The Process Practice

Process engineering with the Eclipse Process Framework and Rational Method Composer

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Category: Rational Method Composer

Shell-sharing RMC 7.2 with Jazz Team Concert Beta 2

5 February, 2008 (17:25) | Rational Method Composer | By: Peter

Update 10/10/2008: For Rational Method Composer 7.2ifix3 and Team Concert 1.0 see this post for an update.

Jazz Team Concert Beta 2a is out. Jazz is an IBM Rational project to build a scalable, extensible team collaboration platform for integrating work across the phases of the development lifecycle. Jazz will help teams build software more effectively while making the software development activity more productive and enjoyable.

Modeling and documenting developing methods and processes is a collaborative development activity as well and therefore the Jazz tools can provide a great added value to RMC users.

RMC with Jazz Click here for screen shot of how our own RMC commercial and open source content team uses Jazz for their daily work. I surely opened and squeezed into this shot as many views and editors that I could, but these are just some of the basic views that our team members use. You see the RMC library view and process editor inside the Jazz Team concert Eclipse shell as well as the additional Jazz views. Below the library view you see the list of work items that have been retrieved based on a user-specific query showing all the tasks scheduled for a content developer. Below that you see Team Central that provides you with information about your team’s status; e.g. workload of your colleagues in terms of number of open work items. On the right you can have a glimpse at the Jazz planning tool which allows our team to plan and track every iteration. It provides several views that can not all be shown here, but you see the basic plan view which shows all work items assigned to this particular iteration grouped by assignee. The Charts tab in that same editor then always plots the current burndown chart for you. The tool also allows free-form text and hence you see tabs labeled Overview and Iteration Assessment that allow the team to capture the goals of the iteration as well as to summarize the retrospective assessment results. These plans and associated work item queries provide great transparency and always up-to-date view on the status of work and what is to be expected for the iteration milestone. The integration of Sametime Chat, Audio Conferencing and InstaShare Screen Sharing into the Eclipse shell was well (e.g. you can just right-click on a person’s picture in the plan or name in a work item query result to start a chat or call them) provides an additional synchronous means of collaboration, which is key to our team that is distributed all over the US. Finally, there is the view at the lower half of the screen that shows the RMC generated process documentation providing guidance and templates for doing our work. In this case it is our internal Method Development Method that we are using.

One key Team Concert component that we are currently not using is the SCM component. Here we rely on the excellent ClearCase for the commercial content (and CVS on the open source side), because our team has tons of experience with CC and it advanced features as well as it provides a pessimistic reserved check-out that Jazz does not have. Jazz’s SCM currently is geared towards supporting code-centric files that can easily be compared and merged. RMC however manages interrelated object models for which we do not have a good compare-merge UI in place to date.

If you have RMC and want to set-up this shell-sharing integration between Rational Team Concert Beta 2 and Rational Method Composer 7.2 yourself do the following:

  • Install RMC 7.2 on your machine (referred to as <instal_dir_RMC> below) and load your license activation kit.
  • Go to, register for an account, and download the Beta 2a server and client.
    (See the install guides on the site. I would also recommend that you do the tutorials in the Getting Started section to familiarize yourself with Jazz first before you continue.)
  • Download the Team Concert Beta 2a zip file distribution (no installer)
  • Unzip this file in any directory, referred to as <install_dir_JAZZ> below
  • In the “<install_dir_JAZZ>\jazz\client\eclipse” directory create a directory called “rmc” with a sub-directory “eclipse”
  • Copy and paste the “features” and “plugins” directories from the “<install_dir_RMC>\rmc\ ” to “<install_dir_JAZZ>\jazz\client\eclipse\epfc\eclipse\”
  • Go to “<install_dir_JAZZ>\jazz\client\eclipse\links” and create a file called “epfc.lnk” that contains this one line “path=epfc”
  • Start the “<install_dir_JAZZ>\jazz\client\TeamConcert.exe” and provide a path for a workspace

Once, the client is up you will be able to use the RMC perspectives such as Authoring and Browsing as well as the RTC perspective such as Work Items. You can easily add Jazz views to the RMC perspective using the Window -> Show View -> Other… menu.

How-to use the RMC 7.2 Workspace feature

22 January, 2008 (20:11) | Rational Method Composer | By: Peter

Happy new year everyone! Our team is hard at work creating additional collateral and guidance for some of the new RMC 7.2 features. First up are the missing online pages for the new Workspaces capability. This feature is intended for advanced users that want to scale up their method development effort with their team(s). It allows you to distribute a method library to many filesystem directories throughout your network infrastructure, which so far had to be maintained in exactly one directory. In this workspace mode a method library is able to reference method plug-ins and method configurations that even exist in other libraries without importing or exporting. This allows you to easily share method plug-ins across teams, manage your plug-in in multiple ClearCase VOBs, or even mix and match plug-ins maintained in different source control system.

Download some overview slides here: Overview to RMC Workspaces. The first slide shows you a typical customer situation in which workspaces make a big difference. You see that several teams manage their own method libraries, but that some method plug-ins are used by more than one team. What normally happens is that one team owns and maintains the content of a plug-in and that many other teams reuse these plug-ins in their library. Before RMC 7.2 is was required that users export these plug-ins, zip them up, send them to their partners, those would import them into their local library. Now, all you do is maintain all your plug-ins in a source control system and the other teams can pick and choose plug-ins from that server (instead of loading an entire library as it was required by 7.1.x). The way this has been realized is by utilizing the Eclipse workspace capability and the option to now make every method plug-in an Eclipse project; instead of managing the whole method library as one Eclipse project in 7.1.x. The old way is still supported by RMC 7.2 and in fact is the default usage model, hence nothing will change if you are not interested in using the new feature. Everything can stay the same. However, if the attached help pages show you how you can convert your existing library into such a new workspace library and use that.

An example for using the feature you see on Slide 2. It shows a Library view of RMC in Workspace mode that uses method plug-ins that are physically stored in different locations: the my.test one is stored in my local workspace directory. Here I can experiment and author locally without the need to share the files with other by checking them in. The second and third plug-ins with the yellow harddisk symbol overlay icons indicate that these method plug-ins are managed in CVS. These are actually coming directly from the EPF Server on The fourth one with the blue frame is managed on a ClearCase here in my office and stored in my local ClearCase view directory. The same is true for the configurations: the first one is in CVS the second in ClearCase.

To learn how to use this feature download the online help pages in PDF format here: How to use the RMC 7.2 Workspace feature. We will add them to the tool’s online help with the next iFix.

Other material that you should see surfacing on developerWorks soon are tutorials and overview papers on how to use BIRT Reporting with RMC, Skins, and the Tailoring Perspective. Stay tuned.

RMC 7.2 iFix2 out

20 November, 2007 (19:04) | Rational Method Composer | By: Peter

The iFix2 patch for Rational Method Composer 7.2 will be released on the update server in the next couple of hours. To download and install it just start IBM Installation Manager from your Start menu, click the Update button and follow the wizard for downloading and installing the patch.

This patch includes some important fixes and minor enhancements so that we generally want to encourage all RMC users to install it. Most important changes:

  • Added the ability to select a base configuration when creating a Tailoring Session. This allows you now, for example, to start your tailoring session not only based on the default RUP configuration, but any configuration that includes the RUP processes. Hence, you can now start with the Small RUP for RAD and tailor it to your needs.
  • The tailoring wizard will not ask your for a configuration project anymore, but just automatically create/use one specific project for tailoring sessions.
  • Added the ability to extend activities from the same process, i.e. applying the same activity more than once in a process.
  • Fixed migration and import bug reported here.
  • Fixed publishing issues with Activity and Activity Detail diagrams as well as when using activity partitions.
  • Fixed the ability to run a report against the whole method library, i.e. without selecting a configuration.
  • Fixed issues in which the editors became dirty by just opening an element (such as Steps).
  • Fixed the missing links from Guidance pages back to the referencing Activities.
  • Resolved some localization issues in Reporting.

Also make sure to check-out the readme file for some remaining open issues.

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.

RMC 7.2 MS Project iFix available

8 October, 2007 (15:37) | Rational Method Composer | By: Peter

Using IBM’s new installer technology with RMC gives us the capability to roll-out bug fixes much, much quicker now to our customers. Our team has just released the first of these so-called iFixes via the IBM Installation Manager to fix a problem RMC 7.2 had with its Microsoft Project export.

If you are still using MS Project with RMC (and not the advanced integration with Rational Portfolio Manager 🙂 ) then get this fix by just starting the Installation Manager and clicking on the “Update Packages” button. It will then guide you through downloading and installing the fix.

RMC 7.2 released today

25 September, 2007 (19:08) | Rational Method Composer | By: Peter

IBM Rational Method Composer version 7.2 was finally released today. Go here to see the official announcement at the IBM website. Key themes for this release were

  • to provide more presentation options for processes by integrating RMC with the Eclipse BIRT reporting technology that allows publishing in any user-defined format and layout supporting amongst others compliance scenarios such as a simple ‘print the process for our auditor’
  • to increase the scalability of RMC in respect to distributed team support by providing workspaces that manage method plugins from many different sources and physical locations
  • to provide a simpler UI for project managers to tailor a process for projects
  • to provide new and improved integrations with process formalization and enactment environments such as IBM Rational Portfolio Manager and Websphere Business Modeler.

This is the biggest update for RMC since its initial release. We are adding these key new capabilities to RMC, which clearly distinguish it from the open source EPF Composer 1.2 (which was released last month and updated with a bug fix release two weeks ago). I really like to thank all of my colleagues at IBM for their dedicated and passionate work to get this excellent release done and out in time.

Here a more detailed summary of all the numerous new features and key improvements (not a complete list):

  • Custom Publication and user-definable Reports with Eclipse BIRT
    • Publishing to document; alternative output formats include MS Word, PDF, and HTML
    • Create any kind of report on any information in an RMC method library
    • Powerful BIRT visual report designer (well documented, tutorials, and books available)
    • Easy to use for out-of-the-box with predefined report building blocks for RMC
      (33 report templates and 2 report libraries with altogether 43 data sets and 30 predefined tables)
  • Simplified Tailoring perspective for Project Managers
    • Specialized perspective in RMC for Project Managers hides many process modeling complexities
    • Provides simple and essential WBS-oriented analysis and editing operations
  • New modern and user-friendly look-and-feel for published Web sites
    • Newly designed modern and accessible UI for browsing
    • Pure Java Script implementation (DoJo); no more applets & frames required
      (backwards compatibility to 7.1.1 format still supported)
    • Deploy directly as WAR files to your JEE server
    • Alternative Search Engine support for web servers
    • Layout and style customization framework (skins)
    • Easy bookmarks and URL interchange
    • All pages show breadcrumbs
    • Show categorizations in content pages
    • Publish where roles, tasks, and work products are used in processes
    • Show tasks in Process breakdown in navigation tree
  • Distributed and organized Method Library Workspaces
    • Hierarchical and scalable organization of your method plugins
    • Method plugins in a library workspace can be distributed in many physical locations using many different source control systems
  • New diagram editor
    • Complete user-friendly reimplementation of diagram editors (Eclipse GMF)
    • Adds swimlanes, control flow labels, as well as free-form drawing and styles
    • Ability to save in gif, jpg, bmp, and other formats.
  • Improved integration with IBM® Rational® Portfolio Manager
    • Better support for iterative development: Merging RMC process changes into existing RPM project templates
    • Better support for governance:
      • Export of work product templates to project templates
      • Export of all role relationships to RPM: Primary, additional, and assisting roles
      • Export of RMC estimates to RPM project templates
    • Better scalability and bug fixes:
      • Every template can have its own base URL for published content
      • Import of predecessor dependencies / control flow into RPM
  • New Integration with IBM® Websphere® Business Modeler
    • Export Method Content and Processes to Websphere Business Modeler
    • Import Websphere Business Modeler business models into Rational Method Composer
  • Miscellaneous improvements
    • New ‘Extends and Replaces’ variability type
    • Element ordering in categories: order alphabetical, by type, or manually
    • Rich Text Editor improvements: Change font & size, paste plain text, paste from Word, add link/image in HTML view, HTML error markers and correction
    • Improvements for Configuration editor:
      • Fine-granular configuration of process by adding or removing categorized elements (e.g., add all elements categorized as CMMI Level 2)
      • Redesigned error and problem reporting UI for Method Configurations and Method Libraries
      • Highlight current view in configuration editor
      • Order configuration views
    • Process Editor Improvements
      • Activity indent/outdent
      • Suppress all tasks at any level
      • Allow multiple descriptors in same activity
      • Additional SCM support: Subversion
      • New platform support: Vista, IE7, Mozilla/FireFox 2, Eclipse 3.3

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):

RMC 7.2 overview presentation

28 August, 2007 (14:00) | Rational Method Composer | By: Peter

We will be releasing IBM Rational Method Composer version 7.2 very soon. Our incredibly productive development team is hard at work fixing the last few bugs and preparing the release for end of September. This will be the biggest update for this product since its first release. It will support many new capabilities such as Reporting using the Eclipse Birt report designer and engine, a new Process Tailoring perspective for project managers, improved and new integrations with IBM Rational Portfolio Manager and IBM Webshpere Business Modeler as well as many new scalability and usability improvements.

I will use this blog to talk a little bit more about the new capabilities in the next few weeks leading up to the launch. In the meantime, you could check-out the overview presentation to RMC 7.2 that I gave at Rational Software Development Conference (RSDC 07) in June. See the abstract here and download the slides from here.

The slides are inside a 50MB zip file which includes in addition to the PDF file a directory of Flash recordings demo’ing the new feature. To view these recordings just drag them into a web browser. You need to have the Flash Player installed on your machine.