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Configuration Management
Rational Synergy

The IBM® Rational® Synergy environment is a task-based configuration management solution, providing capabilities that help software and systems development teams work faster and easier by improving communication and collaboration. Rational Synergy brings together your global, distributed development teams on a unified change, configuration and release management platform.

The Rational Synergy solution helps accelerate release and build management processes, assisting in amplifying the efficiency of limited development resources, and aiding in uniting distributed development teams. Rational Synergy helps improve wide area network (WAN) performance for global workers and distant sites. This feature helps enable team members from around the world to work together on a central Rational Synergy database over the WAN, aiding in reducing the need for replication and simplifying complex development challenges. The Rational Synergy solution offers capabilities to help organizations improve the quality of their distributed development processes. The environment supports development in both centralized and distributed modes. The tool features a powerful process engine for collaborative development, helping support software reuse and component-based development, assisting your efforts to meet scalability and resilience targets with integrations from IBM Rational and IBM partners.

The Rational Synergy configuration management solution helps you with:

  • End-to-end task-based configuration management
  • Baselines and advanced release management support
  • Integration with IBM® Rational® Change, providing a single-repository solution for software change and configuration management
  • Advanced support for parallel development and variants
  • Reduced overhead and productivity for developers
  • Support for component-based development and advanced SCM needs
  • Support for distributed, global development

Reduced overhead and productivity for developers

End to end task-based configuration management support

The IBM® Rational® Synergy environment provides an intuitive, task-based approach to configuration management that helps you efficiently coordinate and communicate your team member’s development activities. With the tool’s simplified interface and smart CM capabilities, this task-based approach helps you with:

  • Logical change-based workflow (like fixes and enhancements) usually spanning multiple files are consolidated to help ensure the consistent user deliveries and workspaces utilization
  • Short development-integration cycles helps accelerate the development process and aids in identification and resolution of integration problems
  • Configurations are created from a baseline, plus a set of changes associated with a list of tasks, helping your organization to safely and completely remove a high-impact change submitted at the end of a development cycle and incorporate it into a subsequent release
  • Improved quality using a configuration management system that detects whether or not software builds have complete and consistent sets of changes
    GUI-driven customization of a standard workflow so that it can be made to match a team's preferred methodology
  • Enhanced project management by presenting users with a comprehensive picture of the true state of a development project, helping you sort which tasks have been completed, integrated, and delivered to test

The Rational Synergy environment enables developers to take a logical task-based ‘to-do list’ approach to implementing software changes. The IBM Rational Synergy for Developers interface reduces a developer's management overhead.

Using the Rational Synergy solution, organizations can help reduce development overhead by:

  • Automated association maps developer source modifications to the tasks selected from their to-do lists, helping reduce manual record keeping
  • Task-based check-in eliminates individual file check-ins, helping prevent future build problems caused when a file isn't checked in or when the wrong file is checked in with manual file check in
  • Intelligent conflict detection identifies inconsistencies caused by incomplete or conflicting sets of changes prior to the build, helping reduce time lost to failed builds
  • Object associations let developers and build managers easily determine which objects have changed for a particular enhancement or fix — an integration with IBM® Rational® Change extends the benefits of a task-based development environment to include a full, workflow-based change request management system
  • By managing the flow of changes at the appropriate level (work assignment or Rational Synergy task), the Rational Synergy solution helps your team make productivity benefits

Developers work within preferred IDEs

The Rational Synergy environment provides familiarity for developers because it works with Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), such as Eclipse and Visual Studio.

Developers working from the Rational Synergy product's graphical user interface are benefitted by having the tools they need at their fingertips. Checking code in and out, making code changes, and getting online help are just a point and click away with version history and project structure visible at a glance. Additionally, all commands and capabilities are available from the command line.

Distributed development support

All participants in your globally distributed development projects, including your systems and software development teams can now collaborate in realtime using a global delivery framework: the Rational Synergy tool’s unified change, configuration and release management platform.

The solution’s centralized WAN access mode allows team members at any location to work with an integrated, centralized development repository at lightening fast, LAN-like speeds. These are typically 20 to 40 times faster than standard SCM applications running over a WAN. At the heart of the system is a Rational Synergy server that uses standard Web protocols for asynchronous client communication, thereby reducing dependence on network latency.

IBM® Rational® Synergy helps supports the paradigm of global, distributed development by assisting communication and collaboration. Team members from any location to login to a central development repository and carry out operations with previously unthinkable speed. No longer do you have to setup multiple SCM servers and replicate between them.

The Rational Synergy environment helps improve productivity because users can communicate, coordinate development efforts — avoiding duplication and rework. The tool provides support for process based configuration management to help your enterprise develop potentially large and complex SW projects, dispersed over multiple sites, with needs for:

  • Process Improvement support
  • Compliance requirements support
  • Component Based Development support
  • Complex Parallel Development support
  • Advanced Baseline and Release Management support

Advanced software and systems development support

The IBM® Rational® Synergy solution is suited to the development of advanced, high quality software systems. Some of its largest deployments include electronics, medical systems, telecommunications, aerospace and defense, IT integrators, ISVs, embedded device development providers. The Rational Synergy tool is strategically aligned with the IBM Rational portfolio of products, to serve the specific needs of these markets.

Advanced component-based development and software reuse support

The Rational Synergy solution’s support for component-based development helps companies eliminate duplication of effort, allows distributed teams to work together, and assist in lowering the cost of development by:

  • Serving as a component repository where reusable software components are uniquely identified and versioned
  • Supporting a flexible process so that teams can collaborate closely on the development and use of components, or maintain formal separation between component developers and consumers
  • Making it easy to use components as building blocks to develop other systems; components can be combined from other components, and then reused as a unit

The Rational Synergy tool helps enable software components to be published, reused, and distributed and provides development process guidance that is efficient and cost effective.

Baselines and advanced release management

The Rational Synergy solution provides advanced release management capabilities that help avoid duplication of effort and loss of quality. The Rational Synergy product helps you:

  • Plan, manage, track, and centrally administer multiple projects and releases, and their relationships to one another, and across your organization
  • Work on different projects and use different development processes, such as the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model (CMMI) or Rapid Application Development (RAD)
  • Easily determine all the files and/or logical changes that are contained within a particular release
  • Query on releases that contain a particular file or task

In addition, each team can configure its own templates to define a process that is most appropriate for their needs. Change traceability within the Rational Synergy environment helps provide comprehensive traceability and impact analysis capabilities. Baselines help keep the various participants — internal or external — in the development team in sync.

Parallel development and variants support

The Rational Synergy parallel development tool capabilities helps you make improvements over traditional approaches. The Rational Synergy solution offers a versatile parallel development approach that helps you eliminate unnecessary file branching and merging.

Parallel development is often accommodated by creating version control branches for each step in the development process. These branches usually apply to the whole code base and cause needless and confusing merges. By using branching and merging for code promotions, a clear understanding of the changes present in the software is lost.

The Rational Synergy parallel development tool offers significant improvement over that approach. It works like a team naturally does, helping promote code at the work assignment or task level. This avoids unnecessary file branching and merging and moves code promotion control to where the team needs it.

Work assignment identifiers remain consistent even after code has been promoted to different releases. This makes it easy to assess where a change has been promoted. Unlike a branch and merge approach, the Rational Synergy tool is not restricted to the number of places code can be promoted to; work assignments or Tasks can be added to multiple release streams.

The Rational Synergy parallel development solution is backed by conflict detection capabilities that help find dependencies between promoted changes. This helps ensure that projects have a consistent and complete changes present in the code.

Application lifecycle management support

Adoption of application lifecycle management (ALM) platforms facilitates high value delivery in software organizations. ALM includes provisions for enhancing collaboration and communication between diverse, geographically separated development groups both within and without your organization. A global ALM solution provides Web- and WAN-enabled capabilities that control the meaningful flow of work assignments, changes, and other critical lifecycle information and attributes regarding project progress.

A common repository for software assets that unifies team members on a centralized, integrated SCM platform is a major advantage., It enforces governance principles, validates compliance, provides real-time visibility, optimizes workload balance, facilitates organizational learning, reduces administration and logistical overheads thereby leading to all-round agility. All team members are provided with the same up-to-date information, reducing errors and rework. Full traceability gives project managers a new level of visibility into the entire development process and allows the project team and others in the organization to share knowledge and lessons learned. The IBM® Rational® Synergy solution helps provide you with these capabilities.

Integration with IBM Rational Change

Integrated change management and configuration management improves traceability, promotes compliance and reduces the cost of ownership.

Software, especially large and complex software, evolves over time. Organizations need a managed process to keep track of changes to user requirements that go into the finished product. The Rational Synergy tool is integrated with IBM® Rational® Change to help provide you with a single view of your development status simultaneously with the changes affecting the application. When integrated with Rational Change, Rational Synergy helps enable software development tasks to be driven by change requests, providing developers with the full context for their work and project managers with visibility of the status of change requests through to their implementation and release in new software builds.

Using the Rational Synergy solution’s integration with Rational Change, you help get an integrated view of change management and configuration management data, with a process engine and bi-directional workflow driving development. The Rational Synergy and Rational Change solutions share the same underlying repository, making information more visible, manageable, and available for up-to-date reporting and decision making.

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