Links across project areas after enabling configuration management

To work with links across project areas, team members must work in the context of a global configuration. If they do not see the expected links between artifacts, they should refresh their browser page. Administrators must ensure that the Global Configuration Management (GCM) and Link Index Provider (/ldx) applications are installed, and that the ldx.log file does not indicate errors.

For details about supported OSLC link relationships and how they appear in Rational® solution for CLM applications after you enable configuration management, see Table 1 in this article on Jazz.net.

For administrators

To see, use, and create cross-project area links between artifacts, as a Jazz™ administrator, you must install the Link Index Provider and GCM applications.

If one or more Requirements Management (RM), Quality Management (QM), or Design Management (DM) project areas will use configuration management and link across project areas, ensure that the following applications are installed and registered:
Link Index Provider
Builds and maintains an index of links between artifacts in different project areas. The first time the index is built (after you activate configuration management in QM and RM, and enable it for at least one RM or QM project) might take a while, especially for a large project. By default, the link index refreshes its information every 60 seconds. You can specify a more frequent refresh rate so that team members see the links that they expect without a delay, but this might decrease system performance. You can change this setting for each data source in the Link Index Provider application. See Changing the frequency of link index updates for guidance.
Global Configuration Management (GCM)
Provides the configuration context for resolving the links in the index. To see links between artifacts in different applications, team members set their current configuration context to a global configuration.

To ensure that team members do not lose their configuration context when they switch among CLM applications, the GCM application caches the links between global configurations their local configurations. By default, this caching occurs asynchronously every 5 seconds. You can change this setting in the GCM application's Advanced Properties > Global Configuration SDK section. This property is separate from and does not affect the refresh rate of the link index. See Server settings for configuration management for guidance.

Note:
  • Upgrading from version 5 releases: If you upgrade from CLM version 5 releases to version 6 releases by using the command line or silent upgrade option, see Upgrading the Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM). Complete the steps to register the Link Index Provider (/ldx) and GCM applications.
  • Single JTS server: In a single-server environment where all CLM applications are on one Jazz Team Server (JTS) instance, go to https://hostname:9443/jts/admin and in the left navigation pane, click Registered Applications. Verify that Link Index Provider (/ldx) and GCM applications (/gc) are in the list.
  • Multiple JTS servers: For a topology with multiple JTS servers, see Getting started for application administrators (global configurations).

For team members

Team members must be in a global configuration to work with links to artifacts in other project areas.

To create, see, or remove these links, you must set your current configuration context to a global configuration. If you work only in a local configuration context, the links do not resolve.

If team members do not see the links that they expect between artifacts, they should refresh their browser. There might be a delay in showing cross-project area links because the link index provider has not finished building or refreshing its index.

You cannot create outgoing links from artifacts in a baseline. See the related topic about cross-project linking.

Linking before configurations are enabled

If you do not enable configuration management, applications use back linking between artifacts in different project areas.

When there is a link between two artifacts in associated CLM project areas, each application stores a link to the other's artifact. This process is often called back linking. For example, when you link a requirement to a work item, the RM application stores a link to the work item, and the Change and Configuration Management (CCM) application stores a link to the requirement.

This behavior is unchanged from version 5.0 and earlier, except for links between RM and DM, which do not use back linking.

Linking after enabling configurations

After you enable configuration management, linking behavior appears the same as before, but only one CLM application stores a link; the link in the other direction comes from the link index. Understanding which applications store links helps you understand how and when to link to baselined artifacts. To read about linking to baselined artifacts, see the related topic about cross-project links.

Important:
  • IBM® Rational Team Concert® and the DM application do not require any activation or enablement steps to support configuration management.
  • RM and QM applications require a key to activate configuration management capabilities. See the related topic.
  • After you activate configuration management in RM and QM, you must also enable configuration management in projects. If you have links between RM and QM projects, both projects must be enabled, or neither be enabled. You cannot link between configuration-enabled and non-enabled projects. Carefully plan which projects to enable, and consider enabling them at the same time. See the related topic.
  • After you enable configuration management for RM and QM projects, you cannot disable it.
  • Plan which local configurations to add to global configurations so that you link to the correct versions of artifacts in other CLM projects. See the related topic about planning the global configuration hierarchy.
After you enable configuration management in at least one RM and QM project area, back links between artifacts are removed. Links between CLM artifacts across project areas are now owned by and stored in only one of the CLM applications (products) involved in the link, as shown in the following table. For example, links from tests to requirements are stored in and owned by the QM application because requirements are typically baselined before tests are created. Therefore, you can link from a test case in a stream to the baselined requirement that it validates.
Details:
  • An asterisk (*) indicates applications that do not contribute to, and are not polled by, the link index.
  • DM stores its own links to design artifacts and requirements. It queries the index for links to QM artifacts and RTC work item links.
  • RM owns only links to its own artifacts. Requirements are typically completed first in the project lifecycle, when there might not yet be any related artifacts to link to. RM queries DM directly for links to design artifacts.
  • A CLM application that does not own links queries the link index for the links to its artifacts in a given configuration context, and uses the information to show the links back to the other artifacts.
    Note: RM queries DM directly to discover the links to RM artifacts, and uses that information to show a link back to the DM artifact.

Consider the following example: when you link a requirement to a work item, the link originates from, and is owned by, the CCM application. When you open the requirement, the RM application queries the link index for links to that artifact so it can provide the link back to the work item.

The following diagram shows how links work in a project that uses configuration management.
  • The thin solid lines show that each CLM application (product) is registered with the Jazz™ Team Server.
  • The dotted lines are queries from the Link Index Provider to build the link index.
  • The thick solid arrows are between artifacts in different applications (products). The origin of the arrow is the application that owns the link.
  • Link x labels indicate a link direction that is stored in the index. For example, Link 4: RQM->RDNG: RQM sends its links to all RDNG artifacts to the link index.
  • The Link Index Provider builds its link index:
    • by polling the GCM application to get the links between global and local configurations.
    • by polling the QM and CCM applications to find what artifacts they link to in associated CLM project areas.
    See the related topic for details about updating the link index refresh rate.
Figure 1. Link storage and management in a project that uses configuration management.

RDNG = IBM Rational DOORS® Next Generation, RRDM = Rational Rhapsody® Design Manager, RTC = Rational Team Concert, RQM = IBM Rational Quality Manager.


Architecture diagram of link management in CLM applications

Continuing with the example, the following high-level steps describe how the link index manages and resolves links. Assume that team members are working in a global configuration context.
  1. When a team member creates a link from a requirement to a work item, the link is created and stored in CCM (RTC). As the table shows, CCM owns links to requirements in RM (RDNG).
  2. The next time the link index polls link-owning applications (RTC and QM) to refresh its index, it adds information about the link from the work item to the requirement. See this section for details about the polling frequency.
  3. A team member opens the requirement and looks for a related work item:
    1. Using the current global configuration context to resolve the links, RM queries the link index for links from any work items to this requirement.
    2. RM shows a link from the requirement to the corresponding work items. To team members, each application seems to store a link to the other's artifact, similar to the back linking in previous product versions.

video icon Watch videos

CLM playlist
Jazz.net channel
User Education channel

learn icon Learn more

CLM learning circle
Agile learning circle
Learning circles

ask icon Ask questions

Jazz.net forum
developerWorks forums

support icon Get support

Support Portal
Deployment wiki
Support blog