IBM Aims to Smooth DevOps with RTC Update
March 4, 2014 Alex Woodie
IBM last week shipped a new release of its Rational Team Concert (RTC) product that should help to streamline and automate the fast pace of today’s DevOps environments–in particular those aiming for continuous delivery. Among the IBM i-functionality, improvements in the product’s dependency build and promotion capabilities top the list. In addition to RTC 4.06, Big Blue also gave us new releases of Rational Requirements Composer and Rational Quality Manager products.
RTC is an application lifecycle management (ALM) tool launched more than five years ago that allows teams of developers to work together more efficiently. The product offers source code tracking for RPG, COBOL, Java, and other languages; build management and deployment functionality; and workflow tracking and project management, among other functions.
IBM made some general enhancements to the base version of RTC with version 4.06, and also enhanced the IBM Enterprise Platforms edition of RTC, which supports IBM i and z/OS platforms.
Development organizations seeking to achieve continuous delivery nirvana should take a look at the new trigger policies in RTC. IBM says the new policies–which are delivered via Jazz Team Build and IBM UrbanCode Deploy offerings–allow new builds to be automatically deployed when certain conditions are met, such as when the build has no errors, or if the build has no errors and no warnings.
Version 4.06 should also allow development teams to run “standup” meetings more efficiently, IBM says, and also will enable visual collaboration with work item activity streams and “viewlets.” The update also spruces up reports with more “agile” metrics; they now cover things like velocity, cumulative flow, and advanced “burnup” project status.
For IBM i and z/OS environments, RTC gets enhanced with several new features, including a new promotion report, support for snapshots, and the capability to automate follow-up actions after a build.
With this release, a promotion report is now generated automatically whenever a promotion process is run. The promotion report is available on the “downloads” tab of the promotion build result or as a link on the “external links” tab, IBM says. This report includes links to any build maps that are promoted during the promotion build.
Developers will be able to keep tabs on target systems more effectively as a result of the new snapshot option introduced with this release. This gives developers the option to create a snapshot of the target stream before source code is promoted to it, IBM says. When this option is selected, “a snapshot is automatically created when you run the promotion,” IBM says.
IBM has also added a new follow-up action called “run target build” to the “promote work items (server)” operation. “Although component promotion runs a target build after the promotion completes, work item promotion does not include this option,” IBM says. With this follow-up action, users can also enable running a target build for work item promotion.
RTC 4.06 Enterprise Platforms edition also gives developers the capability to suppress build map links. Previously, build map links were automatically published to the build result of promotion builds. Now, users can turn off this feature to increase processing speed.
IBM also announced new version 4.06 releases of Rational Requirements Composer and Rational Quality Manager, which, together with RTC, make up its Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution.
In RQM, the major new features include improved test execution planning; advanced test parameterization through enumerated project execution variables; and enhanced traceability to test script steps.
IBM also announced that next month it will stop supporting the latest release of RTC, RRC, and RQM on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Internet Explorer 8, which is the same time Microsoft plans to end support for these OSes and Web browser. Customers can continue to run older releases of the CLM suite (such as version 4.03) on these older Windows operating systems and Web browsers, IBM says. But moving forward, to get the latest CLM goodness, users must upgrade their Microsoft environments.