Mike MacDonagh's Blog

Somewhere in the overlap between software development, process improvement and psychology

Tag Archives: beta

Screenshot of Visual Studio Client for Jazz Rational Team Concert

VS Client for RTC

Excellent news! Some info about the Visual Studio client for Rational Team Concert! Apparently early builds may  be available as early as November. Sign up for jazz.net and read more info here.

Google Chrome: A new web browser that looks very interesting

Official Google Blog: A fresh take on the browser.

Chrome looks set to be a big contender in the browser market. It’s built from the ground up to be a different, more secure way of running web apps and browsing. If it lives up to it’s vision it’s likelt to be really impressive!

Check out the Google Comic explaining it. The thing that’s really interesting about this is the way that tabs and plugins are all in seperate processes. This makes me think of Chrome as similar to a Operating System kernel. In many ways Chrome looks like it’s an Operating System for distributed applications.

BTW it looks like the beta will be available today at some point

Google Chrome as an OS

Ubiquity – language integrated internet

Mozilla Labs » Blog Archive » Introducing Ubiquity.

Check it out, this is seriously cool stuff. I’m using the prototype and I’m impressed!

First Look: IBM Rational Quality Manager

Note this is from 2008, for a review of RQM in 2011 see CLM 2011 review

Yet again hats off the Jazz folks for making something consumable. With no effort involved I was able to download and install a Beta 2 of Rational Quality Manager (RQM) and login and get a default empty dashboard with no configuration at all 8)

RQM is a web based tool “for test planning, workflow control, tracking and metrics reporting capable of quantifying how project decisions and deliverables impact and align with business objectives.” It’s also Jazz based. A couple of weeks ago I did a First Look analysis of Rational Requirements Composer (here) so I thought I’d have a look at RQM today. I should caveat this by saying I’m not a QA/Test expert! :)

This being a Beta there are some bugs hanging around like the horizontal tabs having a higher z-order than the pop-up menus from the left navigation bar so you’ve got to be precise with the mouse to open the “My Test Plans” tab at the moment and it’s a little hard to create a new test plan :S If only the left menu bar auto scrolled down like the “related sites” links on the far right! Eventually I worked around this by constructing the URI to create a new test plan – https://localhost:9443/jazz/web/console/QM#action= com.ibm.rqm.planning.home.actionDispatcher&subAction=newTestPlan and just typing it into the browser address bar. I had this problem in FF and IE, anyway I’ve got a work around so off I go.

Here’s the blank empty GUI:

Once I got into the Test Plan editor I was able to start creating a structured Test Plan. I like this idea, as instead of a huge Word document with no structure here there are discreet sections with potentially seperate ownership. Obviously in my demo repository there are no requirements to hook into a test plan so I clicked the button to create one, this led me into the Rational Team Concert web interface 8)

Unfortunately I got quite a few errors in trying to save sections of my test plan, and also none of the editors for the various sections would let me type in them no matter how many times I hit the “Edit” link. The idea of structured test assets continues in the Test Case editor, although I had the same problems as with Test Plans here in terms of editing some of the content. I was however able to generate work items (which naturally I did twice) based on my test case and configured environments using the excellent lab management interface :D

Upon executing my generated work item the problem I found was that my test failed. There were no doughnuts to be had! :(

This being based on the Jazz platform there is of course a lot of reporting available (I shifted over to the sample Java PetStore test plan since there wasn’t enough data in my dummy project).

Conclusions

RQM gives you a fully web based quality management portal. The structured nature to managing test assets is a major improvement, and since this is Jazz based I’m sure it’s all deeply configurable for different ways of working and approaches to quality management and testing.

The integration of information from Team members, Test Plans, Test Cases, Test Scripts, Execution, Reports and Defects is seamless and intuitive, with requirements and defects being managed through the Rational Team Concert interface and of course the data is easily reported on.

I’d like to dig more into the integration with other tools such as Rational Team Concert, possibilities with Rational Requirements Composer and the relationship between process templates in these various tools. Not to mention migration paths from other QM/Test tools like the “classic” Rational tools and those from other vendors.

All in all it looks like an impressive, intuitive and powerful product but it’s an early access Beta and has quite a few bugs that can make playing with it a bit frustrating at the moment.

More info

See my first look at IBM Rational Requirements Composer here

See more stuff about Jazz in general here: What’s all that Jazz?

First Look: IBM Rational Requirements Composer

Note this is from 2008, for a review of RRC in 2011 see CLM 2011 review

So I downloaded and installed IBM Rational Requirements Composer (RRC) today. I’m not very good at reading instructions so typically I didn’t read them but I still managed to set up RRC server and connect a client within an hour :D Excellent job yet again Jazz people, in the past with the “classic” tools this sort of thing wouldn’t have been possible in such a short time. It even co-exists (but isn’t integrated) with my Rational Team Concert installation. At the moment I’ve got two Jazz server instances which is a shame, but this is only a Beta.

Anyway, I used the configuration utility and with only referring to the instructions once or twice I quickly got RRC setup and working. Having said that the config utility uses an embedded IE instance to access the Jazz Admin console and for me that wasn’t working so I gave up on the config utility and just used trusty FireFox.

The client is Eclipse based but isn’t shell sharing with my other eclipse shell at the moment. I’ve created a Test Project and thought about creating some artifacts to go along with it. I can’t see where to edit templates but since this is Jazz based I’m sure that everything is customisable. I’ve got a bunch of errors showing in my logs and in the Jazz admin web UI so I’m not sure if I’m seeing everything anyway. Perhaps reading the instructions is a good idea!

Overview

It’s clear that it’s an early Beta as there’s still a lot of simple UI bugs but the point of these releases is not to provide a finished product but to give people that are interested a chance to get to grips with the functionality and look and feel. So here’s some of my thoughts and screenshots (clicky piccies):

I set about creating a process diagram

Then a glossary that supported some of the terms that I identified in thinking about the business process

I also played around with creating a Use Case diagram

Because I’ve got a software development background I immediately decided to mock up a UI and screen flow rather than consider any of those pesky requirement things :P

At this point it seemed like a good idea to think about writing an initial Use Case specification, this was cool because I could integrate the various things I’ve done already such as embed the UI mockup, link to the business process and have glossary management done for me too :)

All of which left me with some cross linked integrated stuff to do with capturing my requirements as regards eating doughnuts

Conclusions

It’s quite easy to start setting up a set of integrated stuff including storyboards, process diagrams, use cases, UI mockups etc. and is very non-technical to use. Personally I found the UI mockup functionality to be limited, I’d prefer more free form drawing capability when I create a “sketch” it would take me longer to mock up a UI here than it would for me to build it in Visual Studio – but then again this is aimed at analysts that may not be able to use IDEs. The UI seems very windows based as well, what about trusty web widgets!

I’d like to get at the project template and see what can be done in terms of the elements and strucutre of the project, not to mention document templates for things like Use Cases.

Does this replace RequisitePro? No. Although it’s got requiremetns authoring, marking and linking RRC doesn’t yet provide full traceability management and (at least at the moment) I can’t see where I’d go about attributing and managing requirements attributes. That’s why RRC has integration into ReqPro to provide these things.

Personally I’d like to see versionable requirements artifacts, more flexible UI sketching, traceability management, attribute management and more integration into other Rational tools such as Rational Software Architect and Team Concert.

This is a good start in terms of providing a single tool to support requirements elicitation and elaboration, all the diagrams and docs in one place, easily distributed and collaborated on. I’ll look forward to seeing more of it as time goes by :)

Rational Requirements Composer Beta Available

The Beta for IBM Rational Requirements Composer (RRC) is now available :)

You can get it from Rational here

Rational Requirements Composer (RRC) is a requirements definition solution that enables organizations to enhance their requirements processes with easy-to-use elicitation and definition capabilities and provides various visualisation, documentation and collaboration capabilities. Draw UI mockups, write Use Cases etc. etc.

Rational Requirements Composer is based on the IBM Jazz architecture and from what I’ve seen is pretty cool. At one point it was two separate tools, one for UI mockups and another for requirements documentation. These two projects were unified into RRC so that this tool is appropriate for Business Analysts, System Analysts and UI Designers/User Experience people.

See here for more Jazz screenshots and this blog post for more info on the future of RequisitePro and Doors

Here’s a link to my first look review of Rational Requirements Composer

Screenshots of new IBM Rational Jazz products

[EDIT: This post is from 2008 if you want a preview of the new 2011 product suite see here]

 

I recently put together a presentation for IJI on IBM Rational Jazz and the new, and future, Jazz -based products. Rather than present bullet points about products I like to show demos where possible and screenshots otherwise as like many people I find that I need to see a tool to gain an understanding of it. This presented me with a bit of a problem because most of these tools aren’t released yet, and some are only ideas from Rational Labs rather than actual listed products. But I managed to get screenshots or at least spy shots for the presentation so I thought I’d share.

You can download the whole presentation here, it’s in PDF form though so you don’t get the animation or Rational Team Concert demo vids (if you’re an IJIer just drop me an email if you want the full demo videos) Download

Here’s some screenshots and spy shots of some of the new tools:

Rational Team Concert

Rational Team Concert (RTC) is a collaborative project execution environment providing source control, work item tracking, build management and reporting capabilities as well as supporting agile planning. RTC is the first Jazz based product and at the moment the best known. The demo includes some early integration between Esswork and RTC.

Early access packages of RTC are available now from jazz.net

Rational Quality Manager

Rational Quality Manager (RQM) is a business-driven software quality portal for people seeking a collaborative and customizable solution for test planning, workflow control, tracking and metrics reporting capable of quantifying how project decisions and deliverables impact and align with business objectives.

RQM should be available around the 7th of July

Rational Requirements Composer

Rational Requirements Composer (RRC) is a requirements definition solution that enables organizations to enhance their requirements processes with easy-to-use elicitation and definition capabilities and provides various visualisation, documentation and collaboration capabilities.

Open Beta pre-registration (Available in July hopefully)


The following are currently Rational Labs projects and may not make future products in their current form

Rational Tempo

Improve estimation through:

  • Tracking probabilities
  • Schedule extrapolation
  • Risk management

Rational Ensemble

Improve team collaboration

  • Awareness of similar work
  • Tracks historic assignments
  • Links team members

There is also business partner collective called IBM Rational Ensemble which is not the same thing as this Rational Labs project!

Rational Governor

Improve Governance

  • Specify Governance Solutions
  • Manage Roles and Decisions
  • Automate processes

Rational Financier

Improve Financial Management

  • Specify Governance Solutions
  • Manage Roles and Decisions
  • Automate processes

It’s FireFox 3 Download Day – World Record

Firefox 3

It’s not released yet though, to find out when it’s released in your time click here

I’m a big fan of FireFox, and an extension developer as well, so I’ve been running the betas for a long time of FF3. Today is the day it’s released, and today is the day to download it even if you don’t want to install it today!

Set a Guinness World Record

Download Day

Enjoy a Better Web

Sounds like a good deal, right? All you have to do is get Firefox 3 during Download Day to help set the record for most software downloads in 24 hours – it’s that easy. We’re not asking you to swallow a sword or to balance 30 spoons on your face, although that would be kind of awesome.

With more than 15,000 improvements, Firefox 3 is faster, safer and smarter than before.

RSDC 2008 Day 1: Jazz, Sushi, Wallflowers

Today was day 1 of the RSDC 2008. I’ve already been busy for a couple of days but today was the proper first day. Unfortunately I spent the beginning a little hung over. I turned up to the keynote presentation at 8am local time with a bit of a headache – after watching the acrobatics and suffering the loud noise I had an even worse headache – oops :) With only myself to blame I soldiered on to experience many cool things today:

Lots of Jazz stuff

Today IBM Rational officially announced both Rational Requirements Composer and Rational Quality Manager. Also Rational Team Concert has got a lot of press. I blogged a while ago about RRC and RQM (here) so it was good to finally see these products.

Rational Composer is especially interesting to me as it a new Jazz based tool that allows you to manage requirements, create process flow diagrams, GUI mock-ups, manage glossary terms, create traceability and even create Use Case Docs in a single environment. Of course there is integration with Requisite Pro but it seems clear to me that in the long-ish term the products will converge until ReqPro is no longer necessary. I’m looking forward to the GA release of Requirements Composer, and especially the future release that is fully Jazz enabled, making use of Jazz SCM for requirements management and integrating deeply into the other Jazz products. I said previously on my blog that Reqiurements Composer was due for open beta today, but the word is that it will be next week! I’m impressed by this product and I think it will really help people that want to elicit requirements – all the way from organisational business analysts to project business analysts and system analysts. It’s a cool product.

I also saw today the Microsoft Visual Studio client for Rational Team Concert. As a .Net developer myself and someone that works with clients that have heterogeneous environments this is particularly important to me. So far there are some VS native windows for Jazz views such as Team Artifacts and Work Items but I’ve not really seen what the relationship to TFS/VSTS is. Also at the moment some of the views (particularly of work item details) are through the web interface in a html pane inside Visual Studio rather than in a native VS plugin interface – although I’m assured this is to come soon. It’s good to see IBM Rational focussing on integrating with other platform and vendors. As most users would probably say though – I want it now!

Other interesting elements included the news about Rational Project Management and Rational Enterprise Reporting, not to mention the new governance tools from IBM Research including

  • IBM Rational Financier – gives project and program managers insight into the financial value of one ore more projects to help identify and manage risks
  • IBM Rational Governor – helps IT organisations manage project roles and associates decision rights including managing the polices that constrain decisions and promote compliance with processes
  • IBM Rational Tempo – lets project managers understand and mange the variability of schedule overruns, a key source of risk in software development projects
  • IBM Rational Ensemble – reduces risks incurred by communication failures by promoting communication between developers doing related work

All of the above are native Jazz tools and indicate the bright shiny new Jazz future. It seems obvious to me that these tools and will be the future path in the long term for Rational Portfolio Manager

Rational Team Concert will be the first generally available product and will be released towards the end of this month – here’s a screenshot of IJI EssWork in Team Concert just because I’ve been playing with it:

(cliccy piccy)

Many other things caught my eye today – including an excellent presentation on RPM by Scott Craig that happened to include some ideas that I think will seed solutions for some of the problems faced by my own RPM implementation at the moment at my favourite client.

I also liked the look of IBM Rational Self Check as it’s a good tool for supporting what I and my team have been doing manually for years. In fact the Self Check screenshots look remarkably like the measurements slides in my RUP implementation case study! If only this tool had been available 4 years ago! Rational Self Check is part of the focus on measuring practice adoption and the IBM Rational Measured Capability Improvement Framework (MCIF) – of course practice adoption and measurement is something that we know rather a lot about at IJI ;)

The hat

image shamefully nicked from kelly

Met Kelly and Ferdy

It was cool to meet up with some folks who I’ve previously only interacted with online. I think we need to setup a group photo of us all :)

The Wallflowers gig

More gratuitous photo stealing from kelly:

Ian (Spence) had to point out to me that the lead singer (Jakob Dylan) was the son of Bob Dylan – which once he’d told me it was actually pretty obvious. Clearly I need to be more in touch! There were sparkly cups at the wallflowers gig too, obviously I grabbed a couple to take home for my boys (clicky piccy):

Sushi with the Wallflowers

After the exhibition centre and after the wallflowers gig we went over to Kimonos in the Swan for some Sushi and cocktails, the Wallflowers took the table next to us and it wasn’t long before our group and there’s were intermingled. They were kind enough, after getting hassled by Bryon Baker, to sign some autographs for Garth’s kids 8)

Bryon (and others) at karaoke

Speaking of Bryon, he did a funnygreat rendition of Coca Cabana with Gina, I got the vid on my phone so I’ll upload it and post it tomorrow :D

The ribbons

And here’s an updated pic of the copious number of ribbons I have this year. They’re a good conversation starter though :D

New: Rational Quality Manager and Rational Requirements Composer

A while ago I blogged about the upcoming announcement of a new Rational Quality Manager tool that was going to be announced at the RSDC2008 in June. Well now IBM are leaking the existence of this tool on a new blog http://qualitymanager.wordpress.com and they plan to launch an open beta on the first day of the conference (June 1st).

Rational Quality Manager, or RQM as it will undoubtedly be called, is the next generation Test Management tool from IBM Rational which will replace the old Rational Test Manager and ClearQuest Test Manager to provide a substantial competitor to Mercury’s HP’s Quality Center. RQM is Jazz based making RQM part of Rational’s 2nd generation software development platform including Rational Team Concert, the new Rational Requirements Composer and others.

Rational Quality Manager has been described as “a collaborative web-based quality management solution which offers comprehensive test planning and test asset management for the software lifecycle”.

Rational Requirements Composer has been described as a tool to help “elicit and define requirements for business driven-development”. The IBM Rational Requirements Definition and Management Open Beta website isn’t up yet, but it will be next week on this URL.

You can expect open betas for Rational Quality Manager and Rational Requirements Composer to be made available at the beginning of next week. Watch this space for more info as it comes along…

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