Overview of global configurations

The Global Configuration Management (GCM) application is a web-based tool that you use to assemble configurations from other IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM) applications into global configurations. Global configurations enable you to reuse configurations in different versions or variants of software and product lines. By using global configurations, teams can work in parallel on multiple development streams, re-create previous development environments, or build a hierarchical component structure of a system.

Global Configuration Management (GCM) is an optional application in the ELM solution. This solution integrates several products to provide a complete set of applications for software or systems development.

Four hexagons, each representing part of the ELM
solution, arranged around a central hexagon listing key features. Overview of Rational DOORS Next Generation Overview of Rhapsody Model Manager Overview of Rational Team Concert Overview of Rational Quality Manager Getting started with global configurations Overview of Reporting Overview of Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager

For a roadmap of how to get started with the GCM tasks, see Getting started with global configurations.

In the GCM application, a component is the basic unit of configuration management. Components typically represent physical or logical subdivisions of a product or system.

A configuration is a baseline or stream that contains a set of versioned artifacts. In GCM, a configuration is a stream or baseline of one component.

A global configuration is a composite of configurations from other lifecycle products such as IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS® Next (DOORS Next), IBM Engineering Test Management (ETM), IBM Engineering Systems Design Rhapsody® - Model Manager (RMM), and IBM Engineering Workflow Management (EWM). Global configurations can contain other global configurations, which form a hierarchy of configurations to represent the hierarchical nature of a complex system. With these assembled configurations, teams can gain an overall view of the logical parts of a product offering.

The GCM application supports various user roles, such as Administrator, Configuration Lead, Baseline Maker, and Contributor. Most tasks that support global configurations are performed by the administrator and the configuration lead. For details about these roles, see Role-based permissions for Global Configuration Management (GCM).

Develop in parallel

Many organizations have a base product and variants of that product that they develop at the same time. By using global configurations and the configuration management capabilities in other ELM applications, you can reuse the core set of assets across variants, develop different versions in parallel, propagate changes across variants, and remove or replace sections of the configuration hierarchy as needed.

Update global streams to match other or past states

You can update a global stream hierarchy so that it contains the same collection of versioned artifacts from a previous baseline from a past milestone. To do this, use the Update stream from a baseline feature. You might do this for these reasons:
  • To roll back previous baselines
  • To branch and create a stream for a product fix
  • To simplify changing a hierarchy of configurations to use more recent baselines

For example, you might update one of your team’s global streams to match a global baseline that another team produced. As your team develops a product variant, you can update your stream with baselines produced by the platform team to use more recent versions of common components.

Identify or classify configurations

To identify or classify configurations in ways that are meaningful to your organization, administrators can define custom attributes that configuration leads and team members can apply to global components and configurations in a project area.

For example, suppose your product is expanding to international markets. As an administrator, you can create a custom attribute named Geography and define a list of countries where your product or system will be marketed and used. Configuration leads and team members can assign a Geography attribute value to components and configurations to understand which ones contribute to the geography-specific variant of a product or system.

To maintain consistency across GCM project areas, administrators and configuration leads can share type definitions for global components and configurations.

For details about managing type definitions, see Managing type definitions.

For details about keeping type definitions consistent across GCM project areas, see Sharing GCM type definitions across project areas.

Report on configurations

In the GCM application, you can report on where configurations are used. For example, if you want to change an Airbag requirements stream, you can find which Passive Restraint global configurations use that stream to determine the test impact, cost, procurement, and so on, of the change.

To report on versioned artifacts in configurations contributed by ELM applications, use the Report Builder component of the Jazz® Reporting Service. For details, see Reporting on data in configurations.

Extend functionality with APIs

You can write client applications that use the public REST API to automate many global configuration tasks, including managing the GCM type system.

For details about the API, scenarios, and individual GCM and Jazz Foundation services, see https://host:port/gc/doc/scenarios.

Part of the Jazz community

The ELM products are developed transparently on the open and extensible Jazz platform. On Jazz.net, you can download the products and their milestones, track development schedules, join discussion forums, open enhancement requests, and interact with the product developers. To learn more about the products, see the developer-written articles in the Jazz.net library library or the topics about complex deployment scenarios on the Deployment wiki.