Rational Team Concert (RTC) is an IBM-proprietary software development team collaboration tool.
It provides a collaborative environment that Agile software development teams use to manage all aspects of their work—plans, tasks, revision control, document management, build management, and reports.
RTC is built on IBM Jazz, an extensible technology platform.
Note: RTC is a highly customizable tool. All the tips mentioned in the article may not be relevant to all the versions/adaptations of RTC.
Search for an RTC item
The text box in the bottom of the RTC application is a very handy tool.
It lets you search for defects/tasks by using the RTC id or entering a words that appear in the title or description.
If you don’t like to reach for the mouse to get the pointer to the search text box, just press Ctrl + Alt + W and the search dialog opens.
Extract work item
When working with Stories, Tasks or defects, we often build up a hierarchical model of work that needs to be done.
We create stories that may contain sub-stories. Tasks may also contain sub-tasks. It sometimes gets tedious to create this hierarchy.
Select text in the description of a story, task or a defect. You get an option ‘Extract work item’.
Use this option to create a new work item with the selected text, which is linked to this parent item.
View Component history
For a complicated project split across several teams in different locations, getting an overview can be difficult.
RTC provides the ability to see the history of all changes going in against a given component in a stream.
Go to Team Artifacts Project Source Control. Right click, and go to Show History.
This shows you every change set delivered against this component in time order.
Assuming that the comments are helpful, you get a pretty good view of what is going on and how frantic the pace of delivery is.
Annotate work items
Annotate option is better than just the flat file history.
Right-click on a file and select Team Annotate.
The entire file is marked up line-by-line to show you exactly when the last change to that line occurred.
This is super handy to answer that key question ‘ Who did *that*?’
Change flow target to use multiple streams
Sometimes you need to accept (or deliver) changes from (to) different streams for different components, into their repository workspace. Switching flow target is an easy and convenient way to work in different streams.
In the workspace, change the flow target and pick the new stream. The Pending Changes view now shows outgoing and incoming changes between the workspace and that new stream.
When appropriate, change the flow target back to the previous stream.
You can change the flow target for the whole repository workspace, or even just pick some component(s) in your repository workspace.
Change attributes of multiple work items
One of the powerful features in RTC is the ability to change the value of attributes for many work items in a single operation.
1. Run a work item query to retrieve the list of work items you want to edit.
2. Find the column containing the attribute you want to change.
3. Position the mouse cursor anywhere over this column.
4. Use the right mouse button to open the contextual menu.
5. Select the desired new value for all work items that are to be edited.
In case the attribute you want to edit is not showing up as a column, simply add the column to the result view using the Work Items view menu in the top right corner of the result view.
Configure work item mail notifications
One of the very powerful features in RTC is the ability to change the value of attributes for many work items in a single operation.
1. In the Team Artifacts tab, right-click on your repository stream and select Open My User Editor.
2. In the Mail Configuration tab, configure e-mail notifications the way you want them. There are plenty of options.
3. You can also decide on the format of the e-mail (HTML or plain text).
Capture screen and attach to work items
For a long time, RTC has provided a tool for capturing screen shots and attaching them to Work Items. It is much quicker way than using a separate image capture/edit tool.
1. Open the work item you want to attach a screen shot to and click the camera icon.
2. Take a screen capture and attach it to the work item.
3. Shortly after closing the screen capture tool, the screen shot will show up as attached file on the work item.
• Note: It is not possible to attach a screen shot to a work item that has not been saved. Save the work item first and then attach the screen shot.
Enforce good practices with preconditions
You can prevent change sets that have missing comment or work items, or missing a regulatory copyright notice
Select the preconditions to enforce on the Deliver operation in your project area or team area, either for everyone or specific roles. For example:
• Require change sets to have a work item and/or a comment.
• Require a copyright notice in source files.
• Control who can deliver to certain components in a particularly important integration stream.
If the preconditions set are not met, team won’t be able to deliver their changes and the team advisor will describe what is missing to help them correct the things and deliver again.
Load only what you need
Usually, we load the entire repository workspace onto our local disk – into what we call a workspace. This leads to a significant time spent in updating the workspace each time.
It is a good idea to load only the required components.
You can even load only certain folders in a component and control where they get loaded in the sandbox.
You can always load additional components later, or even remove the components that you no longer need.
Lock files that is work-in-progress
When you’re modifying a file in your repository workspace, someone else in your team may also be working on the same file. You can accept that change and use a compare editor to merge the changes.
But what if the merging breaks yours or their changes?
There’s a simple workflow for avoiding this kind of situation. Accept the latest from your stream, so you know you’ve got the latest version of that file. Then select Team Lock option to lock that file in the current stream.
Now only you can deliver changes to that file in that stream.
Your team members will see that you have locked the file and can have a pleasant conversation with you.