The Process Practice

Process engineering with the Eclipse Process Framework and Rational Method Composer

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Category: Eclipse Process Framework

TOGAF 9 Customizer uses EPF Composer

23 June, 2009 (12:01) | Eclipse Process Framework | By: Peter

The Open Group released the TOGAF 9 specification, which now includes an official EPF Composer Method Plug-in. Go to this article on ZDNet to learn about all the details.

Method Authoring Method released

7 January, 2009 (15:14) | Eclipse Process Framework, Rational Method Composer | By: Peter

The “Method Authoring Method” is a collection of practices, method content, and processes created with Rational Method Composer that describe how to develop all of these things with RMC. In other words and as a the name says it already: it provides methods for doing methods. This collection of practices covers topic areas that range from ways of eliciting and sketching methods, over how to use RMC to model processes, to a reference process model architecture for managing interchangeable sets of practices and process on a very large scale.

We now offer different packages and pre-published configurations of this content for different audiences:

  1. First of all there is an open source version of this content on the Eclipse Process Framework homepage that focuses on the scope of the open source practices of the Eclipse Process Framework.  Download it here and preview it here on EPF Wiki.
  2. Then there are two extended versions of this content focusing on the additional capabilities of Rational Method Composer and the way IBM’s commercial practices content is organized. They require an IBM Rational Method Composer license and can be downloaded from IBM’s DeveloperWorks here.

SEE 2008 Keynote Slides

4 May, 2008 (03:49) | Eclipse Process Framework, Rational Method Composer, SPEM 2.0 | By: Peter

This week I had the honor of presenting our work around SPEM 2, Eclipse Process Framework, and Rational Method Composer at the SEE 2008 Conference (Software and Systems Engineering Essential) in Bern. If you are interested to see what this was all about then go here for the abstract and here for the presentation slides.

Modeling TOGAF with SPEM

15 October, 2007 (14:47) | Eclipse Process Framework, SPEM 2.0 | By: Peter

The OMG just released a report about an interdisciplinary case study of OMG and Open Group members to evaluate modeling the TOGAF (The Open Group Architecture Framework) ADM (Architecture Development Method) with OMG meta-models, in particular SPEM. It provides some good insights and examples for how SPEM can be utilized as a representation framework for systematically formalizing an informally described method. This report uses SPEM 1.1, but provides pointers to SPEM 2.0. One of the authors of this report actually has started a new project in which he captures parts of these models (and also more importantly the textual content) using EPF Composer, which you can find here.

How-to migrate to RMC 7.2 with just a CCRC client

11 October, 2007 (17:41) | Eclipse Process Framework, Rational Method Composer | By: Peter

RMC 7.2 (and EPF Composer 1.2) introduce some changes to the file format. Therefore, when you try opening your existing method library in 7.2 for the first time RMC will prompt you to migrate the library into this new format. When doing this RMC needs to update all XMI files with new schema information. Hence, if you are managing your library with Rational ClearCase you need to check-out all these files beforehand to make them writable for RMC. Unfortunately, if you use the CCRC (Rational ClearCase Remote Client) integration, this tool does not support to check-out files from multiple directories based on a name pattern. It’s Search dialog only searches for check-out, private, or hijacked files. It’s browser only supports displaying one directory at a time and selecting all these files for check-out. An RMC method library however consists of several directories and all XMI files in all of these directories need to be checked-out. So, what to do?

In the release and install notes to RMC 7.2 we consequently recommend to work with a ClearCase administrator that would use other tools such as the ClearCase cleartool or the Windows shell integration to search for all *.xmi files and perform the check-out. However, if your administrator is busy or nor available here a small procedure for using Eclipse Search and CCRC to get the files checked-out for migration.

  1. Before migrating, start your old version of RMC such as RMC 7.1.1 and open your library.
    (You could also use any other Eclipse shell that you have on your machine that has CCRC installed as well as RMC 7.2. To do this you have to follow the Steps a) to f) described below before moving on to Step 2.)
  2. In the menu select Search -> File…
  3. In “file name patterns” field type: *.xmi and click Search
  4. The Search results view will appear and show the files. If the results are presented with folders use the small triangle button menu in the top right-hand corner of the Search results view to switch to “Show as List”
  5. Select one entry and press CTRL-A to select them all (or use the Shift/CTRL keys to select a range of files)
  6. Right-click and select Team -> Check Out

Once all the files are checked-out you can go and start RMC 7.2 as well as load the library for migration. Then you can use the CCRC client’s Search for checked-out files to check them in all at once.

Loading the library into Eclipse or RMC 7.2 (without migrating it):

  1. Select in the menu Window -> Show View… -> Other and then select General -> Navigator in the dialog
  2. If there is any other folder in the Navigator view other than Estimation such as another library then right-click these folders and select Close Project from the context menu. Finally, do the same with Estimation: right-click, Close Project
  3. Right-click in the Navigator view and select Import… and then in the dialog General -> Existing Projects into Workspace
  4. Click Next and select the Browse button
  5. Select the directory of your pre-migration library in your CCRC view on your hard disk.
  6. Important: Make sure that the “Copy into Workspace” check box is not selected. Click Finish. Continue with Step 2 above.

Deploying RMC 7.2 and EPFC generated WAR files

12 September, 2007 (23:14) | Eclipse Process Framework, Rational Method Composer | By: Peter

The new IBM Rational Method Composer 7.2 and EPF Composer 1.2 add the capability to publish to a .war file in addition to publishing to local file system directories. Such .war files can be deployed to a JEE server and contain a Servlet that implements the Web Search function instead of the Java Applet that is used when publishing to a directory. Using the Servlet has a significant performance advantage over the Applet when deploying Composer sites to a web server. You can deploy to almost any JEE server on the market that realizes the Servlet 2.3 (or higher) specification and runs with a 1.4 or higher. My recommendation is to use the IBM Websphere server, but you could also use a free server such as Apache Tomcat.

I was asked by some Composer users that never set-up a JEE server for some simple instructions on how to test this feature. The easiest way to do this is to download and set-up the open source Apache Tomcat server and use its Management console to install the .war file.

Step 0: Publish the .war file from RMC or EPFC
To publish a .war file from Rational Method Composer 7.2 or EPF Composer 1.2 follow the instructions in the online help for publishing a configuration. On the last (fifth) page of the publication wizard you will be asked if you either want to publish a ‘Static Web site’ or a ‘Java EE Web application packaged in a WAR file’. Select the latter and tick the ‘Include search capability’ check box. Then provide a ‘Web application name’ such a ‘my-rup’ or ‘openup-company-abc’. This name will be used later in the address to your site, i.e. will be part of the URL such as ‘’. Also make sure you specified a valid directory at the top of the page. This is were the .war file will be placed by Composer after the publication is complete.

Step 1: Download and install a JRE and the Server
First you have to make sure that you have a Java runtime environment set-up. We currently recommend using version 5. Hence, if you do not already have Java installed on your machine download this JRE from IBM (only runs on IBM systems) or this one from Sun.

Go to the Apache Tomcat homepage ( and download the core package for your operation system (e.g. this one for Windows). Unzip the archive wherever you want your server to be located on your machine. This directory is referred to as <tomcat> below.

Step 2: Set-up and start the server
Before you can start the server you need to do some basic set-up. It would be safest to read and follow the instruction in the ‘RUNNING.txt’ file in the Tomcat top-level directory <tomcat>\. The key thing described in here is that you need to tell Tomcat were it can find the Java runtime environment by defining an environment variable named $JAVA_HOME. There are several ways of doing that. (1) You could create a .bat file that contains the line ‘SET JAVA_HOME=<path>’ (replace <path> with the directory where you installed the JRE, e.g. ‘C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_12’) that you run from a CMD shell (Start->Run…->cmd) just before you run the server. (2) You could also define this variable globally on your Windows computer by right-clicking ‘My Computer’->Properties->Advanced->Environment Variables. (3) Another possibility is to directly add this line at the beginning of the file <tomcat>\bin\catalina.bat using Notepad.

Second thing you should set-up is an admin user so that you can use the management functions of Tomcat. To do that open the <tomcat>\conf\tomcat-users.xml file in a text editor such as Notepad. Make the following changes:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
<role rolename="manager"/>
<user username="admin" password="admin" roles="manager"/>

You can select any username and password you want, but make sure that the user has the role ‘manager’.

Now you are ready to start the server. Depending on how you set-up your $JAVA_HOME variable either double-click the ‘startup.bat’ file in <tomcat>\bin\ (if you followed method (2) and (3)) or use a CMD shell to start it (if you followed method (1)). A new shell window will open and display various startup messages. Once, you read the message ‘INFO: Server startup in 2753 ms’ (with a similar time) you are ready to go.

Step 3: Install the the .war file
(I demonstrate the following steps in the ‘New and noteworthy in EPF Composer 1.2‘ video as well.)

Now start a Web browser and type the URL ‘http://localhost:8080’. This one should take your to the Tomcat start page. On the left click on the link labeled ‘Tomcat Manager’ in the Administration section. You will be prompted to provide the user name and password that you specified in the tomcat-user.xml file.

Once you are on the ‘Tomcat Web Application Manager’ scroll down to the ‘WAR file to deploy’ section and use the browse button to navigate to the .war that you created in Step 0. You find it in the directory that you specified on the last page of the publication wizard. Click on the Deploy button and wait for the operation to finish.

Step 4: Test your site and Search
Now you see you application listed in the Applications section above. The application name is the one that you specified in Composer’s publication wizard. Click on the name and it will take you to your site.

On your site try using the ‘Search’ and see if it works correctly. An EPF Composer published site will open a new window with the search results. RMC generated sites display the results in a nice looking panel on the right hand side of the same browser page.

I hope that these instructions worked for you. Check out the Tomcat documentation for more advanced set-up instructions. For example, you can run the server as a service that starts automatically when your systems starts as well.

Shell-sharing with Eclipse 3.3

29 August, 2007 (21:06) | Eclipse Process Framework, Rational Method Composer | By: Peter

One of the cool new features in EPF Composer 1.2 (as well as RMC 7.2) is that they support shell sharing with Eclipse 3.3. So, if you already have Eclipse 3.3 on your machine you can install EPF Composer just right into it. Just copy-paste everything from EPFC’s features and plugins directories into the respective directories of Eclipse 3.3 and start it. (It will prompt you to override files, but if you use the Eclipse and EPF release versions it will just override the same files. If you do this with updated versions of Eclipse, check which files you are overriding one by one).You can now take advantage of useful Eclipse plugins for EPF Composer. For example, you can use Mylyn to directly and graphically search, modify, and create bugzillas on See this screen shot for an example.

All you need to do is to open the Mylyn views inside your authoring view. The “Task Repositories” view already has pre-configured. All you have to do is to add is you username and password (double-click). The Task List shows bugs that yo manually added here. Click on the little arrow symbol on the right and “Search Repository..” to run a query. You add the bugs to your list via a right-click on the search results. Very handy extension.

Go here to learn more about Mylyn:

Get Eclipse 3.3 here:

Get the new EPF Composer 1.2 here (get the latest nightly builds, which fixes some bugs in the release version):

New and noteworthy in EPF Composer 1.2

28 August, 2007 (13:18) | Eclipse Process Framework | By: Peter

My colleague Ricardo Balduino and I gave an update to what is new and noteworthy in the Eclipse Process Framework. Ricardo gave a general overview to the OpenUP 1.0 release and the revamped Web site and I gave a walkthrough and demo to the new features in EPF Composer 1.2. Check-out the recording of this presentation here. Download just the slides from here.