Define object types

Some Dimensions CM object classes have a user-defined type associated with them. You can create different types of such objects in a product.

For more details about concepts described in this topic, see the Administration Console online help.

User-defined object types

Creating object types enables you to define certain object properties that can be configured differently for different purposes.

You can define object types for these Dimensions CM object classes:

  • Design Parts

  • Items

  • Requests

  • Projects/streams

  • Baselines

Example: You could define different types of request, such as request type of CR (Change Request) and another of type TDR (Test Defect Report). These request types could follow different lifecycles for their workflow and approval process and have different attributes for users to specify during this process.

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Lifecycles

A lifecycle consists of a series of possible states that an object can be in.

The process of moving an object to a given state from another state is called actioning. Normally, an object in a particular state can be actioned only to certain other states. The pairs of to and from states between which the object can be actioned are called transitions. Only certain users have permissions to action the object through those transitions.

There are normal states, which follow a progressive path through the lifecycle, and off-normal states, which are not located on this path.

For example, the following lifecycle for a source file has the Unit Tested state selected. Normally, an item reaches that state when a developer actions the item from the Under Work state. Only a Team Leader can then action the item from Unit Tested to Approved. The only other transition possible from Unit Tested is to Rejected, which only a Team Leader can make.

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Attributes

Attributes contain information about an object. Attributes can be system-defined or user-defined.

System-defined attributes

These are predefined by Dimensions CM for the object class. They are often used by Dimensions CM to maintain certain data about the object, for example Creation Date or Current Status.

User-defined attributes

These are defined in your process model for a particular object type.

For example, an item of type Source may have an attribute called Lines of Code, whereas an item of type Object may have an attribute called Platform.

Attributes can have different formats, such as Text or Date. They can also be multi-value, when a field has more than one value, or multi-field and multi-value, when an attribute consists of several fields with more than one value.

Attribute rules

You can set attribute rules for a particular lifecycle transition. A rule can define the following conditions for a given transition:

  • Whether the attribute is visible to the user.

  • Whether the user can update the attribute.

  • Whether the attribute is required, which means that the user must update the attribute before they can action the object.

Valid sets

You can define sets of rules that allow users to specify only certain values for an attribute. You can also define a validation that cross-checks field values and automatically fills in the dependent fields when the user enters an attribute value.

You create a valid set and then assign it to one or more user-defined attributes in the Administration Console.

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Sensitive attributes and states

When you define an attribute or lifecycle state, you can specify it as Sensitive for security purposes.

If an attribute is sensitive, users need to re-enter their password before they can update the attribute.

If a state is sensitive, user need to re-enter their password before they can action the object to or from that state.

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CM rules

Dimensions CM enables you to set up a special category of rules relating to items and/or Dimensions CM requests called Change Management (CM) rules.

For Dimensions CM requests, you can configure certain phases that determine what operations can be performed, for example:

Then you can assign the lifecycle states for a request type to those phases, for example:

The phases define the operations that can be performed when the request is at a particular state.

You can also configure certain rules for item types, for example, set a requirement that a request must be related to an item revision before it can be checked out.

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Upload rules

Use upload rules to map filename patterns to Dimensions CM file formats and item types.

Upload rules determine whether files that match a certain name pattern can be added to the database using a Dimensions CM client or an IDE, and if so, what item types the files will be created as.

Upload rules must exist in the base database before you can start adding files.

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