Common tasks

The workflows in this topic provide an overview of common development and project management tasks in Dimensions CM.

The tasks do not describe all possible variations. Your organization may have different workflows depending on your development practices, your Dimensions CM process model, and role assignments.

Development tasks

This section outlines the typical tasks of a developer that works with Dimensions CM projects.

For detail on working with streams, see:

Web client: Work with streams
Desktop client: Work with streams

This workflow assumes that developers are not using Dimensions CM from within an integrated development environment (IDE). For details about available IDE integrations, see Other IDEs.

Task Description
Review your inboxes As a developer, you typically start the day by checking your inboxes for items, requests, and baselines that have been assigned to you. For example, your Pending Request list might contain requests for defects or enhancement requests that have been assigned to you, and the items associated with them.
Check out items affected by a request

After you determine which items you are going to work on, you typically check out those items.

To check an item out, you may need to relate the new item revision to a request, depending on the process model. Alternatively, to make a quick change, you can edit the item instead of checking it out. Editing and saving an item is the equivalent of checking an item out and then checking it back in, saving several steps along the way.

For details, see:

If you are continuing with work from a previous session, and if your process model allows it, you may check out or edit items using the same revision, provided the item revision is at an initial lifecycle state.

For details, see Edit items.

Create items

In the course of your work, you may need to create new items. To create an item, you may be required to relate the new item to a request, depending on the process model.

For details, see About creating items.

Check items in

To document your actions, you check the items back in and enter comments. You may have additional post-coding steps to perform, such as peer review, unit testing, and documentation.

While checking items in, you may need to edit item attributes to confirm that you performed these steps.

For details, see:

Action and delegate items

If you are finished working on the item and it's ready to proceed to the next step in the lifecycle (for example, it's ready for QA), you can action the item when you check it in.

If there are multiple people who can perform the next step and you want the item to go to someone in particular, first you may delegate the item.

For details, see:

Action requests

If there are requests associated with the items you have finished working on, you need to edit the attributes and action the requests to the next step in the lifecycle. You may do this as you complete each request, or you may action all requests together at the end of the day.

For details, see:

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Project management tasks

This section outlines project management tasks over the course of the product development process.

This overview assumes that the process model has already been set up. For details about the process model, see Set up the process model.

The administrator in this section refers to a person responsible for the task.

Start up a development project

Create a product

When a project involves creating a new product from scratch, the Dimensions CM administrator typically uses the Administration Console to create the new product.

Create design parts The administrator uses Dimensions CM to set up the design parts and relate them to form a structure.
Create product item libraries The administrator creates the product item libraries, which are the folder structures where the item files are stored.
Create item types and associated lifecycles

In the Administration Console, the administrator defines the types of item that are used in the product, and the lifecycle stages that the items follow when tested and approved.

Create projects and streams

The administrator then creates the projects/streams for use by project personnel. Whether you use projects or streams depends on your working method.

For details about streams and how they differ from projects, see:

You may have a project/stream that everyone uses, or different projects/streams for users who have different roles or who work on different parts of the product.

For details, see:

If files already exist, upload them You upload any existing files into the Dimensions CM database by using the Deliver command. Additional files can be created during development.
Assign roles/privileges

In the Administration Console, the administrator assigns project users to groups, privileges, and/or roles.

Privileges determine which functions users can perform on different object classes or administrative areas. You can assign privileges to individual users, groups, or roles.

Roles and their permissions determine what actions users can perform on different object types at different points in the development process and for different design parts.

Define request types and their associated lifecycles

In the Administration Console, the administrator sets up the request types that are used for tracking changes and reporting defects, and defines the lifecycles that they are to follow.

Define work areas, deployment areas, and library cache areas, and assign them to projects/streams and users

In the Administration Console, the administrator sets up work areas that are used by developers for the items files they are working on.

The administrator also sets up deployment areas to contain files at specific development stages for a project, and library cache areas to increase the efficiency when users access item files from remote servers.

Set up baseline and release templates

In the Administration Console, the administrator sets the rules for selecting item revisions to be included in baselines and releases.

Baselines are used to capture versions of items at project milestones and to generate releases of the product.

The project is ready for development activities to begin.

Ongoing project management tasks

Manage items Create, change, and action items specifically related to project management, such as project status reports and milestone checklists.
Manage changes

Drive the change process by creating requests, relating them to items, delegating them to developers, and actioning them. Also receive requests for review and approval.

For details, see:

You can also create requests from requirements generated in Dimensions RM. For details, see the Dimensions RM integration.

Generate reports

Generate user reports to list information you have set up in your Dimensions CM database. User reports rely on criteria like request status and item status to answer questions such as "Where are we in relation to the next milestone?" and "Is this feature going to be in Friday's build?" You can use Dimensions CM report building to carry out sophisticated reporting.

For details, see:

You can also use filters to display lists of objects that satisfy certain conditions.

Create and manage baselines

At project milestones, the administrator or an individual developer may create baselines. As development progresses, the administrator typically actions a baseline through its lifecycle, which moves the entire project to the next milestone. The administrator may need to compare two projects or baselines to determine which files have changed.

For details, see:

Create and manage releases

When the product is ready for release, the administrator or a designate user may create and manage releases and customers.

For details, see:

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