repository, whether problem reports, updates, builds, testruns, documents or otherwise. It will even permit you to have custom flows (or partially custom flows) for different types within a class: Feature activities follow one flow, build activities another, and so forth. Each transition may be guarded by roles and permissions, as well as by rules and triggers. Basic triggers, such as email notification and logging of data changes, can be enabled through a simple checkbox selection.
CM+ also offers big picture configurations from which to start. The out-of-the-box configuration reflects Neuma's Unified Process. But switch to the CM II edition and you have something that looks quite different.
Fig. 8 - The main panel of the CM II edition of CM+ shows the ECR State Flow in color-coded fashion. The diagram can be edited directly in the CM+ panel. Note, in the top-right data panel how the "ecr" activities are color-coded to reflect their status. Similarly, gantt charts and summary graphs use the same color-coding to give a status-at-a-glance look and feel. Notice, on the left, the CM II process guidance, the requirements tree, and a number of "My" quick links. Custom CM II icons (near the top) allow you to zero in on the main dashboard used by each CMII role.
Roles and permissions are used not only for state flow, but for command access, user interface display, menu item inclusion, data access, and other such items. A number of predefined roles (CM Manager, Project Manager, Developer, Tester, Administrator, etc.) may be customized or new ones defined. Other CM+ process capabilities include access controls, electronic signatures, rules, triggers, data segregation, and customizable metrics.
Multiple Site Operation
CM and ALM tools try to address global access in different ways. Some partition the data across sites, with a common synchronization back to a main site every so often. Others have one writable site, with a number of mirrors for data access. Others simply provide the ALM tool in the Cloud (probably a local cloud rather than exporting their key software assets). Each of these have their advantages and disadvantages. In a next generation ALM tool, it is important to ensure that you always have a consistent view of the entire repository (that you can use for consistent backups). It's better if you don't have to do partitioning and synchronization operations, as these can be administration intensive. It's also important that a user can roam from one site to another without having to re-orient themselves for their current site.
CM+ allows global operation by allowing you to specify a number of sites (typically a few) which are to serve as server sites. Each site, in the default setup, has a complete copy of all data. Any transaction sent to one site is also sent to all of the other sites, with a master site responsible for establishing the sequence number for every transaction. This has the effect that each site looks and feels as if it is the one and only site - just like a centralized system works. Each site contains a full copy of the repository. So there is no cross-site data access issue, there is no consistency issue, and users can freely roam from site to site.
This has two very large administrative side effects. The first is that you have a warm stand-by disaster recovery capability. If a site disappears, switch to another and keep working. The same information is at each site. The second is that you are less reliant on backups because each site is a backup of the others. So you can do the backup when