I recently had to load evaluation versions of Rational ClearCase and ClearQuest in order to prepare some training material on how to use them.

Although a full deployment of these CM tools would generally be client-server based, for evaluation purposes I wanted to load both ClearCase and ClearQuest onto a single stand-alone machine, and have them communicate. There were some stumbling blocks, which I present below.

Feature #1: ClearCase asks only once for details about the ClearQuest database with which it should integrate. If you get this wrong, or need to change it, you have to mess about in the registry.

Feature #2: ClearCase suddenly stops being able to communicate with ClearQuest, for no apparent reason. For example, when doing a rebase operation, you get the error message “An error occurred during the Rebase operation. Unable to connect the integration activity to ClearQuest” or “Unable to logon to ClearQuest user database ‘…’. Unable to connect the integration activity to ClearQuest. Unable to create integration activity. Unable to perform integration.”. It turns out that the problem is due to an unwanted dialog box appearing when you start ClearQuest, because the evaluation licence is close to expiring! The solution is to turn off this warning dialog box.


There are two main books, both published by Addison Wesley, that provide some assistance:

The main problem with these books is that they (understandably) cover all bases: ‘basic’ Clearcase vs. ClearCase UCM, Windows vs. Unix. In my case, I was interested in only ClearCase UCM under Windows, so a lot of the information was not of interest, and some of it was downright confusing.

In Conclusion...

I happily admit that I don’t like Rational tools (apart from RequisitePro, which is a little gem); ClearCase and ClearQuest seem to come from the same stable as Rational Rose, where you can probably do anything you need to do, but have to go right round the houses to get there! This software has a distinct “not finished” feel to it. It’s only worth evaluating if you need the features that set ClearCase apart from other CM tools (distributed development, dynamic views), and are going to be able to afford to buy plenty of support.