Serena Blog

FullSizeRenderSo we are off and running with xChange 2015. Record crowds in the breakout sessions and a packed house for the kickoff general session this morning.

Greg Hughes talked about the need to “Move Fast Without Breaking Things” and his first love … a 128k RAM, twin 320kb floppy, 32lb “portable” computer. He drove home the critical need of modern organizations to create an infrastructure environment that supports dev teams

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Tags: xChange


Serena Central - Your Serena community and marketplaceToday Serena Software launched our new community portal Serena Central which provides an enhanced user experience for customers and prospects looking to get the most out of their tools. The new site expands on our previous user communities focused around Build, Learn, and Connect.

Build



What a terrific first meeting of the quarterly Dimensions CM Virtual User Group (VUG).VUG Group

We were joined by one of our early adopters of the innovative Dimensions CM 14 release, Carmelette Benson of Health Care Service Corporation. The VUG was treated to an exceptional upgrade story that engaged the free Upgrade Lab to advance their planning and readiness, and worked collaboratively with

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Well! We’re all set to go! We have a great agenda, a fantastic lineup of speakers and some fun activities planned. If you haven’t registered yet there is still time – you can register here.

Let’s take a quick tour of the highlights …

  • Over 70 in depth technical sessions – nearly half delivered by customer practitioners just like you
  • Major new product announcements you will only hear at xChange
  • Incredible end-to-end demo of modern software development infrastructure – “The Mother of all Demos”
  • Important new thought leadership about The Secure SDLC – new whitepaper

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We are still not there yet are we. The idea that IT is an “always on” utility, or better yet, keep.calm.and.unlock.it.32 a competitive advantage for the business.

Every year there are ton of examples illustrating that we still have a lot of work to do.  Whether it’s shutting down the Russian stock market for a couple of hours, deploying Read More



toolchainOnce the developer checks in a change, how long does it take your organization to deliver it to the customer?  The path to production can take many turns, have many dips, and fall short in terms of quality and expectations.  IT organizations struggle with major process and toolchain gaps between develop, build, deploy, and release.  Come join us at the December Serena DevOps Drive-in as Julian

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How do you become a high performance IT organization?  Earlier in the year we had Glenn O’Donnell of Forrester on our Serena DevOps Drive-in webcast to answer this question. Glenn outlined the fact that we are in the beginning of an IT industrial revolution: IT is currently too slow, has poor quality and customers don’t trust IT. This current state has

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If you are planning on coming to xChange I want to remind you that the early bird pricing expires on December 31st. Right now you can save $200 off the registration fee.

If you haven’t looked at the agenda yet I’d recommend hopping over to the xChange website so you can the amazing list of topics and keynotes we have planned for you.

See you in Washington DC in March!

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Tags: xChange


The best just got better.

With the release of ChangeMan ZMF 8.1 a new era of software development becomes possible for the mainframe. With over 400 customer requested ideas implemented and groundbreaking innovations in cross-platform SDLC support, this release makes managing software development, from idea to deployment more streamlined, more automated and more reliable than ever.

Leading enterprises are under pressure to deliver innovation rapidly to satisfy their customers, while maintaining high quality and integrity, and reducing cost and risk. Agility and accelerated application delivery is required but companies struggle to deliver mainframe changes at the pace that the business

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Today Serena is announcing ChangeMan ZMF v8, a major update to our flagship mainframe SCCM solution. Why the continued large investment by Serena in the mainframe? Read on…

Continuous Delivery for the Enterprise has been the mainframe_V8_blogpost subject of much focus and discussion in the industry and in my recent

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Technical blog posts

If you love the process control you get with SBM but are tired of the dated end-user interface, take a closer look at Serena Work Center.

Available in SBM 10.1.3 or later, Work Center brings the power of your SBM applications to a single portal. Along with its modern look and feel, built from ground up in modern UI and server technologies, Work Center is designed to ensure users easily find their favorite features, along with some new ones.

Here are 10 reasons you should give Work Center a try:

1. There's no migration necessary. All of your existing applications will work just as they do in the "classic" User Workspace. Use this simple URL to access Work Center: http://yourservername/workcenter

2. New global capabilities mean users no longer need to figure out which application tab to select when they are searching for or submitting new items. When adding new items, users can search for any project in the system. Recent projects are saved for each access, and users can also save their favorite projects.

3. You can combine multiple applications into a single "application group." This is a great way for users to focus on information in multiple applications rather than figuring out how to access features on different tabs.

 


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Tags: SBM


When figuring out why a problem is happening in SBM or any other web based product for that matter, IIS 7.0 and later offer excellent logging of problems that result in an error code coming back from the server.  For example, if you are seeing an error like a 403 or 500 being displayed in your web browser, then this is a good technique to gather detailed information about where exactly the problem is happening.


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Tags: SBM


When a User requests a process in SDA you can optionally ask them to select or enter inputs properties. These properties are typically passed down from the application process to the invoked component processes. In this post I will look at how to pass application process property values down to component processes and use a couple of tricks to ensure that they are requested in as user friendly way as possible.


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Tags: SDA/Deployment Automation


Not everyone can be root!

b2ap3_thumbnail_linux-root-power.png

One of the first questions I get from customers about installing the Serena Deployment Automation (SDA) Agent on a Linux (or Unix) machine is… can I run the agent under a dedicated account (i.e. anyone but root)? And do you provide an init file?

The answer is…YES. Yes you can. Yes we do.

In fact, Serena recommends that you create a user account dedicated to run the agent on the machine. This allows you to control who can run what and allows you stay within the IT policy and procedures.

To configure the agent to run under a dedicated account is simple.

  1. Create your dedicated agent account if you have not done so already.
  2. Update the agent init file with the account information.
  3. Update your runlevels.

"Sandwich" by xkcd is licensed under CC BY 2.5

 


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Tags: SDA/Deployment Automation


The SBM REST widget provides an easy way to display information that is available RESTfully via 3rd party tools.  The REST grid is useful for displaying data and allowing selected rows within the grid to populate other mapped fields on the form, but out-of-the-box it does not provide an easy way to drive business/process logic.


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Tags: SBM


If you've used SBM much, by now you'll have encountered rules defined in Composer. In this blog, I'll walk you through how to define and use rules in your process design and explore the many common and less common ways they can be used.


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Tags: SBM


Today we're going to have fun with report templates, and talk about how we can enable a "Total" row on listing reports.  This post is going to cover several topics including AppScripts, JSON, report template modification, using scripts in templates, etc., each of which potentially warrants their own in-depth post.  We're going to stay somewhat high-level for today, and if you decide to dive in and run into issues, post a comment and I'm happy to explain further.  That all said, here's what we're going to accomplish today:

Report-Example.png


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Tags: SBM


Goal: To view an SBM item directly when you only know the displayed item id using a URL.

Solution: Add the AppScript below to your Global App (or another, if you don't have access to Global) and then you will be able to view the item with the following URL:

http<s>://<servername>/tmtrack/tmtrack.dll?ScriptPage&ScriptName=RedirectToItem&tableid=<nnnn>&itemid=<mmmmm>

Use https if your SBM is configured for SSL, replace <servername> with your SBM server domain name, replace <nnnn> with the table id where the desired item resides, and replace <mmmmm> with the display id of the desired item without its prefix.


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Tags: SBM


Have you ever wondered what a program is doing when it is running? Perhaps what files it is reading or what registry entries it is using? Or maybe you would like to explorer your inner hacker. Microsoft acquired a set of tools from www.sysinternals.com which allows you to explore many aspects of applications running on a Windows operating system. If you are used to UNIX, similar tools would be truss, strace, and top among others.

These tools are very common and FREE! Only download them from Microsoft's website (alternatively from www.sysinternals.com which will redirect to https://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/sysinternals) to ensure they are safe and virus-free. Many server administrators already have them installed on servers or somewhere on the network. Most of these tools have a simple footprint which allows them to be unzipped and used without a formal installation process.

While there are numerous utilities available in their suite, this article focuses on the two I use most often when doing development and integration work. The two listed here are graphical applications, but there are many for use from a command line with textual user interfaces.


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Tags: Tips & Tricks


Composer users have always authenticated to the Application Repository by providing username and password credentials on the repository tab of the Composer settings dialog. In SBM 10.1.5.1 we have added the smart card as a new method for authentication in Composer. This won't matter to many of our customers, but those who need it - really - need it because, for them, it is a legal requirement.  As with two-way SSL, we've hidden the interface for this so that the majority of users (who don't use smart cards) won't ever see the corresponding options.

                

U.S. Department of Defense Common Access Card (CAC)


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Tags: SBM


This is part 1 of a 3 part series. 

Best Practice

There is no such thing as best practices. Two different teams approaching the same challenge might succeed with completely different approaches.  What works well for one team may well be irrelevant for the other.  What helped one team might be counter-productive for the other.

So think of the above paragraph as my disclaimer. With that out of the way, let’s proceed. ッ

Overview

Maintaining common or shared files that are used across multiple development efforts can be challenging.  There are many ways to configure Dimensions CM to support this. 

In this 3 part series, I will talk about the pros and cons of two different scenarios so that you can decide which approach to take. Remember that one size does not fit all; hence the reason why Dimensions CM is so adaptable and can support different processes.

At the end of each scenario, I will include how to configure Dimensions CM to support that particular scenario.

Before we get started, let’s cover some terminology and a few ground rules to avoid confusion.


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Tags: Dimensions CM


This is part 2 of 3 part series. See part 1 for an overview.

Scenario 1: Keep a copy of Common with every Application

In this scenario, all applications and the common code are contained in a single Dimensions CM product called Qlarius.  

Each Application will have:

  • Their own design part(s) to control what files belong to a particular application and to facilitate relating common code.
  • Their own streams to isolate development efforts.

The Common will have:

  • Its own design part(s) to control what files belong to a particular common module and to facilitate relating to applications that require/use it.
  • Its own streams to isolate development efforts for updates as it changes over time.

b2ap3_thumbnail_S1_KeepCopyCommonWithApplication.png

 


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Tags: Dimensions CM


This is part 3 of 3 part series. See part 1 for an overview.

Scenario 2: Reference every Application to Common

 

In this scenario, all applications are in a single product (Qlarius) and the common code (Common) is contained in a separate Dimensions CM product. 

Each application will have:

  • Their own design part(s) to control what files belong to a particular application and to facilitate relating common code.
  • Their own streams to isolate development efforts.

The Common Code will:

  • Be treated as a ‘vault’
  • Be referenced by the developers for local builds and tests.
  • Require a process to not allow developers to deliver any common code to the application stream

b2ap3_thumbnail_S2_ReferenceCommonWithApplication.png

 


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Tags: Dimensions CM


Composer has long supported secure communication with the Application Repository with the Use secure connection option on the Repository tab of the SBM Composer Options dialog. When you use this setting, you can be sure the server you are connecting to is the server you expect it to be, and all subsequent communications between Composer and the server are encrypted to ensure privacy.


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Tags: SBM


In many scenarios, it's often desirable to allow your users to save a draft of their record before they actually submit it.  While SBM doesn't have the concept of a private draft, there are some ways we can achieve the "Save as Draft" functionality.  Today we're going to take a look at a few ways we can achieve this.


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Tags: SBM


Have you ever felt that you spend a lot of time managing the field privileges and orderings for workflows and transitions within SBM?

There could be several reasons including:

  • You upgraded from TeamTrack and still manage field visibility in a similar way.
  • You have a primary table that supports multiple workflows which do not share the same fields.
  • You do not use custom forms for states and/or transitions.

The following recommendations will reduce the time it takes for you to maintain your SBM Process Apps. These recommendations basically all strive to make the fewest changes to your system in order to achieve the presentation needed for your users. An added benefit is that in the end your user experience will be much more consistent as well.


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Tags: SBM


Have you ever had the need to query information from SBM's Application Engine database directly? Perhaps you want to report on how the system is configured, or perhaps you need to report on information in ways not available through the user interfaces.


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Tags: SBM


On complex forms it can be difficult for an end-user to discover and find required fields, especially when they are hidden behind tabs or collapsed sections. To make this easier in solutions like SSM, we created a small JavaScript utility for enhanced validation that finds and navigates to required fields. Just add the script to your form and you get the following features.


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Tags: SBM


One of the most powerful and useful features of SDA is snapshots. If you are not using snapshots, then you are not really getting the most out of SDA. In this post I will explain what a snapshot is and how to use them effectively. I will also look at some of the more mysterious snapshot features. 


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Tags: SDA/Deployment Automation


(Note: I attended a wonderful class facilitated by Erika recently, where she asked us to share a tip with the other attendees. A couple of my classmates wanted to see my tip, so here it is.)

My current SBM customer uses tabs. Lots and lots and lots of tabs. Progressive tabs representing workflow stages. Functional tabs representing organizational structures. Tabs for system fields, tabs for notes and attachments...


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Tags: SBM