Tamir Gefen on ALM

How to integrate Visual Studio 2008 with IBM Rational ClearCase?

Posted on: September 7, 2008

One of my current projects is to plan and implement a brand new infrastructure that creates environments to integrate Visual Studio 2008 with IBM Rational ClearCase. Actually, it’s a brand new VB.NET project – not based on Visual Studio 2005 or earlier versions – so I have to figure out what files should be source controlled and what files should not.

Well, firstly I had to check if VS 2008 and ClearCase can communicate together. I found an official IBM document that notifies the following: “Visual Studio 2008 is supported with ClearCase, CCRC (ClearCase Remote Client) and ClearQuest as of version 7.0.1 and later”, but I haven’t found any document that describes how to do the whole integration process, so I started this process by myself and here I summarize my findings.
My testing environment was ClearCase client v7.0.1 running on Windows XP SP2.
a. Make sure that your ClearCase installation contains the VS.NET integration. In my case it wasn’t included in the installation, so I had to re-install it again using these  instructions (They refer to Visual Studio 2003 and VS 2005, but are suitable for VS 2008 also).
b. Install the following utility:
This utility supports also ClearQuest and CCRC integration with Visual Studio. You have to watch the instructions very carefully (The installation changes some parameters inside the Windows registry).
As you might already know, one of the principals of version control is that not all the project files should be source controlled. In general, source files have to be source controlled, while the product files (the files which can be generated by the source files – usually the binary files) should not be source controlled. But how can I know which VS 2008 files are considered as source files and which are not?
I was looking for an article regarding this topic and found this detailed article in the MSDN. Here are the main points:
Files that should be source controlled are: sln, csproj, vbproj, vspscc, config, Source files (*.aspx, *.asmx, *.cs, *.vb, …) and binary dependencies (*.dll)

Files that should not be source controlled are: pdb, suo  and project user option files (*.csproj.user or *.vbproj.user)

In addition, I have used the following nice trick:


From this list, it appears that most of the returned files should not be source controlled, so use your j ownudgment to decide which files should or shouldn’t be under source control.

That’s all. Now I have the ClearCase menu; I can checkout, checkin, deliver and rebase from within Visual Studio; I can’t edit files unless I check them out first and so on.
Additional Resources

11 Responses to "How to integrate Visual Studio 2008 with IBM Rational ClearCase?"

Please refer to video five in lesson 1 for a walkthrough on the steps required to get started. Remote Controlled

[…] ספטמבר 7, 2008 מאת Tamir Gefen בעקבות פרוייקט אותו אני מתכנן ומבצע, ושחלק ממנו עוסק בשילוב בין IBM Rational ClearCase לבין Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 , ובעקבות כך שלא מצאתי מאמר העוסק בכל שלבי השילוב בין הכלים הנ”ל, כתבתי הסברים על סמך ההתנסות שלי. אתם מוזמנים לקרוא זאת כאן, בבלוג המקביל באנגלית. […]

Thanks for putting all information together!

G. Martel

Thanks Tamir!

Hours of trial-and-errors are saved to me!


We are planning to migrate from VS 2005 to 2008 . Is it the same procedure?

Many thanks! Go ahead!

James, I think it is just the same, but never tried it.

step to integrate clear case with VS.NET 2005?

Hi Tamir,
There is a way to integrate VS 2008 and ClearCase without (!!!) CC integration package or/ and patch. I described that in very detail on my blog:


Check this out,

[…] are using Rational ClearCase as your configuration management (CM) solution, you can find a manual here in this blog. […]

Nice article you’ve got there. Thanks a lot.

Ferienparks Holland

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