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IBM Rational ClearCase and IBM Rational ClearQuest Evaluation Guide, Part 2

ClearQuest

An introduction to IBM's software change management solution

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This content is part of the series:IBM Rational ClearCase and IBM Rational ClearQuest Evaluation Guide, Part 2

Stay tuned for additional content in this series.

Before you start

In this tutorial, you will learn some of the basic tasks for using Rational ClearQuest for software change management. You will learn how to create and execute queries, generate reports and charts, and create new defect records. You will also learn about some of the powerful additional features of Rational ClearQuest.

About this series

This series is for users interested in trying some of the change and configuration management capabilities of Rational ClearCase and Rational ClearQuest without installing or configuring the tools. This evaluation provides both tools in a ready to use state from inside a single Eclipse-based shell. By the end of the evaluation, you should have a feel for how Rational ClearCase and Rational ClearQuest work together to provide a complete change and configuration management solution.

About this tutorial

This tutorial provides a basic introduction to Unified Change Management using Rational® ClearCase® and ClearQuest® to manage the software development lifecycle. Part 2, presents an overview of Rational ClearQuest and how it is used alone to manage defects, enhancements and other changes. Part 3 describes how to perform the basic tasks within Rational ClearCase.

Objectives

In this tutorial you will be fulfilling the role of several stakeholders in the software development process including a: project lead, developer, integrator and release engineer. By acting in these roles, you will work a defect through the development lifecycle; from submission to completion. Along the way you will observe how Rational ClearCase and Rational ClearQuest work together to control and manage the process of change in software development.

Prerequisites

Basic knowledge of Rational ClearQuest or change management concepts is helpful, but not required. Once you start the trial, you have three hours to explore the application. We recommend that if you are new to Rational ClearQuest, you use our evaluation guide to explore some core features.

System requirements

The online trial program uses the Citrix® Access Gateway™ platform to provide you a connection from your workstation to a remote server running the IBM product you are evaluating. You will need to download Citrix client software before using the online trial program. You can download the Citrix MetaFrame® Presentation Server™ client at no charge from the Citrix site; many versions, including versions for Windows® and Linux® platforms, are available. After you install the client, you will be asked to restart your browser. If you do not have the Citrix client installed when you attempt to access the online trial, you will be prompted to install the client.

Introduction to ClearQuest

ClearQuest capabilities

IBM Rational ClearQuest is a change management solution that automates and controls processes for improved effectiveness, improves visibility into projects with real-time status and reporting, and manages issues to completion through defect and change tracking.

ClearQuest shortens development cycles by unifying your entire team in the process of managing software change requests:

  • Development engineers can identify and prioritize action items that pertain to their section of code.
  • Technical writers can locate development change requests that require enhancements to the documentation, as well as change requests pertaining to the documentation itself.
  • Quality engineers can record the defects they find, and track the status and resolution of change requests to verify software quality.
  • Project leaders and managers can get information at a glance to help them allocate development resources, streamline work flow, and accurately determine release dates.
  • Schema developers can customize Rational ClearQuest to fit an organization's process and workflow by integrating it with existing tools.

IBM Rational ClearQuest can be as simple or as complex as you would like it to be. The flexibility of the solution is what makes it powerful enough to meet all types of needs. This evaluation addresses some basic features of the tool, and gives insight into some of the more advanced features available.

Rational ClearQuest also offers migration, import and export features that allow you to move your existing data into Rational ClearQuest so that you lose nothing and keep your projects moving forward.

Out-of-the-box reporting

Rational ClearQuest provides insight into development processes with comprehensive support for querying, charting and reporting. Distribution, trend and aging charts help to visualize complex data. Charts can be easily created and refined to allow you to drill into the area of data you need. Individual team members can gain quick access to their prioritized development activities by generating to-do lists. Queries and reports allow you to view the associations of development assets.

Defect and change tracking

Rational ClearQuest can manage every type of change activity associated with software development, including enhancements, defects, and documentation modifications. By documenting and managing issues to resolution, Rational ClearQuest provides closed-loop change management, delivers better project control and helps improve software quality.

Access virtually anywhere, anytime

Rational ClearQuest provides a wide range of access capabilities to help ensure all team members, local and remote, have access to the most up-to-date change management information. Desktop clients provide a consistent interface and functions across Linux®, Windows® and UNIX® platforms. This client can stand alone or act from within the open source Eclipse™ framework.

Web clients provide access to Rational ClearQuest capabilities in an easy-to-use browser interface. Web clients can simplify administration by eliminating the need to distribute, install, configure, maintain or upgrade software and individual user sites.

Build Tracking

Rational ClearQuest integrates with IBM Rational Build Forge for automated build tracking. During a build cycle, Rational Build Forge can directly create and update Rational ClearQuest build records, providing enhanced audit trails and extended traceability.

Test Management

Rational ClearQuest manages the full range of testing activities, from test planning through execution, through capturing and analyzing the complete record of test results. Test plans can be defined. Test cases can be created and associated with specific test plans. Rational ClearQuest is integrated with a variety of test execution tools, including tools from IBM, open source and 3rd party vendors. This enables Rational ClearQuest to associate test execution scripts authored in these tools with test cases in Rational ClearQuest, and to initiate test execution. Rational ClearQuest captures the test results, which can be easily summarized into a chart or report.

Deployment Tracking

Rational ClearQuest integrates with IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager for automated deployment tracking. Tivoli Provisioning Manager can directly update Rational ClearQuest deployment records to track when a build starts, when it ends, build logs and other build information. With Rational ClearQuest you can establish approval gates before deploying to an environment. In addition, Tivoli Provisioning Manager can be launched directly from Rational ClearQuest to facilitate deploying the approved build.

Additional features

Rational ClearQuest also offers many additional features including (but not limited to):

  • Process automation including e-mail notifications and workflow customization with the Rational ClearQuest Designer tool
  • Activity-based change management with IBM Rational ClearCase.
  • Access control through user authentication and user authorization
  • Audit trails and history logs of changes that capture every change to a record
  • Configurable electronic signatures that verify the identities of individuals performing specific actions
  • Heterogeneous, cross-platform support for distributed, mainframe and midrange environments
  • IBM Rational ClearQuest MultiSite® which enables database replication and synchronization for large, geographically-distributed project teams

The sample application

Each organization typically has a unique and specialized process and workflow for tracking requests for change from internal and external customers. To get a feel for the product, we will use a simple sample application that tracks defects as a sample change record type.

Note: Once ClearQuest is installed, there is a full set of user guides and tutorials available from ClearQuest's online help. The online help is comprehensive but does not focus on the sample database application itself.

Features to meet governance, compliance and auditing initiatives

Rational ClearQuest includes additional features for more extensive compliance and governance needs. The sample application uses a simple history feature to track when a record is edited and by whom, in addition to the state of a record and when it changed.

Evaluating Rational ClearQuest

Starting Rational ClearQuest

  1. In the upper right-hand corner of the Eclipse shell, select the Rational ClearQuest perspective, click the ClearQuest menu and then click Login > Login. Enter the username/password: pat/pat.
  2. From the File menu, select Database > Connect > New Connection.
Figure 1. Starting ClearQuest
graphic of menu command
graphic of menu command
  1. In the Schema Repository dialog box, select the SAMPLE database set and click Next.
Figure 2. Selecting the schema repository
graphic of dialog box
graphic of dialog box
  1. In the Additional Connection Information dialog, enter Admin as the User ID and click Finish.
Figure 3. Entering the User ID
image of dialog box
image of dialog box
  1. In the Connect dialog box, click OK.
Figure 4. Completing the connection to ClearQuest
image of dialog box

Now you will see the main screen of Rational ClearQuest:

Figure 5. The ClearQuest workspace
image of ClearQuest workspace
image of ClearQuest workspace

Using the sample application

On the initial launch of the client, you may not have any queries available. Once you have become familiar with the interface you will likely have some queries, charts or reports executed for you automatically each time you login. Each user can personalize these settings to match their specific needs.

TIP: To set a query, chart or report to run when you login, right-click on the item in the left-hand window pane and choose Run at Startup.

Figure 6. Running a query a startup
image of menu command
image of menu command

Executing a Query

For now, let's manually execute a few items so we can look at them:

  1. Expand the Public Queries folder.
  2. Next double-click the All Defects query. It will run and the results will open on the right-hand part of the screen.
Figure 7. Results of query
image of workspace
image of workspace

Figure 7 shows what the normal results of a query look like in Rational ClearQuest. The records returned by the query appear on the top right hand side of the screen. The current record selected appears in the bottom right hand part of the screen.

REMINDER: Because Rational ClearQuest is completely customizable, you can have a different look and feel for the columns displayed in a query result. The sample application is only meant to provide an example of what Rational ClearQuest can do out of the box.

Executing a report

Rational ClearQuest also has charts and reports. Let's quickly look at some examples.

NOTE: Rational ClearQuest ships with Crystal Reports™ Server and run-times. Out of the box, Rational ClearQuest provides the capability to run existing reports but not create or edit them. In order to create new reports and edit existing ones customers must purchase a licensed version of Crystal Reports Designer that supports these features.

  1. Expand the Reports folder.
  2. Execute the report Defect Detail (All) by right-clicking it and clicking Run.

The resulting report lists all defects in a report format.

Figure 8. Results of a report
image of workspace
image of workspace

Queries in Rational ClearQuest can also prompt users for information. You can use this with reports as well:

  1. Execute the report Defect Detail (State) by right-clicking it and clicking Run.
  2. Select Assigned and Opened.

The resulting report lists only defects with a state of Opened or Assigned:

Figure 9. Reporting by defect state
image of workspace
image of workspace

Executing a chart

Now let's look at charts:

  1. Single-click the Distribution Charts folder to expand it.
  2. Execute the chart by double-clicking Active Defects by Severity.

The chart shows us any defect that is currently in the Submitted, Opened or Assigned state, (again these are "sample states" yours may differ) and graphically shows us how they are broken down by Severity setting (again your Severity types would likely be different).

Figure 10. Charting by defect severity
image of chart
image of chart

Creating a query using the Query Wizard

Now that we have executed some existing queries, charts and reports let's create our own queries. The query wizard guides you in selecting the fields to use in your result set display and the fields and corresponding values to use as query filters. To create a query using the New Query Wizard:

  1. Click File > New > New Query.
  2. Under Query Name, type a name for the new query.
  3. Under Record Type, select Defect, and click Next.
Figure 11. Creating a new query
image of dialog box
image of dialog box
  1. Select the fields you wish to query, by dragging and dropping them from the Fields pane into the Filters pane, and click Next.
Figure 12. Selecting the query filters
image of dialog box
image of dialog box
  1. For each of the filters, click the Values button to define the values for the filter, and click OK.
Figure 13. Selecting the filter values
image of dialog box
image of dialog box
  1. Define how the query displays by selecting result-set display fields. For example, you may wish to choose: ID, Headline and Owner. Click Finish.
Figure 14. Define the display fields
image of dialog box
image of dialog box

Your new query is now ready for executing.

Figure 15. New query in workspace
image of workspace

Creating a new defect

When you create a new defect in Rational ClearQuest, you submit a record as a Defect is one type of record in Rational ClearQuest. To submit a new record:

  1. Click File > New > Defect (or click the drop-down arrow on the New button from the ClearQuest toolbar).
Figure 16. Creating a new defect
image of menu command

The Create (Defect) window opens at the Main tab. The red field labels identify any required fields, and must be filled in for the record to be valid.

  1. Complete the two required fields on the Main tab: Headline and Severity (use the drop-down).
Figure 17. Required field labels are in red text
image of dialog box
image of dialog box
  1. You can also fill in other fields in the main panel, or click on another tab to complete more defect fields. If none of the other tabs in the Create Defect window have red squares, then there are no additional required fields.
Figure 18. Completing the defect record
image of dialog box
image of dialog box
  1. When you finish filling in fields, click OK to create the defect record.

To view the record just submitted you can either execute a query that would return the record in the result set or you can use the Rational ClearQuest list of recently submitted records. To use this feature:

  • Expand the Recently Submitted folder and double-click the record to view it.
Figure 19. Viewing the defect record in the ClearQuest workspace
image of workspace
image of workspace

NOTE: The online help contains instructions on modifying and changing the states of a record.

Final thoughts and next steps

In this tutorial, we took a look at some of the essential capabilities of Rational ClearQuest. You learned how to:

  • Start Rational ClearQuest
  • Create the required databases
  • Setup a sample application
  • Execute queries, charts and reports
  • Setup a startup query
  • Create a new defect and query

Additional features and options

Rational ClearQuest also offers many additional features including (but not limited to):

  • E-mail options for automatic notifications as well as a method to allow e-mail submission of records and updates to records
  • Rational ClearQuest Designer client: Rational ClearQuest includes a graphical designer interface which is used to design Rational ClearQuest applications. The design work is largely done with a point and click interface with option for extending the application logic with scripts as needed.
  • Rational ClearQuest MultiSite: Large, geographically distributed project teams can benefit from the addition of Rational ClearQuest MultiSite to enable database replication and synchronization in their distributed development environment.
  • Deep integration with Eclipse, Microsoft Visual Studio® and .NET™ IDEs as well as integrations with other IBM Rational tools such as, IBM Rational ClearCase® and IBM Rational RequistePro® for full application lifecycle management (ALM) and geographically distributed development capabilities (GDD).

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