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.
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.
Resolve links to the correct artifact versions and validate links
After a configuration lead assembles global configurations, you can be sure that you’re working with the correct version of an artifact. Global configurations reference the appropriate configurations in the domain-specific applications. When you work in a global configuration context (as indicated on the Current Configuration menu on the toolbar), links between artifacts resolve to the correct version. For example, a link from a test case resolves to the correct version of the requirement that it validates.
However, linked data is useful only when there is semantic consistency between two artifacts and the relationship between them. In projects with large data sets, achieving and maintaining consistency across linked data can be challenging over time. You can use the link validity status to achieve consistency across artifacts and links as you make changes that propagate through the linked data.
When you work in a global configuration context, you can set the status of links to different artifact types in other applications. For example, you can create links to, and set the validity status of, links between requirements and test cases. For details about link validity, see Link validity.
Update global streams to match other or past states
- 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.