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What is New in codeBeamer 5.0-6.0? (Release History)

codeBeamer 6.0

Focus: Requirement Management for Innovators

In the recent years, we have seen industries making traditional engineering products transforming into producers of information-powered consumer goods. Existing markets are disrupted, new markets are created every day.

Cars are not simply about getting you from point A to B anymore. They are about doing it safely, economically, comfortably and staying friendly to the environment.

Similarly, phones are not just about making voice calls anymore. They are about being informed effortlessly, being able to work location-independently, and being entertained socially.

All these new generation items are powered by large volumes of immensely complex software. Car makers became software companies, electronic makers produce tens of millions of lines of embedded code, technology companies are facing the problems that were only known to hardcore software companies until now.

To succeed, engineering teams need tools that are designed to cope with these challenges, whether new or old. The latest version of Intland Software's codeBeamer ALM was built with the goal of prodiving a holistic solution to these problems, from requirement definition, through design, implementation, testing, release and operations. codeBeamer implements all core principles of Requirement Management, Application Lifecycle Management and Test Management.

The next section gives an overview about the highlights of codeBeamer version 6.0.

Requirement Workflows: Process Enforcement

Well defined processes that fit your organization and efficient communication are crucial to succeed. codeBeamer offers the most flexible workflow implementation available on the market since 2006. In version 6.0, the already proven workflow engine was extended with flexible pre-conditions and post-functions for transitions. Leverage it to support and control the process your team implements, whether it is V-Modell, Waterfall or some flavour of agile.

Visual Requirement Authoring

Author requirements as easily as in your favourite word processor. Use rich formatting, standard and custom requirement attributes, hierarchical requirements, references (dependencies, associations), diagrams, screen shots or anything else that might be of use in defining requirements. Handling of the M3 meets the performance of a turbo-charged V12.

Requirement Discussions

Defining and analysing requirements is always a collaborative effort that involves customers, engineers, system analysts, domain experts and business people. Efficient communication is key to success. codeBeamer RM keeps all your stakeholders up-to-date with changes automatically, and allows following changes on information that is relevant to them. Receiving feedback, comments, votes and incorporating contributions is as easy as keyless go.

Baselining for Requirements and Other Artifacts

Baselines enable capturing the state of a set of requirements, test cases, documents, wiki content, links and other artifacts at specific versions or at a specific point in time, and adding an expressive label to that state. Efficiently reviewing change history and comparing baselines is the key to trace the evolution of your projects. And when you think your project is ready to hit the Nordschleife, you can express it by adding electronic signatures to the approved baselines.

End-to-end Traceability

No relationships between requirements, implementation tasks, tests and code changes remain hidden when codeBeamer illuminates their sharp contours with the intensity of a xenon headlight. Requirement workflows, traceability matrix, suspected links and intelligent references guarantee the internal consistency of requirements.

Import Requirement Specifications from Word and Other Documents

We offer a smooth migration path to move from your legacy requirement management system to codeBeamer RM. Legacy documentation, meeting notes, prototypes and specifications produced by your partners and suppliers can be effortlessly imported and then further refined.

Export Requirement Specifications to Word Documents

codeBeamer RM generates clear, complete, accurate and unambiguous requirement documents, that are ready for verification, to distributed and to be implemented.

Git Repositories for Modular Projects

Complex software is often built from reusable modules. Versioning modules, though, tracking their dependencies and knowing what modules are built into what final product have traditionally been hard Configuration Management problems. Not anymore. codeBeamer offers a pragmatic solution to map large codebases to Git supermodules and submodules. It’s like the Karakuri seats of source code: maximum functionality with minimum force.

Git Workflows for Distributed Teams

By 2012, industry leaders have accepted that Distributed Version Control with Git starts a new era in Change and Configuration Management. Intland talks to teams that converted from Subversion or other Centralized Version Control to Git every day. Overall experience? They enjoy the inherent process control, flexibility and agility, and never looked back. codeBeamer enables your teams to adopt the Integration Manager Workflow to manage source code changes, and to collaborate so elegantly that even Pininfarina’d love it.

codeBeamer 5.7

Focus: Git & Mercurial

We moved this page to the news section here.

codeBeamer 5.6

Focus: codeBeamer Goes International

We moved this content to the product page here.

codeBeamer 5.5

This wiki presents an overview of CB 5.5 features. Baselines has full details of the new features.

Focus: Increased Awareness Leads to More Informed Decisions

One of the fundamental problems we addressed in codeBeamer version 5.5 is extracting more knowledge out of the information available in your codeBeamer system, thus supporting more informed decisions. We provide the following tools for that: visualizing current project state and project health using realtime charts, following project events via activity streams and monitoring project progress with fast milestone status reports.

Cross-project Release Management helps to track the realtime state of the issues to be completed in your upcoming and completed milestones with an ease.

Baselining, which makes codeBeamer the only ALM product with this capability, is a unique feature to take, maintain, analyze and compare snapshots of your digital content (documents and wiki pages).

Version 5.5 introduces support for the two most practiced agile methodologies, Scrum and Kanban. This functionality is provided optionally in any codeBeamer issue tracker.

codeBeamer 5.5 is also a major step forward in terms of integrating ALM with the best-of-breed software tools available on the market. Most notably, codeBeamer now supports Microsoft Project, the de-facto Project Management tool, HP Quality Center, one of the most widely used Test Management software, and Mac OS X, Apple's popular operating system.

Milestone- / Version- / Release Management

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Release management is probably one of the most sought-after new features in 5.5. (Note: the notions "version", "milestone" and "release" are used interchangeably here.)

Here is how it works, in a nutshell.
Project versions are modeled as configuration items, utilizing the extremely powerful Configuration Management Database features in codeBeamer. Being first-class citizens in the CMDB, versions themselves are very powerful entities: they have their own customizable properties, their own lifecycles, and even their own customizable workflows!
When you have your versions in place, you can associate your issues with any number of versions, pointing their "Target Version" fields to the versions in which you are going to address them. Then, codeBeamer provides you a super-fast view on the current state of your versions (both open and released), displaying how many open and close issues you have and how many days left until the planned release date. Versions can be expanded to see the exact list of outstanding and completed issues, with their details.

Live demo: You must login to see this link. Register now, if you have no user account yet..

Wiki dashboards: super-flexible birds-eye views on anything

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To extract more valuable information from your projects and to provide fast graphical overviews on them, 5.5 introduces a large set of highly intelligent wiki plugins. Using these, you can build custom dashboards either in project pages, in tracker wiki pages or in personal wiki pages. As the plugins support a rich set of parameters, you can easily narrow down your view on specific projects, specific trackers, specific tags, or on a certain time period.

Some notable wiki dashboard plugins:

  • Activity streams
  • Project activity changing over time
  • Number of documents, wiki pages, issues changing over time
  • Number of commits changing over time
  • Issue counts by various fields (status, assignee, etc.)
  • Source code statistics (file counts, file sizes, LOC, etc.)
  • List of issues I'm currently working on

Live demo: codeBeamer support trackers.

Baselining: inexpensive snapshots of wiki and document content

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Baseslines in codeBeamer capture the state of your digital content in a moment, pretty much like tags mark a particular state of the source code in a Version Control System.

When you create a new named baseline, a snapshot of your wiki pages, documents, comments and attachments is saved. In the future, you can "go back in time" and browse any earlier baseline, to see how that content looked in that snapshot. Baselines can also be compared to find out what content has been changed between two snapshots, when exactly and by whom.

Important note: baselines are not simply storage-wasting physical copies of content. They are rather references to the current versions of the content in the given moment.

Baselines are useful for audit purposes, including deviation against a previous baseline, certification for an approval, comparison to another baseline, maintaining wiki pages for multiply product releases, or all of these. Read more about the applications of baselining in Wikipedia.

ScrumWizard: going Agile with codeBeamer

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ScrumWizard is a new extension for codeBeamer, that enables teams to go agile, by adding Scrum and Kanban functionality to codeBeamer.

ScrumWizard with codeBeamer combines Scrum and Kanban based project execution with Agile Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). ScrumWizard is very flexible: Scrum, Kanban, waterfall, or hybrid processes can be optionally used in any project.

ScrumWizard introduces additional value to the codeBeamer platform, leveraging its traceability, security, visibility, and collaboration capabilities. This unique blend of the two worlds results in incomparable productivity and simplified administration.

In order to provide Distributed Version Control for distributed agile teams, codeBeamer integrates with the Git, Mercurial, Subversion and CVS version control systems. Developers can work fully distributed or fully centralized, whichever is right for them.

  • No-integration: ScrumWizard is a codeBeamer plugin, and leverages the codeBeamer ALM platform's trackers and data repository.
  • No-installation: ScrumWizard provides web based AJAXy user interface that runs in any modern web browser.
  • No-administration: ScrumWizard leverages codeBeamer's fine-grained security model, with its role and group based access control and administration.

Feature highlights:

  • Product backlog plan
  • Sprint plan
  • Release plan
  • Kanban for sprint daily meeting and task update
  • Realtime charts and tables to visualize the current project state

ScrumWizard is a plugin developed by ESAST, Intland's partner in the Taiwan region.

For more details, please see the ScrumWizard screenshot tour or watch the quick overview video:

Improved experience through user-centered design

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After the long years of focusing on problems, developing their solutions, and not paying too much attention to the actual user experience, we realize that for our users, ultimately, "interface is the product".

Currently we are increasing our efforts on making the interactions with codeBeamer not only efficient, but also a pleasant experience. We are going to gradually introduce a minimalistic, transparent, non-intrusive look, that gets out of users' way. It will be at least as performant as our old interface was, and we will take many small steps, instead of radically changing all details in a single version.

5.5 is the initial step of this new approach.

Trackers that immediately make sense

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In 5.5, we have completely redesigned the trackers initially configured for newly created projects.

codeBeamer trackers are extremely flexible (best in industry, in many aspect), thus it is very easy to fall into the trap of setting up bloated "monster" trackers with features that no-one is going to understand and use. Even we do it sometimes.

Now, our design driving force was to "provide the simplest 20% that could serve well the 80% of the users". Based on this Pareto-ish principle:

  • We provide out-of-the-box solutions to track the 5 most typical issue types: bugs, change request, requirements, tasks, and tests. The new configurations handle also their relationships elegantly, by helping to create tasks for requirements, or creating tests for bugs easily.
  • We configured the fields, the workflows, and the links between the trackers accordingly, using many of the possibilities available in codeBeamer (including calculated fields and field value dependencies).

The new default configurations are also to be considered "best practice", and are great starting points to set up custom configurations.

Highly secure processes with "two-man rule"

The two-man rule (also known as four eyes principle) is a security mechanism optionally available in any codeBeamer tracker now.

The two-man rule requires each change to be approved by two separate users, thus minimizing the chance for accidental or unapproved changes, and providing high level of security for critical issues. It can be universally applied to a lot of problems, for instance, mutual agreement on requirements changes by customers and implementors, financial decisions approved by the CEO and the CFO, or code reviews by a tech lead and a developer.

Learn more about the two-man rule in Wikipedia.

Integrations: Microsoft Project, HP Quality Center and Eclipse

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Microsoft Project: codeBeamer 5.5 enables importing your task- and scheduling information from Microsoft Project, the dominant Project Management software, to codeBeamer. Your team can then track the project progress in the web, maintain the status in a centralized place, avoid synchronization issues, and leverage the plethora of functions that codeBeamer provides to track issues (reporting and escalations, for instance).

codeBeamer Eclipse Studio:CBES, our productivity tool built on the top of the Mylyn task framework, received amazing feedback from multitask-heavy developers. The most current CBES version 3.1 is compatible with codeBeamer 5.5, and with both Eclipse 3.5 and 3.6. New features: it enables listing change sets per Mylyn tasks, support for codeBeamer Release Management (see above), enhanced offline capabilities (like adding attachments offline). Free download available at the CBES project page at JavaForge.

HP Quality Center is addressing wide-range of quality assurance services and is widely used for test management and test execution. codeBeamer's integration with HP Quality Center is extending codeBeamer's Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) services with support for test management. (customer contribution)

MercurialEclipse:Coming soon... version 1.7 of the definite Mercurial plugin for Eclipse, maintained by open source contributors and Intland Software, is on its way. More details on the actual enhancements later. Until then follow the progress or download the plugin for free at the MercurialEclipse project at JavaForge.

New platform: Mac OS X

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We added support for a new platform: a native distribution package for Mac OS X 10.6 is available. You can install codeBeamer to your beloved Mac as easily as to a Linux or Windows computer.

Other goodies: activity streams, my issues, starring, RSS and more

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Lots of, lots of other improvements that will make your life easier. Some highlights:

Activity Streams keep you informed about your projects, tracking "who did what, when and where" in real time. An easy way to stay up-to-date.

My Issues and some other wiki plugins provide you comprehensive and filterable lists of your issues, faster than ever before.

Starring helps to bookmark your most important tasks and content with a single click.

RSS feeds get your data mobile, and reduce your mail traffic. No mail flood anymore.

codeBeamer 5.4

Focus: Listening to the Community

codeBeamer version 5.4 is our answer to recent changes in the software development market and to customer requests.
We believe that some of the new features, like improved support for the popular distributed version control systems or our shiny new issue escalation mechanism, make this codeBeamer version unique in the market. Besides that, we brought our source code management to the enterprise scale by performing all long running tasks in background processes. Today's challenge is to tackle Android sized projects with 2GB of code and hundreds of thousands of change sets, and codeBeamer 5.4 is capable of processing these repositories.

Issue Escalation with Hierarchic Working Calendars

Detect problems before they become major issues by automatically escalating issues. You can select issues to be escalated based on their status, dates, people, or other criteria, and you can define computed time conditions for escalation. Each issue-screen for selecting appropriate issues is known as a predicate. The escalation rules for each predicate define at what time or date the selected notifications or status changes will take place. You have a maximum of flexibility in defining criteria and actions for potential problems.

Learn how to harness the power of automated escalation here: Issue Escalation

Calculated Tracker Fields with Rich Formula

In your tracker issues, you can logically combine 2 or more fields, to create a new computed, read-only field. These fields can condense information, and can make it easier to extract the information you need from the issues.

See Computed Tracker Issue Fields.

Wiki Page Editing Directly in Microsoft Word

Use the world's most popular text editor to edit your wikis! Many wiki mark-up features have equivalents that can be used in MS Word. When you use "Edit in Word", your wiki is locked, downloaded, opened in MS Word, and then after editing, saving and close, your wiki is again uploaded and unlocked.

For more information, see Edit in Word.

Major Enhancements in Supporting Git and Mercurial

Now your Git repository can be managed from codeBeamer!

Learn more about setting up Managed Git Repositories.

Revised Search: More Relevancy, Richer Query Syntax, Friendlier Interface

Now a fuzzy search is automatic in all searches, simple and advanced. This feature allows more matches than before, and for exact searches, it can be turned off in advanced search mode.

See Searching.

codeBeamer 5.3

Focus: Overall Performance, Scalability and Emerging Technologies

We couldn't agree more with the Google no. 3 principle: "Fast is better than slow."
With codeBeamer version 5.3, our purpose was to provide improved response times when handling massive amount of tracker items, wiki pages and documents. To achieve that goal, we also used emerging technologies like distributed version control systems and cloud computing, beside the regular tool set of architectural changes and code optimization.

Version Control Systems: Mercurial and Subversion

  • Support for Mercurial - this is our next major step to effectively support very large distributed projects.
  • Support for Subversion 1.5 - you can start using all improvements of the Subversion 1.5 series.

Trackers

  • Field value dependencies in parent-child relations - this feature makes hierarchical issues and CMDB items a lot more powerful. For instance, you can set up an aggregation rule to calculate the parent issue's "Spent Hours" as the sum of the children's "Spent Hours".
  • Tracker summary screens are now full blown wiki pages - customizability has always been a major design goal for us. Now, you can set up any number of dashboards and information pages in the tracker context as well.
  • Support for tracker workflows in the remote API: RemoteApi.updateTrackerItem() now takes care of all the details and all this is transparent to the client application.

Wiki

  • Copy operation for wiki pages - copy complete page hierarchies with just a couple of clicks.
  • Wiki page tree browser - gives a quick and powerful way to navigate page hierarchies.
  • "View markup" - you can get access to the source of wiki pages even if you are permitted to edit them.
  • Emoticons in any wiki text - business applications do not need to be dry. Express yourself better and enchance communication. ALT_WIKI:EMOTICON:%3A%29%20
  • New plugin: TagCloud - you will just love this visualization if you use tags extensively.

Manageability and Operations

  • Certified to run in the cloud: Javaforge, our free codeBeamer service for open source projects, is now running on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud infrastructure. It hosts 1900+ projects for 9000+ registered users.
    We believe that EC2 can be a viable options for your company as well, if you look for cost effective resizeable compute capacity. For customers having interest for a cloud behind their firewalls, we found Eucalyptus is an interesting open source EC2 implementation.
  • Server Error reporting facilities - this will save you a lot of support effort. When something goes wrong in your environment, the error reporting page gives you all information instantly from system properties to software versions.
    • log4j is configurable for the Web Admin - no need to edit the log4j.properties in the file system or restart the server anymore.

Live-edit for Office 2007 Documents

  • Support for all file formats and mime types

codeBeamer 5.2 & 5.1

Focus: Social Tools to Enhance Collaboration

This version enhances creativity and information sharing among users, enhances the use of the wisdom of crowds and improves the quality of your decisions by introducing new social tools like peer reviews, rating, voting and ranking based on ratings and votes. You can rate, rank and review ideas and improve innovation.
See more information below and in our user manual.

New Edition: codeBeamer Pro Entry Level

codeBeamer Pro is now available at a team-level, affordable license price. The Pro Edition is an integrated tracker, wiki, forum and Version Control System solution for software development, project management, and collaboration.
You can start with it quickly, and when you need, you can migrate with a new license code to the Enterprise version which is used by Intland’s largest Fortune 1000 customers any time later.

Wiki plugins are open sourced

In this release we open sourced the wiki lugins Wiki Markup and Plugins under LGPL license Open Source Wiki Plugin Samples: Compiling, Deploying and Debugging Wiki Plugins for codeBeamer

Wiki: Approvals, Rating and PDF

  • Approval workflows - author, review and publish wiki content.
  • Content rating - promote the page you like the best or you think the most important.
  • You must login to see this link. Register now, if you have no user account yet.

PDF Printing

  • PDFs printed from the wiki are more consistent and easier to the eye
  • Wiki links and bookmarks are exported to PDF

Documents: Approvals and SAP integration

  • Approval workflows - author, review and publish versioned office documents.
  • SAP Document Management System integration - see more below.

ITIL / CMDB Module

Trackers: Hierarchies for Tasks, Requirements and Issues

Issues

  • Parent-child hierarchies - allow unlimited depth in the work breakdown structure for task-subtask management or hierarchical requirements.
  • Issue voting - promote the issues you'd like to see resolved, fixed, implemented.
  • Assignees and supervisors by roles
  • Multiple supervisors or owners
  • Associations to users or source files - associate issues with contact users or source code affected.
  • Default values for date fields relative to the transition date

Customization

  • Tracker configuration inheritance and overloading
  • Arbitrary number of custom choice fields
  • Customizable issue priority
  • Report filtering by fields that are not of choice type, including custom fields.

User Interface

  • Public and private tracker views
  • Related issues view
  • Excluding fields from table and list views
  • New convenience actions - like Copy to and Move to, Create New Issue from personal wiki pages or Reset Field Access Rights.

User Profiles

  • Multiple email addresses per user

Reports

  • JasperReports integration - for complex custom reports.
  • Issue associations available in reports.

Email Notifications

  • Priority of notification mails is set based on issue priorities - you will never miss any update on a critical bug.

Remote API

  • You must login to see this link. Register now, if you have no user account yet.
  • Support for working sets

Performance

  • Faster loading of web pages - by using compressed pages and javascript files and reduced number of HTTP requests.
  • Indexing is about 80% faster - compared to former versions.

Integration with SAP and Novell iChain

  • SAP Document Management System integration - share content between your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and collaboration solutions.
  • Novell iChain SSO integration - gives another option to federate your enterprise wide single sign on.

codeBeamer 5.0

Focus: Usability, Productivity and User Experience

We have learned the lessons of having many features in place, but being difficult for users to find what they look for. This version introduces our revamped AJAXified user interface that comes with improved interaction design:
  • Faster and more intuitive navigation
  • Convenient tree navigation for Documents and Source Code
  • Tabs contain lists of recently viewed items like tracker items and wiki pages
  • 1-click subscriptions and locking
  • Many more

Dashboards: Wikitized

All dashboard screens are converted from static content to full blown, customizable, versioned wiki pages. Using the existing plugins and the following set of new ones it is easy to custom tailor a codeBeamer instance to organizational, project or personal needs.

Portal (Global) Dashboard

  • ProjectListPlugin
  • RecentNewsPlugin
  • RecentWikiPagesPlugin
  • RecentDocumentsPlugin

Project Dashboard

  • ProjectInfoPlugin
  • MembersPlugin
  • RecentTrackerItemsPlugin
  • RecentBuildsPlugin
  • SourceCodeSummaryPlugin
  • CommitStatisticsPlugin

Personal Dashboard

  • MyApprovalsPlugin
  • MyOpenTrackerItemsPlugin
  • MySubscriptionsPlugin

Wiki: Tons of New Plugins

The power of our wiki is drastically increased by introducing a plethora of new plugins.

Internal Content

  • TrackerItemStateHistoryPlugin
  • CommentsPlugin
  • ReportPlugin

External Content

  • ExcelPlugin
  • HtmlPlugin
  • FlashPlugin
  • VisioPlugin
  • RSSFeedPlugin

Charts

  • MindMapPlugin
  • UMLPlugin
  • DataSetPlugin

Printing

  • Hi quality PDF output (and to RTF experimentally)

More

  • GoogleMapPlugin
  • ImageButtonPlugin
  • MathPlugin

Trackers

  • "Owned by" filter in MyTrackerItems and in the User Profile Details screen
  • TrackerItemStateHistoryPlugin displays the full status timeline of an issue, starting from its creation until now.

Security: Improved Access Control for Subversion and LDAP

  • Subversion Managed repository access control extended - to support role and group based permissions on directory level
  • Field access can be specified on the scope of workflow transitions
  • LDAP groups are synchronized with codeBeamer groups

Integration: MS Office and More

Microsoft Office

  • Indexing of PowerPoint documents - search in your presentations.
  • WebDAV performance optimization

Other

  • E-mail integration - contribute content just by replying to notification emails.
  • Date import from the Mantis bug tracker
  • Sparx Enterprise Architect integration
  • Geolocation - know which part of the world your visitors come from.

Remote API

  • .NET client to access codeBeamer's remote API - integrate with existing C# or VB applications.
  • New entry points in our remote API
  • You must login to see this link. Register now, if you have no user account yet.

Deployment

  • Support for Tomcat standalone
  • Support for IBM WebSphere
  • Support for Oracle 9 and 10