The RTC SDK is about to change in 6.0.3


Since some time now, the RTC and Jazz Development teams are in discussion how to cope with the version compatibility requirements driven by Eclipse clients and the server API. In RTC 6.0.3 the SDK is about to be split into separate SDK’s for the Eclipse client and the Server. This will impact how the development environment needs to be set up and how extensions are developed. I will try to share a summary of what to expect here. I have so far only been able to experiment with development builds, there has not been an official release of the SDK for 6.0.3 yet.

Download the new workshop

Update * the new Extensions Workshop is finished for a while now. it can be found at the original Rational Team Concert Extensions Workshop location.

Why splitting the SDK?

The RTC Clients have been based on Eclipse 3.6 for a considerable amount of time now. This has been the case for the Jazz Servers as well. However, there is pressure on the server infrastructure for the need to support Eclipse 4.4.x and higher. On the other hand there are client applications that RTC needs to integrate with, that are lagging behind in adoption of new Eclipse versions.

As described in What API’s are Available for RTC and What Can You Extend? the RTC SDK currently contains the RTC Server API, the RTC Common API and the RTC Client API in one delivery. The RTC Common API is part of the RTC Server API as well as the RTC Client API. This is a potential problem when shipping the SDK and trying to keep the Server compatible to Eclipse 4.4.2 and above and being compatible with Eclipse 3.6 clients. As it looks, the RTC SDK will be split into two parts.

  1. A RTC Server SDK bundling the RTC Server API and the RTC Common API compatible with Eclipse 4.4.x and higher
  2. A RTC Client SDK bundling the RTC Client API and the RTC Common API compatible with Eclipse 3.6.x and higher

Impact of splitting the SDK

The split has various impacts on how extension development will now work. Please find below a short summary of changes that I have found necessary to perform the workshop.

Changes to section: 1.1 Download and Unzip the Required Files from jazz.net

The Server SDK Target Platform now requires an Eclipse 4.4.2 or higher. You can download the base Eclipse 4.4.2 client here. For example download the version Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers. Install the client similar to described in the workshop. Then download the RTC Eclipse Client p2 install package and install this into your Eclipse 4.4.2.

In the Feature Based Launches download the new launcher442.zip. Unzip the zip file, browse to the enclosed JAR file and copy that into the dropins folder in the Eclipse client.

You might want to consider to do the following changes to the eclipse.ini file.

  • Add a section -vm with an additional line for the java virtual machine to use. If you run Eclipse with a different JVM, e.g. from Oracle, consider to specify a JRE or JDK that is compatible with the one that ships with RTC. This vm would also be used in the workspace setup section.
  • Add -showLocation in the org.eclipse.platform section; this shows the Eclipse workspace path in the upper border of the Eclipse client as below
    eclipse-workspace_2016-11-07_11-23-52
    This makes it possible to actually work with multiple workspaces and knowing which an Eclipse instance is responsible for.
  • A vmargs argument -Duser.language=en to make sure you get a consistent language in the menus if you want.

The image below shows the changes in my caseeclipse-ini-2016-11-07_11-09-02

Changes to section: 1.2 Setup for Development

Once the SDK is split into two parts the Rational Team Concert Extensions Workshop can no longer be performed using just one Eclipse Workspace. An SDK is set up as a Target Platform in the Plug-in Development section. Since the SDK’s are now split, it is necessary to have two target platforms. Since it is not possible to have more than one Target platform active in one Eclipse workspace it is not possible to launch a server for debugging while running an Eclipse client from the same workspace.

The RTC Extensions workshop will have to be changed to set up two separate workspaces.

  • One workspace will have to be set up with the RTC Server SDK as active Target Platform, for example using the path: C:\RTC603Dev\Workspaces\Dev1\Server
  • The other  workspace will have to be set up with the RTC Client SDK as active Target Platform, for example using the path: C:\RTC603Dev\Workspaces\Dev1\Client

Both workspaces will require to be set up as described in the RTC Extensions workshop document in section 1.2 Setup for Development.However, you will set up different target platforms in this step. Using the Server SDK for the server development workshop and the Client SDK for the Client development workspace.

Please note, it is a good idea to configure Eclipse to use an external browser as well in this step.

Changes to section: 1.3 Setup the RTC Tomcat Server

I am modifying the WorkshopSetup tool and data to setup the RTC project named RTC Extension Workshop to support an easier setup for the two workspaces. Basically two separate RTC Repository workspaces will be available. One will provide the launch, the configurations and the components needed to develop the RTC Eclipse server extension part of the workshop. The other one will provide the launch and the components needed to develop the RTC Eclipse client extension part of the workshop.

As long as this is not yet available it is possible to start with the existing setup tool and the related repository workspace and to load that into the two Eclipse workspaces. One workspace has to be set up with the RTC Client SDK will be used for development of the client part. The other with the RTC Server SDK set up is used to develop the server parts. When performing the workshop it will be necessary to work with the two workspaces and use one for all the server related tasks and the other one with the client related tasks. When Accepting changes into these workspaces it is necessary to understand what is part of the client and what is part of the server or what is shared. The image below shows what belongs to what.

  • The parts colored in blue are only related to server development
  • The parts colored in yellow are only related to client development
  • The uncolored parts are related to client and server development

client-server-common

Make sure to keep in mind which parts of the code are relevant for what. As an example, the project net.jazz.rtcext.workitem.extensions.ide.ui will not compile in the server development workspace. Similarly the net.jazz.rtcext.workitem.extensions.service project will not compile in the client development workspace.

Changes to section: 1.4 Complete Setup of Your RTC Eclipse Client

After Loading the repository workspace you have the choice to split the information into a sever part and a client part. For example you can duplicate RTC Extension Workshop Configuration and create one that only contains the client launches. Or you keep everything as it is and basically close the project areas you don’t need and ignore launches not needed. This is the easiest approach until a new Extension Workshop is available.

The initial step of copying the files services.xml and scr.xml is only needed in the server workspace. So when copying and importing, copy the files services.xml and scr.xml from your server’s ccm application in the installs\JazzTeamServer\server\conf\ccm folder into the RTC Extension Workshop Configuration project into the folder conf/jazz in the server development workspace.

When importing the plugins and features import the following into the server workspace:

  • com.ibm.team.common.tests.utils
  • com.ibm.team.jazz.foundation.server.licenses.enterprise-ea (or com.ibm.team.licensing.product.clm)
  • com.ibm.team.licensing.product.rtc-standalone

When importing the plugins and features import the following into the client workspace:

  • com.ibm.team.rtc.client.feature

Other considerations

As already mentioned, make sure to keep track which workspace you are working in and keep in mind that the server development part will not work in the client development workspace and vice versa.

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.

Summary

We have major changes coming up in the RTC Extension development area. The RTC Extension workshop needs to be adjusted and parts of the workshop lab needs to be reorganized and rewritten. This post explains what to consider for experienced users. Once there is an update to the Extension workshop lab material this post will be updated.

As always, I hope this helps users out there and saves them some time.

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Running The RTC 4.x Extensions Workshop With RTC 5.0.x


Since the new 5.0 version of Rational Team Concert and the CLM tools is out now, would the Rational Team Concert 4.x Extensions Workshop still work with this version?

The short answer is: Yes!

* Update * The error described below can be fixed. See the update in the description.

I just quickly tested if the Rational Team Concert 4.x Extensions Workshop works with the newest release 5.0 and I was able to successfully smoke test it. The same applies to newer versions of RTC.

To test if it still works, I performed Lab 1 completely. The new setup tool introduced recently ran like a charm and this was successful.

I then ran Lab 2 and finally Lab 5 with the complete code accepted. All labs worked as advertised. I would not expect any surprises in Lab 6 (except the normal issues when trying to deploy).

Observations

As there are some things that I notice that are different from the 4.x versions. I will summarize them here.

After setting up the SDK an error shows up in some of the project explorers. The error looks like below in the project explorer:

ExternalPluginError_1It seems to be an issue with the build path if one looks at the details:

ExternalPluginError_2I can’t remember having seen this in the past. Initially it only seems to come into the way when launching and does not seem to have any ill effects. Unfortunately it prevents refactoring operations.

To get around it, when launching, use this dialog to skip this issue:

ExternalPluginError_SkipIf you check the ‘Always launch without asking’ option, be a ware that this could be problematic if your own code has errors as well.

* Update *

To get rid of this error you can delete the folder resources in the SDK folder installs/rtc-sdk/plugins/com.ibm.team.log4j.ui_1.2.0.v20140307_1622 after extracting the SDK.

In the other labs, the only thing that seemed to be different is that the Eclipse password secure storage is getting more persistent. You should probably provide a password, to avoid having to deal with it every time.

Summary

So you can run the Rational Team Concert 4.x Extensions Workshop with the current Rational Team concert version 5.0 and it is likely it will run also with later versions.

As always, I hope the code above helps someone out there with extending RTC.

RTC Extension Workshop Overhaul


It took a while, but the Rational Team Concert Extension Workshop overhaul was finally published on Jazz.net.

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.

 What did change?

The new version of the workshop provides

  • Compatibility to newer versions of RTC
  • Compatibility to all RTC and CLM installation types
  • Enhanced, simplified setup
  • Small enhancements of the workshop to address minor changes in the SDK

The Rational Team Concert Extension Workshop is one of the most used workshops in the Jazz.net library. Unfortunately several changes in RTC since its design for RTC 3.0 caused a lot of problems for users. It needed a major change in how the required RTC repository is set up to make it easier to consume.

The main challenge was the set up of the RTC Development repository. The workshop was designed to use TAR database exports created with the repotools to import them and provide the repository as presented below. This repository contains the required development data which is accessible in a repository workspace and a stream with baselines and data.

ExtensionWorkshop Development Repository

This was a lot of manual effort, took time and worse, was not compatible across different versions of RTC. The old files could not be used with newer versions.

As described in this series of posts, the solution was to create the required project, stream and workspace using the Plain Java Client Libraries and upload the required source code to the stream.

The new workshop now uses a small Java Tool WorkshopSetup working with the Plain Java Client Libraries to create the project and to upload the content required to run the workshop. The tool can be downloaded with the Rational Team Concert Extension Workshop.

This allowed to completely remove the steps to import the repository content from the TAR files, which overwrite the repository you set up and rely on a specific setup of the servers done before to avoid conflicts. The removal of the repository exports also reduces the download size considerably.

Since the repository is no longer overwritten, there are no more potential issues with public URI’s and registered applications. It is also no longer necessary to recreate the index files after the import. All these steps where very manual, error prone and time consuming and the workshop is now much more consumable.

The server setup can now use the express setup and is less manual and much faster.

Since the repository is created during the server setup and not overwritten, the evaluation licenses are not expired. There are no license issues anymore. The step to upload the 10Free licenses could be skipped entirely and performed later, once the evaluation licenses expire, if one so desires.

The workshop workbook uses the Web install for RTC as default, but it also describes how to use the Plain ZIP version of RTC. I typically use the latter approach which has some advantages. One of it is, that Installation Manager is not involved and I can safely just delete the files, instead of doing an uninstall. This also works offline or with small bandwidth, if the files are already downloaded.

The WorkshopSetup tool can actually be run against any existing repository and it does not mater which other applications are installed. It should always be able to create the project and upload the content. If you want to start all over with the workshop, it would also be possible to run the WorkshopSetup tool multiple times (e.g. renaming the RTC Extensions Workshop project created for a prior run of the workshop).

The WorkshopSetup tool is started using a batch file or shell script. It will work if you follow the setup instructions. However, you can configure it, if needed. The parameters to configure it are highlighted in the image below.

WorkshopSetupThere are no requirements on the administration user ID anymore, except that it is easier to follow the workshop workbook, if you use the proposed names. If you want to use a different ID, modify the user id and password entries in the workshop setup batch file. All other parameters can also be changed as desired.

Another benefit of the change of the install procedure is that all required data, the source code, licenses, the configuration and debug launch files are now available as exported Eclipse projects. These exports can be used even without having to run the workshop at all. E.g. the launches and configuration files are in the file WorkshopSetup/Data/Configuration/RTCEXTConfiguration.zip and can easily be imported into an Eclipse workspace.

The server launch configurations now contain all the bundles for the licenses that are used in the different ways to package RTC and CLM. Just import the ones from your setup and you are ready to go.

As long as there are no drastic changes to the Plain Java Client Library API the WorkshopSetup tool should work with any version of RTC in the future. It is no longer necessary to start with RTC 4.0 and then to upgrade the repository. I ran the tool with all available RTC 4.x versions up to 4.0.6 and it worked with no problems. The WorkshopSetup tool works also with RTC 3.0.x and it is safe to assume it will also work with upcoming versions of RTC.

* Update * It also works with 5.x.

In addition to these major changes, the launch configurations were tidied up to better map to the newer structures in RTC 4.x and later.

Some feedback from users was also used to make small changes in the labs to make things clearer, easier to follow and address small changes in the API since 4.0 in the text and screenshots.

Starting with Extensions and Automation?

If you just get started with creating extensions or automation for RTC, start with this post Setting up Rational Team Concert for API Development

Summary

A lot of effort went into making the Rational Team Concert Extension Workshop easier to consume and make it compatible to other RTC versions. I hope the result helps users out there to get started with RTC Extensibility and saves some of the precious time. If you have suggestions or run into problems, please provide feedback and questions on Jazz.net in the Forum.