The Art of ClearCase Deployment: The Secrets to Successful Implementation / Edition 1

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Overview

"An essential read for any organization using change management. Whether you are new to ClearCase or an experienced user, this book addresses key points that will drive you to a successful ClearCase deployment and usage model."
--Adam Levensohn, manager, ClearCase Technical Support, IBM Rational Software

"Buckley and Pulsipher offer the voice of hard-won experience leavened with significant amounts of humor, which is not exactly what one expects from a book about configuration management (or any computer science book, for that matter). The way I see it, a book that offers advice about 'how to reduce build cycle times for large, multi-site products' in terms of 'eating an elephant, one bite at a time' is definitely worth reading. Thanks to these guys, I'm the proud owner of a brand-new VOB, and after I read the detailed advice herein about how to configure it, it works like a charm!"
--Kendall Scott, author, UML Explained

By using IBM Rational ClearCase, development teams can dramatically improve their productivity and responsiveness throughout the entire software lifecycle. Now, there's an easy-to-use ClearCase deployment guide for every team member: project managers, analysts, developers, and software customers.

Accessible, practical, and full of examples, The Art of ClearCase® Deployment demystifies all facets of deployment--from up-front planning through multisite integration. Authors Christian Buckley and Darren Pulsipher draw on nearly two decades of experience helping leading enterprises implement Rational technologies. They focus on the core issues associated with deployment, closely tying business and technical drivers to specific features and step-by-step implementation techniques.

This book will show you how to:

  • Take on the role of change agent: prepare yourself for the challenge
  • Understand the value of ClearCase in your organization and gain consensus for implementing it
  • Map your software manufacturing process and plan your deployment
  • Model change-management: actors, use cases, and problem domains
  • Enforce and automate high-efficiency development policies and processes
  • Walk through build and release management: frequency, automation, communication, and more
  • Integrate ClearCase with existing tools and systems
  • Support efficient, error-free development across geographically dispersed teams
  • Plan for ClearCase hardware and size your VOB repository
  • Iterate your system to improve efficiency and reduce build- and test-cycle times
  • Avoid pitfalls and troubleshoot problems with ClearCase deployments

Regardless of your previous software engineering experience, this book will help you shape and execute your ClearCase rollout to drive maximum business value--tomorrow, and for years to come.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321262202
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 7/13/2004
  • Series: Addison-Wesley Object Technology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Christian D. Buckley writes regularly about IBM Rational technology. He has helped develop offerings in industries ranging from software and finance to energy, working with clients including IBM, HP, Visa, and SBC.

Darren W. Pulsipher has a rich background in development, IT services, and business operations. He consults widely with Fortune 500 companies on development best practices, and holds 12 patents. At Cadence, he introduced tools and processes that reduced build/test system cycles by 60%.

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Read an Excerpt

How This Book Came About

When we began writing for Rational Software back in 1998 for the now-defunct Rose Architect magazine, our intent was to provide project managers, product managers, and various other nonengineers with a grounding in some fairly technical material, allowing them to stand shoulder to shoulder with their technical team and not feel clueless. Initially, our article topics varied widely depending on our own interests and current projects. But as time went on, we slowly began to articulate some broader themes, and we developed an outline of topics that began to explore the critical topics in configuration management, and in ClearCase specifically. As Rose Architect magazine was retired, the articles we wrote shifted from best practices in generic software development to all of the steps involved in developing an integrated, enterprise-wide change management solution.

For those of you who are not familiar with the history of Rational Software and its various content efforts, a brief recap: As Rational's flagship visual modeling magazine, Rose Architect, was discontinued, we redirected our efforts toward the Catapulse portal, a Rational spin-off company that was eventually spun back into Rational and then became the foundation for the Rational Developers Network (RDN). Then came Big Blue. RDN is now part of IBM's developer-Works family of content. Throughout all of these changes, we continued to develop content around ClearCase and Unified Change Management (UCM), attempting to help people understand the pitfalls and complexities of building and maintaining a multi-site change management solution.

Back in early 2003,Addison-Wesley approached us about writing a book. At the time, we were both fully engaged in our current projects—Christian was developing a Web-based team collaboration tool, and Darren was inventing a grid-based workflow application—and we just could not make the time to add a book to our list of tasks. But the seed was planted, and we occasionally talked about it. We slowly began to investigate current authors and titles, and ultimately we outlined a book concept that we thought the market needed. Based on our individual experiences and our shared understanding of both ClearCase and UCM, we decided that the book would provide an introduction to these topics for beginners and seasoned users alike.The Goal of This BookSpend any time in a bookstore or online and you'll see that the market is flush with titles on software configuration management (SCM or CM), software development, and various object-oriented development themes. For us, the problem with most such books is not so much the content but the writing style. For the "nontechnical" reader, most of these books are just too, well, technical. The majority of books on the market are written like textbooks. The first one or two chapters are generally very basic, but the subsequent chapters immediately jump off the deep end, drowning the reader in technical jargon and architectural diagrams. Almost every single one of these books assumes the reader already has some kind of background in software engineering. And frankly, most of them are dry and boring.We believe there are a number of problems with the approach taken by these books:


  • They emphasize installation and configuration, not the underlying reasons for deploying a comprehensive change management solution—much less the decisions project managers must make before the software is even installed.
  • They jump very quickly from an overview to the main content; they tend to require previous experience in a specific technology or methodology.
  • Many of the diagrams and case studies in these books are simply too complicated for the nontechnical reader.
  • None of these titles was written with the project manager, analyst, or nonengineer in mind.
  • For the most part, humor is absent from all of these titles.

The Art of ClearCase® Deployment follows some of the same technical footsteps as these other books, but we present the material in a way that a broader group of project personnel can use. When people ask us, "Why this book?" our answer is that we hope to provide members of the extended project team and burgeoning CM managers with a better understanding of how an end-to-end change management solution, in general, can enhance an organizationis ability to deliver better products—and deliver them faster. But we also hope to show how ClearCase, specifically, best meets those needs.

You may ask: What problems will this book solve? What questions will it answer? This book will help you to understand the fundamentals of software configuration management and ClearCase. It will demystify many aspects of the technology and help you understand the business value of an integrated change management solution. And most important, it will help you to make better decisions about the planning and management of your software development efforts.

We chose the title The Art of ClearCase® Deployment because deploying and maintaining ClearCase really is an art. Sure, there are some basic configurations that are mandatory for any ClearCase install, but overall the tool is powerful and flexible, allowing the CM manager and ClearCase users to retain a large amount of control over the solution they develop. Building and maintaining a ClearCase deployment is an iterative process. You'll make mistakes, and you'll constantly find areas for improvement—but over time, you'll also learn to further integrate ClearCase into your companyis business processes. In fact, a finely tuned change management solution will become a major factor in your company's ability to stay competitive.Our Writing Style

We've received a lot of feedback about our writing style. Admittedly, our language use and tone can be colloquial at times, but we prefer to write in the voice with which we are most comfortable. Both of us present and teach on a regular basis, and we like to have fun with what we do. We want to ease the reader into the subject matter, by using humor and by sharing specific examples of our own project experiences. And so the book follows a natural progression, moving from broad concepts of project and change management to the more technical aspects of a ClearCase deployment. Unlike other books, we gradually introduce the reader to important concepts, explaining at each step how the various acronyms and activities fit into the bigger picture. We walk through the nuances of working within a modeling paradigm, and we help the reader understand the actors, the use cases, and the complete problem domain before embarking on a change management implementation of any size. Whether or not you will be the primary user of your new CM system, this book will help you understand how the system works, and where you fit into the overall process.

Learning is a circular process. Most people cannot read a textbook from cover to cover and retain all of that information. Readers need some repetition of material throughout a book, to help reinforce key concepts, but they also need an organized presentation of the subject matter, so they can readily explore each topic and find the information they seek. Our writing follows a specific pattern. Many chapters review basic concepts covered in previous sections, because we feel that certain ideas need to be highlighted. As you advance through the book, it is important to keep noticing these underlying themes to help drive them home.

Unlike other books in the broader category of software-development best practices, this book provides insight into the management, communication, and implementation issues surrounding the components of a change management solution. It also covers issues and tactical responses to implementing both small, team-based ClearCase installations, as well as large, multi-site deployments found in many of today's global enterprises. The book also shows how ClearCase can best serve these organizations.

Most chapters contain actionable steps that a project manager can follow, along with relevant examplesowith a story or theme to keep things interesting. The unifying factor in this book is the use of real-world examples, with practical guidelines for designing and deploying an end-to-end solution, all taken from our own experiences in building these kinds of solutions. We use a healthy dose of humor—in the form of stories, quotes, and anecdotes—to help make our points and keep the reader engaged. And whenever a picture can help to make a point or to illustrate a concept, we include diagrams and visual examples to demonstrate new concepts and ideas.

To be honest, there are numerous books on the market that support the many different faces of change management, from configuration management tools to detailed methodologies, most with case studies on huge implementations. Some of these books we even recommend (after you read this one, of course; see the bibliography). However, most of these books fail to mention all of the different tools in the change management continuum and how they work together with ClearCase—and even fewer attempt to explain the process and techniques with the nonengineer in mind. What is missing from the libraries of most project and CM managers is a book that clearly articulates the strategies and practical guidelines for scoping and deploying ClearCase, from the initial modeling activities through the handoff to the training and support teams.Who Should Read This Book

The Art of ClearCase® Deployment is targeted toward those readers who want to learn about the end-to-end change management product family with ClearCase at the core, and how each component fits into the larger product development organization—mostly from the standpoint of the project manager (and the nondeveloper). Although some of the material in this book is very technical, we assume the majority of readers have minimal knowledge of change management tools, object-oriented analysis and design, programming, or any modeling methodologies. This book should serve as a guide for ClearCase novices and as a desktop reference for more experienced CM managers.

We view our book as a "bridge" to many of the more technical books already on the market, books that are more focused on the implementation of specific tools within the change management continuum, such as Brian White's Software Configuration Management Strategies and Rational ClearCase (Addison-Wesley, 2000).Our intended readers belong to an extended development organization: project managers and nonengineers intimidated by the complexity and technical background needed to understand the official ClearCase documentation; technical writers and analysts who will participate in the rollout of a ClearCase solution and want to better understand the requirements of deployment within a corporation; product managers and marketing personnel who have a vested interest in the quick and efficient creation of products; and of course, current users of ClearCase who want to strengthen their understanding of the fundamentals.The Structure of This Book

Chapter 1—The Role of the Change Agent
Preparing to deploy any large software solution takes planning and coordination with many groups within your company, and you need to be ready for the challenge. This chapter sets the tone for the book, with some recommendations on how to prepare yourself for this challenge.

Chapter 2—The Current Software Dilemma
Why do so many software projects fail? This chapter outlines the problems and shows how ClearCase can help overcome the fundamental challenges in software development.

Chapter 3—Standards Enforcement Using Configuration Management Tools
This chapter is a brief history of standards in software development, and it offers a lesson on how CM tools can help manage or reinforce your own standards.

Chapter 4—Selling ClearCase into the Rest of Your Organization
There are many paths that might lead you toward ClearCase, but are you prepared to answer some of the basic questions for deploying a company-wide change management solution? This chapter will help prepare you for the reasoning and politics behind a ClearCase deployment.

Chapter 5—Mapping the Manufacturing Process
There is more to creating a viable product than just writing and building software. Creating software products involves many of the same processes found in the manufacturing process. It is important to understand these similarities, recognize all of the phases of development, and plan accordingly for a successful product launch.

Chapter 6—Ground-Level View of a Product Release
Understanding the product launch is another concept largely lost on the average software development organization. The handoff between engineering and the business office is critical. But with proper planning, you'll better understand the timing and interactions between engineering and marketing, and how to plan accordingly.

Chapter 7—Planning Your ClearCase Deployment
ClearCase is not something you can just install and start using out of the box. Because it affects numerous people and processes, planning out your ClearCase deployment from the perspectives of both technology and resources can make your deployments less painful. This chapter covers the fundamental questions you must ask yourself before setting up your ClearCase system.

Chapter 8—Modeling Your Configuration Management System
With most deployments, there is a driving factor for getting the system up and running quickly (usually a large number of projects with deadlines), but in this rush to go live, many mistakes can be made in your install. By taking the time to properly plan your system and understand the gaps within your processes, youill build a better solution, and avoid a lot of potholes down the road.

Chapter 9—Using Configuration Management to Control Process
CM tools can help you to automate your systems and processes, and they can play an important role in preparing for internal or external audits. This chapter outlines the basic process controls available through ClearCase.

Chapter 10—Planning for the Rational Unified Process
This chapter gives an overview of the role of the Rational Unified Process (RUP) as it relates to ClearCase, including all of the major actors and their tasks, and how they fit into your ClearCase planning activities.

Chapter 11—Build-and-Release Basics
Once you have your system up and running, this chapter will provide you with a solid foundation in the day-to-day build-and-release basics, including frequency, automation, communication with your team and management, and where to start looking at optimization.

Chapter 12—Understanding Branching and Labeling
This is a brief overview of branching and labeling strategies, naming conventions, versioning, configuration specs, and other key terms.

Chapter 13—Deploying ClearCase
Building on the previous chapters, you are now ready to start moving on to your new system. This chapter provides a checklist of activities and prescribes specific tasks for moving from other well-known source-code management systems.

Chapter 14—ClearCase Integration Analysis
Integration with other tools and systems is a key to making your ClearCase deployment successful. ClearCase must work fluidly with your other tools. This chapter outlines the primary actors, primary tools, and systems youill want to consider, and it discusses the specific benefits and limitations of your integrations.

Chapter 15—ClearCase UCM Integration
For those unfamiliar with Unified Change Management, this chapter presents an outline of the basic objects, workflow, development activities, and policy management in UCM.

Chapter 16—Lone Eagle Management
Many teams have individuals who work remotely. This chapter helps you understand how these individuals fit into your ClearCase deployment, and how to better manage them.

Chapter 17—Integrating Multi-Site Teams in Your Spare Time
This chapter focuses on the primary actors, tools, and phases that you need to understand for multi-site development, with some important recommendations on how to be more successful.

Chapter 18—Hot Rods and Hardware
This chapter outlines the hardware considerations for a ClearCase deployment.Chapter 19, The Magical World of VOB SizingHere youill find everything you need to know about the best way to design your versioned object base (VOB) configuration, and how to deploy an efficient ClearCase system.

Chapter 20—Constructing Your CM System
With your system up and running, itis now time to start refining your system and processes, using ClearCase as your development tools repository.

Chapter 21—Training and Scripting to Control Process
This chapter offers a brief lesson on the best practices around scripts, and how best to utilize training with your team.

Chapter 22—Trigger-Happy
This is a fairly comprehensive outline of the many types of triggers and how to manage them. The chapter defines the major trigger types, offers suggestions for installation and control, and provides insight into both the benefits and the pitfalls.

Chapter 23—Efficiencies in Your CM System
Here we present a history of collaboration technologies and show where ClearCase fits into all of them. Understanding this history will help you to plan your ClearCase strategies and find additional opportunities for collaboration.

Chapter 24—Reducing Build Cycle Times
This chapter goes through several solutions for build-cycle reduction, from make system reconstruction to hardware options.

Chapter 25—The Drag Coefficient of Test-Cycle Reduction
This chapter outlines the different levels of testing and discusses several strategies for improving testing efficiencies.

Chapter 26—What to Do When Things Go Wrong: Solving Problems with ClearCase
We offer some recommendations for minimizing problems with ClearCase, including how to protect your VOBs, how to access your logs, how to identify issues with your multi-site deployment, and where to go to find the experts.

Chapter 27—Bringing It All Together
Finally, the book concludes with a brief wrap-up and reaffirmation of the role of the change agent.

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Table of Contents

Foreword.

Preface.

How This Book Came About.

The Goal of This Book.

Our Writing Style.

Who Should Read This Book.

The Structure of This Book.

About the Authors.

Acknowledgments.

1. The Role of the Change Agent.

Are You a Change Agent?

Secrets of the Trade.

Conclusion.

2. The Current Software Dilemma.

Effective Change Through Communication.

The Principles of Change Management.

3. Standards Enforcement Using Configuration Management Tools.

Configuration Management Is Man's Best Friend.

Welcome to the World of Configuration Management.

4. Selling ClearCase into the Rest of Your Organization.

Understanding the Components.

Driving Standards, Improving Quality.

You Know You Need ClearCase When….

Moving from Other Tools.

Impact on Current Projects.

The Management Squeeze.

The Glue That Binds.

5. Mapping the Manufacturing Process.

Sizing Up the Wall: The Manufacturing Process.

Scaling the Wall: UML Implementation Diagrams.

The Wall Comes Tumblin' Down.

6. Ground-Level View of a Product Release.

Analyzing the Product Road Map.

Getting a Ground-Level View.

The Big Picture.

7. Planning Your ClearCase Deployment.

Planning to Plan.

Now You Know…and Knowing Is Half the Battle.

8. Modeling Your Configuration Management System.

Bridging the CM Gaps.

Bridge over Troubled Waters.

Identifying Actors.

Use Cases.

Activity Diagrams.

Component Diagrams.

Deployment Diagrams.

Bridge Building.

9. Using Configuration Management to Control Process.

Ixnay on the Oliticspay.

Process Automation.

Reporting Progress.

10. Planning for the Rational Unified Process.

Orchestrating Your Software Opus.

Overview of RUP.

The Roles of CM in RUP.

The Change Control Manager.

The Process Engineer.

The Project Manager.

The Integrator.

The Configuration Manager.

Practicing Your Scales (Day-to-Day Stuff).

11. Build-and-Release Basics.

Skiing the Back Slopes of Software.

Builds.

Releases.

Frequency.

Uniquely Identifying a Build.

Automation.

Communication.

A Full Build-and-Release Cycle.

Speeding Up Builds with Grid Strategies.

Skiing the Black Diamonds.

12. Understanding Branching and Labeling.

Living in a World of Labels.

Labeling and Branching Basics.

Naming Schemes.

Things to Remember.

Config Specs.

Now What Do You Do?

13. Deploying ClearCase.

Boxes, Packing Tape, and Some Heavy Lifting: Moving to ClearCase.

Planning the Move.

Hardware Requirements.

Build and Test System Scripts.

Defect/Enhancement System Integrations.

Downtime.

Training Your People.

Changing Your Scripts.

Moving the Data.

Heavy Lifting.

14. ClearCase Integration Analysis.

Cooking Up an Integration.

Analyze Your Ingredients.

Do You Want Sauce on That?

Caveats (Think Really Bad Fruitcake).

Integration Design and Implementation.

Taking the Next Step.

15. ClearCase UCM Integration.

Integrating Ideas, Tools, and Source Code.

Basic Objects in the UCM.

The Workflow of UCM.

Development Activities.

Policy Management.

Things to Watch For.

16. Lone Eagle Management.

The Success of a Lone Eagle.

Development Tools.

Where to Work?

17. Integrating Multi-site Teams in Your Spare Time.

Know Your Actors.

Tools.

Hey, There Are Phases (Go Figure).

Some Other Stuff.

Development Through Production.

Alpha.

Beta.

Production and Supplemental.

Lessons Learned.

18. Hot Rods and Hardware.

Understand How ClearCase Works.

Sizing Your Team.

Aspects of Hardware.

Configurations (Remote Storage Strategies).

What Can You Afford? (Price/Performance).

19. The Magical World of VOB Sizing.

Setting Up ClearCase.

Understanding the Server Types.

View Server.

Factors to Determine VOB Boundaries.

Other Hardware Considerations.

20. Constructing Your CM System.

Tree House Construction Theory.

Look Before You Jump.

Roll Up Your Sleeves.

Multi-site to Locations.

Pick an Option.

21. Training and Scripting to Control Process.

Fishing Lessons.

When to Write Scripts.

Types of Training.

Process Training.

Good Fishing Techniques.

22. Trigger-Happy.

Types of Triggers.

Controlling Triggers.

More About Triggers, in General.

More About Triggers, in ClearCase.

Triggers à la Carte.

Conclusion.

23. Efficiencies in Your CM System.

Automation + Optimization = Project Optimism.

The Evolution of a Build-and-Release System.

The Proliferation of Collaboration Technologies.

Workflow.

Opportunities for Collaboration.

24. Reducing Build Cycle Times.

Eating an Elephant, One Bite at a Time.

Sizing Your Elephant.

Build Cycle Reduction Solutions.

Conclusion.

25. The Drag Coefficient of Test-Cycle Reduction.

Levels of Testing.

Reducing the Drag Coefficient.

Decreasing Testing Time.

Conclusion.

26. What to Do When Things Go Wrong.

Playing It Safe.

Administration Problems.

Deployment Problems.

Contacting the Experts.

27. Bringing It All Together.

Bibliography.

Index.

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Preface

How This Book Came About

When we began writing for Rational Software back in 1998 for the now-defunct Rose Architect magazine, our intent was to provide project managers, product managers, and various other nonengineers with a grounding in some fairly technical material, allowing them to stand shoulder to shoulder with their technical team and not feel clueless. Initially, our article topics varied widely depending on our own interests and current projects. But as time went on, we slowly began to articulate some broader themes, and we developed an outline of topics that began to explore the critical topics in configuration management, and in ClearCase specifically. As Rose Architect magazine was retired, the articles we wrote shifted from best practices in generic software development to all of the steps involved in developing an integrated, enterprise-wide change management solution.

For those of you who are not familiar with the history of Rational Software and its various content efforts, a brief recap: As Rational's flagship visual modeling magazine, Rose Architect, was discontinued, we redirected our efforts toward the Catapulse portal, a Rational spin-off company that was eventually spun back into Rational and then became the foundation for the Rational Developers Network (RDN). Then came Big Blue. RDN is now part of IBM's developer-Works family of content. Throughout all of these changes, we continued to develop content around ClearCase and Unified Change Management (UCM), attempting to help people understand the pitfalls and complexities of building and maintaining a multi-site change management solution.

Back in early 2003, Addison-Wesley approached us about writing a book. At the time, we were both fully engaged in our current projects--Christian was developing a Web-based team collaboration tool, and Darren was inventing a grid-based workflow application--and we just could not make the time to add a book to our list of tasks. But the seed was planted, and we occasionally talked about it. We slowly began to investigate current authors and titles, and ultimately we outlined a book concept that we thought the market needed. Based on our individual experiences and our shared understanding of both ClearCase and UCM, we decided that the book would provide an introduction to these topics for beginners and seasoned users alike.

The Goal of This Book

Spend any time in a bookstore or online and you'll see that the market is flush with titles on software configuration management (SCM or CM), software development, and various object-oriented development themes. For us, the problem with most such books is not so much the content but the writing style. For the "nontechnical" reader, most of these books are just too, well, technical. The majority of books on the market are written like textbooks. The first one or two chapters are generally very basic, but the subsequent chapters immediately jump off the deep end, drowning the reader in technical jargon and architectural diagrams. Almost every single one of these books assumes the reader already has some kind of background in software engineering. And frankly, most of them are dry and boring.We believe there are a number of problems with the approach taken by these books:
  • They emphasize installation and configuration, not the underlying reasons for deploying a comprehensive change management solution--much less the decisions project managers must make before the software is even installed.
  • They jump very quickly from an overview to the main content; they tend to require previous experience in a specific technology or methodology.
  • Many of the diagrams and case studies in these books are simply too complicated for the nontechnical reader.
  • None of these titles was written with the project manager, analyst, or nonengineer in mind.
  • For the most part, humor is absent from all of these titles.

The Art of ClearCase® Deployment follows some of the same technical footsteps as these other books, but we present the material in a way that a broader group of project personnel can use. When people ask us, "Why this book?" our answer is that we hope to provide members of the extended project team and burgeoning CM managers with a better understanding of how an end-to-end change management solution, in general, can enhance an organizationis ability to deliver better products--and deliver them faster. But we also hope to show how ClearCase, specifically, best meets those needs.

You may ask: What problems will this book solve? What questions will it answer? This book will help you to understand the fundamentals of software configuration management and ClearCase. It will demystify many aspects of the technology and help you understand the business value of an integrated change management solution. And most important, it will help you to make better decisions about the planning and management of your software development efforts.

We chose the title The Art of ClearCase® Deployment because deploying and maintaining ClearCase really is an art. Sure, there are some basic configurations that are mandatory for any ClearCase install, but overall the tool is powerful and flexible, allowing the CM manager and ClearCase users to retain a large amount of control over the solution they develop. Building and maintaining a ClearCase deployment is an iterative process. You'll make mistakes, and you'll constantly find areas for improvement--but over time, you'll also learn to further integrate ClearCase into your companyis business processes. In fact, a finely tuned change management solution will become a major factor in your company's ability to stay competitive.

Our Writing Style

We've received a lot of feedback about our writing style. Admittedly, our language use and tone can be colloquial at times, but we prefer to write in the voice with which we are most comfortable. Both of us present and teach on a regular basis, and we like to have fun with what we do. We want to ease the reader into the subject matter, by using humor and by sharing specific examples of our own project experiences. And so the book follows a natural progression, moving from broad concepts of project and change management to the more technical aspects of a ClearCase deployment. Unlike other books, we gradually introduce the reader to important concepts, explaining at each step how the various acronyms and activities fit into the bigger picture. We walk through the nuances of working within a modeling paradigm, and we help the reader understand the actors, the use cases, and the complete problem domain before embarking on a change management implementation of any size. Whether or not you will be the primary user of your new CM system, this book will help you understand how the system works, and where you fit into the overall process.

Learning is a circular process. Most people cannot read a textbook from cover to cover and retain all of that information. Readers need some repetition of material throughout a book, to help reinforce key concepts, but they also need an organized presentation of the subject matter, so they can readily explore each topic and find the information they seek. Our writing follows a specific pattern. Many chapters review basic concepts covered in previous sections, because we feel that certain ideas need to be highlighted. As you advance through the book, it is important to keep noticing these underlying themes to help drive them home.

Unlike other books in the broader category of software-development best practices, this book provides insight into the management, communication, and implementation issues surrounding the components of a change management solution. It also covers issues and tactical responses to implementing both small, team-based ClearCase installations, as well as large, multi-site deployments found in many of today's global enterprises. The book also shows how ClearCase can best serve these organizations.

Most chapters contain actionable steps that a project manager can follow, along with relevant examplesowith a story or theme to keep things interesting. The unifying factor in this book is the use of real-world examples, with practical guidelines for designing and deploying an end-to-end solution, all taken from our own experiences in building these kinds of solutions. We use a healthy dose of humor--in the form of stories, quotes, and anecdotes--to help make our points and keep the reader engaged. And whenever a picture can help to make a point or to illustrate a concept, we include diagrams and visual examples to demonstrate new concepts and ideas.

To be honest, there are numerous books on the market that support the many different faces of change management, from configuration management tools to detailed methodologies, most with case studies on huge implementations. Some of these books we even recommend (after you read this one, of course; see the bibliography). However, most of these books fail to mention all of the different tools in the change management continuum and how they work together with ClearCase--and even fewer attempt to explain the process and techniques with the nonengineer in mind. What is missing from the libraries of most project and CM managers is a book that clearly articulates the strategies and practical guidelines for scoping and deploying ClearCase, from the initial modeling activities through the handoff to the training and support teams.

Who Should Read This Book

The Art of ClearCase® Deployment is targeted toward those readers who want to learn about the end-to-end change management product family with ClearCase at the core, and how each component fits into the larger product development organization--mostly from the standpoint of the project manager (and the nondeveloper). Although some of the material in this book is very technical, we assume the majority of readers have minimal knowledge of change management tools, object-oriented analysis and design, programming, or any modeling methodologies. This book should serve as a guide for ClearCase novices and as a desktop reference for more experienced CM managers.

We view our book as a "bridge" to many of the more technical books already on the market, books that are more focused on the implementation of specific tools within the change management continuum, such as Brian White's Software Configuration Management Strategies and Rational ClearCase (Addison-Wesley, 2000).Our intended readers belong to an extended development organization: project managers and nonengineers intimidated by the complexity and technical background needed to understand the official ClearCase documentation; technical writers and analysts who will participate in the rollout of a ClearCase solution and want to better understand the requirements of deployment within a corporation; product managers and marketing personnel who have a vested interest in the quick and efficient creation of products; and of course, current users of ClearCase who want to strengthen their understanding of the fundamentals.

The Structure of This Book

Chapter 1--The Role of the Change Agent
Preparing to deploy any large software solution takes planning and coordination with many groups within your company, and you need to be ready for the challenge. This chapter sets the tone for the book, with some recommendations on how to prepare yourself for this challenge.

Chapter 2--The Current Software Dilemma
Why do so many software projects fail? This chapter outlines the problems and shows how ClearCase can help overcome the fundamental challenges in software development.

Chapter 3--Standards Enforcement Using Configuration Management Tools
This chapter is a brief history of standards in software development, and it offers a lesson on how CM tools can help manage or reinforce your own standards.

Chapter 4--Selling ClearCase into the Rest of Your Organization
There are many paths that might lead you toward ClearCase, but are you prepared to answer some of the basic questions for deploying a company-wide change management solution? This chapter will help prepare you for the reasoning and politics behind a ClearCase deployment.

Chapter 5--Mapping the Manufacturing Process
There is more to creating a viable product than just writing and building software. Creating software products involves many of the same processes found in the manufacturing process. It is important to understand these similarities, recognize all of the phases of development, and plan accordingly for a successful product launch.

Chapter 6--Ground-Level View of a Product Release
Understanding the product launch is another concept largely lost on the average software development organization. The handoff between engineering and the business office is critical. But with proper planning, you'll better understand the timing and interactions between engineering and marketing, and how to plan accordingly.

Chapter 7--Planning Your ClearCase Deployment
ClearCase is not something you can just install and start using out of the box. Because it affects numerous people and processes, planning out your ClearCase deployment from the perspectives of both technology and resources can make your deployments less painful. This chapter covers the fundamental questions you must ask yourself before setting up your ClearCase system.

Chapter 8--Modeling Your Configuration Management System
With most deployments, there is a driving factor for getting the system up and running quickly (usually a large number of projects with deadlines), but in this rush to go live, many mistakes can be made in your install. By taking the time to properly plan your system and understand the gaps within your processes, youill build a better solution, and avoid a lot of potholes down the road.

Chapter 9--Using Configuration Management to Control Process
CM tools can help you to automate your systems and processes, and they can play an important role in preparing for internal or external audits. This chapter outlines the basic process controls available through ClearCase.

Chapter 10--Planning for the Rational Unified Process
This chapter gives an overview of the role of the Rational Unified Process (RUP) as it relates to ClearCase, including all of the major actors and their tasks, and how they fit into your ClearCase planning activities.

Chapter 11--Build-and-Release Basics
Once you have your system up and running, this chapter will provide you with a solid foundation in the day-to-day build-and-release basics, including frequency, automation, communication with your team and management, and where to start looking at optimization.

Chapter 12--Understanding Branching and Labeling
This is a brief overview of branching and labeling strategies, naming conventions, versioning, configuration specs, and other key terms.

Chapter 13--Deploying ClearCase
Building on the previous chapters, you are now ready to start moving on to your new system. This chapter provides a checklist of activities and prescribes specific tasks for moving from other well-known source-code management systems.

Chapter 14--ClearCase Integration Analysis
Integration with other tools and systems is a key to making your ClearCase deployment successful. ClearCase must work fluidly with your other tools. This chapter outlines the primary actors, primary tools, and systems youill want to consider, and it discusses the specific benefits and limitations of your integrations.

Chapter 15--ClearCase UCM Integration
For those unfamiliar with Unified Change Management, this chapter presents an outline of the basic objects, workflow, development activities, and policy management in UCM.

Chapter 16--Lone Eagle Management
Many teams have individuals who work remotely. This chapter helps you understand how these individuals fit into your ClearCase deployment, and how to better manage them.

Chapter 17--Integrating Multi-Site Teams in Your Spare Time
This chapter focuses on the primary actors, tools, and phases that you need to understand for multi-site development, with some important recommendations on how to be more successful.

Chapter 18--Hot Rods and Hardware
This chapter outlines the hardware considerations for a ClearCase deployment.Chapter 19, The Magical World of VOB SizingHere youill find everything you need to know about the best way to design your versioned object base (VOB) configuration, and how to deploy an efficient ClearCase system.

Chapter 20--Constructing Your CM System
With your system up and running, itis now time to start refining your system and processes, using ClearCase as your development tools repository.

Chapter 21--Training and Scripting to Control Process
This chapter offers a brief lesson on the best practices around scripts, and how best to utilize training with your team.

Chapter 22--Trigger-Happy
This is a fairly comprehensive outline of the many types of triggers and how to manage them. The chapter defines the major trigger types, offers suggestions for installation and control, and provides insight into both the benefits and the pitfalls.

Chapter 23--Efficiencies in Your CM System
Here we present a history of collaboration technologies and show where ClearCase fits into all of them. Understanding this history will help you to plan your ClearCase strategies and find additional opportunities for collaboration.

Chapter 24--Reducing Build Cycle Times
This chapter goes through several solutions for build-cycle reduction, from make system reconstruction to hardware options.

Chapter 25--The Drag Coefficient of Test-Cycle Reduction
This chapter outlines the different levels of testing and discusses several strategies for improving testing efficiencies.

Chapter 26--What to Do When Things Go Wrong: Solving Problems with ClearCase
We offer some recommendations for minimizing problems with ClearCase, including how to protect your VOBs, how to access your logs, how to identify issues with your multi-site deployment, and where to go to find the experts.

Chapter 27--Bringing It All Together
Finally, the book concludes with a brief wrap-up and reaffirmation of the role of the change agent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2004

    Good book on ClearCase deployment ...

    This book gives hints on how to sell ClearCase to Management, development and manufacturing groups in an organization. Gives steps for a ClearCase rollout, how to model change-management using UML, and walks through build and release management. Also, have some good points on reducing build cycles. This book is worth reading especially if you are deploying ClearCase in your organization.

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