RPE 2.1.1 has been made generally available today. We continued on the path we started in RPE 2.0 around simplifying the user experience with RPE. RPE 2.0, 2.0.1 focused on administrators and end users while RPE 2.1 focused on template designers. With 2.1.1, we continued focus on both template designers and report designers.
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.
Below are the sessions dedicated to Publishing Engine at Interconnect 2016. Click on the links for the abstract of the session. Looking forward to see you there.
DOD-2092: Plan Ahead and Act Proficiently for Reporting: Lessons Learned
Program: Core Curriculum
DOD-4545: Ask the Experts: Reporting and Document Generation
Program: Core Curriculum
DOP-2293: On-Demand Document Generation from Live Data for Web Environments
Program: Core Curriculum
This is a guest post by my colleague Subramanya Pilar from the RPE FVT team.
Similar articles are available for RQM at https://jazz.net/library/article/1137, DM https://rpeactual.com/2015/10/08/easy-selection-of-the-report-starting-point-a-rhapsody-example/ and QM again https://rpeactual.com/2014/08/18/rpe-configuration-layer-or-docgen-configuration-made-simple/
The example template associated with this article, rtcWorkitemHistoryWithMetadata.dta, is available in the RPE Community Template Library.
Rational Publishing Engine provides functionality to configure data source metadata so that when RPE report is consumed by point product, it can understand how to configure the data sources. This capability enables report designers to provide users with a list of options to choose from, instead of manually entering the URI. Below are the steps to configure a template’s metadata so that RPE template can be executed from within Rational Team Concert.
Template Configuration Metadata
Open the template in RPE Studio. In Outline view, right click on the data source that needs to be configured and select “Edit Configuration Metadata”. Usually, this data source is the parent data source which is not dynamically configured and the name does not start with “_”.
There are 4 fields in “Edit Configuration Metadata…” window.
- “Request URL” – the URL that RPE will request the data to show to the user. There are pre-defined variables that can be used in this field that RTC will recognize. You cannot use these values if configuring the report from standalone RPE.
- $public: Public URL of the server
- $projectAreaUUID: RTC project area.
- “Type” restricts the format of user input.
- “Identifier”- XPath expression that selects the data RPE/RTC will use to configure the report. The values of this attribute must be Reportable REST URLs .
- “Display” – XPath expression that selects the data RPE/RTC will show the user.
NOTE: you can drag and drop attribute from Data Source View into the identifier and display fields.
How does RPE uses these values
If ‘Request URL’ isn’t set, then user has to manually input the data source value when executing the report. If ‘Request URL’ is set, and ‘Identifier’ field is not set, the resolved value of ‘Request URL’ will be used for report generation.
If both ‘Request URL’ and ‘Identifier’ fields are set, a GET request to the resolved Request URL is made, then ‘Identifier’ and ‘Display’ XPath expressions are evaluated on the server response and a list is shown to user to choose from. The values matching ‘Display’ expression are shown in the list and the corresponding value of ‘Identifier’ is set as data source URI.
In this example the user is provided with a list showing the id and summary for all the workItems . Once user selects a workItem the reportable URL of the chosen WorkItem is used to configure the document generation.
NOTE: for RTC the @href attribute cannot be used in Identifier field because the URL it holds is not a Reportable REST URL.
When starting with DNG and document generation or when deploying new reports on the server the RRDG log is an invaluable resource for troubleshooting problems on the RRDG server. As expected the log provides detailed information on errors and additional information including performance data.
All the DNG logs can be access at https://server:9443/rm/logs. The log for document generation is rrdg.log which is located towards the end of the list.
By default the RRDG log is set on WARN level which means only warnings and errors will be logged. This is the recommended setting for most production servers but if you need to troubleshoot document generation you should increase the level and set it to INFO.
Changing the log level is done in the logger configuration page https://server:9443/rm/logs/config by setting the INFO/DEBUG level to the com.ibm.rational.rrdg logger
The attached presentation lists the main features and fixes that we’ve introduced in this release which hopefuly are as many incentives for you upgrading your RPE installation.
Since RPE 2.0 we have an experimental Bluemix service for document generation. The service is free and exposes a simple REST API that allows you to create reports and produce documents. You can access it in the labs section of the Bluemix Labs Catalog.
To help you understand how to use the service we have an example running at http://dgaasx_ddc.mybluemix.net/ This example enables you to create PDF snapshots from RSS feeds such as the BBC or NPR ones.
The example’s source code is available on GitHub and on IBM DevOps for Bluemix: https://hub.jazz.net/project/dragos.cojocari/dgaas_example/overview On the project’s page you will find detailed instructions on how to fork the project so that you can experiment with DGaaS yourself.