Update: Vamsi pointed out that http://cars.flashmx.us/makes no longer works so I’ve updated the post to use http://www.w3schools.com/xml/cd_catalog.xml instead. I’ve also attached that file here in case w3schools drops it as well:-) Note that WordPress doesn’t allow XML files to be attached so change the extension to .xml before using it.
ClearQuest has this concept of “stateless record types” , which are basically one way to store “tables” of values to be looked up and used usually with “stateful” record types. An example of such a stateless record type is “users”, which stores user details (username, full name, email, privileges etc). This is quite a useful concept and all users can do to these stateless records is Submit, Modify, Delete, and Import.
As usual what is a good thing is easily abused. One way CQ’s stateless record types are often abused is they are used to duplicate information that is already stored elsewhere. The “abuse” occurs because the “elsewhere” is the actual source of truth for that information and it becomes a headache to keep the the values in synch.
RTC doesn’t quite have this concept of stateless record types though you can simulate this by setting up work item types that only have a few states and a few actions. What I prefer is the idea that the data should remain in it’s original source of truth and used from there as required, without messy copying, duplicating and synchronising. Of course there are potential performance implications with retrieving remote vales and problems with data sources not making required data available but in the main this is a better way.