RPE 2.1 is a solid, feature rich release and for me it is extra special as it’s the last as the product’s architect. The project is carried on by my team, talented people that put a lot of heart in the work they do.
When I started this project 9 years ago I never expected it will grow into what RPE is today. I’m amazed, grateful and proud to see you rely on the tool I’ve created and learn of the creative ways in which you use RPE to solve a multitude of complex problems.
RPE has been an important part of my life but the time was right for a change so in March I’ve joined the IBM Internet of Things team. I hope this will be as interesting, fun and rewarding as building RPE was.
I’m happy to announce RPE 2.1, codename Multumesc, has been made generally available today. With this release we continued on the path we started in RPE 2.0 around simplifying the user experience with RPE. While with 2.0 and 2.0.1 we focused on administrators and end users with 2.1 our focus are template designers:
- Interactive Guides – new designers will be walked through the design process
- Drag&Drop for quick template design– drop your resource URL from the Browser in document studio and RPE will create a starting template for you
- Simplified CLM traceability – with the POX profile you no longer need to manipulate URLs to transform between OSLC and REST API.
- Word Import – use Word documents as the starting point of your template. RPE will convert the structure and a subset of the formatting into an RPE template
- Java Script Reuse – you can now define code modules inside a template and reuse the functions defined there everywhere else in the template.
This and much more is described in https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SS6RHZ_2.1.0/com.ibm.rational.pe.overview.doc/topics/c_whats_new_21.html and will be further discussed here.
The team even put together videos to show some of the new features https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZGO0qYNSD4UtXl3xXGsL1hhumg0s8m9i
Kudos to the RPE team and to all of you that helped us define and refine these features.
The material Einar Karlssen and I created for the Interconnect 2016 Plan Ahead and Act Proficiently for Reporting session is available on Slideshare in addition of being available via Interconnect Mobile Application
This alongside the best practice articles Kumar just posted can be used as a frame of reference for building documents with RPE.
I want to welcome the entire RPE team on http://rpeactual.com as authors. Nithya, Kumar, Prasad, Sunil and Akash – welcome and thank you.
In a previous post, How to embed JRS Charts in RPE Documents, I described the procedure of including JRS charts in RPE documents.
The process is straightforward with one notable exception, providing the credentials for the image. RPE 2.0 and older do not support defining credentials for images so the workaround was to set the template credentials in the document specification.
With RPE 2.0.1 this is resolved as it is now possible to specify credentials for images and included files using the data source inheritance mechanism already used for Dynamic Data Sources.
This is applicable when accessing image and files from any data source but the most immediate use is for accessing JRS images.
Inherited Data Source for Image
Taking an example the JRS example in the aforementioned post you need to set the Inherited Data Configuration property for all JRS charts to be the JRS data source you use to pull the textual data. You can safely remove the credentials set for template in the document specification.
If you only use the chart you need to add a data source so that the user can provide the credentials.
CLM 6.0.2 comes with the server side implementation for the Plain Old XML profile or POXProfile. You can test this feature using one of the recent milestone builds.
Based on the name you might think “great, one more reporting “feature” that requires a PhD just to get a PDF of my data” but the Plain Old XML Profile is designed to remove much of the complexity associated with creating traceability documents in RPE.
In essence the POX profile allows a client (RPE, browser addon, curl etc) to request and receive Reportable REST XML from OSLC URLs. The feature is designed for document generation but you can use it whenever you need to access the XML representation of your data.
The image above shows using the POX Profile to get Reportable REST XML from DNG using the FireFox Poster addon. The is URL obtained from DNG’s “Share link” dialog.
For document generation this essentially means that URL manipulation or additional server requests are no longer required for following links. See below for examples. This in turn translates into simpler templates that produce documents faster.
The POX profile complements well using JRS as it simplifies fetching additional data attributes which are not available to JRS such as images and rich text. For such properties you need to request the data from the point product itself starting from the OSLC URLs returned by JRS.
Below are some examples of the document generation flows with and without the POXProfile. Please note that the client side implementation is not available in the RPE GA but we are working on it.
Continue reading “No PhD required”
Publishing Engine is supported with a number of IBM products as described in the RPE System Requirements. What this means is that we’ve tested the integration and we will support users running into issues with those products.
However RPE is designed to work with any product that meets the following 3 rules:
- the product’s API provides data in XML format
- it’s preferable that the API is Web based but that is not mandatory as long as you can automate the process of obtaining the XML.
- an XML schema exists for the data
- the XSD can be provided by the API or it can be manually created
- RPE can handle the authentication* used to protect the API.
- RPE currently supports Basic authentication, Form based authentication and the Jazz flavour of OAuth
There are further details like rich text, binary file attachments and more but if the above conditions are met RPE should be able to at least produce documents with raw data from your product.
So when you don’t see your product on the support page my advice is to give it a try and if you run into any issues raise them on the RPE DevWorks forum.