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Creating Workflows for HCL Compass Just Got Easier

Creating Workflows for HCL Compass Just Got Easier
by Mike Gianfagna on 11-05-2020 at 10:00 am

Creating Workflows for HCL Compass Just Got EasierWorkflows allow the world to function. The orderly process of sequencing tasks and automating handoffs creates tremendous potential for efficiency and error avoidance. As they say, time is money and workflows can save a lot of time. The principle applies in all kinds of industries. If you design chips for a living, you’re very familiar with the standard design flow you and your team uses.  The software versions, the technology files, the scripts and the supporting data form the fabric of your work environment. In the DevOps world, it’s the same. The tools used and the resources managed may be different, but the end goal is the same. In this DevOps environment a recent enhancement to HCL Compass caught my eye. Let’s explore how creating workflows for HCL Compass just got easier.

In August, I discussed HCL’s Compass and its ability to deliver defect tracking and more. The tool is actually quite broad in its application Beyond issue tracking, it provides the ability to integrate typically disparate functions such as analysis, development, testing, and deployment. This integration provides good notifications to keep the team in sync which also improves collaboration. HCL describes full lifecycle traceability with such a workflow. In their words:

Customize and enforce consistent development processes and achieve an integrated, consolidated view across the project. In addition to process automation and lifecycle traceability, security features such as user authentication, user authorization, electronic signatures, and audit trails are critical to helping ensure compliance with internal and external requirements.

These are all significant benefits but achieving them requires another very important ingredient. Customization. No one workflow fits all scenarios and scaling to the enterprise level makes customization even more important. In fact, you will see the this at the very top of the HCL Compass web page:

Flexibility Through Customization

Customization requires interaction with the product through an applications programming interface (API). This is why a recent announcement from HCL caught my attention:

Unlock new possibilities for managing workflows with HCL Compass’s REST APIs

Some definitions are in order. Prior to this announcement, the Perl API or Java Native Interface were available for interaction with HCL Compass at a programming level. One could call these interfaces a bit heavy, requiring domain-specific knowledge and a fair amount of time to achieve a desired result.

With the release of version 1.0.1 of Compass, a suite of REST APIs become available that enable lots of new capabilities. For those who not familiar with the term, REST stands for representational state transfer. A REST API defines a set of constraints that are used to create web services. To prove the inventors of this technique have a sense of humor, web services that conform to the REST style are called RESTful web services, providing interoperability between host systems and the internet. In general, a REST API will provide a lot of flexibility with a structure that is predictable and easy to use. If you’d like to learn more, you can access a REST API tutorial here.

Back to version 1.0.1 of Compass. The new REST API allows easy implementation of tasks such as viewing and modifying of records or executing complex queries. These are items that will be needed to build a custom workflow. A sample IOS application is included in the release. Integrating with a mobile device is a popular part of any enterprise deployment. Full source code and a detailed tutorial is available here. Custom workflows are an important ingredient for any enterprise application deployment. HCL seems to have a well thought out strategy to support Compass custom workflow development. Indeed, creating workflows for HCL Compass just got easier.

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