Date Created: Wed 22-Sep-2010

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IBM Rational ClearCase quick technical FAQ

What does it run on?
It runs on Linux, z/OS, UNIX and Windows.

What servers are involved in a ClearCase setup?
*note: it is recommended these servers are hosted on separate servers

Server types Description
View - For storing workspace meta-data information
VOB - Manages repositories where ClearCase stores all files and directories under its control
License - Hosts licenses
- Is either the ClearCase only Atria license server or the Rational Flex LM based license server which is common to all IBM-Rational tools
Registry - Meta-data repository of all ClearCase data
Shipping - If multi-site is used server is responsible for shipping replication packets to another multi-site node
Web - For serving browser based ClearCase web or Multi-site administration
Remote Client - Hosts views for open source Eclipse IDE based ClearCase Remote client

What licensing model does it use?
It uses an active floating license server model. When a ClearCase command is run a license is consumed. After a time out period of inactivity the license is released. The time out period can be changed.

What types of ClearCase licenses are there?
There are ClearCase and ClearCase multi-site licenses. A ClearCase license covers base and UCM ClearCase. A ClearCase multi-site license is on top of a ClearCase licenses. ClearCase multi-site licenses are required for development occurring over multiple physical ClearCase sites.

What database does it use?
ClearCase does not use Microsoft SQL server, Oracle or IBM DB2. It uses an application embedded database called Raima database. It was created by the Raima corporation as a no maintenance database. Raima have been bought by Centura Software Corporation then Birdstep Technology ASA.

What tools does it integrate with?
Below are tools IBM-Rational ClearCase is by standard able to integrate with. Please check on the IBM website for the exact versions and patch levels of each tool.
Tool How and What?
IBM-Rational Rose Integrated via the Rational Administrator then accessed via Rose GUI interface
IBM-Rational ClearQuest Two way integration between ClearQuest GUI and ClearCase GUI
IBM-Rational Software Architect, Rational Software modeller All IBM open source eclipse based IDEs integrate by enabling the ClearCase package and accessed via the GUI
Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Running a integration executable provided with a ClearCase installation then accessed via menu in Visual Studio
Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint Running a integration executable provided with a ClearCase installation then accessed via menu in Microsoft Office tool
Sybase PowerBuilder Available as a ClearCase .dll and is accessed via the GUI
Borland JBuilder Enabled when both tools are installed

Has ClearCase been extended to integrate with any other scripting languages or IDEs?
Tool How and What?
Perl Using the ClearCase perl module: CtCmd. Hosted on site
Ant Using the Ant ClearCase module: clearAntLib. Hosted on site
Emacs Multiple implementations. Please view for an overview of all available integrations
Vim Vim integration available at Provides ClearCase menu on GUI versions of VIM.

How many different offerings does it come in?
Offering Description
ClearCase LT - Scaled down entry level version of full ClearCase that is due to be out of support April 30, 2010 by IBM
- Designed for small scale software development
Base ClearCase - Full tool offering
- Long setup time due to scripting required to provide a project ready configuration management solution
- Scripting allows it to be flexible to cater for different configuration management usage models
ClearCase UCM(Unified Change Management) - Add on to base ClearCase to provide the UCM ready to use configuration management solution out of the box
ClearCase multi-site - Add on to ClearCase base or UCM to provide geographically distributed development functionality
- Replicates all ClearCase repositories across each site using its own replication packet creation and management, packet transfer, and replication site routing

How do I interact with it?
Interface Description
ClearCase explorer Desktop GUI client for end user usage for checking files in and out of the tool installed onto Windows, or UNIX
UCM project explorer Desktop GUI administration interface for UCM on Windows and *NIX
Cleartool command line Cleartool is the command line version of base and UCM ClearCase commands on Windows and *NIX
Multitool command line Multitool is the command line interface for multi-site commands from geographically distributed development ClearCase commands on Windows and *NIX
ClearCase Automated Library Windows COM API for ClearCase
Integrated Windows Explorer Access ClearCase explorer commands via an integrated context menu in Windows explorer
ClearCase Remote Client(CCRC) Eclipse based version of ClearCase that uses only http port 80 for transfer. ClearCase typically uses a wide network port range
ClearCase Web A browser based interface ClearCase user interface
Multitool administration console A browser based administration console for ClearCase multi-site. This is due to be discontinued in late 2008

Pros and Cons of ClearCase?
Pros Cons
- Scalability - scales from small development project with a handful of developers to a globe distributed development with thousands of developers
- Many available interfaces available from GUI, command line, browser, eclipse, integration with third party tools
- Cross platform support across Windows, z/OS, Linux and UNIX
- Integrates with many third party tools such as Visual Source Safe and Rational Software Architect
- Mature tool offering – developed over nearly twenty years with established community, wide installation base of various organizations from telecommunications/banking/engineering, certification programme from IBM
- Expensive licensing and support cost
- Steep learning curve for administrators, and users
- Complex implementation with many servers involved in a setup
- Network sensitive - Using dynamic views is very network sensitive as it needs to make many RPC calls to refresh the view
- Aging tool that has evolved over nearly twenty years
SCRev - ClearCase technical overview.doc

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