Control assets

In Dimensions CM, you use projects or streams to organize development work. You identify the product's design parts to relate items and requests to a specific product part.

Projects and streams

Dimensions CM uses projects and streams to organize different areas of development.

The files for a particular development strand are stored in Dimensions CM as items under version control.

Each project/stream has a folder structure in which these items are organized. The folder structure may differ from one project/stream to another. When a structural change is made to the project/stream folder, the change affects only that project/stream.

You can configure your database to use only streams, only projects, or both streams and projects.

Projects and streams work in different ways, and the Dimensions CM functions for projects and streams are different.

The following table explains the differences between projects and streams.


Dimensions CM projects are better suited to more traditional software development methodologies and non-software uses such as documentation and hardware assets:

  • Projects follow a lock > modify > unlock process, where you check out the files before making your changes.

  • Projects support operations on individual files, such as check out and check in.

  • Projects can contain parallel versions of the same code because there can be multiple tip revisions of the same item. You can maintain different strands of development by associating a different branch for versions of the same items.

Projects can be related in a hierarchical structure together with other parent and child projects.

For details, see About projects.


Streams are designed for carrying out small amounts of change and integrating them with the main body of code before starting on a new set of changes:

  • Streams follow a copy > modify > merge process, where you work on a file copy in your work area and then deliver the changes back to the repository.

  • In streams, you don't perform operations on individual items in the repository. Instead, you copy a complete set of files, make changes, and deliver the files back to the repository after building and testing the code.

  • Streams support only operations that process multiple items or folders, such as update or deliver.

  • Streams facilitate an iterative development process where you resolve conflicts and build and test the application in your work area before committing the changes to the repository.

  • Streams enforce a single set of tip revisions, or branches, and do not contain parallel branches of the same items. It is easy to build working code from the tip revisions at any time.

Note: A stream is configured in the process model as a project of type "STREAM".

For details, see About streams.

Tip baselines

When a milestone is reached, you can freeze the project/stream contents and preserve the item versions in the project/stream by creating a tip baseline.

When a project is created from a baseline, the original hierarchical structure is restored. You can begin a new phase of development by creating a new project from a baseline.

For details, see Baseline categories.

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Optimistic locking

Dimensions CM supports optimistic locking that enables you to check in a file without checking it out first.

Dimensions CM maintains metadata in the client working location to record the changes that have occurred in relation to the database.

To enforce security, you can use CM (Change Management) rules and specify that a user requires a request to update an item in the database.

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Design parts and roles

You use design parts to organize items into logical groups associated with specific parts of a product.

Within different product parts, you may want to restrict the ability to perform certain actions and changes only to certain team members. Subdividing the product into design parts enables you to assign the roles for specific tasks and components to different individuals.

For an overview of design parts, see About design parts.

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See also: