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CompBL 2.5 Launched: ClearCase Projects Comparison for Humans

The new CompBL v2.5, adds plenty of features that create comparison between ClearCase objets which are meaningful to developers and managers, not just to file systems or diretories.

Recommended baselines are among the most important versions in ClearCase, and now CompBL allows developers to easily see and compare them as well as activate automatic actions when they are formed.

We have also significantly improved the version choice interface and the reports themselves that are now clearer, visually pleasing and allow customization that makes them useful to managerial roles in the organization.

What’s New?

a) Compare versions of Recommended Baselines
A recommended baseline is a set of versions that have been identified as stable. This baseline establishes the current starting point for the project, and when you rebase or join a project this is the baseline that is used as the foundation for your development (or child) stream; unless you specify a different baseline to be used.
CompBL now allows you to view and compare recommended baselines, including composite baselines, creating an automatic report of all changes between the versions.
In the following screenshot you can see the recommended baselines marked by a star, showing that baseline #3 is the current recommended baseline of SurveyIt_2.0_Integration stream, and the previous recommended baseline was #1.

ClearCase Recommended Baselines

What you can do with this information?

  • Create a report comparing only recommended baselines.
  • Automatic Release Notes for each recommended baseline. This supports continuous integration which is one of the principles of the Agile methodology.
  • Send an automatic email to all developers when a new Recommended Baseline is available.
  • For nightly builds – get an automatic report on the changes in each day’s build.
  • Compare stable versions when looking for the source of a bug.

Note: This feature is based on the Recommended Baseline Trigger included in the CompBL 2.5 package.

b) Recommended Baseline Trigger

Each new recommended baseline replaces the previous ones, and ClearCase UCM does not keep a history of such changes. Users who wish to restore previous stable versions therefore have to search for them manually, and hope they remember which was the baseline they previously used..
In the CompBL 2.5 package we added a trigger that catches the event of marking a version as Recommended. The trigger was developed by the GoMidjets team and dozens of companies found it useful for the following reasons:

  • It allows you to restore a previous stable version, for example in case you want to quickly restore the last stable version if a major problem is discovered in the new one.
  • Enables comparison of different stable versions when looking for the sources of a serious bug.
  • Keeps a history of Recommended Baseline creation for documentation purposes.

Note: installing the trigger requires ClearCase Administrator’s skills. GoMidjets offers an affordable service to companies who need assistance in installing ClearCase triggers.

c) Overview Report aka Busy Manager’s Report
A new report templates that includes only the changes of activities, without the list of files (change set) they include.
These reports are useful for Team Leaders and Development Managers who want to keep track of the progress of the project without being bothered by low level details.

d) New Sort Options
The versions to be compared in CompBL are chosen from a combo box list. In many organizations, this list gets very long and finding a specific version becomes difficult. We therefore added sort options that make it easy to locate a specific version.
You can see the sort options in the following screenshot:

  • By date – ascending or descending
  • By name – A to Z, or Z to A.

Sort ClearCase Baselines List

As in previous CompBL versions, you can add the versions to automatic comparison rules for quick find in the future, or as part of automatic reporting.

e) Visual Reporting

  • Enhanced visual presentation of results in a useful table
  • Summary of changes: how many activities have been created or changes ; how many file versions have been created ; how many merged file versions have been created

CompBL Visual Reporting for ClearCase

f) Reporting Options

  • Customizable report header and footer
  • Option to send report as email with HTML attachment

g) Compatibility

  • Supports Windows 7
  • Better integration with Windows scheduler for easier daily reporting

What’s Next?