Book Review - Implementing IBM Rational ClearQuest
Most IT professionals know the value of a good software defect tracking system. And if you're already using the Rational family of software offerings, one of your logical choices would be IBM Rational ClearQuest. If you're at the starting stages of selling the idea of ClearQuest and planning an implementation, then this is a really good read for you... Implementing IBM Rational ClearQuest: An End-to-End Deployment Guide by Christian D. Buckley, Darren W. Pulsipher, and Kendall Scott.
Contents: Building and Maintaining the Feedback Loop with Customers; The Value Proposition; Selling Your Team on Change Management; Moving Parts; Analyzing Your Company's Needs; Designing Your System; Implementation - Schema and Database Design; Implementation - Customizing the Schema and Creating Hooks; ClearQuest for Eclipse; ClearQuest Integrations; Deployment and Administration; Multisite Development; Epilogue; Index
Prior to reading this book, I really couldn't have explained to someone what ClearQuest was. And with a similarly named product called ClearCase, I would have gotten confused in all likelihood. This book does a very nice job of explaining the value of a defect tracking system in an organization, what it needs to offer the different parties, and the real costs of not having one in place. Because of the flexibility and depth of the package, it's not an "install, click here, and you're up and running" system. As such, the book spends quite a bit of time explaining the planning process involved in determining how the database and underlying schema should be designed for your particular needs. You don't have to start from scratch, but there are a multitude of options available. It helps to have an underlying background in UML, as that's the mechanism used in the book to explain classes, uses, etc. But don't let that scare you off. The writing is surprisingly readable for something like this...
If you're considering the use of ClearQuest for defect tracking, or if you don't have a tracking system in place, take two or three hours and go through this book. It will lay the proper groundwork for what you're about to do, and it will be time well spent as you travel down the implementation path.
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