Monday, January 26, 2009

RMC 7.5 exporting to MS Project - estimates in Work column

today I discovered how to solve an issue which has been bugging me for quite some time. I owe it to Peter Haumer, whose answer I happened to saw on some internal forum.

I think I've spoken before about Rational Method Composer (RMC) and how well suited is this tool for architects trying to put pieces together in projects, engagements, processes and the like. If you have no idea what RMC is up to, have a look here

Back to my issue: today I declare that RMC is my replacement for MS Project. While I am fully aware that RMC does NOT do what MS Project does, I do NOT use MS Project as much as I use RMC, that is, further than drawing the initial plan for an engagement. Or, for that matter, to open up other .mpp I receive :)

Up to couple of hours ago, I didn't knew that RMC can export the estimates for activities / tasks. You draw and plan your stuff into RMC, put estimates, adjust using estimating factors, and so on. Then, export the initial plan towards MS Project. Then, open MS Project and load RMC generated xml file. You'll find all your tasks there, even with dependency (at least for waterfall). Then, look for the Work column in order to find your estimates.

This actually completes the circle. RMC is good for reusing stuff (tasks/work items/roles ...). Project managers and customers are constantly asking for mpp files.

For me (not needing to track *.mpp files), it is so much easier to get what I already have, put the estimates, export to MS Project, then off you go. Look for the Work column, as well.

Life got simpler with this, thanks Rational :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

partnumber zip files from Passport IBM SW Catalog

Scenario: suppose you are a new IBM customer. Or, suppose you work for an IBM Business Partner. Either way, suppose you have access to the SW Catalog Downloads of IBM. And you want to get your brand new packages for WebSphere Portal. Version 6.1, Extended. And final supposition: you want to download and install/test Portal on Linux, then on AIX.

So far, so good. You access the Catalog, search for Portal 6.1 and get a whole bunch (more than 100) of packages to download, worth several tens of GB. Not good.

First piece of advice: search for 'Portal 6.1 for AIX', or 'Portal 6.1 for Linux'. Do not search for 'Portal 6.1 for Windows' :) Portal on Win is not a good choice, and this comes from experience ... boinc ...

But, before cursing IBM for tens of partnumbers instead of a clean *.tar file containing all you need, think about this:

- Your IBM software runs on 10 platforms (you'll count them below)
- You are just about one of IBM's several thousands customers, and IBM needed a way to package SW for below 10 platforms.
- Have some patience and I'll explain in short my revelation, so you'll find it a little more comfortable to download and prepare your packages.
- I think IBM has special services attending the needs for packaging. So if you want DVD's with everything packed and ready to go, search and call these IBM services.

Following are my considerations:
- Download the partnumbers files and keep them as they are.
- Because some of these are mixed and contains components for different platforms. You need C1U2WML.zip for Linux and for AIX as well.

Before the final consideration, I'd say that RTFM, occasionally, is useful. At least, seems to me that InfoCenter (for Portal) gets better and fills new and useful information, not only for the current version but for previous versions as well.

- In InfoCenter you'll (re)discover how to organize and unpack these partnumbers zips in order to perform your install for either AIX or Linux, as you wish. And here comes the quote:

"Copy CD content to a file server
This option has the following benefits and is best if installing on multiple machines:
Installing from a network drive may be faster than from a CD-ROM drive; review your network and hardware options to determine the best choice
The installation program finds the CDs it needs
Perform the following steps to copy CD content to a file server:
1. Create a directory for the product; for example, /wpversion_number
2. Copy the contents of each CD into its own directory; for example:
/wpversion_number/OS_code-Setup
/wpversion_number/OS_code-1
/wpversion_number/OS_code-2

The operating system codes are:
AIX (32-bit and 64-bit) = A
HP-UX (32-bit) = H
HP-UX (64-bit) = HI
i5/OS = I
Intel Linux (32-bit and 64-bit) = IL
PowerPC Linux (32-bit and 64-bit) = PL
zLinux (64-bit) = ZL
Solaris (32-bit and 64-bit) = SS
Solaris (64-bit) = SO
Windows (32-bit and 64-bit) = W
Note: (UNIX only) After copying the content, set read and execute permissions for users doing the installation. "

And final thought: how would you organize SW packages and different components (WAS, WASND, Forms, Sametime, Edge Components, TDS, and all other stuff coming into Portal Extended) for 10 platforms ? What if you want to offer another dimension, like Server, Enable and finally Extended ? hmmm ... tough, ain't it ?

Would you go for each platform to offer a single *.tar or *.zip ? If so, you'd multiply the storage to host this amount of space by 10. And what about the three licensing options ? ... even tougher ...

So, you need modular approach. Here you go, you've got your modules. They're the partnumber zip files :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stanford Engineering Everywhere - Programming Methodology

Via my Thunderbird feeds, I ran into this post from Stephan's blog.

Going from that, I opened the first lecture from YouTube, from here and here's my confession: I would love to attend this course back in my university days. Particularly this question from the lecturer (Mehran Sahami) raised my attention: "how many people (in this room) recognize when a computer is on ?". Seems like fun going through these lectures, so here I will.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

notes 8.5 - first impressions

You must already know by now that notes 8.5 goodies have been released.

I upgraded. Took some long time (about 20 minutes) to upgrade from 8.5 beta 2. So when you upgrade, plan some time.

I actually upgraded without any previous local data backup, no issues.
I also increased the Notes 8.5 JVM Heap, by altering:

\framework\rcp\eclipse\plugins\com.ibm.rcp.j2se.win32.x86_1.6.0.20080709-200808151631\jvm.properties

vmarg.Xmx=-Xmx1024m

Overall impressions: it's definitely worth the time to upgrade. Snappier, faster, better looking.

Old issues solved since Notes 8.5 Beta 2 (for me):
- integrated Sametime client seems faster. At least the chat windows appears faster when I open a conversation.
- appears that Notes 8.5 now shuts down cleanly (no longer do I need to kill Notes2.exe with the Sysinternals Process Explorer)
- Lotus Symphony (I think it's now 1.2) became usable as programs within the Notes client.

And a new thing I noticed: I can search IOPES from within the Notes client, which is fun. Apparently the 'Search all mail' toolbar does not search local mails together with all archives the local replica is linked to. I expected this to work, in order for me to drop IOPES. It didn't, at least I no longer need to open a separate FF window.

This is how the search toolbar looks on my client:



The Personal Omnifind entry might have been there in the beta, I happened to noticed it today :)

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