Quick Start: Team Development

Key Points: Team Development

  • Team Development is a feature that allows multiple users to work together on the same project.
  • Work Items are a visual indication for the team to know what its users are working on, and are to be created prior to doing the work.
  • Project Version Notes can be linked to work items, which can be viewed later to reference the changes being made.
  • Teams should plan for change management with respect to the data warehouse. You will not need the same level of effort to complete tasks building and maintaining the data warehouse, so plan accordingly.

Best Practices when using Team Development

We observe that teams of five (5), or fewer, simultaneous developers are typically most efficient in developing TimeXtender projects. The TimeXtender solution is designed with the intention to help small teams become more productive through automation.

  1. Never work on the same object - table, dimension or cube - as someone else.
    • Always create work items before making any changes to an object.
    • If anyone else has the item marked for their use, wait for them to release the work item.
    • Once you are done working on an object, save the project and release the work item.
    • Keep the work items window open when working.
  2. Do not rename tables, cubes or dimensions. The only exceptions are if you just created the table and have not saved yet or if nobody else has the project open. You can see who has a project open in the work items dialog.
  3. Always save and reload (Ctrl+F5) before you start a new development task. This ensures that you have the latest version of all objects before you start taking over the work of somebody else.
  4. Immediately before creating a new table, always save and reload.

For more detailed information, please see Team Development.

Key Steps: Team Development

Enable Team Development

  1. When creating a project, you can select Enable Team Development.
  2. *After a project has been created, you can enable Team Development from Repository Administration under Tools.
  3. Select Enable Team Development under Projects tab.

*Note: You may need to close the project before enabling team development, as you may see an error "Could not get exclusive lock on project."

Add Work Items

  1. Select Add Work Item on an object in your project
  2. Add a Description and create the work item
  3. Finish the process with Create work item

View, Edit, or Delete Work Items

  1. Open existing Work Items under Tools
  2. To edit the work item, select Edit Work Item from the list
  3. Save changes with Update Work Item
  4. To remove a work item, select Delete Work Item from the list

Add Version Notes to a Work Item

  1. When saving a project, add a description to the version notes and select the work item(s) associated

For more detailed Instructions, please see Team Development.

To delete a project where "Team Development" is enabled, you'll first need to disable team development, as described in this article Unable to delete a project

Understanding Team Development

TimeXtender supports multiple developers working on the same project at the same time. Version notes enable developers to share details about their changes to the project and work items allows developers to see which objects other team members are working on to prevent them from modifying the same objects simultaneously.

Avoid Conflicting Changes

The team development feature of TimeXtender depends on the developers to take care when working together as the feature itself does not prevent developers from making conflicting changes . When collaborating on a project, developers should avoid working on the same object on the same time. If this happens, the outcome depends on the type of change made:

  • If multiple team members add or modify different sub-objects (such as fields) within the same object (such as a table), then TimeXtender will save these changes and display them the next time that TimeXtender is opened. For example, if one team member adds two fields to a table, and another team member adds another two fields to the same table, all four fields will be visible to all team members the next time they close and re-open the project.

Change Management is key

Overall, TimeXtender is likely going to require your team to re-think how group development works in your data warehouse project. Change management is the hardest part of a new project like this, but it is very important. Tasks that used to take significantly more time and effort, required more developers. However, it is very likely that the same tasks can be accomplished by fewer resources and in less time: this is the main thinking behind the TX platform.

For example, a farm may start out by using 10 or more laborers to sow and harvest the crops. However, with mechanization and automation in place (tractors), the same job would only require the machine operators, greatly saving on the manual effort to achieve the same or greater yield. But, to place the same number of tractors, as previously used laborers would be counter productive.

In other words, to use the same number of developers working in TimeXtender, as before TimeXtender, may be less efficient or even counter productive.

For more detailed information, please see Team Development.