Mike MacDonagh's Blog

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

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 😀

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).


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?


10 responses to “First Look: IBM Rational Quality Manager

  1. Ricardo Sueiras July 11, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    How does this compare to something like Bamboo/JIRA/Fisheye/Cruicable combo from Altassian?

  2. mikemacd July 11, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Hi Ric, to be honest I’m not sure yet. This review is based on only an hour of playing around and it’s only an early Beta. I’d want to do a proper analysis (including having a proper testing expert look at it) before getting stuck into that question – not to mention I’m not that familiar with Fisheye and Crucible.

    I can say that this is a major improvement over the old Rational tools such as Test Manager/ClearQuest and I think that Rational Team Concert is more than a competitor for JIRA + integrated products because it has been designed to compete with collections of separate products from the ground up with collaboration and distribution in mind on an excellent architecture. I’ve got some demo vids I can share with you of RTC in action if you want – just ping me in the office.

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  6. Rajesh K February 17, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Hi Mike,

    I am looking for comparative analysis between “Rational Test Manager” & “Rational Quality Manger” Can you help me out with the same?


  7. Steve December 17, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Been using v1.01 for a month. Pretty pathetic, with errors or hangs every 10 minutes. Design/implementations errors plentiful. Maybe never had a rigorous system test.

    maybe v2 will be better.

  8. Dev May 16, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I recently downloaded RQM 3.0.1 Beta 3. This version have lot of improvements. I like filtering and paging improvements. With hierarchical category support, it also makes easy to group my assets and search as well. I do find it little faster then before. Overall it rocks.

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