Systems Engineering for the Internet of Things

Systems Engineering for the Internet of Things

Today’s connected world is increasing product complexity, putting systems engineers at the heart of a new challenge to deliver products faster and with improved quality. IBM Engineering offers a variety of cloud-based tools to help teams better collaborate, improve requirements, manage workflow and testing. Learn more about systems engineering lifecycle solutions from IBM Watson IoT: #systemsengineering #IBM #WatsonIoT

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What’s new in IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management 7.0.2

by Daniel Moul

Good engineering practices, tools and people give organizations a competitive edge, enabling teams to be more productive with fewer errors while developing increasingly complex products and systems. Our focus for 7.0.2 has been increasing the productivity of practitioners using the IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management solution. Below are some of the high points.

Making use of traceability for change impact analysis and reporting

  • Simplified linking: drag-drop or copy-paste links within and between requirements, tests, and work items
  • Simplified linking: more intuitive work item linking and navigation in the context of global configurations; by mapping relationships from the Global Config to a release defined in Engineering Workflow Management (EWM), and asserting release-to-release relationships in EWM, practitioners now see all relevant work items in a particular GC context, navigation from a work item to a versioned requirement, test or model element, and practitioners can report on these relationships using Report Builder and Engineering Insights.
  • Report on models managed by Rhapsody Model Manager (RMM) and traceability with other artifacts in the engineering lifecycle (beta).
  • Report on files managed by the Jazz SCM (part of EWM) and traceability with other artifacts in the engineering lifecycle (beta).

New efficiencies for teams adopting IBM Engineering to improve Automotive SPICE maturity and functional safety (ISO 26262)

  • New ISO 26262 content in IBM Automotive Compliance.
  • New token license enforcement, simplifying license compliance.

Awareness of change for requirements engineers

  • A new requirements comparison report is available for practitioners in the configuration compare/deliver workflows. The Reportable REST API was enhanced to include change information, and a PUB template provided, which you can use to create your own reports that make use of change information.
  • Module audit history is visible in the web.

New efficiencies for V&V test teams

  • Make use of custom execution states in test step results, new options to include more information when duplicating execution records, and improved offline text execution, including use of execution variables.
  • Try out the technical preview of ETM multi-component support, which provides easier test reuse (a test plan can include test assets from multiple components) and also simplifies creating affinity between requirements and tests in similarly-scoped components.
  • We tested Engineering Test Management with 20M artifacts and 2500 global configuration contributions managed by one ETM server. Details will be in the usual place on the Deployment wiki.

New efficiencies for team members using work items to plan and track their work

  • Beyond the simplified linking mentioned above, large attachments can be stored in an external content registry, including a file system or WebDAV server like Artifactory.

New efficiencies for developers using the Jazz SCM

  • Massive speed-up when updating the sandbox in Jazz and Jenkins builds using optimized incremental loads when there are no significant changes, now also possible when using load rules (we saw 96% speed-up in our development environment: from 27 minutes to less than one minute in one test; your mileage may vary).

New efficiencies for teams using EWM and Git

  • When using GitHub and a Chrome browser, it’s easier to link a commit or pull request with a work item using a new graphical picker.
  • A new Git diagnostic page makes integration issues visible and provides guidance for EWM administrators to resolve them.

New efficiencies in reporting and document generation

  • Report Builder terminology changes make it easier for practitioners to develop their own mental model about how reporting works.
  • It’s now easier to find the report you’re looking for in Report Builder using different report groupings.
  • Column headings do not scroll with the data, making it easier to relate columns of data and their meaning when working with tables that have many rows.
  • For Publishing Document Builder report administrators, creating connections are easier, and it’s easier to find connections when associating them with data sources.

New efficiencies when setting an owner or subscriber

  • In most places the people picker dialog box uses heuristics to anticipate the people you are likely to pick, reducing users’ overheads.

New efficiencies monitoring, starting and stopping applications

  • New REST APIs provide readiness and liveness probes, simplifying startup and heartbeat monitoring.
  • We did work to streamline application startup and shutdown. Additionally, if you are still using traditional WebSphere Application Server, you likely can get even faster startup and shutdown by moving to WebSphere Liberty, which we are now recommending for all deployments.

Complying with your corporate security & identity management policies

  • You can use application passwords for authenticating when using non-web clients; this provides a way to implement multi-factor authentication for these clients (it’s already available for web clients).
  • Delegate to your corporate third-party identity provider over OpenID Connect (OIDC) or SAML.
  • Distributed logout: when a user logs out of one ELM application, other ELM applications using the same browser session are notified and will log the user out.

Keeping things fresh: updates to the specified operating environment (a.k.a. system requirements)

  • Added RHEL 8.2 on all supported hardware platforms and SUSE 15 on x86-64
  • EWM workstation support includes Ubuntu LTS 20.04
  • Added Eclipse 4.16 (separate Eclipse p2 install), including optionally running Eclipse on OpenJDK 11
  • Updated GitHub, GitLab, and Gerrit versions

For more information on Engineering Lifecycle Management 7.0.2, see the more detailed “What’s New” posts and the various “New & Noteworthy” documents, for example, starting with Workflow Management. A Release Candidate 2 (RC) is available now, and the generally available (GA) version is coming soon.

Daniel Moul
Offering Management

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What’s new in IBM Engineering Test Management v7.0.2

by Christophe Telep

To improve the accuracy and efficiency of engineering processes, this IBM Engineering Test Management (ETM) new release offers additional ways to tailor the out-of-the-box test management process to some specific teams’ needs. For example, project administrators can now customize the execution states for test script results. The default names such as Passed or Failed can be modified and some execution states can be disabled altogether.Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management

Custom execution states for test step results

One of the key benefits of the IBM Engineering solution is to improve the efficiency of product line engineering by enabling teams to reuse artifacts across multiple versions and variants. One of the enabling elements to achieve greater reuse is the notion of Components which can have several configurations, which, in turn, can be combined to define a specific version of a complex system.

Along with this ETM release, we also make available a Technology Preview for Multi-component that enables test artifact relationships, such as linking and running tests across components in a configuration management enabled project area. This feature is not supported for use in a production environment. You must install the ETM applications on a dedicated server to use this feature. A Technology Preview gives you the opportunity to try out a feature and provide us feedback, so that the production-ready feature will meet your teams’ needs.

Using an ETM project area with the Multi-component Technology Preview enabled, users can

  • View test artifacts from multiple components on the same page. For example, test cases from multiple components can be displayed in the Browse > Test Cases view.
  • Create links between test artifacts from multiple components. For example, users can add test cases from multiple components to the current test plan.
  • Run tests with test artifacts that are linked to artifacts from multiple components.

There are many more enhancements delivered in this new release of IBM Engineering Test Management. To see a complete list, please go to:

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What’s new in IBM Engineering Reporting v7.0.2?

by Fariz Saracevic

IBM Engineering (ELM) delivered their third release this year, ELM 7.0.2. Looking back at 2020, ELM already  delivered two feature rich releases this year and it is exciting to finish the year with one more.  This blog covers highlights of theIBM Engineering reporting applications including:

  • IBM Engineering Jazz Reporting Service v7.0.2
  • IBM Engineering Lifecycle Optimization – Publishing v7.0.2
  • IBM Engineering Lifecycle Optimization – Engineering Insights v7.0.2

I am excited to share a few key enhancements focused on improving usability and overall productivity making Engineering teams life simpler.

 Jazz Reporting Service (JRS) v7.0.2

  • Report Builder supports ELM artifact name changes – Earlier, JRS v7.0.0 introduced feature to validate reports before generation when JRS report is not working due to either renamed or missing artifacts. This was so that individuals working on evolving their specific ELM artifacts types and information model could identify impact of change to the JRS reports and to notify report owners to re-create impacted reports. This was far from an ideal situation, since sometimes significant time was invested in creating JRS reports. When using JRS v7.0.2, users will see a warning icon with supporting hover text when a report has missing or renamed artifacts. They can click this warning icon to replace a missing artifact, and users can successfully save the report after all missing artifacts are replaced.

Image of the Trace relationships and add artifacts section with warning icons over artifacts:

Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management
  • Change default grouping for reports, schedules, and results – Over the past few releases JRS introduced support for organizing JRS artifacts, reports and schedules, using folders. JRS still has option to view these assets using tags. As users are moving to the folder mode, there is a need to easily switch their reporting assets view. JRS v7.0.2 allows users to change the default grouping on the My reports, All reports, My schedules, All schedules, My results, and All results pages. The Group by list is enhanced to appear as a menu and an additional Change default grouping option is available for this purpose. If you do not change the default grouping, by default the records are grouped by tag.

Image of the Group by menu (before and after):

Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management

Engineering Lifecycle Optimization – Publishing (PUB) v7.0.2 (previously Rational Publishing Engine)

  • Enhancement to Resource and Configuration pickers – Publishing Document Builder (PUB DB) connection creation process is smarter now. If your PUB DB deployment is registered with a Jazz Team server (JTS), the JTS Server name is pre-populated in the host details field of Resource and Configuration pickers when you you add or edit a connection.

Image of resource picker in Document Builder:

Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management
  • Skipping invalid data during document generation – We have seen cases in which someone is generating a document with hundreds of pages, and somewhere in the middle data provider application returns invalid XML or JSON data. At this point, document generation stopped. PUB v7.0.2 allows users to set ignore the invalid data and continue to generate the document. A new property named Ignore Invalid Data Errors is added to the metadata of PUB Launcher and PUB DB. When this property is set to true, PUB skips the invalid data and still generates the document. Additional details on this topic can be learned watching Document Generation Resilience video.

Image of Ignore Invalid Data Errors from PUB Launcher and PUB Document Builder:

Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management

Engineering Lifecycle Optimization – Engineering Insights (ENI) v7.0.2 (previously IBM Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager)

  • Enhanced view building experience – How much time have you spent creating your ideal ENI views? If there is one thing that view authors tell us they would like to have that would save them time, it’s to preserve the node definitions as a style and use that style across their views. We delivered this in ENI v7.0.2.

Image of View style window:

Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management
  • ENI view consumers can view the percentage of artifacts – ENI already provides a way to view artifacts count in a view, but often users want to see percentage as well or instead of a count. View consumers can now view the percentage of artifacts that meet a defined conditions, and ENI displays the percentage in the container.

Image of target container that shows percentage of artifact and no result output:

Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management

You can find out about other ELM reporting improvements in the new & noteworthy posts: JRS 7.0.2PUB 7.0.2 and ENI 7.0.2.

Let us know what you think about our latest release and share this blog post with your peers.

Fariz Saracevic
IBM Engineering Reporting (JRS, PUB, ENI) Offering Management

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What’s new in ELM Automotive Compliance 1.0.2

by Michael Halder

In December 2020, version 1.0.2 of IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management Automotive Compliance (ELM AC) will be released. ELM AC helps automotive engineering organisations to setup their IBM Engineering tools according to automotive standards. We are also seeing interest from clients in other industries, since much of the thinking and workflow around compliance is common. The first version of ELM AC was released in December 2019 and focused on supporting Automotive SPICE process groups. The new version extends ELM AC for key aspects around functional safety (ISO 26262).

An engineering dashboard with a dedicated view for safety

Safety Dashboard in IBM ELM AC v1.0.2

In version 1.0.2, ELM AC was extended with a dashboard tab to monitor status and progress of safety work items and work products. The reporting package was enhanced with dedicated safety reports and filters for safety. The complete reporting package includes over 100 reports that give insights into planning, testing status, requirements consistency and completeness, status of problems, change requests, reviews and findings.

With the extended and refined reporting package of ELM AC v1.0.2, engineering teams gain increased transparency for safety-related work. With reports for safety readiness, teams can make educated decisions whether they want to go forward with a release or milestone. Differentiating between safety and QM (non-safety) aspects can be helpful to understand impact of an early release and to thus help to respect safety culture.

The ELM AC process content was extended with process description and an ISO 26262 mapping 

The Method Composer (MEC) process content includes descriptions for roles, process steps and work products. ELM AC v1.0.2 extends the process content in two ways: 1) The solution mapping and process descriptions were extended for ISO 26262. The corresponding chapters are displayed in teal color in the screenshot of the AC process portal landing page below. 2) ELM AC v1.0.2 also contains a new template to refine the process content using the Method Composer web authoring capability in DOORS Next.

Process Landing Page in ELM AC v1.0.2

With these extensions to the Method Composer Process content, IBM ELM Automotive Compliance users understand what and how ELM AC content helps them to comply with ISO 26262. The project template to tailor the process description, allows users to tailor the IBM ELM Automotive Compliance process for 1) their organisation and 2) for each department. Managing this process tailoring is a key aspect to achieve ASPICE Level 3 compliance.

ELM AC now supports safety concept and requirements phase with a HARA template and ASIL checker

ELM Automotive Compliance was extended to support hazard and risk analysis (HARA) within DOORS Next. The requirements management template now includes custom attributes to capture safety elements using vocabulary and structure as defined by ISO 26262 (e. g. Item Definition, Hazardous Events, Safety Goals, Safety Requirements). The safety levels (ASIL) of requirements can be evaluated using an automised value checker which is also provided as part of the Automotive Compliance offering.

HARA module in DOORS Next with ASIL Value Checker

By relying on the pre-defined template for HARA, engineers can save time when performing safety analysis. Managing their analysis in DOORS Next allows teams to benefit from version control and audit trails to handle collaboration. Since DOORS Next allows linking for every artefact, the results of the safety analysis become part of the engineering data set and can be better considered in impact analysis as needed for evaluation of change requests.

ELM AC now supports ASIL Decomposition with dedicated attributes and reports

Safety goals are implemented by functional and technical safety requirements. ISO 26262 allows engineers to decompose safety levels when defining lower level requirements. This means, parts of a systems can be implemented with lower rigour. When decomposing safety levels, the decomposed requirements have to be implemented independently (coexistence criteria). In ELM AC v1.0.2, the decomposition of safety requirements is supported with dedicated ASIL attributes following the ISO 26262 standard notation. Moreover, ELM Automotive Compliance provides reports to detect violations against decomposition coexistence criteria.

With these extensions, engineers are supported to perform ASIL decomposition in a standardised and a safe way. The included reports help to detect and resolve dependencies between safety-critical and non-safety-critical components.

IBM ELM AC is now available as token license

With 1.0.2, ELM AC can be purchased as token license. In previous versions, ELM AC was only available as Floating and Authorised license. Customers who plan to use ELM AC with ELM 7.0.2 or later can use IBM ELM Automotive Compliance as token license. The license is specific to ELM Automotive Compliance and does not entail access to any other IBM Engineering product. By offering ELM Automotive Compliance as token license, customers benefit from automised compliance to the ELM AC licensing terms. Also, customers are able to later report on their license usage. Floating and Authorised licenses continue to be valid licensing options. We recommend reaching out to your local sales representative for more detailed information.

AC now supports performing and tracking of ISO 26262 confirmation reviews

To comply with ISO 26262, companies have to perform confirmation reviews for key safety work products. ISO 26262 prescribes for which work products confirmation review have to be performed and how independent the reviewer has to be. In version v1.0.2, IBM ELM Automotive Compliance was extended with templates to plan and perform confirmation reviews. ELM AC v.1.0.2 contains a work item template which automises the creation of all required confirmation review. ELM AC also provides reports to track status of confirmation reviews as well as corresponding checklists and findings.

With the confirmation review approach introduced in ELM Automotive Compliance, engineering teams gain a systematic, tool-guided process to capture and perform confirmation reviews. Thus, engineering teams are enabled to track and monitor the status of confirmation reviews, understand the required level of independence, who performs them and what findings need to be addressed

IBM offers tailor-made service offering to adopt ELM Automotive Compliance

Overview IBM Expert Labs Service Offerings for IBM ELM AC

You can get ELM AC installed and setup in less than a week of effort. IBM also offers services that includes ASPICE assessments and a detailed analysis of your current tool landscape. As a result of this project, you know exactly where you stand and how can reach your compliance goals most efficient. Please reach out to your local IBM Expert Labs (formerly IBM Lab Services) representative or Judith Leick ([email protected]) to learn more about these service offerings.

External parties provide additional content for IBM Engineering like expert checklists and tool qualification  

IBM ELM Automotive Compliance helps customers to tailor IBM Engineering tools for automotive standards. There is additional content available to help customers with compliance for ISO 26262 from two different parties.

Kugler Maag Cie is a consultancy focused on regulated systems and software engineering development. For the confirmation review process introduced in ELM AC v1.0.2, the company offers expert checklists that can be used to validate work products as required by ISO 26262. The checklists can be imported and used in IBM ELM AC. ELM AC provides reports to track status and exceptions in these checklists. We recommend to visit the Kugler Maag Cie website (external link) and to reach out to them directly to learn more.

Validas is a company specialised on tool validation and qualification. The company offers solutions to automise the process of classifying, validating and qualifying software tools. Validas now offers tool qualification kits for IBM Engineering products. The company offers two different sets of products:

  • Validas 26262 QKit for IBM DOORS
  • Validas 26262 QKit for IBM ELM

We recommend to visit the Validas websites (external link) and reach out to them directly for more information.

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