Tamir Gefen on ALM

Archive for April 2008

Configuration managers and other users may know the following situation:

You manage all your project assets in a central repository. As the project is progressed and the end of a milestone is coming, and you want to work in parallel, you have the following indecision: Whether to use the same repository for the next milestone, or open a new repository?

In this post I’m going to write my idea about this situation regarding ClearCase UCM.

In ClearCase UCM you have 2 kinds of repository: the physical (“VOB”) and the abstract (“UCM project”). In this post I refer to the abstract one. (Well, you may say that the UCM project is considered to physical also since its inrormation is written into the PVOB, but I assume you agree that it’s more abstract than physical 🙂 )

Well, as you figure out from the post title, I support the first option, so here I write the reasons plus pros and cons.

  • In case of using more than one component, it’s very recommended to use more than one project, since it enables us to define one component as Read/Write, and the other component as Read-Only (and vice-versa on the other project). This definition let us change The Read-only component to elder BaseLine if necessary.
  • The GUI reason: The project hierarchy is much clearer when using the Project Explorer: there are separate rows and different icons for projects, integration streams and development streams. It may sound quite stupid, but it prevents accidents like mistaken delivery or rebase by the users!
  • In ClearCase 2003.06 and above, there is a new option that lets us define the policies per-stream. Using it with sub-streams project may cause accidents.  When using multi-projects, it lets us define separate policies for every project, and enforce its policies automatically for all project’s streams.
  • If you integrate your ClearCase UCM to ClearQuest, you can filter your ClearQuest records by the “UCM Project” field. It is much easier than filtering by sub-streams.
  • If you use the “Composite Baseline” feature, managing the composite baseline and its dependencies is easier and more flexible by using multi-project option, rather than the sub-streams options.

Actually, Whatever a decision you take, in the backstage, there is no big difference between multi-projects or sub-streams: both are separate and parallel streams.

In the last days I made a new utility, “CompBL”, which compares baselines easily. I made it because I’ve needed some featuers which are not included in ‘diffbl’ ClearCase command and the ‘browse baseline’ option.

CompBL main features are:

  • Filtering internal activities (“rebase” and “deliver” activities)
  • Reports can contain the activity’s files and versions (change-set)
  • A textual report ted into another document (e.g. “Release Notes” document)
  • Compare projects and streams content (If you have a component which has baselines on two streams or projects)
  • Supports ClearCase ClearQuest UCM-enabled integration


    • ClearCase: Client or server, LT, MultiSite, Version 2003.06 (v6) or higher
    • Operating Systems: Windows 2000, XP or higher
    • If your ClearCase server is any kind of UNIX or Linux, and you have a Windows client which share the same ClearCase registry server (“Cross Platform”) – You can use this utility also

      CompBL is free. installation is done automatically. No customization is needed.
      Press here to download

    I wrote my top 10 mandatory features in my Hebrew blog.

    I hope to translate it to English when I get time.

    If you’re used to write your documents by using two languages or even more, you may find the following utility very useful: That utility uses the ‘Caps Lock’ button to switch between the languages, instead of the old Alt-Shift combination. Pressing one button instead of two.

    The utility is called ‘Recaps’ and it was developed by a friend.

    Here are more details, and you can download it directly here.


    ALM Expo is an online conference for Application Lifecycle Management.

    This event is an online event that provides true global participation by enabling visitors with the option to choose which sessions they wish to attend and even choose when they are to watch sessions that they missed.

    Here is a link for registration


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