We have a few consults from Oracle Corporation working for our client. They are not directly on our project. They have their own separate contract. However they work on the same system our team maintains. Recently the manager from the Oracle side wanted to extract a bunch of database change information from Rational ClearQuest. And it was not going well. You would think it would be easy to export the data from the tool. It was just not working out.
The test manager from our team heard about this problem and volunteered to help. I think this manager uses ClearQuest on a daily basis. The Oracle consultant explained what she was trying to accomplish, and how the tool was not cooperating. The test team manager understood the problem and explained that there was a limit to the amount of information you could easily export from the ClearQuest spreadsheets. The recommendation from the test manager was to use Crystal Reports to programmatically extract the data.
Now I do not know how the Oracle consultant is going to get the job done. But I do know that she could not come out and say she would use Crystal Reports. That would not be the Oracle way. Their team’s job is to make money for Oracle. But it is also to promote the use of new and expensive Oracle products. They are supposed to be the experts on Oracle technology. If they had to revert back to a product from a competitor like Crystal Reports, it would look very bad. The real problem is that the IBM ClearQuest tool was not making life easy.
In the end I think the consultant was not able to extract the data she wanted in a meaningful way. The task was delegated to another Oracle consultant who manually grabbed the information from ClearQuest. But the output was not easily to work with. Maybe everybody just does not know how to work with IBM Rational ClearQuest well. I have to believe that people who use this tool need to occasionally export the data from the spreadsheets the application displays.
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