Mike MacDonagh's Blog

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

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RSC 2009 – What to expect

I’m not attending the IBM Rational Software Conference (what used to be RSDC, RUC etc. etc.) this year however since it started today for partners and tomorrow for delegates so I thought I’d cast my opinion on what to expect this year. Of course I could be wrong since it’s just assumption but I suspect the main themes will be:

A vision of one notion of process for all Rational tools, made explicit in the relevant tools, surfaced through process rules and defined in practice libraries allowing easily composable and customisable processes based on the Jazz Process architectural elements.

So to tie  it all together the Process Library (which of course is practice based probably driven by Rational Asset Manager) feeds definition of processes in RMC, which is measured by MCIF and delivered by the Rational Software Development Platform. So what does that really mean:

Rational Team Concert 2 beta – because it’s a lot better than RTC 1 which was pretty good to begin with!

Rational Tara –  a Jazz based PPM (Project Portfolio Management) tool. Think MS Project by IBM on Jazz with better Resource Management stuff. It’s part of the replacement suite for Rational Portfolio Manager (RPM).  Should be interesting to see how it ties into the other products (inc. some of the Telelogic ones). I expect this one to be big news – it should be. Gantts, bubble charts, resource utilisation views, agile dashboards etc. will abound. (Now known as Focal Point for Project Management)

Rational Insight – used to be codenamed Vega and is a data warehousing and RTL solution on top of Jazz. Cross project reporting goodness. Of course I’m sure there will also be integration through to the “classic” rational tools. Interestingly I read a bit of blurb recently from somwhere that referred to their old tools as the “classic rational toolset” I wonder if they borrowed that from me :)

MCIF – Measured Capability Improvement Framework – It’s been around for a while but with more emphasis from IBM now on practice based process the story between a more practice orientated Rational Method Composer, Health Assessment tools and Self Check tools is a bit tighter.

Telelogic – I expect there to be some announcements about the integration of the Rational and Telelogic brands. Especially around FocalPoint.

I’d also expect some stuff on other Jazz based tools like Requirements Composer, Quality Manager, Ensemble, Governor and stuff like that.

As I said due to other commitments I’m not there myself, but if you are there then please stop by the Ivar Jacobson International stand in the Exhibit Hall downstairs when they let you in. Grab a free beer and talk to my colleagues about how to achieve tangible process improvement with the use of effective practices in a proven framework. Also talk to them about achieving “Agile for Grown Ups” (TM of the MacDaddy) in your organisation. Ivar, Ian Spence, Kurt Bittner are all speaking at the conference and a bunch of other IJIers will be there so go along and say hi.

And ask for a free bag, they’re great for carrying around your exhibit hall swag :)

Rational, Telelogic and Jazz roadmap

There’s a lot of interest in the IBM Rational space about the future roadmap of Telelogic products like DOORS and Rational Requisite Pro and some murmurings of new shiny future things like Tara, Vega, MCIF, FocalPoint, Rational Change Management etc. etc.

I’m sure as the year continues we’ll learn a lot more about these things (or at least be able to talk about what we already know under NDA as IBM Rational and Telelogic are bound to make some statements and showcase the future at RSDC09. This year the RSDC is combined with the Telelogic User Conference (Innovation) which is a public sign of how integrated IBM want the Rational and Telelogic brands to become in the future.

All of this is very important for existing Telelogic and Rational customers, as well as people interested in Jazz or using Jazz. So I noticed a presentation from RSDC in Italy that covers some high level information on the joint product roadmap:

RSDC 2009 Call for papers

So it seems like RSDC 2008 has only just finished. In fact RSDC 2008 UK was only a few weeks ago! But things are starting up for RSDC 2009 already. I hear that call for the papers will open tomorrow. The website isn’t up yet so I don’t know what the theme will be but you can expect more stuff turning up at www.ibm.com/rational/rsdc over the next few months.

This will be the 4th year in a row for the Rational Software Development Conference (May 31 – June 4) at the Swan and Dolphin in Orlando, and I heard somewhere that the next 6 will be as well! Not surprising really as it’s a great venue for the conference.

It seems call for papers starts earlier every year, but that’s no surprise seeing as there are more people submitting and going every year. Technically I expect this year to be about the maturation of the Jazz platform, and I would speculate that we will see some cool things like the Visual Studio integration (since screenshots have already been released). There should be some interesting uses of RTC out there (I’m planning to talk about this myself). I’d like to see something about Bluehouse, Focalpoint, Telelogic and Rational Jazz stuff.

I think that the words Tara, Vega and MCIF will be extremely prominent ;)

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

When can you get the Jazz based Rational Tools?

I’ve seen some comments about the fact that at the RSDC2008 Rational announced 22 products. I think many bloggers and article writers may have got a little confused by all the hype. Rational certainly made some very important product announcements and the Rational Labs in the exhibition centre were fantastic in terms of showing us some previews of what’s coming in the future. These announcements and lab previous are the primary reason why I said it was the best RSDC in years. However there weren’t 22 new products announced! It breaks down like this in terms of what the analysts have been writing/bloggin:

IBM Rational announced pricing and availability for a swath of 22 products:

  • There are 6 new IBM Rational products that are native Jazz products (6)
  • Updates to five existing Rational tools that add Jazz enablement/capabilities (5)
  • plans for certified add-in products from 11 Rational partners (11)

6+5+11 = 22

Personally I’ve struggled to put these numbers in context. I think I’m fairly aware of the new Rational stuff that’s coming along but I can’t quite get the numbers to add up, so the rest of this post is about what I’m aware of, please comment if you have any more/contrary information: (Edit: see the comments on this post for a clarification on the numbers from IBM)

New Jazz based tools:

  1. IBM Rational Team Concert (may not count as it’s been announced for 2 years)
  2. IBM Rational Quality Manager
  3. IBM Rational Requirements Composer
  4. IBM Rational Financier
  5. IBM Rational Governor
  6. IBM Rational Tempo
  7. IBM Rational Ensemble (not to be confused with the IBM Rational Ensemble that is a business partner collective!)
  8. IBM Rational Enterprise Reporting
  9. IBM Rational Project Management

I’m counting 9 not 6

As for the 5 updated, these will be ClearQuest, ClearCase, ReqPro, RPM (arguably) and…? I’m not sure where AppScan fits in with this stuff. It’s great tool and will clearly integrate with Rational Quality Manager but I don’t know where it fits in with the 22? announcements. Similar questions can be asked about the Telelogic tools.

Anyway here’s what I’m tracking in terms of the new IBM Rational Jazz tools:

Rational Team Concert

Release Candidate 4(Jazz.net registration required) is currently available for downloading, the production release is sceduled for mid 2008 with the enterprise release scheduled for October 2008 (that’s the one I’d use for piloting)

Also

IBM Rational are running a number of open betas for some of the new tools that were announced at last weeks RSDC. They’re not generally available yet but will be soon. Specifically:

Rational Quality Manager

This open beta program includes two new Rational products and three enhanced versions of Rational products that you already know:

  • NEW* IBM® Rational® Quality Manager v8.0
  • NEW* IBM® Rational® Test Lab Manager v8.0 Extension**
    **This extension is included in Rational Quality Manager for the open beta but will be available under separate license for GA.
  • ENHANCED* IBM® Rational® Performance Tester v8.0
  • ENHANCED* IBM® Rational® Functional Tester v8.0
  • ENHANCED* IBM® Rational® Service Tester for SOA Quality v8.0

Open Beta pre-registration – get emailed when the open beta gets released on (currently) June 24th 2008

There will also be some open web demos on June 24th so you can get an overview without pre-registering for the beta if you wish.

Rational Requirements Composer

This Beta features the latest version of Rational RequisitePro for managing your requirements, as well as a new offering, Rational Requirements Composer, enhancing your abilities to elicit and define requirements for business driven-development.

NEW* IBM Rational Requirements Composer Beta focuses on the following capabilities for requirements definition and management:

  • Leverage multiple sources for requirements and organize them in rich documents for context
    • Create requirements and link to supporting documents and external sources
    • Supplement textual content with embedded views of diagrams and sketches
  • Develop robust use cases
    • Create simple, informative use-case diagrams
    • Elaborate use cases with rich document descriptions, user interfaces sketches, storyboards, and activity flows
  • Build comprehensive business glossaries
    • Interact with rich documents to define and share new terms
    • Link to and verify the usage of existing terms
  • Sketch business processes
    • Sketch business processes using a widely recognizable and easily understandable subset of the BPMN notation
    • Link business tasks and decision points to use cases, user interface sketches, and requirements
  • Visualize results with user interface sketches and storyboards
    • Elaborate the user experience to further elicit and validate requirements
    • Refactor sketches into reusable parts to quickly build storyboards
    • Easily maintain storyboards as sketch changes are propagated throughout
    • Link requirements to any user interface part
  • Collaborate in context to validate and clarify requirements
    • Attach comments to virtually any textual or graphical element
    • Maintain comment threads for conversational context
    • Create requirements from comment content
    • Host reviews within the collaborative environment to facilitate requirements validation and approval
  • Integrate Rational Requirements Composer Beta and Rational RequisitePro v7.1 Beta
    • RequisitePro integrations provide requirements traceability across the application lifecycle
    • Enhance requirements content to overcome perception, communication, and information gaps across functions, organizations, and geographies.

ENHANCED* Rational RequisitePro® v7.1 Beta focuses on the following new and improved capabilities:

  • RequisitePro client for Web enhancements, including:
    • Improved Microsoft® Word integration: create and edit requirements without taking documents offline
    • Additional project administration capability
    • View rich-text requirements content
    • Run and share BIRT-based reports
  • Enhanced security model for enterprise deployments
    • Set permissions on package hierarchies and views
  • New BIRT-based reporting option
    • Report designer for custom report design
    • Sample report templates aid in report design
  • Baseline Manager improvements
    • Explore baseline contents to gain context beyond baseline comparisons

Open Beta pre-registration – get emailed when the open beta gets released (currently) planned for late June/July 2008

Other tools

Some other tools I’m aware of but don’t have any information on dates (some of these are part of the rational labs research and may never make final products):

  • 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 (see here for info on the business partner group called IBM Rational Ensemble)
  • IBM Rational Enterprise Reporting – a reporting interface that sits across all of the Jazz tools, more than just a jazz version of SoDa this tool can replace a lot of the executive dashboard features of tools like RPM
  • IBM Rational Project Management – a replacement for Microsoft Project???
  • IBM Rational Self Check (see MCIF)

Conclusions

There’s clearly a lot going on in this space and the next few years will be critical in the Rational space as Jazz takes it’s ascendency. It seems obvious to me that the “classic” Rational tools (ReqPro, ClearCase, ClearQuest etc.) will converge with the new Jazz based tools in each area and Rational will provide an upgrade path for each tool so eventually more everyone from the classic tools to the Jazz tools. In my opinion this is a good thing for a number of reasons:

  • Rather than purchases of point products integrated point to point, the Jazz project is an architectural focus on the needs of the industry. I’d argue this is long overdue and extremely valuable.
  • Distributed teams are accepted as the norm not the exception
  • The “classic” tools have needed a facelift for a while
  • And more importantly there is a growing trend from Rational towards Practice based process and tooling, something that my company, and me personally, have been evangelising for a while now. The new Jazz tools, the MCIF, practice based approach to process and embracing of agile principles demonstrate a genuine effort in right direction
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