Introduction to Rational Asset Manager

IBM® Rational® Asset Manager is a collaborative software development tool that organizations can use to identify, manage, and govern the design, development, and consumption of software assets and services.

Rational Asset Manager is a customizable, role-based repository in which you can define, create, modify, and publish assets that other people in your organization can reuse. It handles any kind of asset, including applications, components, patterns, software that runs systems and products, services, frameworks, and templates.

The repository works with a variety of hardware and operating system platforms. It has both a web interface that you can access through a web browser and an Eclipse interface; you can use either interface to search, organize, and download assets and to communicate with other users, provide governance capabilities, and obtain statistics such as how often an asset is being reused.

You might use Rational Asset Manager to manage assets in the following contexts:

Diagram of how the Rational Asset Manager clients, repository, and integrations work together

Client types

Rational Asset Manager has two client types: Web and Eclipse. You can complete administrative and review tasks in the web client only.

Client features

Rational Asset Manager includes features that you can use for the following purposes:
  • Search and reuse: Find assets within the repository. You can find assets through advanced search, keyword search, filters, user-defined categories, and tags.
  • Governance: If you are a repository administrator, you can assign permissions to people with different roles and levels of access, require users to provide specific information when submitting an asset to the repository, and configure lifecycle workflows for asset review processes to ensure accuracy and completeness.
  • Collaboration: You can rate an asset, raise a discussion, report a problem, make requests, send email, and subscribe to RSS feeds.
  • Statistics: If you are a strategist or a manager, you can use auditing tools to monitor impact analysis.

Rational Asset Manager as a lifecycle management solution

Rational Asset Manager provides all that you need for a complete asset lifecycle management solution. You can organize the work for your existing production model by configuring lifecycle workflows for different asset types and governing the workflows based on user roles. You can configure asset types so that when new assets are submitted, they enter a review process and follow a workflow in which states, actions, and user roles govern the asset lifecycle.

During a review process, you can review the contents of an asset and verify the accuracy and completeness of its content. You can then publish reviewed and approved assets, and make them available and searchable to user communities. People can find an asset, rate and leave comments about it, and reuse the asset if it is applicable to their business context. You can also participate in the discussion forums to discuss your asset at length.

For example, an insurance company develops a solution for automating claims processing on its website. The company stores the files that compose the solution in a Concurrent Versions System (CVS). Rational Asset Manager integrates with CVS and provides additional metadata that employees can use to learn about the context and development history of the files. In this way, other employees can make decisions based on the metadata, reuse the assets in other contexts, and reduce redundant work.

Rational Asset Manager as a definitive library

Assets are information and artifacts that you can share beyond your project team. When you use Rational Asset Manager as a definitive library, you can find, promote, approve, and publish artifacts to make them available to other people in your organization.

For example, if everyone in your company uses the same JRE version, you can make the information about the version available as a searchable asset. If everyone in your company must use a specific logo in a certain location on each web page, you might make that logo available as an asset. Good examples of possible assets are an approved JRE, a SOA service, a business document, a set of common requirements, corporate or product branding requirements, and artifacts.

To govern assets you need to understand these topics:
IBM Rational offers a structured approach to helping software and systems delivery teams drive business innovation through measured and continuous process improvement. The Measured Capability Improvement Framework (MCIF) helps you gain competency in the core development practices that most impact business outcomes.

Optimized for agile teams and methods, MCIF can automate the implementation of any method. Although product-independent, MCIF is supported by IBM Rational Jazz offerings that transform software delivery by helping teams collaborate, automate, and report more effectively. Read more about the Measured Capability Improvement Framework (MCIF) at http://www-01.ibm.com/software/rational/mcif/.

This practice focuses on identifying the major abstractions of the system and making decisions on how the system will be built to ensure resilience and maintainability. Read more about the component based software architecture practice at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/practices/compbased_sa/.

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