The latest release of Rational Asset Manager v7.1.1.1 was made available today.  This is a service pack release.   This release also includes some small enhancements that customers told us they needed.   Here is where you can find more information:

Install Guide

Release Notes

Here are some of the value add “goodies” in this release.

Administrative improvements

  • Platforms
    • Added SUSE Enterprise Linux 10 SP1 (x86_64bit) – Kernel 2.6.16.46-0.12-smp (1)
    • Added LDAP support for Tivoli Directory Server v6.2
  • Asset Zip filenames now support multi-byte charset
  • Provide the ability for admins to set the path of debug and log files for RAM
  • Major improvements to the setup Assistant (will log/show in a nice HTML table) all WAS, and DB based updates/changes, or configurations
  • Server Status
    • View job status
    • View active web sessions
    • View active web service sessions
  • Run RAM Batch Client headless

Asset Management Improvements

  • Read only attributes
  • Add option to “Cancel a review“
  • From Asset, Visualize Asset link to visual browse
  • Improvement in display order of asset attributes
  • Link and user attributes allow multiple selection
  • Support more URL formats for Asset URL artifacts like: notes://D25WEB1/8525727300578ED8/F2B15920D645AA7985256811006AA0E9/D81A579182B9B5C1852572AA004E7B5B

Other Usability Improvements

  • Reports URL Activity Reports include “browse”
  • Reports URL request multiple activities using tid=(value,value) now works
  • SOA – Ability to publish xsl files to WSRR and to be able to relate them to current concepts
  • Remove an asset from an Asset Library Task
  • Turn off visual browse animation to improve performance
  • Search improvements Now Index:

    • Category name/description
    • Asset type name/description
    • Community name/description
  • Ability to control policy execution order

To see some of these new features in action and to see how RAM can be used as a Definitive Software Library with Rational Team Concert and your Eclipse based IDE check out this demonstration by Dr Gili Mendel.  The viewlet shows how technical assets (services & J2EE Ear/War) can be developed with RAM.

You must download and extract the files in the zip file.  Click on the file ram711_sp1_viewlet_swf.html  You can view the file with Internet Explorer or Firefox.

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Managing Systems Assets

March 16, 2009

RAM is being used by both IT customers and Systems customers.   Here is a Webcast that describes what the market drivers are influencing Systems customers to adopt RAM for Product Data (Asset) Management.  The Webcast includes a highlevel overview of Rational Asset Manager.

This tutorial covers 2 topics.   The first is XML searching of assets.  Many of the assets customers manage often contain XML artifacts.  RAM indexes a variety of artifacts so you that can search for them based on their contents.   Some examples of the supported artifact types are XML, Microsoft PPT, Visio, Excel, Adobe PDF and many more.  In the versions prior to RAM v7.1.1, you could search on a term like “carlos” and select the search option”within artifacts” and RAM would return all assets that had artifacts that include the term “carlos”.  The challenge is what if there were 100’s of assets that had “carlos”?  In RAM V7.1.1 you can add index rules that will allow you to search by providing additional criteria like find “support person”=”carlos”  where support person is an XML element or attribute that is in the xml artifacts and has the value carlos.    This doesn’t require you to specify an asset attribute but rather an XML element value in the an asset attribute that RAM will look for in an asset artifact.  This is a very powerful feature especially for customers who are using RAM to manage their software models or other XML based assets. This ensures you find the assets you are looking for.

The second topic covered in this tutorial is how to share assets with your supply chain or more broadly.   Most people share assets by sharing the component or document.  What this approach lacks is the context, understanding or common language for how these assets are used, work together or the level of quality or compliance the assets have.  By being able to share the asset governance model that defines how these assets can be used and work together, you add another level of usability and value to the individual assets.  This ensures the assets you provide and receive are consumable and provide value.    RAM v7.1.1 added the ability to create asset libraries.

Watch this tutorial on the Rational Asset Manager Exchange to see how to create XML search rules and package or create asset libraries and their corresponding governance models.  Our hope is customers will begin to create their own asset governance models for different domains like the previous one we have shared for Maven.   Customers can share these asset libraries on the Rational Asset Manager Exchange so that others can jump start their asset management initiatives for different domains within their organization.  We use Maven as an example since this is domain where we have some customers using RAM to visualize and govern their maven component dependencies .

Automate Asset Creation

March 13, 2009

An important factor for ensuring the assets you create are used is to apply the necessary metadata so that they are found. Asset consumers often don’t take the time to properly fill in all the appropriate attributes or assign the appropriate categories. As a result these assets may not be found when people search for them. This results in duplicate assets and wasted work. Also, incorrectly categorized assets may not get the appropriate review, which can result in rework by teams who try to use the defective asset.

This tutorial shows how XML artifacts can be used to assign asset attributes and categories so that you can automate asset submission for any domain area. In the demonstration we show how RAM can automatically assign asset attribute values and categories by introspecting the asset XML artifacts.  The example focuses on Apache Maven components. Component consumers can then submit Maven components to the repository faster, find them faster and have a graphical view of the dependencies and component metadata.

This Webcast presentation and demonstration on the Rational Asset Manager Exchange part 1 shows  how RAM v7.1.1.1 can automate asset submission for assets that have an XML Artifact, like assets for Maven.  Download the demonstration Maven Asset Library and try it out yourself with your own Maven components.

Part 2 of the Webcast shows step by step directions for administrators to setup automated asset submission for Rational Asset Manager.  The zip file a also includes the presentation used in the Webcast.

The User Experience and Design team recently discussed how they worked on RAM’s user experience in a podcast for the IBM Design series. Listen to hear their insights on designing this exciting product – http://tinyurl.com/rampodcast

The team was really excited to see this eWeek article.  A good sign of a product’s usefulness is when the company that develops it also uses it.   This eWeek article shows how RAM is being used as a Definitive Software Library for the entire IBM Software Community.  The article describes how IBM is getting value by doing community development and using Rational Asset Manager as a definitive software library.  “We’re saving the corporation hundreds of millions of dollars.” The article says that it is being used by 30,000 software developers.  What isn’t stated is how another 70,000 business users in the organization are also using Rational Asset Manager.  Rather than using the Eclipse Client,  business users use the Rational Asset Manager “Web 2.0” client to manage their business assets.    By seeing how these business assets relate to technical assets teams are better able to find the assets they need and understand their impact on the business.