Probably the most consistent part of the IBM Rational strategy has always been that to make great software you need to work as a team.   Our software delivery tooling has reflected this strategy since inception, and we are on the verge of taking our next big leap.

In this video you will see how the Jazz platform has unified the three key software delivery roles of Analyst, Developer and Quality Professional.   In the upcoming 3.0 release, all of these three roles will now be serviced from a single server.  Instead of the developer working from one tool, the analyst from another and the quality professional from a third, all three now share a common platform.  This common platform, the Jazz platform, enables far superior data and information sharing between these roles than we have ever seen before – from IBM or from any other vendor.

Here is a quick preview of what we are working on in the labs.

For best viewing, run in fullscreen and select HD/720p quality.


Shout out to the Jazz development team who threw together a video on configuring Rational Quality Manager 3.0 and the Jazz Team Server 3.0.  This video goes through the full configuration for Rational Team Concert, the beta preview of the requirements technology, and most importantly the latest and greatest Ratioanal Quality Manager 3.0.  Solid.

PS: How cool is it that the Jazz server is running on a Mac?!?!?  Way cool.  Way.

Having lived through several of the early builds for Rational Quality Manager 3.0, I’ve seen lots of progress on the server setup.  Release candidate 0 is now available, and the setup has become even more simplified.  For those about to embark on this release candidate, there’s a very handy post that will guide you through the new update process.

Setup and Configuration instructions for Rational Quality Manager 3.0 and the Collaborative Lifecycle Management 3.0 Server

The development team is working hard on getting Rational Quality Manager 3.0 ready to roll.  As many of you know, you can pick up preview builds at time over at Jazz.net.

One question I get quite often is “What Build or Milestone Should I Take?” … and typically the answer is the latest is the greatest.  However, not all milestones are equal, some are just a little more equal than others.  We’re coming up on one of those builds next week.

Milestone 7 of Rational Quality Manager 3.0 will undergo additional quality management efforts, and will be broadly distributed to many customers for feedback.  It’s still a very early release, but of the all the early releases, this is the one we’re recommending people use to provide us feedback.  It’s not perfect, it’s not complete, but it’s received special attention and should be pretty solid.

Right now, we’re looking at release date of late next week to get Rational Quality Manager 3.0 Milestone 7 out the door.  Head over to the Rational Quality Manager project area on jazz.net to get your copy!

PS: To answer what will ikely be your first question once you get the beta installed, the default URL to get going with Rational Quality Manager is https://localhost:9443/jazz/web/console/QM, and you can log in with ADMIN / ADMIN.

Reporting consistently ranks among the most critical tasks for any quality management team.  Rational Quality Manager recognizes this, but also acknowledges that every organization is unique and has unique reporting requirements.  Accordingly, Rational Quality Manager offers 3 reporting options to quality management teams.

Option 1: Out of the Box Reports

This is the simplest reporting option.   These are the native reports that you get in the Rational Quality Manager reporting module when you install the tool.  These reports offer strong filtering capabilities, so that you can focus in on the information you’re looking for.  These reports however, are not customizable.  These reports are based on the live data within the RQM database.

Option 2: Rational Common Reporting

If the lack of customization of the Out of the Box reports causes you heartache, then Rational Common Reporting is your answer.  Rational Common Reporting is a web based reporting application that is bundled with Rational Quality Manager.  Built upon IBM Cognos reporting technology, it allows you to craft queries, modify and create reports.   It is comprised of two main components: Query Studio and Report Studio.  Query studio allows you to create queries to extract the data you want, and Report Studio allows you to create reports that present the data the way you want to see it.  These reports are based on data warehouse snapshots which are periodically taken of the RQM database.    Reports are constrained to a single RQM server.  Every one of the Out of the Box reports is available through Rational Common Reporting.

For a quick look at Rational Common Reporting, you can check out this video:

Option 3: Rational Insight

Rational Insight is at the top of the hierarchy, offering the customization of Rational Common Reporting but extending it so that reports can collect data from multiple servers and tools, such as Rational Team Concert.   This option offers all the full capabilities you would expect from an industrial strength data warehouse reporting tool: authoring and execution of transforms (ETLs), REST and XML data types and modeling of queries.   This is the most powerful and comprehensive of the reporting options.   For integrated product delivery teams using multiple IBM tools that want consolidated, centralized reporting, this is the solution for you.

The bottom line here is that Rational Quality Manager places significant importance on reporting, and offers 3 choices for teams to generate the reports they need.

Going over the final cuts of the presentations for Innovate 2010, the Rational Software user conference, and was really impressed with some of the strong Rational Quality Manager content this year.  While there are many RQM sessions, here are three of the top ones that really stood out:

QM-2058  – Rational Quality Manager State of the Union
Monday, June 7, 11.15-12.45
The RQM Product Manager, Brian Massey,  will be updating us on what’s coming for RQM

QM-1620 – In the trenches: Implementing Agile Testing practices using Rational Quality Manager
Tuesday, June 8, 3.00-4.00
Scrum Master Reedy Feggins examines RQM and Quality in an Agile context.

QM-2036 – How to Implement and Deploy Rational Quality Manager
Wednesday, June 9, 11.15-12.45
Tips and Tricks on deployment from one of our top field consultants,  Al Wagner.

…and that’s only the top 3.  There’s other great ones filled with tips and tricks and other valuable, actionable information to make your test teams more productive.  It’s great stuff!

Hope to see you there!

Thinking about going to the Innovate 2010 Rational Software Conference ?  Thinking about a discount or promo code?  You’ve come to the right place!

Register for the conference today with the code: QMT and you can save $100 off your conference fee.  This discount code is good right up to the last minute.

Register now with the Rational Tester Innovate 2010 Discount Code.

As of a few minutes ago, Rational QualityManager 2.0.1 went live on Jazz.net.  Key highlights in the release are:

  • Introduction of Master Test Plan

  • Project Templates

  • Audit enhancements

  • Snapshots for execution result records

  • Expanded PDF Print

  • Copy of manual test steps

  • Duplication of test artifacts

  • Artifact section management

  • Full text search

  • Test artifact filtering

  • Performance improvements

  • Suite categories

  • Support for OSLC QM 1.0 specification

We’ll be exploring some of these new enhancements over the next few posts here on Quality Manager.  For now, head on over to jazz.net to read more about these individual items and to download Rational Quality Manager 2.0.1.

Yesterday, the Sony PlayStation 3 network went down.  I wrote about this on the Rational Tester Blog and teased that I would leave my best guess here as to the cause of the defect.

Rarely when these big bugs surface do we ever get the true cause, but this one jumped out at me.  Why?  The first clue was in the Sony PlayStation 3 blog:

We believe we have identified that this problem is being caused by a bug in the clock functionality incorporated in the system.

The second clue came from the calendar.  Yesterday was March 1st, or as known in software testing circles, February 29th – sometimes.   This is too much of a conincidence for me.   I’m sure there was some processing issue where 2010 was considered a leap year, and the PS3 mishandled the date – perhaps a date conflict between console and the Sony gameservers which prevented people from getting on the network.

At least, that’s my guess.  If the true cause of the problem surfaces, I’ll post more.   But until then, maybe now would be a good time to review the Leap Year calculation.  We all know that it’s basically every four years, but there are some exceptions.   Here’s a pseudo-code version of the calculation:

if year divided by 400 is 0
       then is_leap_year
else if year divided by 100 is 0
       then not_leap_year
else if year divided by 4 is 0
       then is_leap_year

Today is the last day of the call for papers for Innovate 2010, the conference formerly known as The Rational Software Conference.

Innovate 2010: The Rational Software Conference

Th new name for the conference reflects the new reality of software delivery, where we area all trying to design and build the smarter products and services we need to build a smarter planet.

The Rational Tester will be chairing the Quality Management track at the conference, and looking for any and all topics related to smarter quality management.  As always, if you submit a paper and get accepted, you’ll get a free pass to the conference, which will be held in Orlando from June 6 to 10.  We’re looking for any topics related to Quality Management, but with so many new adopters of Rational Quality Manager, I’d like to specifically invite you to submit content related to Rational Quality Manager.  Anything from:

  • Tips and Tricks
  • Quality Management Strategies
  • Collaboration Strategies
  • Reporting Strategies

Time’s running out!  Get’em in today!