About Ralph

Hi, my name is Ralph and I live in Wiesbaden, Germany.

I have always been fascinated by computers and software and work as a professional in computer related industries since 1993 when I graduated in Kiel in the northern part of Germany.

Over the years I have worked in various roles such as administrator, developer for IT and embedded systems, consultant and IT specialist for development tools. I joined IBM 2003 in the acquisition of Rational Software as an IT specialist and consultant for development tools covering application lifecycle management.

I had the opportunity to meet Erich Gamma 2007 to get a first glimpse on the emerging Jazz technology. It was obvious to me, that Rational Team Concert was the tool that I had been always looking for as a developer. So I decided to get involved with the Jazz technology.

I joined the Jazz Jumpstart team in 2010 and, enjoyed to work with this great team helping users all over the world in adopting the Jazz tools.

Mid 2013, the initial mission of the Jazz Jumpstart team was achieved. I will continue working on supporting the success of the Jazz Products in the Unleash The Labs Team, with a similar focus.

When I am not working on Jazz tools, I like biking and hiking in the Taunus mountains and the vineyards of the Rheingau that stretch out from the mountains to the river Rhine, where I live today. I also like reading a lot, especially science fiction and science books. I am also into playing computer games.

Recently I reanimated an old hobby – remote controlled airplanes.  I tried starting this fascinating hobby when I was a teenager, but it was simply unaffordable for me then. Today simulators and a much cheaper and better technology especially for batteries and motors make it a lot simpler. Building airplanes from scratch using PDF plans, foam plates, carbon spars, cutter, glue, some color, battery, motor and electronics and get it through the maiden flight is still a challenge. This also has a lot of similarities to IT projects and the general challenges in the area I am working in.

11 thoughts on “About Ralph

  1. Hi Ralph

    My team is looking to use the Non attribute type –> Attachments <– in a plug and play scenario for work item presentation. Essentially, we want to use this to segregate different attachments within the work item. Currently, once populated with an attachment, it distributes that same attachment throughout the work item. Is there a work around or enhancement to give our desired behavior ?


    J. Heinz

    • This question has been asked and answered on the forums several times already, I think.

      Attachments are not attribute based – they are basically linked to the work item with a special reference. The presentation is therefore not attribute based and there is basically not a way to define another attribute for attachments either. All presentations you add to the work item type will show the same attachments.

      I don’t even see a way to distinguish between attachments, other than the file name or type. If you want to do that, you would have to extend RTC and write your own presentation. this can be done. The built in presentation will still show all attachments.

  2. Hi Ralph,

    Hope you are doing well, i want your assistance in following scenario, kindly look into this

    In a customize Change Request workitem there are 2 different type of users i.e. Team Lead & Dept. Head. when the Change Request being created then Team Lead will be able work on the Change Requets and he will change the status of change request after changing status, system will generate Email notifiction to the Dept. Head and the same change request will be assign to Dept. head and he will be taking care of things against which he assigned.

    What i have implemented so far:
    1, i have created a customized RTC work item of Change Request.
    2, In Change Request work item i have created two custom attributes called Team Lead & Dept. Head which are Contributor type attributes
    3, Both custom attributes are in the same workitem
    4, After selecting user in Team lead & Dept. Head dropdown then system assign same Change Request to the both users but i want to assign change request on the basis of status and also i want to generate email notification to the Team Lead & Dept. Head when the status get changed.


  3. You can ask general questions on Jazz.net. The forum is followed by many users that create code similar to the content of this blog.

    If there are questions related to a post, you can ask them in the comments section there, but I can’t promise I can answer and I can’t provide consultancy services here.

    The comments section is moderated and inappropriate or unrelated comments will be removed.

    This is not an online consulting site. If you need consulting, please contact your IBM representative or locate one of IBM’s partners for consulting.

    This is also not a recruiting page.

  4. Hi Ralph,

    Do you do any consulting work? i.e. would you be interested in two weeks in South Africa helping our devs understand how to use the APIs.

    ( An immediate problem that springs to mind is the disconnect between moving items on the task board and the status of that work item. i.e. if a task is moved from e.g. New to In progress, the status of that work item will remain as New.)

    Best regards

    • I am not a consultant. I work for development enabling our field. I work with customers, remotely most of the time. This has proven to be most efficient. Developing against the API also requires enabling yourself, basically following https://rsjazz.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/learning-to-fly-getting-started-with-the-rtc-java-apis/ . All I can add to that is a discussion about best practices and some tips before and after you enable yourself, which can be done remotely as well.

      What you describe above is, I think, not really related to extending. I would assume that the workflow definition of the work item category or it is a product defect. If this happens only for one workflow, I would assume the first. I definitely don’t see this being w two week onsite engagement.

      If you want to change the state of a work item using the Java API, this is covered in https://rsjazz.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/manipulating-work-item-states/ and some other posts. They all assume you perform the enabling steps I have in pretty much all of my blog posts.

      Please also see my comment above about this not being a recruiting site.

  5. Hi Ralph, first of all, thanks for all the informations you’re sharing among the different blog articles, I’m a begineer in the RTC world, i’ve been asked to start learning RTC cause I’ll have to create plugin on both client and server side, and I would like to have your advices regarding the best and more efficient way to learn RTC, I went through some articles, ( from rtc wiki page mainly ) where I found this so much true statement : “Write the code that implements your desired behavior.
    This is often the most difficult step because you need to figure out which RTC APIs you’ll need and how to use them. The labs and articles below will provide some guidance. Consult the RTC API javadoc for detailed information about information about specific classes and interfaces.”

    the least I can say is that it’s not that easy especially when the only source of information is to digg into the API doc seeking the right class to use and in order to answer a specific requirement, I was wondering whether the was a better way rather than just go after the API doc ( i didn’t find the RTC SDK API doc in internet btw, I only found the plain java API DOC ), the wiki page give only some example, I would like to find a web page that at least summarize the list of RTC extensions and that give more informations about how things may be implemented for different requirements, cause it’s not just about knowing which plugin extension to use, but it’s also about knowing the right mechanism to implement and how to implement it.

    many thanks for your help.

    • I don’t think the “About Ralph” is the correct place to ask a question like this. If you have unspecific questions, please ask in the Jazz.net forum. If you have questions with respect to the blog posts, feel free to ask there.

      I am aware that the RTC APIS are a challenge. This blog exists because of this awareness. I always tried to explain useful entry points in the API that I came across doing my work and I think there are examples for a huge amount of typical questions a beginner has.

      For users that ask themselves where to start, I have a special section in almost every blog post. I also have a prominent link to that resource on the home page. Go here: Getting Started and carefully work through it. The Interesting Links page provides with a collection of topics that I have come across.

      If you have a rough idea search the blog using some key word. You can also search the SDK as described here and in other posts:

      That is in fact the way I usually find the API I need. I don’t have any more access to RTC than the SDK and plain java. I could probably find a developer and ask them, but usually I can find the API quicker than finding the developer that knows that API.

      The SDK does not provide any external JavaDoc in fact it is not officially supported.

      There are comments in the SDK source code that is the documentation that would be generated into JavaDoc. The documentation is unfortunately not very good. But using names and searching for where things have been used e.g. in unit tests provides you with most information you need.

  6. Hi Ralph,

    Thank you so much for all your articles. I was wondering if you knew anything about exporting work items from RTC into TFS?


    • This is more a Jazz Forum question or a Microsoft forum question. The WCL I created can export to CSV files and then it becomes a question what TFS can do.

      The question also definitely does not belong into the About Ralph section.

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