Overview of Rational Team Concert

Rational Team Concert is a team collaboration tool that is built on a scalable, extensible platform. Rational Team Concert uses the Change and Configuration Management (CCM) application to provide features that integrate development project tasks including iteration planning, process definition, change management, defect tracking, source control, build automation, and reporting.

For a roadmap of how to get started with the CCM tasks, see Getting started with Rational Team Concert.

Collaboration and integration across the development lifecycle

Rational Team Concert makes it easy to exchange information directly in the context of your work. If an enhancement request changes, you and other team members are notified of the change automatically. You can reference the change in chat sessions and link to artifacts. Business stakeholders can also automatically stay informed about the status of task changes that interest them.

Several views enable you to share team information. You can track team activity, present information in more detail, or configure which information is visible at any time.

Many aspects of the development lifecycle are integrated, including agile planning, process definition, source control, defect tracking, build management, and reporting. Each of these aspects is integrated in a single environment. You can track and manage the relationships between artifacts, promote sound development processes, and gather project information automatically and unobtrusively.

Process configuration and customization

Rational Team Concert projects follow a process. A process is the collection of roles, practices, rules, permissions, and guidelines that you use to organize and control the workflow for a project. Rational Team Concert makes it easy and efficient for your team to follow the processes you define. Process alters the behavior of the tool, making user conformance with the process more reliable.

You use a process to define user roles and their permissions for performing operations in the context of a project. The initial process used by a project is defined by a process template. You can modify a template to meet your overall project and team requirements. Each component is process-aware, so you can add rules for behavior in the form of preconditions and follow-up actions.

Process is very customizable. It can be very rigorous or less restrictive, depending on your team's needs. You can configure the process to enforce different rules at different points in the release. For example, you might want to employ a more restrictive process towards the end of a release to reduce the risk of introducing regressions. One way to do this is to require users to get approvals from team leads and peers before they deliver changes.

Change management

The main feature of change management is work items, which track and coordinate tasks, stories, defects, plan items, and enhancement requests. Work items and the workflow process they follow can be customized to suit your project. You can also integrate work items with other change management systems, such as IBM® Rational® ClearQuest®. For an interactive workflow diagram of using work items, see Getting started with work items.

Planning

The planning capability provides tools to assist with the planning, tracking, and workload balancing of releases and iterations for entire projects, for teams within those projects, and for individual developers. Plans are accessible to everyone on the team, and can change over the course of the iteration to reflect the team's position and direction. For an interactive workflow diagram of using planning, see Getting started with planning.

Software configuration management (SCM)

The built-in source control system is component-based and has strong support for parallel and agile development and geographically distributed teams. It integrates tightly with defect tracking, builds, and process-centric automation. Integrations with other source control systems such as IBM Rational ClearCase® and Git are also provided. For an interactive workflow diagram of using source control, see Getting started with Rational Team Concert source control. For details about associating Git commits with Rational Team Concert work items, and using Rational Team Concert to govern Git operations, see Integrating Rational Team Concert with Git.

Configuration management

As of the 6.0 release, the Rational solution for CLM supports versioning of artifacts in the Design Management (DM), Quality Management (QM), and Requirements Management (RM) applications. In those applications, versions of artifacts are tracked in configurations. The Rational solution for CLM also includes the Global Configuration Management application, which lets you assemble configurations from multiple applications. In this way, you can track and manage specific versions of artifacts across the development lifecycle. In addition to including DM, QM, and RM configurations, a global configuration can include a Rational Team Concert SCM baseline. For details about global configurations, see Global Configuration Management.

You can link Rational Team Concert work items to specific versions of QM and RM artifacts that belong to global configurations. See Linking work items to artifacts in Configuration Management-enabled project areas for details.

Build automation

The automation capability provides build awareness, control, and traceability to the development and test teams. Team members can track build progress, view build alerts and results, request builds, and trace builds to other artifacts such as change sets and work items. For an interactive workflow diagram of using builds, see Getting started with builds. You can also integrate Rational Team Concert with Hudson/Jenkins. For details, see Integrating Rational Team Concert and Hudson/Jenkins build engine type.

Reporting

The Jazz Team Reports component provides an awareness of the actions, behaviors and progress of a team or project. Visualizing data about the development process can make certain trends more accessible, when they might otherwise be hidden or obscured. By making this information available at a glance, reports can enable effective decision-making.

Rational Team Concert includes an extensive library of report templates, which you can use to generate reports that illustrate the status of the project. Some examples are reports that show build results, blocking work items, work items by team area, work items by priority, and project activity. You can modify templates and create templates. For an overview of the Rational Reporting, see Overview of Rational Reporting.

Dashboards

A dashboard is a web client component intended to provide information about the project status at a glance. It provides the option to drill down to get more complete information. It also represents the integration point for the data provided by all Jazz components.

Dashboards can be used in a variety of ways:

  • Project leads can track project health and trends.
  • Teams can discuss status using the dashboard as the data source.
  • Developers can create personal dashboards that show information about the work items assigned to them.
To get started with using dashboards, see Dashboards.

Eclipse client, Microsoft Visual Studio client, and web interfaces

Rational Team Concert provides users with an Eclipse-based client interface, a Microsoft Visual Studio client interface, and a web interface. The client interfaces provide developers with a rich, integrated development environment for building and delivering artifacts. The web interface is well suited for server and project administration and allows users to access project areas, browse repository information, view and modify plans, update tasks, or read about recent events.

Rational Team Concert also includes the following clients:
  • Rational Team Concert Shell integration, which allows you to perform source control operations from the Windows Explorer.
  • Rational Team Concert MSSCCI Provider, which allows you to perform source control operations from other MSSCCI-integrated tools such as MATLAB and Rational Rhapsody.
  • Command-line source control interface.
  • Rational Team Concert Interactive System Productivity Facility (ISPF) client, which provides an ISPF interface to perform various Rational Team Concert functions. You can use the interface to edit, check-in, deliver, and build code that is stored in a Rational Team Concert repository.
Note: The Rational Team Concert client for Microsoft Visual Studio IDE does not support Enterprise Extensions functions.

Specific capabilities for development on System z and Power Systems Software

To support cross-platform development, Rational Team Concert features native hosting of the Jazz® Team Server on z/OS®, Linux® for System z®, and Power Systems Software on IBM i, and includes an integrated set of collaborative delivery lifecycle tools for System z and IBM i development, including source control, change management, and build and process management. Multitier systems and software development, application modernization efforts, and traditional language artifacts such as COBOL have specialized support. Rational Team Concert also provides System z and IBM i artifact builds and file system support through Enterprise Extensions functions.