A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 3.0


I was interested in how complex it might be to export work items and import them again. So I looked into this and enhanced the work item command line (WCL) to support this.

I found it quite challenging to develop this. There are a lot of things to consider, so I drove this to a point that was sufficient for my purposes. The tool is used by my team to import work items from a CSV file we receive every now and then.

I implemented another export/import mode with some more capabilities and it works in tests, but is by no means production ready. The amount of necessary tests and test automation to make this reliable, is just overwhelming. So this is not thoroughly tested.

So be careful if using these commands, and do a good amount of testing before actually using this. The problem is, there are so many possible use cases and dependencies that it is very hard to develop this kind of capability and to test it.

One special case is importing/creating links. Some links have constraints i.e. parent and especially child links. A work item can not have multiple parents. So setting child links can cause the save to fail if the new child has already a different parent.

Solution Overview

The work item command line WCL now supports two new commands

  • exportworkitems
  • importworkitems

To export work items to a CSV file and import work items from a CSV file.

I chose to use a CSV file, because RTC itself can export and import that format already. It would be ideal if export and import from XML would be supported as well, but this would require a substantial effort to abstract the export and import operations to be able to use a strategy (or some other useful pattern to support abstraction).

No Support or Maintenance

This is provided as-is with no support or guarantee. This is not a tool that is officially supported by IBM or any other organization.

Please note, that I have very little time to do this and testing is always lacking. So take the code published here with a grain of salt. On the positive side, you have the code, can debug and enhance it.

Compatibility

This code has been used with RTC 4.x and 5.x with no changes and it is pretty safe to assume, that the code will work with newer versions of RTC. The code requires two external libraries that need to be downloaded and installed separately.

License and Download

The post contains published code, so our lawyers reminded me to state that the code in this post is derived from examples from Jazz.net as well as the RTC SDK. The usage of code from that example source code is governed by this license. Therefore this code is governed by this license. I found a section relevant to source code at the and of the license. Please also remember, as stated in the disclaimer, that this code comes with the usual lack of promise or guarantee. Enjoy!

Update: Added switch to change the export and import formats for dates, see details below. I also added a switch to suppress attribute not found errors and other frequent errors during export.

Update: Fixed duration set problem. Version updated to 3.2

You can download the latest version from this post The RTC Work Item Command Line On Bluemix. The older version 3.0 can be found here:

Please note, there might be restrictions to access Dropbox and therefore the code in your company or download location.

Just Starting With Extending RTC?

If you just get started with extending Rational Team Concert, or create API based automation, start with the post Learning To Fly: Getting Started with the RTC Java API’s and follow the linked resources.

You should be able to use the following code in this environment and get your own automation or extension working. The code linked from this post contains Client API.

Setup and Usage

For the general setup follow the description in A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 2 and look at the additional setup steps below.

For usage follow the description in A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 2 and in A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 2.1. Check the README.txt which is included in the downloads.

Export Work Items

The export work items command has the syntax

-exportworkitems {Switch} repository=”value” user=”value” password=”value” projectArea=”value” query=”value” exportFile=”value”  [columns=value] [encoding=value] [delimiter=value] [querysource=value]

Required Parameters are

  • repository=”value” – the repository URI, for example repository=”https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm
  • user=”value” – The user ID of the user executing the command, for example user=”ralph”
  • password=”value” – the password of the user, for example password=”password”
  • projectArea=”value” –  The project area to export items from, for example projectArea=”JKE Banking (Change Management)”
  • query=”value” – the name of the query to use, for example query=”All WorkItems”
  • exportFile=”value” – The path of the export file, for example exportFile=”C:\aaTemp\Export\Test.csv”; the folder that contains the export file must exist

Optional Parameters are

  • columns=value – The names or ID’s of the work item attributes to export; example columns=”Type,Id,Planned For,Filed Against,Description,Found In”; To specify the colums it is possible to use the name or the ID of the attribute, the switch headerIDs specifies the output format to use the ID instead of the name in the output; It is possible to use the values from an RTC Eclipse client export
  • encoding=value – The encoding; default encoding=”UTF_16LE”; options see available charset names; if the encoding is chosen different for export and import, the values will not be recognizable
  • delimiter=value – The delimiter to be used between the columns. Default is comma delimiter=”,”
  • querysource=value – If the parameter is omitted the command searches a personal query with the given name; if the value is provided a query shared by the process area is searched, a complete path from the project area to the sharing process area must be provided, for example querysource=”JKE Banking(Change Management),JKE Banking(Change Management)/Business Recovery Matters”
  • timestampFormat=value – To specify the time stamp format to be used; default “MMM d, yyyy hh:mm a”;  see SimpleDateFormat for the supported pattern

Available switches are:

  • /ignoreErrors – Ignore minor errors in mapping and value lookup
  • /asrtceclipse – Export in a format compatible to the RTC CSV export and import; if the switch is not provided, the data is exported in a format that is compatible with the syntax used by the work item command line WCL to identify elements; see A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 2 for the supported value representations
  • /headerIDs – Export header values as attribute IDs and not as attribute names
  • /suppressAttributeExceptions – Suppresses exceptions thrown for attributes that are not available on the work item type of for attribute types that are not yet implemented

Example

-exportworkitems /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph projectArea="JKE Banking (Change Management)" exportFile="C:\aaTemp\Export\Test.csv" query="All" columns="workItemType,summary,Attachments"

Import Work Items

The import work items command has the syntax

-importworkitems{Switch} repository=”value” user=”value” password=”value” projectArea=”value” query=”value” importFile=”value”  [columns=value] [encoding=value] [delimiter=value] [querysource=value]

Required Parameters are

  • repository=”value” – the repository URI, for example repository=”https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm
  • user=”value” – The user ID of the user executing the command, for example user=”ralph”
  • password=”value” – the password of the user, for example password=”password”
  • projectArea=”value” –  The project area to export items from, for example projectArea=”JKE Banking (Change Management)”
  • importFile=”value” – The path of the import file, for example importFile=”C:\aaTemp\Export\Test.csv”

Optional Parameters are

  • mappingFile=”value” – A RTC work item import mapping file, for example mappingFile=”C:\temp\mapping.xml”; the file must be generated by RTC and customized to match the value mapping
  • encoding=value – The encoding; default encoding=”UTF_16LE”; options see available charset names; if the encoding is chosen different for export and import, the values will not be recognizable
  • delimiter=value – The delimiter to be used between the columns. Default is comma delimiter=”,”
  • timestampFormat=value – To specify the time stamp format to be used; default “MMM d, yyyy hh:mm a”;  see SimpleDateFormat for the supported pattern

Available switches are:

  • /ignoreErrors – Ignore minor errors in mapping and value lookup
  •  /importmultipass – Import the work items from the CSV file in a first iteration and build up a mapping for the ID’s provided in the import file and the actual ID’s created and recreate the work item links between the new work items based on that mapping in a second pass; the old work item ID for a work item has to be provided in a special column with header name com.ibm.js.oldid
  • /forcelinkcreation – if no target work item can be found in the map, use the given ID to create the link
  • /importdebug – Print more information during import attempts to help with finding issues
  • /enforceSizeLimits – Attributes such as description and medium strings have size limits, if this switch is set, the importer tries to clip content to avoid exceptions due to the size limits

Example

-importworkitems  /enforceSizeLimits  /importmultipass  /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph projectArea="ImportTest1" importFile=""c:\aaTemp\ExportImport\TestExportAll.csv"

RTC Eclipse Compatible Export Mode

In mode asrtceclipse, all data is exported the way RTC would export them in Eclipse. This means that certain information for example links, team areas, iterations, attachments and other data is exported in a way that makes it hard to map to data in the repository.

The import command does its best to map based on names, but for complex hierarchical information such as iterations and team areas, there is currently no search implemented that will find the object successfully. It would be possible to implement such methods, with some effort.

Example: An iteration is part of a timeline. The timeline is needed to find the iteration within. If there is no information about the timeline, it would be required to iterate all timelines with a good chance of mismatch.

The import command will try to find things by name and ID, with the limitations above.

If the work item ID attribute is provided as a column the importer will try to find the work item and update it during the import.

Default Export Mode

In the default export mode, the RTC Work Item Command line export command exports the data in greater detail, which makes it easier for the importer to identify the item.

Attachments

In default mode, the attachment is exported as a file relative to the location of the generated csv file. The attachment is downloaded to a location ./attachments//. So for each exported work item with attachments, a separate folder is created. The attachments are stored in that folder and the export information in the csv file is created compatible to the WCL parameter format to allow later import of the attachments, including upload and applying the additional information.

Other Complex Items and Links

Other complex items such as iterations and team areas are also exported with a lot more details. An iteration is being exported as path, including the timeline and parent iterations. A team area is also exported as path containing the Project are name and parent team area names

Multi-Pass Import

Importing work items and recreating the link relationships between them is problematic, because while importing the work items the link target may not yet exist. To be able to import a set of work items and then recreate the linkage, it is necessary to do the import and then map the ID of the old work item to the ID of the new work item.

When using the RTC CSV importer in the Eclipse client, existing work items are provided with a # in front of the work item ID. To do an import and then recreate the links between the new work items (and not to the old ones in the import), a user would have to run the import without the links, then replace the work item ID’s in the import file by the new work item ID’s and update the work items with a second import. This is very manual and error prone.

The switch importmultipass  enables an import mode, where the WCL tries to create the links between the imported work items, rather to the old ones. It imports the work items in two passes. It creates the work items in the first pass and ignores the link creation. In the second pass it tries to create the links. For links between work items WCL tries to find the work items that were created during the import and tries to match the links to the new work items, where possible.

Note: Only links between work items are handled this way. Links to objects other than work items are recreated using the values provided in the import file.

To be able to do this, the import file has to provide the old work item ID of the work items that are imported. The import requires a special ID for the columns containing the old ID’s. The column header for this column has to be specified with com.ibm.js.oldid.

The import file below has been created using an export that included the ID of the work item in the export. The old column header for example ID of the column has been replaced by com.ibm.js.oldid. The work item links show the ID’s of the linked work items with their old ID’s.

Import Work Items With LinksThe import works as follows.

The WCL runs the first pass and imports the work items. It stores the mapping between the original work item ID from the column com.ibm.js.oldid and the ID of the newly created work item in a map. Links are not created in this pass.

In the second pass WCL reads the import file again and only handles the columns that represent links. It detects if the link target represents a work item. If not, it tries to recreate the link as it is. If the link is a work item link, WCL tries to calculate if a new work item was created for the target using the map. If the work item was imported and a new ID is available, the new work item ID is used to create the link.

If the ID of the link target can not be found in the mapping, WCL can either ignore the link or it can try to create the link to the original work item. WCL supports these two modes. By default, the link is not created. If the switch forcelinkcreation is specified, the original value of the target work item ID is used as target for the link, if no mapping to a newly imported item was found.

Creating links is not trivial. One special case is importing/creating links. Some links have constraints i.e. parent and especially child links. A work item can not have multiple parents. So setting child links can cause the save to fail if the new child has already a different parent. This can create issues in import scenarios, especially if an export from the same repository is imported and the import causes child links to be created that have already another parent. In this case the import will fail with an error.

Limitations

Approvals and comments are imported into one comment. The effort to recreate approvals is just too big and I can’t see the added value.

Special Notes On Setup

For the general setup follow the description in A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 2 and look at the additional setup steps below.

The export and the import commands of WCL need two libraries that are not shipped the downloads.

If you use the packaged WCL and want to use the export/import capability follow the steps below to add the required libraries to the folder lib in the folder lib in the WCL folder.

If you use the Eclipse project for WCL and want to use the export/import capability follow the steps below to add the required libraries to the folder lib in the Eclipse project com.ibm.js.team.workitem.commandline.

The export and the import commands of WCL use the Open CSV Library. I had issues with the newer versions of Open CSV that I could not resolve, so this code assumes the version 2.3. Download the version 2.3 from here. Uncompress and untar the the file opencsv-2.3-src-with-libs.tar.gz you downloaded. Look for the folder opencsv-2.3\deploy\ copy the JAR file opencsv-2.3.jar and put it into the lib folder of your version of WCL.

The import commands of WCL can only provide the capability to use a mapping file by using a JAR file that only ships with the RTC Eclipse client and the SDK. The classes used for the mapping file capability are located in the library com.ibm.team.workitem.rcp.core.  Open the Install location of the RTC Eclipse client and search for com.ibm.team.workitem.rcp.core*. You should find a file names similar to this one: com.ibm.team.workitem.rcp.core_3.1.900.v20141010_0124.jar. The version numbers at the end could be different. Copy the JAR file into the into the lib folder of your version of WCL.

The packaged version should look like below.

Deployed Packaged WCLIf you have imported the Eclipse project for WCL open Configure Build Path and create a user library named openCSV and add the Open CSV library opencsv-2.3.jar. Create a user library named rtcmapping and add the com.ibm.team.workitem.rcp.core library you just copied to it.

Your Eclipse Project should now look like below.

Eclipse Project and LibrariesCode Changes

During the work on import and export, the code structure was left untouched. Some classes were added to be able to handle the column header and some additional mapping of id’s and names i.e. for link types. In addition some of the code that was piling up in the WorkItemUpdateHelper (formerly known as WorkItemHelper) was moved to utility classes. this makes it also easier to look for useful API in case you are interested in how things work in the RTC API. See the scree shot below.

Code StuctureSummary

This WorkItem Command Line should allow for most of the automation needs when creating work items. In addition it is a nice resource for the RTC work Item API.

As always, I hope the post is an inspiration and helps someone out there to save some time. If you are just starting to explore extending RTC, please have a look at the hints in the other posts in this blog on how to get started.

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A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 2.2


Creating links is not easy. Many things can go wrong.  Testing by a user showed that there was an issue with links between work items and build results. I found that I got the link direction wrong. I fixed that. Here is the updated source code.

Latest Version

See A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 3.0 for the latest version.

Related posts

License

The post contains published code, so our lawyers reminded me to state that the code in this post is derived from examples from Jazz.net as well as the RTC SDK. The usage of code from that example source code is governed by this license. Therefore this code is governed by this license. I found a section relevant to source code at the and of the license.

Please also remember, as stated in the disclaimer, that this code comes with the usual lack of promise or guarantee.

On the other hand, you have the code and are able to add your own code to it. It would be nice to know what you did and how, if you do so.

Just Starting With Extending RTC?

If you just get started with extending Rational Team Concert, or create API based automation, start with the post Learning To Fly: Getting Started with the RTC Java API’s and follow the linked resources.

You should be able to use the code attached to this post in the development environment you set up in the Rational Team Concert Extensions Workshop and get your own extensions or automation working there as well.

Download

You can download the latest version here:

Setup and Usage

Follow the description in A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 2 and in A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 2.1. Check the README.txt which is included in the downloads.

The WorkItem Command Line Explained


This post explains how the WorkItem Command Line works. It explains its structure and the main classes. This should allow users to extend the capabilities the code and add new commands or extend the current commands.

Please note, as this is work in progress, things might change slightly in future versions, however the general structure should persist.

Latest Version

See A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 3.0 for the latest version.

Related posts

License

The post contains published code, so our lawyers reminded me to state that the code in this post is derived from examples from Jazz.net as well as the RTC SDK. The usage of code from that example source code is governed by this license. Therefore this code is governed by this license. I found a section relevant to source code at the and of the license.

Please also remember, as stated in the disclaimer, that this code comes with the usual lack of promise or guarantee.

On the other hand, you have the code and are able to add your own code to it. It would be nice to know what you did and how, if you do so.

Just Starting With Extending RTC?

If you just get started with extending Rational Team Concert, or create API based automation, start with the post Learning To Fly: Getting Started with the RTC Java API’s and follow the linked resources.

You should be able to use the code attached to this post in the development environment you set up in the Rational Team Concert Extensions Workshop and get your own extensions or automation working there as well.

Importing The Project

Download the code from the post A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 2. The file with the source code is named WorkItemCommandLine_Project-Vx-YYYYMMDD.zip. The x represents the version number and is followed by the date it was created. The file is an exported Eclipse project.

The project expects the Eclipse workspace to be set up as described in the posts Setting up Rational Team Concert for API Development. It requires the SDK to be set up as well as the Plain Java Client Libraries. The SDK is needed, because the project is a Plugin Project. this is done to be able to use the Eclipse Plugin Development Environment (PDE) to look at the API source code. The Plain Java Client Libraries are needed to run the code a Java application.

Use the Eclipse import File>Import. In the wizard window select “Existing Projects into Workspace” in the section General. Click Next and chose the option “Select archive file”, browse to the file you downloaded and select it. Make sure you see the project com.ibm.js.team.workitem.commandline selected and press Finish to start the import.

After the import you should see the project in your workspace. You should see no errors in the project. If you see errors, the most likely reasons for that are:

  1. The SDK is not set up correctly and the classes can not be resolved
  2. The SDK version is prior to RTC 4.0.1
  3. The Plain Java Client Libraries are not installed or the User Library has a different name

The first two will show in the plugin.xml and the manifest file. Setup the SDK correctly, or change the minimal versions needed in the dependencies.

The third will show as an error in the the build path. Define a user library named PlainJavaApi as explained in  Setting up Rational Team Concert for API Development or remove the existing user library entry and add you own. Make sure the dependency order of SDK and user library are correct as explained in  Understanding and Using the RTC Java Client API.

In case you have other errors you should search the internet for a solution.

Explore the Project

You can now explore the project. The folder structure is shown below.

WCL Project Overview

There are the following files and folders

  • src – contains the source code files.
  • build – contains a jardesc file to build a jar file for packaging
  • Launches – contains launch files used for testing
  • License – contains the license files
  • scripts – contains the script files used to start WCL, as well as a file with help information
  • the root contains a readme file, explaining how to build a releasable version of WCL, scripts used to start WCL in the development setup and a test file for upload attachment tests.

The Source Files

The image below shows the structure of the source code.

Source StructureThe package com.ibm.js.team.workitem.commandline contains the class WirkitemCommandLine, which has the main method to call WCL. The class OperationResult is used to pass result information. This is necessary, since the code could run in RMI mode and the output needs to be transferred to the RMI client. This class needs to support serializing in order to pass the result back. IWorkItemCommandLineConstants contains various constants used by WCL.

The package com.ibm.js.team.workitem.commandline.commands contains the classes that implement the currently available commands. CreateWorkItemCommand creates a work item of a specific type in a specific project area and sets the attributes as provided. PrintTypeAttributesCommand prints the attributes of a specific work item type in a specific project area. UpdateWorkItemCommand finds a work item and updates its attribute values.

The package com.ibm.js.team.workitem.commandline.framework contains a basic framework that is used by commands that are implemented in WCL. The main class requires the interface IWorkItemCommand to run the command. I ended up using this kind of framework, because all commands required some kind of parameters. The command should be able to define the parameters needed. The commands also require to do error handling. To interact with the RTC repository commands also need to login. The framework handles all the common activities and allows to create new commands without having to redevelop all this.

The class AbstractCommand implements the interface IWorkItemCommand and leaves some methods abstract that extending classes need to implement.

The class AbstractTeamRepositoryCommand adds a login to the team repository and the class AbstractWorkItemModificationCommand adds a WorkItemOperation to perform the changes to the work item. WorkItemCommandLineException is the exception class that is used to wrap other exceptions and thrown in case of unrecoverable errors.

The package com.ibm.js.team.workitem.commandline.helper contains helper classes. The class DevelopmentLineHelper is from another blog post Handling Iterations – Automation for the “Planned For” Attribute. It allows to find development lines and iterations on a development line. WorkItemHelper implements modifying work item attribute modification. Most of the RTC API related code is in there. WorkItemTypeHelper helps with printing the attribute information for a work item type.

The package com.ibm.js.team.workitem.commandline.parameter contains classes that implement all the parameter handling needed. The class Parameter is used to describe a parameter, if it is required, if it was already consumed, if it is a switch and the like. ParameterIDMapper defines a list of aliases that can be used instead of an attribute ID. You can add your own aliases that can be used for convenience. ParameterList represents a list of parameters. The class ParameterManager manages a parameter list and provides the central access to the parameters. The class ParameterParser is used to parse the parameters passed from outside and store them in a parameter list.

The package com.ibm.js.team.workitem.commandline.remote contains the remote interface IRemoteWorkItemOperationCall that is used in RMI mode.

The package com.ibm.js.team.workitem.commandline.utils contains some utility classes (providing static methods as interfaces). The class ProcessAreaUtil allows to search process areas. The class SimpleDateFormatUtil helps with conversion of timstamps from and to a string representation.

 How The Code Works

The main method of the WorkitemCommandLine basically instantiates the class and then calls the method run(). We will look at that method later.

/**
 * The main entry point into the work item commandline
 * 
 * @param args
 *            - the arguments to be used by the commandline
 * @throws RemoteException
 */
public static void main(String[] args) {

	OperationResult result = new OperationResult();
	System.out.println("WorkItemCommandLine Version "
			+ IWorkItemCommandLineConstants.VERSIONINFO + "\n");
	WorkitemCommandLine commandline;
	try {
		commandline = new WorkitemCommandLine();
		result = commandline.run(args);
	} catch (RemoteException e) {
		result.appendResultString("RemoteException: " + e.getMessage());
		result.appendResultString(e.getStackTrace().toString());
	}
	System.out.println(result.getResultString());
	if (TeamPlatform.isStarted()) {
		TeamPlatform.shutdown();
	}
	if (!isServer()) {
		// If I am not in server mode, I need to exit and return success or
		// failure
		if (result.isSuccess()) {
			// If the operation was unsuccessful, terminate with an error
			System.exit(0);
		}
		System.exit(1);
	}
}

The operation run() will return a result if it terminates. The information in this result is used to create the exit code to terminate the call.

In case this WCL is started as RMI server, the process can not terminate with System.exit(). It needs to persist registered to the RMI registry. The static method isServer() is used to communicate this information.

The method run() parses the parameters passed. It then checks if it is supposed to run as RMI server or as RMI client. If that is the case it starts the RMI server mode or, uses RMI to call the server as client. If this is a normal run, it calls runCommands() with the parameters that have been parsed.

If started as RMI server, the method startRMIServer() is used to initialize RMI and to register the class to the registry. The method runOperation() is basically the interface that is used to run the command on the server and is called by RMI clients. The method runOperation() parses the parameters and calls runCommands() as well.

The method runCommands() really executes the command requested in the parameters.  The first steps it does is to initialize the data it needs. Then it runs addSupportedCommands() to add the commands that are available.

/**
 * Add the supported commands. If introducing a new command, add it here.
 * 
 * @param parameterManager
 */
private void addSupportedCommands(ParameterManager parameterManager) {
	addSupportedCommand(new PrintTypeAttributesCommand(
			new ParameterManager(parameterManager.getArguments())));
	addSupportedCommand(new CreateWorkItemCommand(new ParameterManager(
			parameterManager.getArguments())));
	addSupportedCommand(new UpdateWorkItemCommand(new ParameterManager(
			parameterManager.getArguments())));
}

Now the method runCommands() gets the command from the Parameter Manager. If there is a command string, it gets the class that implements the command. If there is a command registered for this command string, runCommand() calls the command to validate if the required parameters for it to run are available. If this is the case, runCommand() calls the command and returns the result back.

In all other cases runCommand() prepares a result error and also uses the method helpGeneralUsage() to print a help for the command.

Adding Commands to the WorkItemCommandLine

It is easy to add new commands to the WorkitemCommandLine. You need to implement a new command and add a new entry for it in the method addSupportedCommands().

How Commands Work

Commands have to implement the IWorkItemCommand interface. You should pick one of the abstract classes in the framework and extend them. This makes sure the basic workflow will work. If you command needs to create or modify a work item based on property values, use the class AbstractWorkItemModificationCommand. If you only need to have a repository connection, use the class AbstractTeamRepositoryCommand. In both cases all you need to do really is to override and implement the methods required. There are three things that need to be there.

In the method getCommandName() you need to return the name of the command you implement.

@Override
public String getCommandName() {
	return IWorkItemCommandLineConstants.COMMAND_CREATE;
}

If your command needs additional parameters, override the method setRequiredParameters(). Call the method of the superclass to have it add its required parameters and add your parameters. Here is an example

/*
 * (non-Javadoc)
 * 
 * @see com.ibm.js.team.workitem.commandline.framework.
 * AbstractWorkItemCommandLineCommand#setRequiredParameters()
 */
public void setRequiredParameters() {
	super.setRequiredParameters();
	// Add the parameters required to perform the operation
	// getParameterManager().syntaxCommand()
	getParameterManager()
			.syntaxAddRequiredParameter(
					IWorkItemCommandLineConstants.PARAMETER_PROJECT_AREA_NAME_PROPERTY,
					IWorkItemCommandLineConstants.PARAMETER_PROJECT_AREA_NAME_PROPERTY_EXAMPLE);
	getParameterManager()
			.syntaxAddRequiredParameter(
					IWorkItemCommandLineConstants.PARAMETER_WORKITEM_TYPE_PROPERTY,
					IWorkItemCommandLineConstants.PARAMETER_WORKITEM_TYPE_PROPERTY_EXAMPLE);
	getParameterManager().syntaxAddSwitch(
			IWorkItemCommandLineConstants.SWITCH_IGNOREERRORS);
	getParameterManager().syntaxAddSwitch(
			IWorkItemCommandLineConstants.SWITCH_ENABLE_DELETE_ATTACHMENTS);
	getParameterManager().syntaxAddSwitch(
			IWorkItemCommandLineConstants.SWITCH_ENABLE_DELETE_APPROVALS);
}

Parameters added with syntaxAddRequiredParameter() will be assumed to be required. If they are not available the command line will show an error during the parameter validation. The error message is automatically created from the parameter information provided here.

Finally you have to override and implement the method process() to implement the command.

/*
 * (non-Javadoc)
 * 
 * @see com.ibm.js.team.workitem.commandline.framework.
 * AbstractWorkItemCommandLineCommand#process()
 */
@Override
public OperationResult process() throws TeamRepositoryException {
	// Get the parameters such as project area name and Attribute Type and
	// run the operation
	String projectAreaName = getParameterManager()
			.consumeParameter(
					IWorkItemCommandLineConstants.PARAMETER_PROJECT_AREA_NAME_PROPERTY)
			.trim();
	// Find the project area
	IProjectArea projectArea = ProcessAreaUtil.findProjectArea(
			projectAreaName, getProcessClientService(), getMonitor());
	if (projectArea == null) {
		throw new WorkItemCommandLineException("Project Area not found: "
				+ projectAreaName);
	}

	String workItemTypeID = getParameterManager().consumeParameter(
			IWorkItemCommandLineConstants.PARAMETER_WORKITEM_TYPE_PROPERTY)
			.trim();
	// Find the work item type
	IWorkItemType workItemType = WorkItemHelper.findWorkItemType(
			workItemTypeID, projectArea.getProjectArea(),
			getWorkItemCommon(), getMonitor());
	// Create the work item
	createWorkItem(workItemType);
	return this.getResult();
}

To complete the code of this command, here is the method that creates the work item and uses the parameters to update the attributes.

/**
 * Create the work item and set the required attribute values.
 * 
 * @param workItemType
 * @return
 * @throws TeamRepositoryException
 */
private boolean createWorkItem(IWorkItemType workItemType)
		throws TeamRepositoryException {

	ModifyWorkItem operation = new ModifyWorkItem("Creating Work Item");
	this.setIgnoreErrors(getParameterManager().hasSwitch(
			IWorkItemCommandLineConstants.SWITCH_IGNOREERRORS));
	IWorkItemHandle handle;
	try {
		handle = operation.run(workItemType, getMonitor());
	} catch (TeamOperationCanceledException e) {
		throw new WorkItemCommandLineException("Work item not created. "
				+ e.getMessage(), e);
	}
	if (handle == null) {
		throw new WorkItemCommandLineException(
				"Work item not created, cause unknown.");
	} else {
		IWorkItem workItem = getAuditableCommon().resolveAuditable(handle,
				IWorkItem.SMALL_PROFILE, getMonitor());
		this.appendResultString("Created work item " + workItem.getId()
				+ ".");
		this.setSuccess();
	}
	return true;
}

In case you wonder where the actual work gets done – I wondered looking at it. The line

handle = operation.run(workItemType, getMonitor());

does all the work. By calling it this way, the WorkItemOperation creates the work item. The operation is based upon the code in the class AbstractWorkItemModificationCommand.

In that class, the execute() method is overwritten with this code:

/*
 * This is run by the framework
 * 
 * (non-Javadoc)
 * 
 * @see
 * com.ibm.team.workitem.client.WorkItemOperation#execute(com.ibm.team
 * .workitem.client.WorkItemWorkingCopy,
 * org.eclipse.core.runtime.IProgressMonitor)
 */
@Override
protected void execute(WorkItemWorkingCopy workingCopy,
		IProgressMonitor monitor) throws TeamRepositoryException,
		RuntimeException {
	// run the special method in the execute.
	// This is called by the framework.
	update(workingCopy);
}

The call to the method update() does the real work. It walks through all the unconsumed parameters in the parameter list – which should contain the attributes and values to be set and applies the changes to the work item.

/**
 * This operation does the main task of updating the work item
 * 
 * @param workingCopy
 *            the workingcopy of the workitem to be updated.
 * 
 * @throws RuntimeException
 * @throws TeamRepositoryException
 */
public void update(WorkItemWorkingCopy workingCopy)
		throws RuntimeException, TeamRepositoryException {

	ParameterList arguments = getParameterManager().getArguments();

	// We use a WorkItemHelper to do the real work
	WorkItemHelper workItemHelper = new WorkItemHelper(workingCopy,
			arguments, getMonitor());

	// Run through all properties not yet consumed and try to set the values
	// as provide
	for (Parameter parameter : arguments) {
		if (!(parameter.isConsumed() || parameter.isSwitch() || parameter
				.isCommand())) {
			// Get the property ID
			String propertyName = parameter.getName();
			// Get the property value
			String propertyValue = parameter.getValue();
			try {
				workItemHelper.updateProperty(propertyName, propertyValue);
			} catch (WorkItemCommandLineException e) {
				if (this.isIgnoreErrors()) {
					this.appendResultString("Exception! " + e.getMessage());
					this.appendResultString("Ignored....... ");
				} else {
					throw e;
				}
			} catch (RuntimeException e) {
				this.appendResultString("Runtime Exception: Property "
						+ propertyName + " Value " + propertyValue + " \n"
						+ e.getMessage());
				throw e;
			} catch (IOException e) {
				this.appendResultString("IO Exception: Property "
						+ propertyName + " Value " + propertyValue + " \n"
						+ e.getMessage());
				throw new RuntimeException(e.getMessage(), e);
			}
		}
	}
}

The Class WorkItemHelper

This class is basically doing all the work related to modifying work item data. The helper needs to be instantiated. Then the method updateProperty() can be called.

public void updateProperty(String propertyID, String value)
		throws TeamRepositoryException, WorkItemCommandLineException,
		IOException {
.
.
.
}

The method checks if the attribute is one of the special ones like the type, or complex attributes such as workflow or state changes, approvals or other pseudo attribute ID’s and handles these if detected. Otherwise it calls the method updateGeneralAttribute() to handle the update.

private void updateGeneralAttribute(ParameterValue parameter,
		List exceptions) throws TeamRepositoryException,
		WorkItemCommandLineException {
.
.
.
}

The method updateGeneralAttribute() checks if this attribute is actually available on the work item. If so it calls getRepresentation() to get a value that can be set for the attribute.

private Object getRepresentation(ParameterValue parameter,
		List exceptions) throws TeamRepositoryException,
		WorkItemCommandLineException {
.
.
.
}

The method getRepresentation() basically is a huge list of checks to narrow down what type the attribute to modify is. If the type is narrowed down, it calls a related methods to parse the input data and to create a value for the attribute, that can be returned and set.

Summary

This post explains how the code works and how you can utilize it to implement your own commands. As always, I hope that helps someone out there.

While creating this post, I realized, that I should have named some of the classes differently. This framework is not only good for a work item command line. This code could be used for any command line. Maybe I will adjust this a bit in later versions, should time permit.

A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 2


After publishing the first version of the RTC WorkItem Command Line  I realized several things that users might want to do that were not supported. So I updated the version to 2.0 and added these capabilities. I also found an issue with setting string lists, which is also now fixed.

This post, like the previous, provides a simple Work Item Command Line Client and explains the usage. It comes with code, so you can also enhance it if you need more features.

Latest Version

See A RTC WorkItem Command Line Version 3.0 for the latest version.

What’s new?

This version of the RTC WorkItem Command Line is complete as far as I am concerned.

  • It still supports work item creation and update.
  • It now supports all attribute types and the link types that I think can be supported. The missing Item types are now supported.
  • It now supports several modes to modify the work item properties such as set the value, add to the available value or remove data.
  • It supports a RMI server mode to enhance performance if multiple calls are needed
  • It supports the RMI client mode to delegate requests to the RMI server portion.

Related posts

WorkItemCommandLine Summary

The WorkItemCommandLine – in short WCL – works on Windows and Unix clients. It requires a JDK and the Plain Java Client Libraries to be installed. Please note, I had issues running the Plain Java Client Libraries with just a JRE. You can try to use a JRE, if you like.

It currently allows to

  • Create work items
  • Update work items
  • Show the attributes ID’s available for a work item type in a project area

The WCL allows to set and update all available attribute types (I am aware of) in RTC 4.x up to 5.0.2.

  • String based attributes
  • Number based attributes
  • Enumeration and Enumeration List based attributes
  • Tag based attributes
  • Typed and untyped Item type attributes
  • Typed and untyped ItemList type attributes
  • ……

This works for built in attributes as well as for custom attributes.

In addition to these attribute types various not attribute based work item values can be modified:

  • Subscription
  • Comments
  • Approvals
  • Links to work items
  • CLM links to work items
  • CLM links to Requirements Management and Test artifacts and to SCM change sets
  • Links from build results
  • Attachments can be uploaded
  • Trigger a workflow action

This should be sufficient for most of the automation needs, especially during builds.

The WCL supports the following operations modes on work item attributes:

  • set – set the value of the attribute, overwriting or deleting existing information
  • add – add values or data to the attribute
  • remove – delete values or data from the attribute
  • default – dependent on the type of the attribute set the value or add values

The WCL supports RMI where the WCL runs as a RMI server and WCL can delegate calls to that server to have them processed. This only requires starting the team platform once and saves several seconds in subsequent calls.

License

The post contains published code, so our lawyers reminded me to state that the code in this post is derived from examples from Jazz.net as well as the RTC SDK. The usage of code from that example source code is governed by this license. Therefore this code is governed by this license. I found a section relevant to source code at the and of the license.

Please also remember, as stated in the disclaimer, that this code comes with the usual lack of promise or guarantee.

On the other hand, you have the code and are able to add your own code to it. It would be nice to know what you did and how, if you do so.

Just Starting With Extending RTC?

If you just get started with extending Rational Team Concert, or create API based automation, start with the post Learning To Fly: Getting Started with the RTC Java API’s and follow the linked resources.

You should be able to use the following code in this environment and get your own automation or extension working.

Download

You can download the latest version here:

Setup

Download the packaged executable application. The file is compressed and will be named like wcl-Vx-YYYYMMDD.zip. The x represents the version number and is followed by the date it was created.

If you have installed an RTC API development environment following the RTC Extensions workshop and this post, you have all else that is needed and can use  the installs folder of your extension development install, for example C:\RTC401Dev\installs.

Extract the file e.g. using 7Zip to a folder, for example C:\RTCWCL (or C:\RTC401Dev\installs).

The destination folder should now contain a folder wcl.

If you don’t have an extension development environment set up, download and install the Plain Java Client Libraries for your version of RTC. Open the All Downloads tab of the RTC version you are interested in. For example https://jazz.net/downloads/rational-team-concert/releases/4.0.1?p=allDownloads and scroll down to the Plain .zip Files section.

PlainJavaDownloadDownload the Plain Java Client Libraries file.

Use 7Zip and unzip the Plain Java client Libraries download file (for example named RTC-Client-plainJavaLib-4.0.1.zip). Use 7Zips Extract Files command and provide the extraction Path C:\RTCWCL\PlainJavaAPI .

If you don’t have an extension development environment set up, download and install a Java JDK. If you have the Rational Team Concert client installed a compatible JDK is available in the install location e.g. TeamConcert\jazz\client\eclipse\jdk. The easiest way is to download the zip version of the Rational Team concert Client and extracting it to C:\RTCWCL\TeamConcert.

The folder should now look similar to this image.

Install Folder

Adjusting the Scripts to the Environment

If you downloaded a different JDK or have the RTC Eclipse client installed in a different location, follow the next steps to adjust the WCL to the different paths.

Open the folder created when extracting the WCL for example C:\RTCWCL\wcl. The folder contains the script files

  • wcl.bat – for Windows clients
  • wcl.sh – for client with Unix/*ux operating systems such as Linux
  • rmi_no.policy – a RMI policy file
  • README.txt – the online help printed in a file

Open the files relevant for your operating system. They should look similar to this:

Script

The scripts assume an install structure where the JDK and the Plain Java Client Libraries are installed like in the image before. If your setup uses different paths, adjust then according to your setup. The scripts for usage with RMI only add a statement to the rmi_no.policy file.

On Unix operating systems chmod the shell scripts so that they are executable and the RMI policy is readable.

You should now be able to run the WorkItemCommandLine.

In order to allow RMI to work, WCL requires a policy file. Modify the file rmi_no.policy to your requirements and make sure it is in the same wcl folder on the server and the client. Make sure the policy file it is readable for the user that runs WCL.

Test the Environment

Open a shell or cmd window. change the directory to where you extracted WCL for example C:\RTCWCL\wcl. Type wcl and run the WorkItemCommandLine. The command should be executed and print help content like below.

Start WCLIf this does not happen, make sure the paths are set correctly and the JDK is compatible.

Please note, because the version 2.0 supports so much more, the help is very long and the windows shell can cut it off. To avoid this, you can

  1. Redirect the output into a file for example by typing wcl>wcl_help.txt
  2. Change the console setting to increase the size and buffer using mode con: lines=1100 cols=150

The README.txt is provided as help for convenience.

The Syntax of WCL

WCL uses the following syntax:

wcl – {/} {[:]=}

Where , at this time, can be

  • create
  • update
  • printtypeattributes

The commands have their own requirements for base parameters such as repository URL, users, password and the like.

Switches

WCL provides several switches that influence the behavior. Some switches are command specific, others are general. Available values for are:

  • ignoreErrors allows to successfully perform the create and update command if minor errors happen. Errors covered are for example if an optional attribute or its value was not found. If the flag is provided, WCL will continue to perform the next operations and print the error. If the flag is not provided any error will cause the operation to fail.
  • enableDeleteAttachment enables deletion of attachments using the set or the remove mode.
  • enableDeleteApprovals enables deletion of approvals using the set or the remove mode.
  • rmiServer is used to start the RMI server, see the RMI section below.
  • rmiClient is used to run the Workitem Command Line  against a RMI server instead of processing the command itself. See the RMI section below

Parameters

Values for are usually the ID of a work item attribute. The WCL defines various pseudo attribute names, typically prefixed with an @ e.g. to create links and upload files as attachment. The reason for the prefix is that RTC does not allow to start attribute ID’s with special characters and this makes it impossible to define custom attributes with conflicting names.

The parameter sections = must not have spaces in the or in the or before or after the =. The value of , or the whole term can be enclosed in quotation marks “.

Parameter and value example:

projectArea=”JKE Banking (Change Management)”

Each parameter can only be used once in the command line. In some cases like attachment uploads a special section needs to be added in the parameter to allow for multiple specifications in one call.

Multiple parameter example, ‘_2’ is used to make the second parameter unique:

@attachFile:add="./Test.txt:Some Description:text/plain:UTF-8" @attachFile_2:add="./Test.txt:Some Description:text/plain:UTF-8"

The WCL also has an alias mechanism built in, that allows to map different external names for attributes to the internal representation. Currently the names of the AttributeCustomization described here are built in. This allows, for example, to use FOUND_IN=”Sprint 2 Development” instead of foundIn=”Sprint 2 Development”. You can add your own aliases if needed.

Values

The s are specified by a string. Parameter values are usually the display value of elements (enumerations) or composed of display values of the path to this item (category, iterations, process areas). For example setting an enumeration attribute would use the display name “High”, instead of the literal ID. This makes it easier to use. In some cases e.g. for links, subscriber lists and other user lists, it is necessary to specify the ID of the element instead of the display name.

Value examples

  • For enumeration based attributes use the display value for the enumeration literal:

    internalPriority=High

  • For HTML and string based attributes use a string. HTML types like summary, description, comment and HTML support the syntax below:

    description=”Plain text

    bold text

    italic text

    External RSJazz Link

    User link to @ralph

    Work Item link to Defect 3

  • For Wiki and multi line text attributes use

    or \n for line breaks and check the syntax in the wiki editor. The full description for the Wiki Syntax can be found here. Example for a Wiki entry:

    custom.wiki=”

    =Heading1Plain text\n==Heading 2\n\nNormal Text **bold text**

    **bold text**

    //Italics//”

  • For work item type, owner and some other attributes use the object ID:

    workItemType=task

    owner=tanuj

  • Use the display name for simple attributes or the path composed out of the display names for hierarchical attributes;

    category=JKE/BRN

    foundIn=”Sprint 2 Development”

    target=”Main Development/Release 1.0/Sprint 3″

    custom.process.area=”JKE Banking (Change Management)/Release Engineering”

  • Dates have to be specified in the Java SimpleDateFormat notation:

    dueDate=”2015/02/01 12:30:00 GMT+01:00″

  • Duration values are specified in milliseconds:

    duration=1800000 correctedEstimate=3600000 timeSpent=60000Since version 3.2 the value can also be specified in hours and minutes

    timeSpent=“3 hours 3 minutes” or timeSpent=“3 hours” or timeSpent=“3 minutes”

Lists

Work item attribute values of List with a specified item type such as userList. Use the separator  ‘,‘ like in “value1,value2,…,valueN” to separate values.

Example user list: custom.user.list:add=”deb,al,bob,tanuj”

Work item attributes with an general attribute value type such as Item or itemList require encoding to locate the items. The format is: custom.item.list=value

Where value has the form: {,}

Each having the form : with no spaces allowed in the value list.

Available values for and examples for Item and itemList attribute values:

  • ProjectArea – specified by its name.

    Example: “ProjectArea:JKE Banking (Change Management)”

  • TeamArea – specified by its name path from the project area to the team area.

    Example: “TeamArea:JKE Banking (Change Management)/Release Engineering”

  • ProcessArea – specified by the name path from the project area to the process area.

    Example: “ProcessArea:JKE Banking (Change Management)/Business Recovery Matters”

  • Category – specified by the category path.

    Example: “Category:JKE/BRM”

  • User – specified by the users user id.

    Example: “User:tanuj”

  • Iteration – specified by the iterations name path (including the development line name).

    Example: “Iteration:Main Development/Release 1.0/Sprint 3”

  • WorkItem – specified by the work items id.

    Example: “WorkItem:20”

  • SCMComponent – specified by the Jazz SCM components display name.

    Example: “SCMComponent:Build”

Modes

Modes allow different types of changes to attributes such as add values, append text or remove and set other data. The mode is specified using this syntax:

[:]=

Supported values for are default (no mode specified), add, set and remove.

If no mode is specified, the default mode for the parameter is used.

  • Example for default mode: summary=”This is a summary.”.
  • Example for add mode: summary:add=” Add this to the summary.”.
  • Example for set mode: summary:set=”Overwite the existing summary with this text.”.
  • Example for remove mode: custom.enumeration.list:remove=$,Unassigned.

Which modes are supported and their behavior depends on the attributes type.

  • Single value attributes typically support default and set mode, but not add and remove mode.
    • Default mode for single value attributes is set the value.
  • Multiple value attributes, such as lists and links, typically support default, add, set and remove mode.
    • Default mode for multiple value attributes is add, which adds the value(s).
    • Set mode for multiple value attributes removes the old values and then adds the new value(s).
    • Remove mode for multiple value attributes removes the specified values that can be found.
  • String values such as HTML, Summary, Wiki type attributes support default (same behavior as set mode), set and add mode.

The Print Type Attributes Command to get the Attribute ID’s and Types

To set work item attributes, WCL needs the ID of the attribute. You can look up the ID of an attribute in the process configuration. The command printtypeattributes prints the attribute ID’s for the built-in and for the custom attributes of a work item type in a project area. The command requires, in addition to the repository URL, the user and password, at least the project area and the work item type to look up. Syntax and required parameters:

wcl -printtypeattributes repository=RepositoryURI user=userID password=password  projectArea=ProjectAreaName workItemType=WorkItemTypeID {parameter[:mode]=value}

Example

wcl -printtypeattributes repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph projectArea="JKE Banking (Change Management)" workItemType=task

Please note, for the built in attributes this returns an internal ID that might not show up if you look into the process configuration. You can use the ID’s you find there too, the API should translate them correctly.

The Create Command

The command create can be used to create a new work item and set its attributes.

The command requires, in addition to the repository URL, the user and password, at least the project area and the work item type to create. Please note, if the process specifies additional required attributes, these need to be provided as well, otherwise the creation and save operation will fail. Syntax and required parameters:

wcl -create repository=RepositoryURI user=userID password=password  projectArea=ProjectAreaName workItemType=WorkItemTypeID {parameter[:mode]=value}

Here an example for creating a work item.

wcl -create /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph projectArea="JKE Banking (Change Management)" workItemType=task summary="New Item" category=JKE owner=ralph

The command will report back the ID of the newly created work item if the operation was successful.

The Update Command

The command update can be used to update a work items attributes.

The command requires, in addition to the repository URL, the user and password, at least the ID of the work item to update. Syntax and required parameters:

wcl -update repository=RepositoryURI user=userID password=password  id=workItemID {parameter[:mode]=value}

Please note, if the process specifies additional required attributes, these need to be provided as well, otherwise the save operation will fail. This can be relevant if the state of a work item is changed.

Here is an example where a work item gets heavily updated:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 SUMMARY="New summary" FOUND_IN="Sprint 2 Development" owner=ralph target="Main Development/Release 1.0/Sprint 3" internalSeverity=Major foundIn="Sprint 2 Development" internalPriority=High attachFile="./Test.txt:Some Description:text/plain:UTF-8" internalApprovals="approval:Please Approve:ralph,deb" internalSubscriptions=al,ralph,deb internalState="In Progress" internalTags="test1,test2" custom.duration=1800000 custom.boolean=true custom.contributor=al custom.contributor.list=al,deb,tanuj custom.decimal=1500200 custom.integer=234 custom.long=567 custom.tag=tag1,tag2 custom.timestamp="2014/12/31 12:30:00 GMT+01:00" custom.wiki="My Wiki" custom.projectarea.list="JKE Banking (Change Management)" custom.project.area="JKE Banking (Change Management)" custom.teamarea.list="JKE Banking (Change Management)/Business Recovery Matters,JKE Banking (Change Management)/Release Engineering" custom.team.area="JKE Banking (Change Management)/Release Engineering" custom.process.area="JKE Banking (Change Management)/Release Engineering" custom.processarea.list="JKE Banking (Change Management)/Business Recovery Matters,JKE Banking (Change Management)/Release Engineering" custom.workitem=3 custom.workitem.list=9,20,7

The command will report back the ID of the updated work item if the operation was successful.

Special Attributes and not  Attribute Based Work Item Modifications

Some attribute types need special treatment or require more complex values to be specified. Some have other limitations and considerations. These are explained below.

For Item List attributes the items need to be provided as a list of items with the separator “,”. As an example a work item attribute of type TeamAreaList would be set like this:

custom.teamarea.list="JKE Banking (Change Management)/Business Recovery Matters,JKE Banking (Change Management)/Release Engineering"

Please note, that this implies that the separator ‘,’ can not be part of any of the display names of the elements.

Special Properties Handling

Some special properties are protected from changing.

  • Work Item ID: can not be changed
  • Project Area: parameter “projectArea” can only be specified when creating the work item. It can not be set to a different value later.

There might be other limitations imposed by the process e.g. against changing the creator of a work item.

Comments

The parameter “internalComments” can be used to add a comment. This pseudo attribute only supports the default and add mode. Removing comments is not supported in the WCL. Comments support the HTML syntax mentioned above allowing to create web links, user and work item links. Example:

internalComments=””Plain Text

Bold Text

Italic Text

External RSJazz Link

@ralph

Defect 3

User, User Lists

For attributes that require users or user lists the value of the property needs to specify the user or the list of users with the ID. Examples:

internalSubscriptions=al,ralph,deb custom.contributor.list=al,deb,tanuj

Subscriptions

The parameter internalSubscriptions can be used to subscribe a list of users to a work item using their user ID’s. The syntax is:

internalSubscriptions[:mode]={,}

This attribute supports the modes default (same as) add, set and remove mode.

  • Example set specific users (removing all others):

    internalSubscriptions:set=al,tammy

  • Example add users:

    internalSubscriptions:add=deb,tanuj,bob

  • Example remove users:

    internalSubscriptions:remove=sally,bob

Example:

wcl -update repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 internalSubscriptions:add=al,ralph,deb

Tags

The parameter internalTags can be used to add a list of tags. This attribute supports the modes default (same as) add, set and remove. The syntax is:

internalTags[:] ={,}

Example to set the tag list of the work item to two tags test1 and test2, removing all other tags:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 internalTags:set="test1,test2" custom.tags="MyTag"

Approvals

The parameter internalApprovals can be used to add approvals and approvers. Approvals only support the modes default (same as) add, set and remove. Set and remove only affects approvals of the same approval type. For example, mode set for approval type review will only remove existing reviews. The syntax is:

internalApprovals[][:mode]=”:{: {,userIDn}}”

The name of the approval to be created is required. The Approver ID list is optional and it is possible to add one or more approver userID’s. Example without approvers

internalApprovals:add=”verification:Please Verify”

The section can be left out if only one approval is specified. If multiple approvals are specified, it needs to be a unique string. In the example below “_1” and “_2” make the parameters uniquely distinguishable:

internalApprovals_1:add="approval:Please approve:ralph,deb" internalApprovals_2:add="verification:Please verify:tanuj"

Available values for are

  • approval – to create an approval record
  • review – to create a review record
  • verification – to create a verification record

Examples:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111  internalApprovals="approval:Please approve:ralph,deb"
wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111  internalApprovals="review:Please review:deb"
wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111  internalApprovals="verification:Please verify:tanuj"
wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111  internalApprovals="verification:We need a verification"

The implementation of the modes set and remove is as follows. Removal of approvals by either set or remove mode must be explicitly enabled using the switch enableDeleteApprovals, otherwise the command will fail if one of these modes is used with a internalApproval parameter.

The mode set removes all existing approvals of the specified and then adds a new approval of this type as specified.

The mode remove searches for all approvals of the specified and deletes those found with a matching the Approval Name.

Workflow and State Change

The WCL allows to set the state of the work item in different ways. Please note, the state is reached after the save operation, if it can be set.

A pseudo parameter @workflowAction can be used to set a workflow action to change the work item state when saving. This attribute supports only the modes default and set.

When using this pseudo parameter WCL looks up the current state of the work item, tries to find a workflow action with the given display name. If one exists, it  sets the save operation to trigger this action when the work item gets saved.

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=115 @workflowAction="Reopen"

Another example: @workflowAction=”Stop working” . Please note, the workflow change is governed by the RTC process engine. If RTC prevents the state change, the operation will fail on save. It is impossible to detect this prior to the save.

The parameter internalState representing the attribute to read the state can be used to set the state. The parameter only implements the modes default and set, which act equal. The syntax is:

internalState=[:]StateName

Where is the value forceState.

Without the forceFlag provided WCL acts similar to using the pseudo parameter @workflowAction. It looks up the current state, and checks if any workflow action from the current state exists, that leads to the specified target state. If there is one, it sets the workflow action to be performed during the save operation. If there is no workflow action the state change is not performed.

Example with a target state:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 internalState="In Progress"

If the flag forceState: is added before the target state, WCL uses a deprecated API to forcefully set the state. Please note, that this does not trigger a workflow action and does also not trigger operational behavior. It should be used with caution. If the target state exists in the workflow of the work item type, the state is set, regardless if it is reachable directly or using multiple workflow actions or even if it is not reachable by the workflow at all.

Example with a target state forcefully set:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 internalState="forceState:New"

State Resolution

The resolution of a work item can be set using the attribute internalResulution. The parameter only implements the modes default and set, which act equal. The parameter value provided is the display value of the resolution.

Example:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 internalResolution=Invalid

 Attachments

The WCL provides a capability to manipulate work item attachments. The pseudo parameter @attachFile can be used to upload and remove attachments. This attribute supports the modes default (same as) add, set and remove. The syntax format is:

@attachFile[]=”SomeFilePath:Some Description::”

Where:

has one of the following values:

  • text/plain
  • application/unknown
  • application/xml

has one of the following values:

  • UTF-8
  • UTF-16LE
  • UTF-16BE
  • us-ascii.

As above, must be unique for multiple attachments in one command. If only one attachment is uploaded, the can be left empty.

The file must be accessible and in the correct encoding for the operation to perform correctly.

As above for approvals the mode set is implemented to remove all attachments first and then add the new attachment. The mode remove is implemented to search for an attachment with the same file path and description and remove it if it is available.

Some examples:

-update /ignoreErrors  repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=150 @attachFile="./Test.txt:Some Description:text/plain:UTF-8" @attachFile_2:add="./Test.txt:Some Description:text/plain:UTF-8"
-update /ignoreErrors /enableDeleteAttachment repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=150 @attachFile:remove="./Test.txt:Some Description:text/plain:UTF-8"
-update /ignoreErrors /enableDeleteAttachment repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=150 @attachFile:set="./Test.txt:Some Description:text/plain:UTF-8"

Duration Types

In duration types provide the value in milliseconds. For example

custom.duration=1800000

Timestamps

Timestamps need to be provided as string in the SimpleDateFormat using the format pattern “yyyy/MM/dd hh:mm:ss z”. For example:

custom.timestamp="2014/12/31 12:30:00 GMT+01:00"

Links

The pseudo parameter @link_ can be used to link the current work item to other objects. The syntax is

@link_={|}

Where specifies the type of link to be created, for example reportAgainstBuild and the values on the right side specifies one target object or a list of target objects to be linked to the current work item using the link type. The separator used here is the pipe symbol ‘|‘. The reason is, that the links can be URI’s and the naming conventions are problematic. It is hard to find a character that is likely not to appear in that string. Not everyone sticks to the specification and the pipe symbol seemed to be appropriate.

The parameter supports the modes default (same as) add, set and remove.  Similar to other implementations above the mode set removes all links of the specified before creating the new links. The mode remove tries to find an existing link of the with the same target and removes this link, if it exists.

There are different ways the links get created, dependent on what link type and what target elements are specified.

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 @link_parent=1 @link_blocks=2|3 @link_reportAgainstBuild=P20141208-1713|@_IjluoH-oEeSHhcw_WFU6CQ|P20141208-1713
wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=150 @link_tracks_workitem="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm/resource/itemName/com.ibm.team.workitem.WorkItem/80|4|5" @link_affected_by_defect=123 @link_affects_plan_item=20|30 @link_related_change_management=4|7
wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=150 @link_related_artifact="https://rsjazz.wordpress.com/"  @link_affects_requirement="https://clm.example.com:9443/rm/resources/_6c96bedb0e9a490494273eefc6e1f7c5" @link_tested_by_test_case="https://clm.example.com:9443/qm/oslc_qm/contexts/_6u2zcH-nEeSJhuhJc8_drg/resources/com.ibm.rqm.planning.VersionedTestCase/_N6HHYX-oEeSJhuhJc8_drg"

Work Item Links – links between this work item and another work item within the same repository

The following are supported from the current work item to a target work item. These links are local to the repository this work item belongs to. This means the value list is a list of work item numbers separated by pipe ‘|’ symbols.

  • copied
  • copied_from
  • successor
  • blocks
  • resolves
  • mention
  • predecessor
  • parent
  • duplicate_of
  • duplicate
  • related
  • depends_on
  • child
  • resolved_by

Please note, that if you try to create a link that can not be supported on the target end, save errors will show up. As an example if a target is set to be the child of this work item and that work item has already some other work item set as parent, the save will fail.

Format example:

@link_related=123|80

CLM Work Item Links – CLM links between this work item and another work item within the same or across repository boundaries

The following are supported from the current work item to a target work item. These links can be local to the repository this work item belongs to, or to work items in another repository. The parameter value is a list of one or more work items specified by their ID (if they are in the same repository) or by their Item URI separated by pipe ‘|’ symbols. To understand the URI format, look at an existing link in the RTC web UI and inspect the link target. Wrong target formats can lead to corrupt data.

  • affects_plan_item
  • tracks_workitem
  • related_change_management
  • affected_by_defect

Format example:

@link_tracks_workitem="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm/resource/itemName/com.ibm.team.workitem.WorkItem/80|120|150"

CLM URI Links – CLM links between this work item and another item, described by a valid URI, in a different application or repository.

The following are supported from the current work item to a target item such as a requirement, test case or test result. These links are across repositories and applications. The parameter value is a list of one or more items, that support this link type, specified by their Item URI separated by pipe ‘|’ symbols. To understand the URI format, look at an existing link in the RTC web UI and inspect the link target. Wrong target formats can lead to corrupt data.

  • related_test_plan
  • affects_requirement
  • tested_by_test_case
  • blocks_test_execution
  • implements_requirement
  • affects_execution_result
  • related_artifact
  • related_test_case
  • elaborated_by
  • tracks_requirement
  • scm_tracks_scm_changes
  • related_execution_record

Format example:

@link_affects_requirement=https://clm.example.com:9443/rm/resources/_848a30e315524069854f55e1d35a402d|https://clm.example.com:9443/rm/resources/_6c96bedb0e9a490494273eefc6e1f7c5

Please note that the link “Associate Work Item” between a change set and the work item can only be created by the SCM component. The link created here is the looser CLM link. Create the work item change set link using the SCM command line.

Build result Links – Links from a work item to a build result in the same repository.

The following are supported from the current work item to a build result. These links are within a repository. The parameter value is a list of one or more build results. The Build result can be specified by its Build Result Label or by the Build Result ID separated by pipe ‘|’ symbols. The parameter value is a list of one or more Buildresults specified by their ID or their label. The WCL distinguishes between build result ID and Build Label, add @ as prefix to the Build Result Label.

  • reportAgainstBuild
  • includedInBuild

Please note that the link includedBuild should only be created by the SCM system from the snapshot, it is only available for completeness.

Format example: @link_reportAgainstBuild=@_IjluoH-oEeSHhcw_WFU6CQ|P20141208-1713

RMI Modes

The WCL can be run as a local Java application. This is fine if only one work item needs to be modified. However, since each call requires the RTC API TeamPlatform to be started and the process takes around 6 seconds, this does not scale for a lot of calls, it is possible to run the work item command line in a RMI server mode on the same or a different machine. This server waits for incoming requests and only needs to initialize the API once.

Called from another RMI client process, the server can process requests very fast and return the result. This can be achieved with two switches to set up the server and to delegate the call to the server.

The syntax for the switches is

/[=]

Where is one of the following values.

  • rmiServer
  • rmiClient

By default the RMI Name used to connect to the RMI server is “//localhost/RemoteWorkitemCommandLineServer” using a default port of 1099 for the RMI registry.

It is possible to define a different name and port by providing a value. The example below starts WCL as RMI server with name “//clm.example.com/WorkItemCommandLine” with a RMI registry listening to port 1199:

wcl /rmiServer=//clm.example.com:1199/WorkItemCommandLine

By providing the same naming in the rmiClient switch for the requested command, the connection can be established.

wcl -create /rmiClient=//clm.example.com:1199/WorkItemCommandLine /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph projectArea="JKE Banking (Change Management)" workItemType=task summary="New Item" category=JKE owner=ralph target="Main Development/Release 1.0/Sprint 3" internalSeverity=Major foundIn="Sprint 2 Development" internalPriority=High creator=myadmin

If the WCL is started as RMI server, the process will not terminate, but RMI will listen to requests and delegate them to that process. It is not necessary to provide a command or any other input values, when starting the WCL in RMI server mode as they will be ignored. RMI will make the process available and call it to service commands requested by other client instances that are started with the additional switch /rmiClient added to the command that is supposed to be performed.

Please note, that the server and the client require a policy file for the security manager.  A policy file rmi_no.policy is shipped with the download. The policy file opens up everything.

So please rename and modify the file to your requirements

To enable security Java requires to call the class with the additional vm argument -Djava.security.policy=rmi_no.policy where the policy file name must exist and be readable on the server and on the client side.

Predefined Attribute ID Aliases

Aliases for attribute ID’s have been coded into the application. You can add your own aliases in the mapping table.

Available mappings:

RESOLUTION_DATE: resolutionDate

FOUND_IN: foundIn

PRIORITY: internalPriority

RESOLVER: resolver

SUMMARY: summary

ESTIMATE: duration

MODIFIED: modified

FILED_AGAINST: category

CREATOR: creator

RESOLUTION: internalResolution

MODIFIED_BY: modifiedBy

PLANNED_FOR: target

CREATION_DATE: creationDate

STATE: internalState

PROJECT_AREA: projectArea

OWNER: owner

TAGS: internalTags

DUE_DATE: dueDate

TYPE: workItemType

ID: id

TIME_SPENT: timeSpent

DESCRIPTION: description

SEVERITY: internalSeverity

CORRECTED_ESTIMATE: correctedEstimate

Summary

This WorkItem Command Line should allow for most of the automation needs when creating work items. In addition it is a nice resource for the RTC work Item API.

In later posts I will explain the code for users that are interested in adding their own implementation.

As always, I hope the post is an inspiration and helps someone out there to save some time. If you are just starting to explore extending RTC, please have a look at the hints in the other posts in this blog on how to get started.

A RTC WorkItem Command Line V1.0 – Deprecated


Please refer to the new Version of the RTC WorkItem Command Line. The code has been enhanced and received a lot of testing and will be the basis for future efforts.

Version 1.0 is Deprecated
Version 1.0 is Deprecated

Please refer to the new Version of the RTC WorkItem Command Line. The code has been enhanced and received a lot of testing and will be the basis for future efforts.

I have seen many requests to be able to create and update work items from a command line in the forum. There are enhancement requests and a story for it in the Rational Team Concert development repository. I had a lot of the required code already available and thought I should provide a solution if possible.

This post provides a simple Work Item Command Line Client and explains the usage. It comes with code, so you can also enhance it if you need more features.

Related posts

  • Installing and using the WorkItemCommandLine – this post

WorkItemCommandLine Summary

The WorkItemCommandLine – in short WCL – works on Windows and Unix clients. It requires a JDK and the Plain Java Client Libraries to be installed.

It currently allows to

  • Create work items
  • Update work items
  • Show the attributes ID’s available for a work item type in a project area

The WCL allows to set and update almost all available attribute types.

  • String based attributes
  • Number based attributes
  • Enumeration and Enumeration List based attributes
  • Tag based attributes
  • ……

This works for built in attributes as well as for custom attributes.

The only attribute types currently not supported are Item and ItemList, where the type of the item is not specified or where the type is an SCM object. This might get implemented in the future. The problem is that the syntax needs to be able to specify what Item Type to look for in order to implement this, and to include the SCM component for searching.

Please note, for List attribute types it is currently only possible to set the list, unless described otherwise in the help. I am looking into a common parameter value encoding that can help more flexibility with being able to add and remove items as well.

In addition to these attribute types various not attribute based work item values can be modified:

  • Subscription
  • Comments
  • Approvals
  • Links to work items
  • Links from build results
  • Attachments can be uploaded
  • Trigger a workflow action

This should be sufficient for most of the automation needs, especially during builds.

License

The post contains published code, so our lawyers reminded me to state that the code in this post is derived from examples from Jazz.net as well as the RTC SDK. The usage of code from that example source code is governed by this license. Therefore this code is governed by this license. I found a section relevant to source code at the and of the license.

Please also remember, as stated in the disclaimer, that this code comes with the usual lack of promise or guarantee.

On the other hand, you have the code and are able to add your own code to it. It would be nice to know what you did and how, if you do so.

Just Starting With Extending RTC?

If you just get started with extending Rational Team Concert, or create API based automation, start with the post Learning To Fly: Getting Started with the RTC Java API’s and follow the linked resources.

You should be able to use the following code in this environment and get your own automation or extension working.

Download

You can download the tool here:

Setup

Download the packaged executable application. The file is compressed and will be named like wcl-Vx-YYYYMMDD.zip. The x represents the version number and is followed by the date it was created.

If you have installed an RTC API development environment following the RTC Extensions workshop and this post, you have all else that is needed and can use  the installs folder of your extension development install, for example C:\RTC401Dev\installs.

Extract the file e.g. using 7Zip to a folder, for example C:\RTCWCL (or C:\RTC401Dev\installs).

The destination folder should now contain a folder wcl.

If you don’t have an extension development environment set up, download and install the Plain Java Client Libraries for your version of RTC. Open the All Downloads tab of the RTC version you are interested in. For example https://jazz.net/downloads/rational-team-concert/releases/4.0.1?p=allDownloads and scroll down to the Plain .zip Files section.

PlainJavaDownloadDownload the Plain Java Client Libraries file.

Use 7Zip and unzip the Plain Java client Libraries download file (for example named RTC-Client-plainJavaLib-4.0.1.zip). Use 7Zips Extract Files command and provide the extraction Path C:\RTCWCL\PlainJavaAPI .

If you don’t have an extension development environment set up, download and install a Java JDK. If you have the Rational Team Concert client installed a compatible JDK is available in the install location e.g. TeamConcert\jazz\client\eclipse\jdk. The easiest way is to download the zip version of the Rational Team concert Client and extracting it to C:\RTCWCL\TeamConcert.

The folder should now look similar to this image.

WCL Folder Structure

Adjusting the Scripts to the Environment

If you downloaded a different JDK or have the RTC Eclipse client installed in a different location, follow the next steps to adjust the WCL to the different paths.

Open the folder created when extracting the WCL for example C:\RTCWCL\wcl. The folder contains the script files

  • wcl.bat – for Windows clients
  • wcl.sh – for client with Unix/*ux operating systems such as Linux

Open the file relevant for your operating system. It should look similar to this:

Script

The script assumes an install structure where the JDK and the Plain Java Client Libraries are installed like in the image before. If your setup uses different paths, adjust then according to your setup.

On Unix operating systems chmod the shell script so that it is executable.

You should now be able to run the WorkItemCommandLine.

Test the Environment

Open a shell or cmd window. change the directory to where you extracted WCL for example C:\RTCWCL\wcl. Type wcl and run the WorkItemCommandLine. The command should be executed and print help content like below.

Start WCLIf this does not happen, make sure the paths are set correctly and the JDK is compatible.

The Syntax of WCL

WCL uses the following syntax:

wcl -<command> [/<flag>] [<parameter>=<value>]

Where <command> can be

  • create
  • update
  • printtypeattributes

The commands have their own requirements for base parameters such as repository URL, users, password and the like.

The flag

  • ignoreErrors allows to successfully perform the create and update command if minor errors happen. For example if an optional attribute or its value was not found. If the flag is not provided any error will cause the operation to fail.

The parameter sections <parameter>=<value> must not have spaces in the <parameter> or in the <value> or before or after the =. You can enclose the value of <parameter>, <value> or the whole term in quotation marks. For example projectArea=”JKE Banking (Change Management)”.

The WorkItemCommandline also defines various pseudo attribute names e.g. to upload files as attachment.

Each <parameter> can only be used once in the command line. In some cases like attachment uploads a special section needs to be added in the parameter to allow for multiple specifications.

The WorkItemCommandline also has an alias mechanism built in, that allows to map different external names for attributes to the internal representation. Currently the names of the AttributeCustomization described here are built in. This allows, for example, to use FOUND_IN=”Sprint 2 Development” instead of foundIn=”Sprint 2 Development”. You can add your own aliases if needed.

Parameter values <value> are usually the display value of elements. For example setting an enumeration attribute would use “High” instead of the literal ID. This makes it easier to use.

In some cases e.g. for links, subscriber lists and other user lists, it is necessary to specify the ID of the element instead of the display name.

The help given by the tool should be enough to figure out how to use it. However, here some more details and examples.

The Command to get the Attribute ID’s and Types

To set work item attributes, wcl needs the ID of the attribute. You can look up the ID of an attribute in the process configuration. The command printtypeattributes prints the attribute ID’s for the built-in and for the custom attributes of a work item type in a project area.

wcl -printtypeattributes repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph projectArea="JKE Banking (Change Management)" workItemType=task

Please note, for the built in attributes this returns an internal ID that might not show up if you look into the process configuration. You can use the ID’s you find there too, the API should translate them correctly.

The Create Command

The command create can be used to create a new work item and set its attributes.

The command requires, in addition to the repository URL, the user and password, at least the project area and the work item type to create. Please note, if the process specifies additional required attributes, these need to be provided as well, otherwise the creation and save operation will fail.

Here an example for creating a work item.

wcl -create /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph projectArea="JKE Banking (Change Management)" workItemType=task summary="New Item" category=JKE owner=ralph

The Update Command

The command update can be used to update a work items attributes.

The command requires, in addition to the repository URL, the user and password, at least the ID of the work item to update. Please note, if the process specifies additional required attributes, these need to be provided as well, otherwise the save operation will fail. This can be relevant if the state of a work item is changed.

Here is an example where a work item gets heavily updated:

-update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 SUMMARY="New summary" FOUND_IN="Sprint 2 Development" owner=ralph target="Main Development/Release 1.0/Sprint 3" internalSeverity=Major foundIn="Sprint 2 Development" internalPriority=High attachFile="./Test.txt:Some Description:text/plain:UTF-8" internalApprovals="approval:Please Approve:ralph,deb" internalSubscriptions=al,ralph,deb internalState="In Progress" internalTags="test1,test2" custom.duration=1800000 custom.boolean=true custom.contributor=al custom.contributor.list=al,deb,tanuj custom.decimal=1500200 custom.integer=234 custom.long=567 custom.tag=tag1,tag2 custom.timestamp="2014/12/31 12:30:00 GMT+01:00" custom.wiki="My Wiki" custom.projectarea.list="JKE Banking (Change Management)" custom.project.area="JKE Banking (Change Management)" custom.teamarea.list="JKE Banking (Change Management)/Business Recovery Matters,JKE Banking (Change Management)/Release Engineering" custom.team.area="JKE Banking (Change Management)/Release Engineering" custom.process.area="JKE Banking (Change Management)/Release Engineering" custom.processarea.list="JKE Banking (Change Management)/Business Recovery Matters,JKE Banking (Change Management)/Release Engineering" custom.workitem=3 custom.workitem.list=9,20,7

Special Attributes and not  Attribute Based Workitem Modifications

Some attribute types need special treatment or require more complex values to be specified. Some have other limitations and considerations. These are explained below.

For Item List attributes the items need to be provided as a list of items with the separator “,”. As an example a work item attribute of type TeamAreaList would be set like this:

custom.teamarea.list="JKE Banking (Change Management)/Business Recovery Matters,JKE Banking (Change Management)/Release Engineering"

Please note, that this implies that the separator can not be part of any of the display names of the elements.

Special Properties Handling

Some special properties are protected from changing.

  • Work Item ID: can not be changed
  • Project Area: can not be changed – use the category

There might be other limitations imposed by the process e.g. against changing the creator of a work item.

User, User Lists, Subscribers

For attributes that require users or user lists the value of the property needs to specify the user or the list of users with the ID. Examples:

internalSubscriptions=al,ralph,deb custom.contributor.list=al,deb,tanuj

Links

To create links to other elements a special pseudo attribute/parameter link is used. The syntax is:

link_<linktype>=<value>

The supported <linktype> values are printed in the help. The value is a list of item ID’s to link to. The list of one or more elements can either be a list of one or more work item ID’s or the label or ID, in case of a build result. Examples:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 link_parent=1 link_blocks=2,3 link_reportAgainstBuild=P20141208-1713

 Workflow, States and Resulutions

The WorkItemCommandline allows to set the state of the work item in different ways. Please note, the state is reached after the save operation, if it can be set.

You can specify a workflow action by using the pseudo parameter workflowAction. In this case wcl looks up the current state of the work item, tries to find a workflow action with the given name and sets the save operation to trigger this action when the work item gets saved. An example:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=115 workflowAction="Reopen"

In addition the attribute internalState can be used to set the state.

Syntax is:

internalState=[<forceFlag>:]StateName

In this case wcl looks up the target state and tries to reach the state, using any available direct workflow action. If there is no workflow action the state change is not performed. If the flag forceState: is added before the target state, wcl uses a dprecated API to forcefully set the state. Please note, that this does not trigger a workflow action and does also not trigger operational behavior. It should be used with caution.

Example with a target state:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 internalState="In Progress"

Example with a target state forcefully set:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 internalState="forceState:New"

The resolution can be set using the attribute internalResulution. Example:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 workItemType=defect internalResolution=Invalid

Approvals

The WorkItemCommandline allows to create approvals, reviews and verifications. The syntax is

internalApprovals=”<approval_type>:<Approval Name String>:{<userID1>{,<userID>}}

Where <approval_type> is one of

  • approval
  • review
  • verification

The name of the approval <Approval Name String> is required and it is possible to add one or more approver userID’s

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111  internalApprovals="approval:Please approve:ralph,deb"
wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111  internalApprovals="review:Please review:deb"
wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111  internalApprovals="verification:Please verify:tanuj"
wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111  internalApprovals="verification:We need a verification"

Attachments

The WorkItemCommandline allows to upload attachments to work items. The syntax is

attachFileIDString{<uniqueID>}=”<pathToFile>:<description>:<contentTypeID>:<encodingID>”

Where the <uniqueID> is optional, but must be unique if multiple attachment uploads are specified, the <pathToFile> needs to exist  and be accessible, the description is some string.

The values for <contentTypeID> and <encodingID> need to match the file.

Supported values for <contentTypeID> are:

  • text/plain
  • application/unknown
  • application/xml

Supported values for <encodingID> are:

  • UTF-8
  • UTF-16LE
  • UTF-16BE
  • us-ascii

Example:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 attachFile="./Test.txt:Some Description:text/plain:UTF-8" attachFile_1="./LintResult.txt:Lint result:text/plain:UTF-8"

Subscriptions

WCL allows to add subscribers to work items. The syntax is:

internalSubscriptions=<userID1>{,<userID>}

To remove subscribers use the pseudo attribute unsubscribe. The syntax is the same as when subscribing:

unsubscribe=<userID1>{,<userID>}

Example:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph internalSubscriptions=al,ralph,deb unsubscribe=myadmin

Tags

WCL allows to set tags in the built in tag attribute as well as for custom attributes of the type tag. The syntax is:

<parameter>=<Tag>{,<Tag>}

Example:

wcl -update /ignoreErrors repository="https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" user=ralph password=ralph id=111 internalTags="test1,test2" custom.tags="MyTag"

Duration Types

In duration types provide the value in milliseconds. For example

custom.duration=1800000

Timestamps

Timestamps need to be provided as string in the SimpleDateFormat using the format pattern “yyyy/MM/dd hh:mm:ss z”. For example:

custom.timestamp="2014/12/31 12:30:00 GMT+01:00"

Summary

This WorkItemCommandLine should allow for most of the automation needs when creating work items. In addition it is a nice resource for the RTC work Item API. If my schedule allows, I will enhance it to support the missing types and potentially some export and import options.

In later posts I will explain the code for users that are interested in adding their own implementation.

As always, I hope the post is an inspiration and helps someone out there to save some time. If you are just starting to explore extending RTC, please have a look at the hints in the other posts in this blog on how to get started.

Creating Custom Link Types for Rational Team Concert


It can be useful to be able to create custom link types for RTC. This is Interesting if a special business logic/behavior needs to be implemented and the available link types don’t fit. How can this be done?

It is surprisingly easy to do as Eduardo describes in Creating a New Link Type in his blog Extending Rational Team Concert – RTC Extending. I had to do it recently and thought it would be useful to describe the experience, adding a bit more detail to the content of the blog above.

License and Download

The post contains published code, so our lawyers reminded me to state that the code in this post is derived from examples from Jazz.net as well as the RTC SDK. The usage of code from that example source code is governed by this license. Therefore this code is governed by this license. I found a section relevant to source code at the and of the license. Please also remember, as stated in the disclaimer, that this code comes with the usual lack of promise or guarantee. Enjoy!

You can download the code for this extension here.

Just Starting With Extending RTC?

If you just get started with extending Rational Team Concert, or create API based automation, start with the post Learning To Fly: Getting Started with the RTC Java API’s and follow the linked resources.

You should be able to use the following code in this environment and get your own automation or extension working.

Important Update

Please note that it is at least up to RTC 6.0.2 not possible to create custom link types that connect items in different repositories. The built in link types for example Tracks/Contributes to and Related Change request are available, but it is not possible to create custom links that behave this way.

Please note that custom link types at least up to RTC 6.0.2 are ignored by the data collection component and can not be used for reporting purposes.

Creating a Custom Link Type

All that needs to be done to create a custom link type is to create a plug-in.

Oh, no! Another Extension! Can’t I just define a new link type in the process configuration? I can literally hear it 8). Unfortunately that is not supported in RTC today. Vote for this work item if you want this kind of capability.

On the other hand, if there is really a need for business logic and operational behavior for the link type, an extension would be needed and it would not matter.

To make the new link type available in the Eclipse UI as well as in the Web UI, the plug-in needs to be deployed in the client as well as in the server. The RTC SDK calls this common API and it makes sense to follow this example.

As explained in other posts already it is crucial to come up with a good naming schema for the various projects and ID’s needed. Have a unique part in it (in my case js as infix) to be able to find it on disk and in the UI.

When creating the link type an ID for the link is needed as well as ID’s for the endpoints of the link. It is crucial to keep these values once they are chosen. If you change them while developing, you would otherwise introduce dangling references into your test model. I managed to damage my test database and got unreliable results when doing this. If this happens, it is possible to delete the folder server that sits in the same folder as the workspace and create a new test repository running the [RTCExt] Create RTC Test Database JUnit test as described in the Extensions Workshop.

This is the extensions editor for the plug-in I created:

Link Type Common Plugin
Link Type Common Plugin

Different to the aforementioned blog post, the plugin defines a component as well as the link type. The reason is that the component allows to see if the plugin was successfully deployed in the server. At some time in the future a component might become required as well. So I always define a component for my extensions.

You can use the context menu of the editor to add the the extension elements for the source, target, endpoints and the itemReferenceTypes.

The endpoints allow to specify the multiplicity. This has actually an impact on how the links behave. If an endpoint specifies 0..1 as multiplicity, only one item can be referenced with the endpoint. If an item is selected already and another item is chosen in the add link dialog, the old item is replaced by the new one.

The plugin.xml looks as follows

Final plugin.xml
Final plugin.xml

The implication of the values in the plugin.xml can be found in the extension point description that can be opened from the extension point itself. Review it to understand the options. From that description:

  • id – String id for the link type.
  • editors – Semicolon separated string of ids of those components permitted to create and delete links of this type. For example, the string “com.ibm.team.repository;com.ibm.team.scm” specifies the two components “com.ibm.team.repository” and “com.ibm.team.scm”. If the attribute is not present, this indicates that there is no restriction regarding which components (or client) is permitted to create and delete links of this type.
  • constrained – If true, the defining component requests that Links of this link type not be created by other components (without permission, or without going through an API provided by the defining component).
  • internal – If true, this link type is an internal detail of the implementation of the defining component, and is not intended as a generic link type which users can freely create, delete and view.
  • componentId – The id of the component defining this link type. Component ids are declared using the com.ibm.team.repository.common.components extension point. If set and if constrained=true, then only services that are part of that component may save and delete links of this type.

The itemReferenceType entry is still a bit mysterious. It is easy to review existing examples. On the com.ibm.team.repository.common.linktype extension select “Show References” in the context menu and browse through the examples. Especially the references in com.ibm.team.workitem.common are of interest. It is possible to define different kinds of endpoints, dependent on what items to link.

In this case work items are supposed to be linked to work items. Both ends select this itemReferenceType. Please be aware that this kind of links will only work within one CCM repository. It will not allow to link across repository borders. The are other CLM link types that would allow this to happen.

I added some icons for the link types that show up in the editors. For the final deployment, I made sure that the folders icons and META-INF as well as the plugin.xml file are selected in the binary build.

I tested the new link type in a Jetty based test server OSGI2 launch as well as in an Eclipse2 Application launch.

Prepare to Deploy

As already mentioned the common plugin needs to be deployed in the server as well as in the Eclipse client. Please follow Lab 6 in the Rational Team Concert 4.0 Extensions Workshop if you have never done this and want to understand how deployment works in general. The workshop explains in great detail which files you need to deploy on the server. The procedure below follows the deployment procedure on the server side. Other than in the workshop the client extension gets deployed using an update site.

To make this easier I created a Feature project as well as an Update Site project. To make deploying it in the server easier I also created a normal Eclipse project that contains the deployment folder structure as well as the provision profile INI file. The projects look as follows:

Final Project Structure
Final Project Structure

Once the Update Site project is built, It is easy to copy the site.xml file and the folders  features and plugins into the folder js_custom_linktype in this project.The folders and contained files in this project can then used to easily deploy the extension on the server using copy paste. It is easy to do, reliable and repeatable.

The provision profile js_custom_linktype.ini looks as follows:

url=file:ccm/sites/js_custom_linktype
featureid=com.ibm.team.js.workitem.custom.linktype.feature

It references the sub folder in the site folder that will contain the feature and plugins folders, once it is copied over to the server for deploying.

TIP: Always delete all content of the Update Site project except the site.xml before building the update site again. I have seen cases where subsequent builds did not successfully pick up all changes.

Deploy in the Eclipse client

To deploy in the Eclipse client, use the Help>Install New Software menu, add the Update Site (browsing to the folder that represents the Update Site project) and install the extension. You can package the Update Site or provide it in a web server in a company context as well.

Deploy in the Server

Copy the generated folders and the site.xml file into the folder underneath the sites folder which is referenced by the provision profile js_custom_linktype.ini file in the  serverdeploy project folder. This would be easy to automate with a build script by the way.

Now select the folders provision_profies and site with all the content and copy the into the servers folder /server/conf/ccm. Allow to overwrite the folders and request a server reset. Then restart the server.

Add the New Link Type to the Quick Information Presentation

As Sam suggests in his comment below, you also want to add the new link type so that it shows in the quick Information presentation. This is done in the Process Configuration>Project configuration>Configuration Data>Workitems>Quick Information Presentations. It allows the workitem summary page Quick Information section to show a count of and quick link to the new link in a workitem This would look like below:

Quick Information Presentation
Quick Information Presentation

Admire your work

You can now admire the result of your work in the work item editors. If not, check your deployment setup. As usually the first attempt was, of course, on a test server to not affect the production system until you have perfected your deployment process.

 Too many Link Types! What to do?

If you have created all the new link types your business demanded, users might start to complain that there are too many link types and many are not needed anyways. You knew that would be coming and decided long ago to review the article Customization of work item editor presentation to show or hide link types in Rational Team Concert. to understand how to fix this issue once needed.

Summary

That was easy, wasn’t it? Now you can create behavior based on the link type.

I have tested it against a test server on Tomcat and Derby. There is no real code this time. However, as always, I hope the post is an inspiration and helps someone out there to save some time. If you are just starting to explore extending RTC, please have a look at the hints in the other posts in this blog on how to get started.

Hiding UI Contributions in the RTC Eclipse Client


Is it possible to hide UI Elements in the RTC Eclipse client? This is a question I have been asked several times already. I always thought it would only be possible to add new UI elements but not hide them. Javier’s initial question and his example on Jazz.net prove that I was completely wrong. Sorry, but I was simply not aware of this capability.

Why is this interesting?

This is interesting, because if you want to extend the RTC Client UI with context menus, you might want to also be able to remove existing UI elements like context menus.

One use case is described in Javier’s question and example. Another example could be to do some checking before someone can complete a change set in the RTC Eclipse UI.There is no extension point that you can use to prevent completing and once it is completed, you can’t reverse the operation. If you could remove the context menu entry and provide a new one that  does some checking before calling the original action, you could greatly enhance this scenario with very few effort.

Just Starting With Extending RTC?

If you just get started with extending Rational Team Concert, or create API based automation, start with the post Learning To Fly: Getting Started with the RTC Java API’s and follow the linked resources.

You should be able to use the following code in this environment and get your own automation or extension working.

The Approach

Javier’s example shows how this can be done based on Activities in Eclipse extending the org.eclipse.ui.activities extensionpoint.

The basic idea here is to define Activities. These Activities can then be bond to

  • Existing Activities – e.g. to make sure the UI defined in an Activity will only be enabled and show if the existing Activity is enabled
  • Categories – to group several activities and enable/disable them together
  • UI Contributions

Now you can enable and disable the UI elements defined by this Activity.

If you don’t enable an activity, the UI element is hidden. Dependent on how the Activity is defined, there are different ways to enable and disable the activity, for example using Categories in the preference, or the Activity API. In addition there is an expression based activation mechanism.

See the Eclipse Documentation for Activities for more information.

Example

Lets stay in the area of the example with completing a change set above. We want to disable the context menu entry for the complete Change set action.

First it is necessary to create the plugin and to create the extension for the Activity. Create the plugin with the name com.ibm.js.team.activity.scm.cscomplete for example. Add an extension to the org.eclipse.ui.activities extension point and use com.ibm.js.team.activity.scm.cscomplete.activity as the id of the Activity.

Now it is possible to add a new activityPatternBinding for the menu item to be hidden and bind it to the the Activity com.ibm.js.team.activity.scm.cscomplete.activity defined before.

The plugin.xml looks like below.

Plug-in XML code

The new activityPatternBinding requires a pattern to map to the UI element. The pattern format is

plug-in-identifier + "/" + local-identifier

This is now the challenge. Where to get the ID’s reqired? As described in the last post, it is possible to use inspection tools such as YARI – Yet Another RCP Inspector, to get this data.

By using the Yari SWT Inspector this information can easily be gathered. Prepare an outgoing change set in the pending changes view. Open the SWT Inspector and set it to mouse down capture mode. Then select the Complete action on the context menu entry. Disable capture mouse down and inspect the data captured.  This screenshot shows the data that was gathered.

YARI SWT Data CaptureThe interesting information is the ID of the action and the ID of the plugin. This data can be copied and pasted over to create the pattern.

The plugin Id is com.ibm.team.filesystem.ide.ui and the Id of the action to hide is com.ibm.team.filesystem.ui.changes.actions.CloseAction.

The pattern follow the rules of java.util.regex. The pattern rues are described here. Please note, that the period is a special character and needs to be escaped. The pattern we are looking for is therefore:

com\.ibm\.team\.filesystem\.ide\.ui/com\.ibm\.team\.filesystem\.ui\.changes\.actions\.CloseAction

The final plugin.xml looks as follows.

Resulting Plugin.xmlIf this plugin is deployed, the complete change set action does not appear any longer in the context menus, as long as the Activity does not get enabled, e.g. using the API.

Does this mechanism also work for the RTC Web UI? I am reasonably sure that this is not the case, unfortunately.

Summary

This allows to further modify the UI of the RTC Eclipse Client (or any other Eclipse based UI’s) and to easily hide UI elements. Since it is also possible to add your own UI elements this allows a fine grained modification especially in the context of extending RTC.

As always, I hope this content helps others out there to get their work done.

Adding Context Menus for Jazz Objects to the RTC Eclipse Client


Is it possible to add customized actions to the context menus in Eclipse? This is an interesting question that recently came up  in the context of my work.

This post shows how this can be done, in case you are asked to do this kind of work. It explains

  • What extensions are possible in general
  • What you need to know to try to create such extensions
  • How to get at some of the data you need
  • A simple example that shows the main steps you need to take and the most interesting code snippets

* Update * If you need to get rid of menu entries, check this post.

License

As always, the code in this post is derived from examples from Jazz.net as well as the RTC SDK. The usage of code from that example source code is governed by this license. Therefore this code is governed by this license, which basically means you can use it for internal usage, but not sell. Remember that this code comes with the usual lack of promise or guarantee. Enjoy!

Just Starting With Extending RTC?

If you just get started with extending Rational Team Concert, or create API based automation, start with the post Learning To Fly: Getting Started with the RTC Java API’s and follow the linked resources.

You should be able to use the following code in this environment and get your own automation or extension working.

The Example

The example adds a context menu action on snapshots. It provides an example for an action directly in the context menu as well as an example for a sub menu that can be used to organize several actions. The outcome looks like below.

Pop up menu action for a Snapshot
Pop up menu action for a Snapshot

If the action is performed, the example will get the object and do something with it.

What Can be Extended?

I knew that this would be possible in general. I have created such context menu extensions for our Eclipse based modelling tools in the past. Eclipse is built to be extended. In general you can create all kinds of tools that extend Eclipse. For example

  • Eclipse Views – Tree, Table, Table Tree Views
  • Eclipse Editors
  • Eclipse Menus – menu bars, custom actions, pop up menus
  • Extend existing Eclipse extensions e.g. provide context menu extensions or add functionality
  • Decorators for tree views

All these capabilities are described in numerous books about extending Eclipse and in even more tutorials available on the web. This article describes how to create menu contributions. I won’t go too deep into what is covered in these information sources. Instead I will try to focus on the interesting topics related to RTC.

What is the Problem?

So, if this is all possible, why blog about it here? The problem is, that all these extensions require information about the objects and editors you want to extend. As an example a pop up menu contribution providing an action to the context menu of a view requires the class of the object that is provided in the tree node to work. Without this information you can’t do anything.

I found it very hard to get the information in the past. You can obviously start with a very general object and try to debug. However this can be very tedious. How can you find this information more efficient?

The answer to that is using tools available to find the information. I will show some of the tools available and how they can be used. Lets get started with creating our example.

Example Project

We want a pop up menu extension that allows to perform some action on a snapshot in some views.

The easiest way to start is to use the Plug-in Project wizard Use File>New>Project and create a Plug-in Project. Pick a good project name. As a best practice I always use a naming pattern that is aligned with the naming patterns used in Jazz, adding a unique infix that will later allow me to search for the code in case it is deployed. As an example I use com.ibm.js.team.filesystem.snapshot.menucontribution. Then use Next to go to the next specification step. As a best practice use the name as ID and specify the other values. The image below shows my choices.

Specify the project properties
Specify the project properties

Use Next to get to the extension templates. Select Plug-in with a Popup menu and click Finish. The wizard does its miracles and you now have a new project.

Inspecting the project reveals a plugin.xml and a new action class have been created. The project is fully functional. It would be possible to start an Eclipse Client Debug run-time and find a new pop up menu if clicking on a file in the Eclipse Navigator, Project Explorer or other views. If you click on a snapshot in the search view, you see – nothing.

However, that is not our target. What makes this work and what needs to be done to make this work for the given example?

For what objects this works is basically hidden in the plugn.xml. It looks as follows:

Generated Plugin XML
Generated Plugin XML

The extension is an object contribution. It works for objects displayed in views that are of the class org.eclipse.core.resources.IFile. The menu defines a sub menu that is inserted before a place called additions and defines a new menu group group1. The Action in this sub menu enables for selections of one element and calls the specified action class.

A snapshot is not of the class org.eclipse.core.resources.IFile. So much is clear, but what class do we need here?

YARI – Yet Another RCP Inspector

One way of finding out this crucial detail, that works for me, is using one of the many Eclipse inspection tools. I found YARI – Yet Another RCP Inspector searching the Web due to a hint and use this tool since then. It needs to be installed into Eclipse as described in the install instructions. Once installed it provides various new views that you can use to inspect Eclipse RCP applications, including Eclipse itself. The data it provides can be overwhelming at times, but is very useful. Use the documentation and FAQ’s provided to understand better what you can find in the data.

To find out what is exposed in the search view for a snapshot, open the view SWT Inspector that YARI provides.

Now search for a snapshot. Select the ‘capture mouse down‘ action in the SWT Inspector and click on the snapshot in the search view. Click at the ‘capture mouse down’ action in the SWT Inspector again, to switch it off. Now you can look at the captured data and use the mouse without capturing again.

The inspected data
The captured data

Look at the captured data. The data node in the TableItem element is what we need in this context. The class that is exposed here is class com.ibm.team.filesystem.ui.wrapper.SnapshotWrapper. This is basically the class that we need in the object contribution.

Plug-in Spy

Another Tool, that you can use to look under the covers of Eclipse extensions, is Plug-in Spy. This tool is now bundled with Eclipse in the Plugin Develupment Environment (PDE). You can invoke Plug-in Spy using SHIFT-ALT-F1 on a window. It tells you information such as which class provides the editor and what plugin contributes it. This is useful e.g. to find out how the Editors work and what API they use. We don’t need this information for the example, but other cases have proven this to be useful.

Plug-in Spy
Plug-in Spy

Plug-in Referencs

You can also, from the extension in a plugin.xml search for Plug-in Referencs. This shows other plug-ins that extend the same extension point. Since RTC does this, you can find and open related plugin.xml files and look for contribution classes, editor id’s and other useful information.

Plug-ins referencing the same extension point
Plug-ins referencing the same extension point

In this case com.ibm.filesystem.ide.ui is the best candidate to look at first. We don’t need the information for this example, but other examples would require to look here.

Modifying the Example

We can now modify the example to provide us with the desired solution. The steps are

  • Renaming the action class
  • Renaming ID’s and display text in the plugin XML
  • Adding a new contribution to the plugin
  • Adding required dependencies to RTC plug-ins
  • Adding code to the action

After renaming the acion class – and making sure that the new class name is actually correctly used in the plugin.xml – modify the plugin.xml to show menu captions as desired and add another contribution that directly contributes to the context menu, without creating a sub menu.

After the modifications the plugin.xml looks as below.

Final plugin.xmlBoth contributions are very similar. The difference is that the first contribution in the XML creates a new sub-meu and maps the action on to the menubarPath for this sub menu. The second contribution maps an action directly into the menubarPathadditions‘.

The order these contributions will show up in the menu is actually the reverse order of their definition in the plugin.xml.

Please Note: Don’t ask me how this works in detail. I just know enough and have example pattern that work for me. If you need more information search the Web for articles or find a good book about it.

What is left is to actually do something in the action.

SnapshotAction

The code below shows the class SnapshotAction that executes if the pop up menu is selected. Most of the code that actually works with the API is left out, because it is not that interesting. The code below can easily be used as a starting point for any menu action for any RTC object.

package com.ibm.js.team.filesystem.snapshot.menucontribution.popup.actions;

import org.eclipse.core.runtime.IProgressMonitor;
import org.eclipse.core.runtime.NullProgressMonitor;
import org.eclipse.jface.action.IAction;
import org.eclipse.jface.dialogs.MessageDialog;
import org.eclipse.jface.viewers.ISelection;
import org.eclipse.jface.viewers.IStructuredSelection;
import org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Shell;
import org.eclipse.ui.IActionDelegate;
import org.eclipse.ui.IObjectActionDelegate;
import org.eclipse.ui.IWorkbenchPart;

import com.ibm.team.filesystem.ui.wrapper.SnapshotWrapper;
import com.ibm.team.process.common.IProjectArea;
import com.ibm.team.process.common.IProjectAreaHandle;
import com.ibm.team.repository.client.IItemManager;
import com.ibm.team.repository.client.ITeamRepository;
import com.ibm.team.repository.common.IAuditableHandle;
import com.ibm.team.repository.common.TeamRepositoryException;
import com.ibm.team.scm.common.IBaselineSet;
import com.ibm.team.scm.common.IWorkspace;
import com.ibm.team.workitem.client.IQueryClient;
import com.ibm.team.workitem.client.IWorkItemClient;
import com.ibm.team.workitem.common.IAuditableCommon;
import com.ibm.team.workitem.common.expression.AttributeExpression;
import com.ibm.team.workitem.common.expression.Expression;
import com.ibm.team.workitem.common.expression.IQueryableAttribute;
import com.ibm.team.workitem.common.expression.QueryableAttributes;
import com.ibm.team.workitem.common.expression.Term;
import com.ibm.team.workitem.common.model.AttributeOperation;
import com.ibm.team.workitem.common.model.IWorkItem;
import com.ibm.team.workitem.common.query.IQueryResult;
import com.ibm.team.workitem.common.query.IResult;
import com.ibm.team.workitem.rcp.ui.WorkItemUI;

public class SnapshotAction implements IObjectActionDelegate {

	private Shell shell;
	private IWorkbenchPart fTargetPart;
	private SnapshotWrapper fSelection;
	private IWorkItemClient fWorkItemClient;
	private IAuditableCommon fAuditableCommon;
	private ITeamRepository fTeamRepository;

	/**
	 * Constructor for Action1.
	 */
	public SnapshotAction() {
		super();
	}

	/**
	 * @see IObjectActionDelegate#setActivePart(IAction, IWorkbenchPart)
	 */
	public void setActivePart(IAction action, IWorkbenchPart targetPart) {
		shell = targetPart.getSite().getShell();
		fTargetPart = targetPart;
	}

	/**
	 * @see IActionDelegate#run(IAction)
	 */
	public void run(IAction action) {
		IProgressMonitor monitor = new NullProgressMonitor();
		IBaselineSet snapshot = fSelection.getSnapshot();
		String snapshotUUID = snapshot.getItemId().getUuidValue();
		try {
			fTeamRepository = (ITeamRepository) snapshot.getOrigin();
			fWorkItemClient = (IWorkItemClient) fTeamRepository
					.getClientLibrary(IWorkItemClient.class);
			fAuditableCommon = (IAuditableCommon) fTeamRepository
					.getClientLibrary(IAuditableCommon.class);

			performAction(snapshotUUID, monitor);
			MessageDialog.openInformation(
					shell,
					"SnapshotMenuContribution",
					"My Action was executed on Snapshot: '"
							+ snapshot.getName() + "' UUID [" + snapshotUUID
							+ "]");

		} catch (Exception e) {
			MessageDialog.openError(shell, "SnapshotMenuContribution",
					e.getMessage() + "\nMy Action was executed on Snapshot: '"
							+ snapshot.getName() + "' UUID [" + snapshotUUID
							+ "]");
		}
	}

	private void performAction(String snapshotUUID, IProgressMonitor monitor)
			throws Exception, TeamRepositoryException {
			// Do something here
	}

	/**
	 * @see IActionDelegate#selectionChanged(IAction, ISelection)
	 */
	public void selectionChanged(IAction action, ISelection selection) {
		fSelection = null;

		if (selection instanceof IStructuredSelection) {
			Object first = ((IStructuredSelection) selection).getFirstElement();
			if (first instanceof SnapshotWrapper) {
				fSelection = (SnapshotWrapper) first;
			}
		}
	}
}

Lets look at the interesting parts first. The class implements IObjectActionDelegate. This is an interface of the Eclipse framework that is always used for this type of actions.

The method selectionChanged() is used to get the selected element(s). It is called when selecting elements for the contribution. The code is fairly typical and can also be refined to get a list of selections.

/**
 * @see IActionDelegate#selectionChanged(IAction, ISelection)
 */
public void selectionChanged(IAction action, ISelection selection) {
	fSelection = null;

	if (selection instanceof IStructuredSelection) {
		Object first = ((IStructuredSelection) selection).getFirstElement();
		if (first instanceof SnapshotWrapper) {
			fSelection = (SnapshotWrapper) first;
		}
	}
}

The code inspects the selection, uses IStructuredSelection to get at the elements, and checks that the correct class is passed, casts the input and stores it in a field.

The method setActivePart() is used to store some information about the UI that can be used later. Some UI elements such as message dialogs need the current shell. Others need the target part. These values are stored in fields.

/**
 * @see IObjectActionDelegate#setActivePart(IAction, IWorkbenchPart)
 */
public void setActivePart(IAction action, IWorkbenchPart targetPart) {
	shell = targetPart.getSite().getShell();
	fTargetPart = targetPart;
}

The method run() finally is called when clicking the action. The interesting parts of this method are getting the snapshot from the wrapper and then getting the UUID.

Another interesting piece of code is to get the ITeamRepository. The code uses the method getOrigin() available from all RTC data objects and gets the team repository of the selected element. Keep in mind, the client could be connected to several different repositories and we want the one that contains the selected element. Once we have the ITeamRepository, it is possible to get client libraries needed for the areas of the API.

The code would do something to the selected element, or search for related elements and then perform some action with it. This code is left out in the example. The example shows a dialog window coming up on the end of the action or in case an exception occurred.

/**
 * @see IActionDelegate#run(IAction)
 */
public void run(IAction action) {
	IProgressMonitor monitor = new NullProgressMonitor();
	IBaselineSet snapshot = fSelection.getSnapshot();
	String snapshotUUID = snapshot.getItemId().getUuidValue();
	try {
		fTeamRepository = (ITeamRepository) snapshot.getOrigin();
		fWorkItemClient = (IWorkItemClient) fTeamRepository
				.getClientLibrary(IWorkItemClient.class);
		fAuditableCommon = (IAuditableCommon) fTeamRepository
				.getClientLibrary(IAuditableCommon.class);
			performAction(snapshotUUID, monitor);
		MessageDialog.openInformation(
				shell,
				"SnapshotMenuContribution",
				"My Action was executed on Snapshot: '"
						+ snapshot.getName() + "' UUID [" + snapshotUUID
						+ "]");
		} catch (Exception e) {
		MessageDialog.openError(shell, "SnapshotMenuContribution",
				e.getMessage() + "\nMy Action was executed on Snapshot: '"
						+ snapshot.getName() + "' UUID [" + snapshotUUID
						+ "]");
	}
}

Some interesting code we found during our work on Jazz.net is how to open a work item editor for a work item in the UI.

The code looks like this:

while (results.hasNext(null)) {
	IResult result = (IResult) results.next(null);
	IWorkItem workItem = fAuditableCommon.resolveAuditable(
			(IAuditableHandle) result.getItem(),
			IWorkItem.SMALL_PROFILE, monitor);
	workItemsFound += workItem.getId() + " ";
	WorkItemUI.openEditor(fTargetPart.getSite().getPage(), workItem);
}

The code runs on a query result as described in the posts Using Expressions For Automation or Using Work Item Queries For Automation and opens the work items found in the Eclipse UI.

Summary

The example above shows how you can add menu contributions for RTC objects in Eclipse and also, how to get the information needed. Interestingly the menu contribution also works in the Snapshot editor context menu.

Menu addition in the snapshot editor
Menu addition in the snapshot editor

As always, the code is very simple and has very few error handling implemented. You want to improve on that. However, I hope the example is useful for others out there trying to extend RTC.

Work Item Command Line Client to Add a Comment


Yesterday I was asked to help a project that is incrementally migrating to Rational Team Concert with a small command line tool allowing to add comments to a work item. The team has switched to work items already and this tool is supposed to be used in some automation and called from another tool that is not yet replaced by RTC.

I had not yet worked with work item comments that much, except printing them and was interested in understanding how hard it would be to find the API involved. I made some nice experience doing so, which I would like to share.

Just Starting With Extending RTC?

If you just get started with extending Rational Team Concert, or create API based automation, start with the post Learning To Fly: Getting Started with the RTC Java API’s and follow the linked resources.

You should be able to use the following code in this environment and get your own automation or extension working.

To keep it simple this example is as many others in this blog based on the Jazz Team Wiki entry on Programmatic Work Item Creation. The example shows client API.

License

As always, our lawyers, reminded me to state that the code in this post is derived from examples from Jazz.net as well as the RTC SDK. The usage of code from that example source code is governed by this license. Therefore this code is governed by this license, which basically means you can use it for internal usage, but not sell. Please also remember, as stated in the disclaimer, that this code comes with the usual lack of promise or guarantee.

Operation to Add a Comment

As usual I decided to go with a WorkItemOperation to add the comment and update the work item. To do that, I created an inner class WorkItemAddComment extending WorkItemOperation. Well, to tell the truth, I grabbed the whole initial code from another example like published in Upload Attachments To Work Items.

Then I looked into implementing the execute method, that is called when the operation is performed. Since I did not have code other than printing comments, I first used IComments comments = workItem.getComments() to get the comments.

Now I needed to find the API to create an IComment. So I used search for references as described here to look at references where IComment was created. Surprisingly I found the interface IComments provides the createComment() method.I could have found it right away if I had looked. But the learning here is, if you set up your environment as described here and here, and follow the tips to search, you can easily find it. Not much brainpower needed here.

The createComment() method needs an IContributor object for the person that is named as creator of the comment and an XMLString for the comment itself. I decided to change the constructor of the operation to pass an IContributor and a String and store them in fields, to have them available in the execute() method.

Finally it is necessary to add the new comment to the comments retrieved from the work item. All the save and update mechanism is handled in the WorkItemOperation.

To be able to update the work item in the execute() method, the constructor also needs to pass a load profile to the superclass. I started with using the full profile but optimized it later to load with a custom load profile based on the small profile with the Comments property as extension.

The resulting code is shown below.

	private static class WorkItemAddComment extends WorkItemOperation {

		private String fComment;
		private IContributorHandle fCommenter;

		public WorkItemAddComment(IContributorHandle commenter, String comment) {
			super("Add Comment to Work Item", IWorkItem.SMALL_PROFILE.createExtension(Arrays.asList(new String[] { IWorkItem.COMMENTS_PROPERTY })));
			fComment = comment;
			fCommenter = commenter;
		}

		@Override
		protected void execute(WorkItemWorkingCopy workingCopy,
				IProgressMonitor monitor) throws TeamRepositoryException {
			IWorkItem workItem = workingCopy.getWorkItem();

			IComments comments = workItem.getComments();
			IComment newComment = comments.createComment(fCommenter,
					XMLString.createFromPlainText(fComment));
			comments.append(newComment);
		}
	}

Call the new Operation

The new operation takes two parameters in the constructor.

  • The IContributorHandle of the user to show as creator of the comment
  • A string that is the text in the comment

The operation gets called and executed like below.

	WorkItemAddComment operation = new WorkItemAddComment(commentUser,commentText);
	operation.run(workItem, monitor);
	System.out.println("Modified work item " + workItem.getId() + ".");

Get The Required Data

To call the code above, we need to get the user creating the comment and the work item to update. My final direction was, that I wanted to be able to just provide the repositoryURI, the credentials to log in, a work item ID and a comment string to be able to create the comment. In this scenario the user that runs the command line tool would be creator of the comment. As an enhancement I wanted to be able to pass the user ID of the creator of the comment.

The run method finally looks like this code:

private static boolean run(String[] args) throws TeamRepositoryException {
	boolean result = false;
	if (args.length  6) {
		System.out
				.println("Usage: AddComment      []");
		return result;
	}

	String repositoryURI = args[0];
	String userId = args[1];
	String password = args[2];
	String idString = args[3];
	String commentText = args[4];
	String commenterID = null;
	if (args.length == 6) {
		commenterID = args[5];
	}

	IProgressMonitor monitor = new NullProgressMonitor();
	ITeamRepository teamRepository = TeamPlatform
			.getTeamRepositoryService().getTeamRepository(repositoryURI);
	teamRepository.registerLoginHandler(new LoginHandler(userId, password));
	teamRepository.login(monitor);

	IContributor commentUser = null;
	if (null != commenterID) {
		try {
			commentUser = teamRepository.contributorManager().fetchContributorByUserId(
					commenterID, monitor);
		} catch (ItemNotFoundException e) {
		}
	}
	if (commentUser == null) {
		commentUser = teamRepository.loggedInContributor();
	}

	// Use IWorkItemClient or IWorkItemCommon
	IWorkItemCommon workItemCommon = (IWorkItemCommon) teamRepository
			.getClientLibrary(IWorkItemCommon.class);
	int id = new Integer(idString).intValue();
	IWorkItem workItem = workItemCommon.findWorkItemById(id,
			IWorkItem.SMALL_PROFILE, monitor);

	if(null!=workItem){
		WorkItemAddComment operation = new WorkItemAddComment(commentUser,
				commentText);
		operation.run(workItem, monitor);
		System.out.println("Modified work item " + workItem.getId() + ".");
		result=true;
			
	} else{
		System.out.println("Can not find work Item " + idString + ".");
	}
	teamRepository.logout();
	return result;
}

What it does, is checking and getting the parameters first.

The code then logs into the repository. If a second user ID is available for the commenter, the code tries to get the related contributor. If this fails the code falls back to the automation user ID by getting the IContributor logged in.

Then the code gets the IWorkItemCommon client library to find the work item by the ID passed in the call. If all succeeds the operation is called to update the work item and we are done.

The Rest of The Code

You can grab the rest of the code from Upload Attachments To Work Items. The code is also available in the Jazz In Flight project at JazzHub in the project com.ibm.js.team.workitem.automation.examples in the Extension Development Stream in the RTC PlainJava Automation component.  Once you have access you can get the code. You can also request to join the project and provide your own solutions there.

Calling The Code From The Command Line

The code can be called like below from the command line, provided JAVA_HOME is set and the Plain Java Client Libraries are installed in the second location and the code is compiled. The code below can be placed in a batch file which is called in the root of the eclipse project.

Set JAVA_HOME="C:\IBM\ibm-jdk\"
%JAVA_HOME%/jre/bin/java -Djava.ext.dirs=%JAVA_HOME%/jre/lib/ext;C:/RTC403Dev/installs/PlainJavaAPI -cp ./bin/ com.ibm.js.team.workitem.automation.examples.ModifyWorkItemAddCommentOperation "https://clm.example.com:9443/ccm" "ralph" "ralph" "54" "Add a comment"

See the README.TXT in the snippets folder of the Plain java Client Libraries for instructions for UNIX like operations systems.

Please Note: I had to explicitly point to the JRE, if the JDK did not provide an lib/ext folder.

Summary

As always I hope this code is useful to anyone. I also hope that the tips on searching the API helps others to explore the API as well. Please keep in mind, the code is not thoroughly tested and might need some polishing if you want to use it.