just plain fun posts on this blog. Your opinion can and probably
does differ. So what did I miss? Is there a particular bit that made
your day in 2011? Let us know in the comments!
From the list below, it would appear that this past year you all were big on some of our thought leadership items. Following are the top ten (well technically eleven, but 6 fall under a single topic, so I figured I owed you at least one more) posts which garnered the largest number of views over the course of 2012:
This list was built by you, and for you! Thank you all for your continued loyalty and support of this blog. As you all know we strive to get you the best support content and help you solve or avoid problems before you need us. It is you, our audience, who keep us working hard to find that content you need and who make this blog a possibility to continue. We are very happy that by virtue of your numbers, we can see that you are indeed finding value in the content we provide, and that alone makes this all worthwhile.
You are invited to participate in the 2013 Rational VoiCE Jam, a virtual event hosted by the Rational Client Programs team. A jam is a guided online discussion surrounding a set of themes. Participants respond/blog to themes with ideas, ask clarifying questions, comment and vote on the ideas by sharing their like or dislike. By popular demand, this jam will give you the opportunity to share ideas, comments and votes across various products, solutions, and aspects of the Rational portfolio. We have approximately 30 themes that you may follow and actively join in the discussions.
The jam commences Monday, September 30th and closes on Friday, October 11th. Please register for this event at the following link. Although you may have registered for previous jams, you must register to participate in this event.
Have you pulled together your platform upgrade plans for 2014? Do you know if your IBM Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) environment will be supported on the platforms you plan on upgrading?
Be sure you know what platforms are supported before you upgrade so as to avoid unnecessary surprises and downtime.
The following system requirements information will help you identify what platforms are supported. Included is a list of platforms that we no longer plan to support in 2014. This information is being provided to assist you in making plans to migrate to newer supported versions and is important to consider before you begin upgrading your CLM environments:
You won't want to miss this extensive blog post by Vasfi Gucer (IBM Redbooks Project Leader with the IBM International Technical Support Organization) detailing 5 Reasons why you should register for Bluemix- So, you've heard about IBM Bluemix and wondering how you can give it a try it and more importantly, is it worth it. The answer is, it is very easy to register for Bluemix and it's worth it! Let's see why... [Read more]
Visit the IBM Electronic Support Community blog (https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/IBMElectronicSupport) for information and discussion about using the portal and other Electronic Support tools.
Finally, if you have feedback or questions about the portal, you can submit feedback via the Feedback link in the portal, send email to both email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org, or post a comment in one of the 3 blogs listed above.
It is always recommended to use the latest version of IBM Rational Performance Tester (RPT) . In the later releases of RPT, there are many enhancements made and several defects have been fixed.
Below is a link that contains a complete listing of Defects that were fixed. It also has all the releases, refreshes, fix packs and interim fixes sorted by version for RPT and IBM Rational Service Tester for SOA Quality (RST).
Support to parse/control URL based on resource and parameters in query for service testing.
Support to format XML and JSON for service testing.
Support for WSDL 2.0.
What's new in version 8.5.1
Support for GraniteDS and BlazeDS data transformation.
Support automatic correlation for XML Encoded fields in SAPWeb test generation (for SAP's ABAP Webdynpro framework).
Support for WAS 8.5.5.
Support for SAP GUI 7.3.0.
Support for the execution of compound tests from a performance schedule.
Support for generating sequential number for all the users in a test.
Support to control the automated generation of the service reports.
Support to control the length of input data to avoid scalability issues for service tests.
What's new in Rational Performance Tester and Rational Service Tester for SOA Quality 8.5
This release of Rational® Performance Tester includes a number of new features.
Rational Performance Tester 8.5 includes these new features or enhancements:
Support for Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.
Support for Rational Performance Tester Agent on System z Red Hat Linux.
Collect Response Time Breakdown data for WebSphere Application Server 8.5.
New Test Execution perspective to run tests.
Export of execution event console output to a CSV, XML, or text file.
Export of event log to a CSV, XML, or text file.
Export of multiple legacy reports to HTML.
Export of web-based executive summary and counters are now saved in HTML.
Rational Service Tester for SOA Quality 8.5 includes these new enhancements:
Support to specify the maximum length for the response content for recording and test generation.
Support to import a WSDL file from a secure site that requires certificate authentication.
What's new in Rational Performance Tester 8.3
This release of Rational® Performance Tester includes a number of new features.
Rational Performance Tester 8.3 includes these new features or enhancements:
Enhancements to reports
You can view reports and control schedule execution remotely from a web browser without installing Rational Performance Tester workbench. For more information, see the Accessing reports remotely topic.
A new Load Generation agent is available to generate load on the system under test. For more information, see the Working with agents topic.
The Rational Agent Controller is used to gather data for the Response Time Breakdown feature and in support of the startup and control of web services stubs in the SOA protocol. The Rational Agent Controller cannot be used to apply load in version 8.3.
You can check the status of the agents from workbench. You can also share an agent with another workbench. For more information, see the Checking status of agents topic.
Support for new web browsers such as Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Opera.
Rational Performance Tester supports recording and playback for applications developed on Microsoft Silverlight and Google Web Toolkit. For more information, see the Microsoft Silverlight and Google web toolkit topics.
Manually create a Microsoft .NET transport configuration to describe the transport settings for service requests that use the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) protocol. For more information, see the Creating Microsoft .NET transport configurations topic.
Support for Citrix XenApp version 6.5 and Citrix XenDesktop version 5.6.
Check the data correlation errors in the new Data Correlation tab of the Test Log editor. For more information, see the View test logs topic.
For Generic Service Client, add static XML headers to service requests to ensure compliance with WS-Addressing, WS-ReliableMessaging, WS-Coordination specifications as well as other predefined standards. For more information, see the Adding static XML headers to a service request topic.
Remove the deployment directory automatically from the Rational Performance Tester Agent computer after the schedule execution. For more information, see the Manage deployment directory for agents topic.
Software Support Lifecycle link -
The IBM Software Support Lifecycle policy specifies the length of time support will be available for IBM software from when the product is available for purchase to the time the product is no longer supported. IBM software customers can use this site to track how long their version and release of a particular IBM software product will be supported. Using the information on this site, customers will be able to effectively plan their software investment, without any gaps in support.
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!
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?
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 .
Learn how to set up an IBM Rational Team Concert main build that performs an IBM Rational Developer for System z code review. Based on the result of the code review, the process either submits the build to compile, or stops and reports the code review errors. Apply the tested, documented sample described in this article to implement a similar solution on your own platform. The steps focus on the Rational Team Concert administrator who writes an Ant task to compile COBOL programs, depending on other previous tasks, such as quality control.
Figure 1. Technical context for the sample scenario:
About the Author: Corinne Blanchard has 20 years of experience in the application development field (Cobol, Pacbase, J2EE). In the last six years she has worked for IBM on Rational products as a client technical professional and team leader for Rational Enterprise Modernization tools. In 2010, she contributed to the IBM Redbooks IBM WebSphere RFID handbook: A solution guide and IBM WebSphere RFID handbook: A programming guide. In 2013, she wrote a workbook that explains the basics of IBM Rational Programming Patterns.
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.
I thought WE had been busy with all our new video technotes on the IBMRationalSupport YouTube channel, but our friends at IBMJazz have been even busier. Here's a sneak peek ... to see many, many, MANY more Rational Asset Manager videos (and more), visit the IBMJazz YouTube channel.
This month, however, we're going up a level (different from leveling up to you gamers), and are going to look at how AVP compares to standard Passport Advantage (also referred to as Software Subscription and Support) offerings.
Previously known as IBM Software Premium Support, IBM Software Accelerated Value Program is a customized solution that helps you to efficiently accelerate from software purchase to software ROI, and we all know how important ROI is these days... Accelerated Value complements Subscription and Support and provides value to you through proactive services, knowledge sharing, and problem management. This program has been designed with an approach to allow flexibility in the level of service needed to align with your business goals.
But what does this all really mean? What ARE the differences between Passport Advantage and AVP support? Glad you asked Here's an easy to read table that covers the comparison between PA and AVP:
Passport Advantage (PA)
Accelerated Value (AVP)
Type of support
Reactive, problem related support, Self-help
Proactive assistance to help plan, deploy, optimize, grow, upgrade and adopt IBM software. Coordinates reactive support.
Accelerated Value Leader, Accelerated Value Specialist.
Call Center access
Standard IBM process
Priority call handling and focused progression.
Client manages open issues
Accelerated Value Leader manages open issues and escalations, including enhancement requests.
Support for severity 1 issues
Accelerated Value Leader helps facilitate support for critical situations.
Reports and reviews
Detailed periodic problem management reporting and reviews, including recommendations for preventive actions.
Self-help web monitoring
Accelerated Value Leader proactively identifies defects that might affect your systems and productivity.
Scheduled and emergency onsite assistance is available.
Technical advice and documentation
Web resources and fee-based classes/events
Customized and focused knowledge sharing events, driven by on demand need of clients.
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!
In some situations, when you are performing a test execution using IBM Rational Performance Tester, you find the following HTTP options which can be utilized prior to executing the test scripts.
1. Clear cookie cache when the test starts
2. Clear page cache when the test starts
3. Disable page cache emulation in this test
It so happens that when you are running the script and you check the 3rd option of HTTP Options tab ("Disable page cache emulation in this test") in RPT, the script is passing. But your project team might want to test the application using cache, which is by emulating the cache. So in such cases you disable the page cache emulation option and notice that some of the pages requests shows failed execution status.
So what could be probable causes in such situations ??
Note, that RPT supports automatically emulating page caching functionality as well. (Because that's what browsers do!).
Under a scripts' HTTP Options there is an option to Turn Off page cache emulation (and also clear cookie cache to emulate a new user visiting the site).
Remember that RPT will record what the browser does. So for example, if you record a script without clearing the recording browser cache, you will have recorded a script that emulates a user with a full browser cache. To emulate users coming to a new site for the first time, or a site where cookies may have expired between visits, or just for ensuring you have a known starting point for your virtual users, ensure you clear your recording browser cache before recording your scripts.
A quick test to understand the difference is to record a script of your application's homepage. Ensure you clear the browser's cache then go to your applications homepage and wait five seconds. Then, select F5 to refresh the page, close the browser. In the script, you will see the first page all the page elements response code is 200. In the second page the page elements will be 304
These HTTP option changes can impact the response times and amount of work the server performs. Usually, it is recommended that you clear the browser cache prior to starting recording so that in the recording the server has to deliver the whole page and you get a 200 and not a 304.
As to what you need the answer would generally be to simulate the realistic behavior of the users. On one hand you can disable cache emulation which would mean that in a loop the server delivers all the page content on every iteration. But if the workload is in a loop simulating a user re-visiting pages you may want cache emulation turned on meaning on subsequent visits to pages the user visited before the server returns 304 because that is what would happen to such a user with a real browser.
In certain circumstances, deselecting the "Disable page cache emulation in this test" option might also result in the response header as :HTTP/1.1 304 RPT Used Cache - No Request Sent
Sometimes, RPT recognizes the request that contains the substitution as part of the cached traffic. Therefore RPT picks up the data from the cache, instead of dynamically rebuilding the request. In such cases, force RPT to dynamically rebuild the request. ie; Disable cache emulation.
It's almost here... New Year's eve is just around the corner, and many of you have likely already closed out the day, week, month, and year by this point. But before we get on with the merriment, we have one last bit of business...
Today is the last 'business' day before we close our social business survey. While we are close to our goal for the amount of feedback we wanted, we are still a few short. To that end we'd really appreciate it if you could take 3 minutes and answer 5 or 6 questions ... which will be used to mold and guide our strategies for the next year.
And stay tuned in the coming weeks, as we will collect, collate, analyze and present the data you've given us to highlight what you've said and how we'll be using it in 2012 to guide our business!
For those of us around the U.S celebrating Independence day today: we hope your beer is cold and your barbeques are hot; find some shade and enjoy the relaxing day. Then grab a lawn chair and enjoy the fireworks displays tonight!
Here at Notes from Rational Support, your intrepid blog authors are off on holiday until Monday the 9th, but we've queued up some posts we think you'll find quite useful between now and then.... as always we welcome your comments and feedback here on the blog, through twitter, or on our Facebook posts.
From us in IBM Rational Client Support, we wish you all a very happy New Year and hope the future brings you all the successes and joy you can handle!
While we sleep away the day, then wake only to gorge ourselves on traditional New Year's Day fare (Hoppin' John anyone?), we still wanted to take some time out and thank you all for being such a loyal audience and helping to make this the second most viewed on developerWorks (and over 12.5 million views)! We truly hope this means you all find value in the content we share and that our posts do indeed help you see more success in your daily work with your Rational product suites.
From all of us in Rational Client Support to you, we say: A heartfelt thank you, and we hope this new year sees even greater prosperity and success for you all!
It's been a while since we've highlighted some of the other blogs here on dW (and elsewhere around the internet) that talk about topics relevant to Rational Support clients. So, here are a few of the latest posts from those great sources of information and help from the thought leaders themselves...
Continuous Delivery is Mainstream- So What’s the Problem?- A new Infinite Undo blog article provides some great examples from Google, Amazon and Facebook that demonstrate that Continuous Delivery is mainstream. Core practices and techniques that support DevOps and continuous delivery...
XL C/C++ for Linux on System z Managed Beta Announcement- We are pleased to announce the Managed Beta Program for IBM®XL C/C++ for Linux on System z. This Beta Program is separated into two stages, namely, features and compatibility, and, quality and performance. Clients participating in the...
DevOps For Dummies eBook - IBM Limited Edition - 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...
Gartner's 2014 strategy pick has DevOps in its sight- It seems that every year, as soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away, the lists of the year's best books, movies, CDs appear, quickly followed by the lists of predictions for the next year's top trends. Gartner's top 10...
Top 10 Reasons to Join the DevOps Community- 10. We are highly interactive virtual community--not just a forum or distribution list The DevOps Community provides a collaborative environment with discussion groups, work groups focused on hard topics, interaction with some of the...
Hungry for knowledge? Here come the Learning Circles- The Learning Circles homepage , available on developerWorks, is the first stop to learn about IBM Rational products. From this collaborative community, you can gain basic competencies on some IBM offerings. It’s simple...
Another great round of articles were recently published over on the jazz.net library. If you've not yet made your way over there, here's four great excuses to click the link and see what you've been missing!
CLM 2011 reporting workshop A major component of the CLM 2011 release is reporting. This workshop provides insight into key details of the reporting component, and helps you understand how to get started through a series of hands-on exercises.
Did you know there's a way for you to get priority service request handling, as well as weekly reports and notifications and deeper connections to the skilled support engineers you need to help solve those tricky PMRs? Well now you know, and knowing is half the battle! (Ok, I MAY have just given away that I grew up on the GI Joe morning cartoons, I'm sure you won't hold it against me.) Now that you know about this program, what's the other half of the battle? Easy: knowing what it provides and how to get this for yourself!
The IBM Software Accelerated Value Program has introduced the Express Level Support option as a comprehensive level of support focused on rapid, high-quality issue resolution for critical IBM Rational (as well as Lotus, IBM Security System, Tivoli) software implementations. This program was specifically developed for small to mid-sized businesses who need a higher level of support but do not need all the features of the larger scale Accelerated Value Program. You can purchase the Express Level option in addition to Standard Software Subscription & Support to provide you with access to an advanced level of assisted support services for specific deployments or business areas throughout North America and Europe.
This program provides you with broad access to standard support, while allowing you to choose the business areas that require more enhanced support services. Of course, it includes product continuation and online support, but also adds a comprehensive set of additional support features that help you toward rapid and complete issue resolution.
Convinced yet? How about some bullet points to really drive home the value you'll see from this program?
You get a skilled team of product experts (that's us!) - As an Express Level customer, you will collaborate with specialized support analysts (some of whom have been highlighted on this very blog) who have in-depth knowledge of IBM Rational (plus Lotus, IBM Security System, or Tivoli) software in key functional areas. IBM software support analysts provide thorough and targeted knowledge during the resolution of all issues, which improves your understanding of possible challenges and can help prevent future issues.
You're treated to Priority Service Request Handling - Under the Express Level Support option opening PMRs via Service Request (SR) will ensure the same support analyst maintains ownership of the service request until resolution. This continuity means issues can be resolved more efficiently or escalated when needed.
You'll see exceptional resolution time - With the Express Level program we've established smaller Support Engineer-to-client ratios which means faster resolution times for your technical issues.
You will gain access to regular problem management reports (PMRs) - Detailed PMRs include metrics so you can gain a better understanding of the status of your support requests and how they impact your business. By reviewing these reports internally with your team, you will deepen your understanding of your support activity and priorities.
You'll also receive weekly authorized program analysis reports (APARs) - APARs, client reported defects regarding your software, are delivered to you in a timely way, along with hyperlinks to information on when and how they were resolved. These are available by product and on a subscription basis, so you can track defect resolutions of interest to your organization.
And best of all, you get all this at a fraction of the cost of the full Accelerated Value Program offerings, so as a small to mid-sized business you can reap the advantages of higher level support at an affordable price.
Our friends at IBM Rational Education have been creating and maintaining Youtube playlists for a few years now, basing their playlists generally on product lines making it easy for you as a client to find the relevant videos for you! Consider this post a highlight of just one of the many amazing resources we provide to help you, our clients learn, solve, troubleshoot, and innovatively implement solutions to succeed in your business.
You can find their playlists directly on Youtube here, or choose the appropriate individual products below:
If you've scrolled this far, you deserve a bit of a present... here's a video from back in 2010 which covers why requirements management really matters... which still holds true today, if not more than ever:
Thrilled to be able to bring you a special message from our Vice President, Wendy Toh:
As we wrap up 2011, I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on the year's accomplishments. Over the past 12 months, IBM Rational has delivered a lot of new capabilities and offerings to our clients. The Rational Client Support team has spent the year helping our clients upgrade and deploy many products ranging from AppScan to Clearcase to our CLM products to Rhapsody. We also held 8 very successful Voice of the Client events worldwide to engage directly with our forward-thinking clients in getting feedback on our strategy and development plans. Even as we strive to deliver high-quality offerings and superior client support, my team and I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the notion of quality as perceived by our clients. Overall we see declining problems (PMRs) and defects (APARs) being reported against Rational products. However, we also know that our customers are struggling with deployment of complex multi-product integrations, upgrade/migration issues, and in some cases, lack of sufficient quality documentation. As such, we need to find new ways to capture, measure, and improve how clients perceive the quality of our products. The current quality measurements around PMRs and APARs are necessary, but not sufficient, to identify the areas of improvements we have to target. I have been spending time talking to many customers to get your perspective on this issue and we are now implementing Perceived Quality measurements that helps us better understand the client experience, in aggregate, with our products. It also helps us pinpoint quality gaps so we can put in place actions to address. I plan to share more information on this initiative at our VoiCE of the Client event at Innovate 2012 in Orlando, Florida, so I hope you'll join me there. I want to end by thanking our Rational clients for your business. It's been my pleasure meeting and getting to know many of you in 2011. It is my and my team's passion to partner with you to successfully deploy our products to deliver business value for you. I look forward to our continued collaboration in 2012. I wish you a healthy and happy holiday season!
Regards, Wendy ___________________________________________________________________________ Wendy Toh Vice President, Rational Client Support IBM Software
Last Thursday I hosted my last Knowledge Champion Consortium session, an internal group of passionate individuals focused on knowledge sharing and content curation. I've grown quite a bit since I started co-leading this call, and am a better leader for the experience and lessons the group has taught me, not to mention the side benefit of listening in to all the great information which has been shared out through this group of passionate knowledge leaders. Truly, I feel like I've benefited more from the KCC than anyone else!
Of course, after 3 years of running this 20-40 person bi-weekly conference call, I can't help but to have learned a few things about what I believe makes conference calls work, and what helps them fail. Make no mistake, most of these I learned the hard way: through trial and error, by failing on my own before figuring out my mistakes.
The biggest tip & trick I can provide is this:
Prepare: Give yourself 5 or 10 minutes before hand to get the meeting logistics set up and relax for a moment. Taking a few moments before everyone dials in will allow you to move past most technical or logistic issues and allow you to host a smooth sailing session for your attendees. Take this time to upload your slide deck (Lotus Live Meetings has a great feature allowing you to share your deck without sharing your screen, and yes we do use our own products in-house!), get the web-session dialed in, and any other necessary logistics squared away (like clarifying staging cues with co-hosts for switching off presenter control etc.). A little preparation now will go a long ways in making the call run as well as possible. I can't stress enough how much benefit as little as five minutes of prep time immediately before the call will impact the next sixty minutes.
Second to the above is... take steps to prevent unintentional disruptions. There's two ways to do this: Mute all and turn off chime in/out notifications (you know, those dings you hear when people join or leave the call? Yep, you can turn them off in most conference call systems). Most interruptions which cause breaks in the flow of the calls come from late dial-ins and attendees forgetting to mute their lines. All conference call systems provide the tools to prevent these interruptions, we just need to remember to use them. Some small preventative measures like this will have huge returns on the investment during the presentations.
To help exemplify what I am talking about here, my own honed and tested process goes a bit something like this:
Between 5 and 15 minutes before the call, I'll launch my Lotus Live session and dial-in to the line.
Once logged in to Lotus Live, I set the check box to email me a list of attendees, then I start the web-session in host mode.
When the session has started, I publish my slide deck to the session (this allows me to present the slides in host mode without having to share my desktop, a secondary benefit is a smaller file size of the recording). Publishing now also means that there will be content shared in the session when people begin joining and as you continue setting everything up.
After the deck is published, I'll then jump into the recording settings and dial the session into the conference call line to bridge the audio into the recording.
When the session is connected to the conference call, I leave my mouse cursor on this screen and wait to start the recording, which allows me to talk and not focus on getting back to start the recording when I begin the call. This helps me to fill the gaps of silence while people join in, which in turn helps to alleviate any confusion about the call and also begins to build the cadence and rhythm moving forward.
At this point I've kept the conference call line open and notifications enabled so I can hear everyone and get a sense of how many people have joined the call.
Once we've got a quorum, and its about 3 or 4 after the hour, I'll mute all lines, turn off chime in/out notifications, hit record and dig into the introduction and agenda...
From here on out any accidental interruptions should be wholly mitigated to "intentional" interruptions.
During the call be a good 'radio host', by which I mean, maintain the rhythm and don't allow for too much dead air space. Obviously you want to allow time for attendees to speak up and ask questions, but be smart about when you break cadence to do this.
Keep an eye on the clock. Know when to help move things along or get back on topic, and know when you're coming up on the end of the call to wrap things up in a timely fashion.
Some last words of found "wisdom" from my experiences hosting these calls...
If you can swing it, find a co-host... or at least someone to handle chat questions and other logistics while you are presenting. Knowing you can rely on someone who has your back is a god-send. Perhaps you can multi-task better than I can, and if so, go forth without a co-host. I know I'm not that good and am ever grateful for my colleague Beth McCawley's co-leadership, as well as Kelly Smith for filling in for Beth and providing the support needed to run the calls effectively and build out great content behind the scenes. I can assure you that any call I host in the future (with 10+ attendees) will have one other person helping me out.
And almost as important as everything above: don't sweat the small screw ups or interruptions. They happen, but don't let them distract you or cause more breaks in the flow of the meeting. The idea in all of this isn't to be perfect, but rather to hold an enjoyable and effective meeting. Stuff will happen to cause problems, but the key is to take those initial steps to mitigate the problems when they do arise or prevent them all together if possible. Doing so will help make a better meeting for all involved.
I hope you find the lessons I've learned and shown above helpful. Have you learned lessons for leading good conference calls as well? Why not share them in the comments and help me learn even more (as I am sure the KCC isn't the last call I'm ever going to host)!
The fine folks at IBM Rational User Technologies have been busy with new uploads to the TheOnDemandDemoGuy YouTube channel... check out this great series which covers report building for CLM in Rational Reporting for Development Intelligence:
Collaborative Lifecycle Management and IBM Rational Reporting for Development Intelligence, Part 3- Build a list report in Cognos Query Studio. Learn how to build a simple list report in Cognos Query Studio and save it to Cognos Connection. The report built during this demo shows requirements organized by type, with the requirement's name, project, and status. The general steps taken to build the report are: Insert data items into report, order the status column, group the requirements, and save the report.
Collaborative Lifecycle Management and IBM Rational Reporting for Development Intelligence, Part 4- Build a crosstab and chart in IBM Cognos Query Studio. This demo shows how to create a table, then pivots to create a crosstab. It also shows how to create a chart. The report that is built during the demo is named "Execution results by test plan, verdict and iteration". It has a column chart showing test execution results on the y-axis, test plans on the x-axis, and verdicts as the columns for each test plan. It also has a crosstab table showing test plan, iteration, test case, and test result name.
To the faithful followers of this blog, we promise to continue to provide you with the meaningful content and posts that help you to be successful. We want to encourage open collaboration with our followers and appreciate new ideas about topics you want to know more about. Find out a little bit more about us below!
Joined Rational support back in 2000, holds a BA in Information Systems and has over 35 years experience in IT (for those who remember programming on Punch Cards). I've held various positions as a Technical Support Engineer, Knowledge Engineer and most recently as a Social Business Analyst where I am most excited to be delivering support messages through this blog.
About Naomi :
Joined Rational Support in 2006 as a Software Engineer. I have nearly 15 years experience in IT and hold a Computer Science degree. In August, I will begin pursing an MBA advance degree. I am currently a Social Business Analyst for a subset of products within IBM.