The Process Practice

Process engineering with the Eclipse Process Framework and Rational Method Composer

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Month: February, 2008

Tutorials for using Birt with RMC 7.2 now available

13 February, 2008 (15:02) | Rational Method Composer | By: Peter

Have you played with the integration of the Eclipse Birt report designer into Rational Method Composer 7.2, yet? If not then check out this new two part tutorial on Developer Works that will get you started:

  1. Using BIRT reports with IBM Rational Method Composer: Getting started.
  2. Using BIRT reports with IBM Rational Method Composer: An intermediate-level example of creating BIRT reports

This new integration allows you to present content managed in RMC in a completely user-defined way. The example developed in the tutorials show you how to create reference tables for your elements. Other applications could be to create index cards for your key tasks and work products or to delineate and publish your process as a PDF document. RMC ships with a lot of predefined report templates that you can use as a starting point. The first tutorial shows you how to find and use them. The second tutorial focuses how to do your own report from scratch.

Documenting operational business processes with RMC

6 February, 2008 (11:50) | Rational Method Composer | By: Peter

Are you modeling formal business processes using Websphere Business Modeler? Do you need to provide a comprehensive human readable documentation of these processes, for example want to publish an operational manual that document your processes with natural language text?

If yes then check out this new white paper called “Achieving consistency between business process models and operational guides – How Rational and WebSphere software enable enterprise documentation in SOA environment” written by my colleagues Greg Rader and Chinh Vo that describes how to use the new integration between Rational Method Composer and Websphere Business Modeler to do exactly that.

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.