Mike MacDonagh's Blog

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

Tag Archives: esswork

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 🙂

How to avoid Fragile Agile, Flexibility in Context

Microsoft VSTS, Camano and UML

I recently had the pleasure of going to visit the Microsoft Technology Centre to learn about all things MS for software engineering. Having long been a Visual Studio user and a VSTS (Visual Studio Team System) user since it turned up I was really pleased to see VSTS 2008 and some interesting stuff coming in 2010.

VSTS seems to be really maturing and now has a nive new non-sharepoint web UI. It will be interesting to see what happens in terms of Microsoft VSTS vs. IBM Jazz. I’ve written about Jazz before on this blog and haven’t gotten around to a detailed comparison yet but I was excited to see how mature VSTS is now looking and how nice it is to use. It’s designed to make developing easier and use the tools people already have in many cases. For example, using MS Project, Excel, Word, SharePoint etc.

Things of special note were the automated testing support (including coming soon recording and playback of GUIs other than web), the upcoming cool manual test runner, Camano for test management and test execution by proper testers not just developers doing unit tests etc. etc. Also checking out the project + project server for portfolio and project management views was interesting.

What I really really liked are the VSTS 2010 architecture tools. Microsoft has seen the light and embraced UML + DSLs (or DSLs + UML if you prefer) as the pragmatic modelling solution. I really like the idea of being able to do just enough  modelling, using the most appropriate language such as a high level architecture diagram that then imposes constraints on the code through things like check in policies!

I think this stuff is going to be really powerful and I can’t wait to get my hands on it properly (and somehow conjure the time from somewhere) to do some detailed analysis and also a comparison against competing products/toolsets.

Of course if you are using Visual Studio (or Eclipse) you can still use EssWork to use practices and processes directly inside your IDE

EssWork in Visual Studio

EssWork in Visual Studio

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

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 😀

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 😀

6 days to RSDC 2008

Just 6 days to go until the IBM Rational Software Developers Conference 2008. Those of us going fromIvar Jacobson International (IJI) (and there’s a few of us!) had a conference call on Friday to discuss our plan for the Conference. IJI is a silver sponsor this year and as well as our 7 presentations we’re going to be doing something special that will turn all of the conference attendees into R-Heroes 😀

It’s a big secret until the Tuesday of the conference though so I can’t say anything about it here. Make sure you come and visit our stand at booth #713. You can’t miss it, it’s the one at the bottom of the main escalators into the exhibition hall when you’re coming from the hotel lobby. You can come and talk to people like Ivar Jacobson, Ian Spence, Kurt Bittner, Robert Maksimchuk, David West, Eric Naiburg, and a bunch of others, including me of course. We also have two hand held GPS systems to give away if you register at our booth.

There’s going to be a lot of interesting announcements especially around Jazz at the conference, and for business partners there’s going to be a preview this Wednesday – but that will also be secret until the conference! At the conference you’ll be able to see demos of EssWork integrated with Eclipse, Visual Studio Team System or even Jazz Team Concert if you catch me. Our Team Concert integration is likely to be an exciting direction in the future as I think Team Concert is an ideal execution environment for EssUP.

Ivar Jacobson International

RSDC

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