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

As a manager at Serena Software for the North America Dimensions and Version Manager Support teams, I’d like to share with you how a case’s severity and priority is used within our organization.

During the average workday, Serena Support receives 90 new cases that come to us over multiple avenues.  To help us organize these issues around the level of impact they are causing your business, we use two different categories of equal importance, severity and priority, to ensure we establish appropriate response times. 


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Tags: Tips & Tricks


How to Add Users and Groups in SBM

The basics of actually adding one or more users to SBM can be found in the SBM Application Administrator Guide. So, why am I writing this blog entry? What is so complicated about adding users? It's simple if you only have one environment. It can get more challenging when you need to use the same users and groups in separate staging and production environments.

Overview of Promotion


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Tags: SBM


SLA information is not currently available in the standard listing reports and so there are a number of techniques you can use to help extend the SLA default reporting capabilities.


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Tags: SBM


As of SBM Version 10.1.5, Composer has a new plug-in feature called Form Extensions that enables sharing and reuse of custom widgets and form actions between forms and applications.  While the creation of a form extension is a fairly technical task, it's not beyond the abilities of many advanced Composer users.  And once it has been created, it can be reused in between applications and even shared within a community like Serena Central.

Advanced users will be able to start creating Form Extensions as soon as they install Version 10.1.5 and use them right away to create common widgets and behaviors (form actions) shared between their forms and applications.  No need to re-implement HTML/JavaScript widgets in multiple forms.  Since a form extension can package up assets like image, .css and HTML files and deliver them to the server when a process app is deployed, the need for special customizations of the server environment can be reduced or eliminated.  The Form Extension is entirely self-contained.


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Tags: SBM


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


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


One of the things I like best about being a Solutions Architect at Serena is that I get to meet and interact with our customers face to face. Many times, these present opportunities to share best practices but also learn how our customers use our tools and what challenges they have. One common challenge has been the inability to use Rich Text capabilities or embed images to SBM Memo  Fields. The use case is pretty simple.


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Tags: SBM


As of SBM 10.1.4, you can enable the Submit on Behalf of Another User feature for your users.  This lets service desk technicians easily submit items on behalf of business users who call the help desk.

To enable this feature, edit the Submit transition in your parent workflow, click the Options tab, and then select Allow submit on behalf of another user.


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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


Do you have single or multi-selection fields that you need to add or maintain using SBM Composer?  If you're only working with a few values, it's easy to create, update, reorder and delete them in the selection fields property editor using the command buttons, in-place editing and keyboard shortcuts (see the "Selection Field Shortcut Values" topic in Composer help).


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Tags: SBM


Have you ever wanted to loop within an SDA process, something like this?

Ideal-loop-within-process.png

 

Unfortunately, what I've drawn above isn't supported, and while you can design it within the process editor you can't run it. Attempting to do so will result in an execution error.  But don't despair, there is another way to achieve similar results.


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Tags: SDA/Deployment Automation


Since the beginning, SBM has offered email notifications to alert users of things happening within the workflows that they are involved with. And for about as long, users have been asking for the ability to directly take action from within the email itself.  Over the years, the Serena Services and Field organizations have delivered this capability using various forms of customization, none of which were ideal and most of which involved TeamScripts/AppScripts which were challenging for customers to modify and maintain.

With the release of SBM 10.1.3, this functionality is now available out of the box, and setting it up is straightforward and requires no scripting or customization.  There wasn't a lot of fanfare around this feature, and many customers don't realize that they have it available to them.  This post will walk through setting this up, and an example of what it looks like.  


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Tags: SBM


In an SDA component processes it is often desirable to branch the workflow based on some input property as illustrated in the "Run Tests" step in the screenshot below:

b2ap3_thumbnail_property-blog-3.PNG


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Tags: SDA/Deployment Automation


There is pretty nice functionality in SBM Application Administrator allows administrators to view/update multiple users or groups in one batch. This functionality is also pretty old, but really few people are aware about it.


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Tags: SBM


Sometimes, whether it's with your own custom SDA plugin or a community/Serena provided plugin, we simply don't get the results we are expecting and need to do some troubleshooting.   Today we're going to talk about the easiest way we do it.


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Tags: SDA/Deployment Automation


As an Administrator, you can Change the Logo and text to your Company logo and name, plus change the text in the footer.  Click on your user icon in the upper right and choose Settings and then Branding Configuration.  Enter new text for the header under Header Title, choose your company logo for Image (URL) and set the Footer Text as desired.  Set Image Link to the URL you want to take the user to when they click the logo.

a1sx2_Thumbnail1_workcenter_branding.png


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Tags: SBM


Serena Service Request users have seen the following appear when they have entered words in the title field: 

b2ap3_thumbnail_3-19-2015-2-41-00-PM.png

This message box informs users that there is a knowledge base article that has matching words in its title. Users can easily view the existing articles, and then use an article to resolve the issue without help from the help desk. 


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Tags: Serena Request Center


We have just produced the latest SBM Architecture diagram so sharing it here. This gives a high level architectural diagram of SBM, its components and how they communicate.

 


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Tags: SBM


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.  

For example, assume a situation where you have a request in SBM that has associated tickets in a 3rd party tool, and you are displaying those 3rd party tickets in a REST widget.  Part of your SBM process may be to restrict the SBM ticket from proceeding further in it's workflow if there are 3rd party records that exist that meet a certain criteria (high severity or high priority).  You may also want to perform form-logic based on criteria displayed in the rest widget.  These types of use-cases can be achieved through extending the REST widget.

Let's assume that we have a REST widget that displays 3rd party information, and the field (columns) displayed in our REST widget are "Title" and "Priority".  If we have any high-priority 3rd party tickets, we want to color-code a status panel on our SBM form as red.  This is one example of the logic we can drive using this method, we could also hide/display transitions as needed to drive SBM workflow logic.  We can use this same concept to do other fun things with the widget data, including formatting the REST widget as a drop down, applying different styles to the rows (removing alternating row colors), etc.  For this example, we will have two status panels that demonstrate two methods of achieving this.  The example form appears in Figure 1. below.

Figure 1.

Example-Form.PNG


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Tags: SBM


It's easy to find reports in Work Center.  Report Center is available on any of the application tabs, except for Home.  Click on an Application or Application Group in the top navigation bar and then click on Report Center in the left navigation pane.

a1sx2_Thumbnail2_reportcenter1.png


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Tags: SBM