Notes from Rational Support
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?
image credit: flickr user SanforaQ8
This video from our friends at IBMElectronicSupport explains some of the more common terms and acronyms used in the IBM Support infrastructure.
What you need to know about the CA Endevor "actions" used by the Rational Developer for System z CARMA Enhanced Edit feature
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Rational Developer for System z added the CARMA Enhanced Edit feature for CA Endevor SCM users in the 8.5.1 release. This CARMA Enhanced Edit feature is RDz's implementation of CA Endevor's Fast/Quick Edit. This feature allows RDz users to edit elements in the Endevor repository without having to retrieve/extract element out of repository into external file. When performing changes to a program, user will start by selecting the "version" of program/element within Endevor that they want to change. This usually is the "production" version of the program/element. When working with RDz CARMA, user would select (right-click on) element to be opened and select Edit/'Edit with' from the context menu.
When the CARMA Edit Element UI screen appears, user indicates to CARMA where they want element copied. This would typically be the "entry" environment/stage where they are allowed to edit element.
So what Endevor "actions" does CARMA use to copy "production" element into entry/editing environment/stage? That is a very important question because there are several different Endevor "actions" to do this, but not all RDz users are authorized to perform all Endevor "actions". The Endevor "actions" to handle this copy are generated from the RDz host Endevor RAM. These "actions" are run in foreground mode because of the unpredictable nature of running "action" as a batch job (CARMA has no idea when job will run/complete). Below I've listed how this "copy" of the element to "entry" environment/stage is handled in the available 8.5 releases and 9.0.
RDz 8.5.1 Endevor RAM: This was the initial implementation of the CARMA enhanced edit feature. In this release, the copy of the element to "entry" environment/stage is done using the Endevor GENERATE ELEMENT "action", with the "copyback" option. We have found that foreground GENERATEs are not allowed or are problematic in some customer environments.
RDz 18.104.22.168/9.0 Endevor RAM: In these releases, the copy to "entry" environment/stage was changed to use the Endevor TRANSFER ELEMENT "action". The element is opened in the RDz editor after the foreground Transfer has completed. In many cases, when the element is opened, some/all dependencies are not resolved until a GENERATE is done for the element being edited in this Environment/stage. We have also found that some customer sites do not allow RDz users to run Transfer "action".
RDz 22.214.171.124 Endevor RAM: In this release, the default way that CARMA handles this "copy" is still with the Endevor TRANSFER ELEMENT "action", however, we also allow you to configure RDz to use the RETRIEVE ELEMENT (from "prod") and ADD ELEMENT (to "test") "actions" to handle this "copy". To configure CARMA to use RETRIEVE-ADD "actions" for program/element "copy", you need to un-comment the 'ENTRY-STAGE-COPY-MODE = RETRIEVE-ADD' statement in the appropriate RDz CARMA CRACFG file. The CRACFG file is allocated in carma.endevor.conf (CRASTART servers) or CRASUBCA (CARMA batch servers).
To resolve dependencies when an element is opened using CARMA Enhanced Edit, a GENERATE ELEMENT request was added (126.96.36.199) following the TRANSFER/RETRIEVE-ADD "actions", however, this has again caused problems for customers that don't allow users to run foreground GENERATEs. An internal APAR has been opened to provide the 'Bypass generate processor' option on the Edit Element UI screen that appears when doing CARMA Enhanced Edit.
When you select this option, keep in mind there is good chance all dependencies will not be resolved by the RDz editor until a GENERATE is done on the element being opened, in the Endevor environment it is being opened from. This option should only be selected if you have trouble running foreground GENERATEs.
The current versions of RDz are 188.8.131.52 and 9.0 (Nov. 2013). The APAR mentioned in the previous paragraph will be delivered in the 8.5.1.next and 9.0.next RDz host PTFs. To verify what CA Endevor "actions" are being used in your environment, you can view the Endevor "actions" used in the MSG3FILE. The MSG3FILE is allocated in the user's CARMA server who performed the CARMA Enhanced Edit on element.
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IBM UrbanCode Deploy integration with Rational Team Concert build- Scott Cowan, an RTC/Jazz Developer discusses and demonstrates the integration with IBM Urbancode Deploy:
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Here's another great tip and trick from the IBM Electronic Support folks aimed at helping you make even better use of the IBM Support Portal features!
Using My inventories and my supported software to select products in Support Portal- This video discusses enhancements of the IBM Support Portal to make product selection easier for you based on knowing more about your inventory. Visit the IBM Support Portal at: http://ibm.co/SupportPortalfromYT