Serena Blog

where.to.startDevOps turned five last October, and while five years seems like a long time in terms of the technology adoption lifecycle, DevOps and Continuous Delivery still seem perched on the Enterprise IT chasm. The Pragmatists get it. They are under pressure from the business to deliver business value faster, better and more cheaply and the Visionaries and Early Adopters have proven that Continuous Delivery fits the bill.

The problem is that Enterprise IT can

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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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Technical blog posts

Today is my 15 year anniversary with Serena. WOW! A lot has changed during this time. 

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Before joining Serena I was a customer. (actually it was Merant; Serena acquired Merant in 2004). I worked for a defense contractor in the Washington DC area managing the software CM department. My very first task with this company was to move them off their outgrown, homegrown system to a COTS system.

Did I mention that I knew diddly squat about proper CM much less anything about overseeing the department? But having worked as a developer for another large defense contractor, I had firsthand experience of what life was like when things went wrong. Spent way too many late nights tracking down the elusive change that somehow didn’t make it into production.

So I used that experience as a guide into this new adventurous dark side—Change and Configuration Management. I remember the developers at my new job always got quiet whenever I entered their space. Like I was some evil person. In fact, one of the developers said to me, “you’re here to make my life harder.” Being the sweet, gentle person that I am (cough! cough!), I replied “just the opposite, I was hired to make your life easier.” I was convinced that I could convince him to see the value of good CM practices. Yea, right. 

So I took a two pronged approach. First and most importantly, I involved the developers in the evaluation process. I brought in the top three market leaders and asked the developers to help me in the selection. Dimensions came out as the winner and so began my journey with Dimensions CM.

Oh, and the second prong…..I joined their softball team. Figured I would show them that folks in the CM department are human beings too. We’re not evil, control freaks. Okay, maybe just not evil. :-)

Oh, life was simple then. I didn’t own a cell phone. Work actually had to page me after working hours. I know some of you reading this remember those days.


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Tags: Dimensions CM


Here are some simple ways to customize the Serena Request Center by editing the wrapper.htm file.

  • file location Serena/SBM/Application Engine/template/shell/SRP/wrapper.htm

In this blog, I'll be adding:

  • A tab that opens the Work Center interface.
  • A link for providing feedback in the User Links section.

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Tags: Serena Request Center


 

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The flexibility to customize ZMF to meet your user's requirements is one of the great advantages of ZMF.  This flexibility also introduces additional complexity as you upgrade ZMF from release to release.  Customer feedback tells us that forward fitting your customizations to a new ZMF release is a significant part of every upgrade project.  At xChange 2015, we hosted a 'best practices' session on this topic which received positive feedback on the recommendation to 'take the vanilla challenge'.  For those unfamiliar with my use of the term 'vanilla', it means 'as delivered' or 'out of the box'.  The challenge for you, is to to investigate your customizations and eliminate those that are unnecessary.

So, what are the items to consider as you attempt to minimize your customizations?


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Tags: ChangeMan ZMF/Mainframe


The Chrome DevTools command line is an extremely powerful tool for developing/debugging/testing JavaScript in real time on your forms.  You can manipulate the UI by typing commands that use the AE JavaScript library, or even define/execute your own methods while viewing states or executing transition forms.  You can write, test, and refine your custom JS code directly in the browser, and not go back to Composer until you're pasting in the final result!

To access the Console, simply navigate to the desired SBM page and then press the "F12" key. Then, select the "Console" tab and look for the > prompt:console_1.png


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Tags: SBM


b2ap3_thumbnail_CAB_Profile.PNGUsing role-based personalization to show only related features to a group of users has many benefits. To name a few:

  • Gain quick access to relevant and targeted information
  • Decrease the amount of training or support from your department
  • Increase overall productivity

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Tags: Dimensions CM


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


You’ve created a process that perfectly meets your business needs and you’re ready to roll it out, with one small exception: You need to train your user base on the process.

Luckily, SBM provides a way to create end-user guidance that is bundled with each process app. This enables you to write help text as you develop your process, then update that content as your process evolves. Your end-users can find this help as they work with process items in Serena Work Center, the SBM User Workspace, and any of the SBM-powered solution interfaces, such as Serena Request Center.

The attached document explains how to create process-specific help or to customize the global platform help provided with the SBM User Workspace. The benefits and drawbacks of each approach are discussed.

 

providing_end_user_help.pdf


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Tags: SBM


SBM Composer logs in to the SBM Repository in two simple steps. 

You specify the login info for Composer under Composer Options > Repository of the File menu.  We specify the machine name, port, user name and password. SBM Composer ConnectionFrom this information, Composer makes a call to the Application Repository Service where it gets the location for the SBM Token Server.  If Use Secure Connection is checked then an HTTPS connection is attempted instead of an HTTP connection.


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Tags: SBM


b2ap3_thumbnail_nowdeployIt.pngThis post will cover how to create an example SDA component to deploy an ASP.NET application using the IIS 7 website we created in an earlier post.

The process of creating a website and deploying a web application will consist of two parts. The first is to create the website if it does not already exist and the second is to deploy an application.


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Tags: SDA/Deployment Automation


Composer now uses a folder named SBM Composer under the standard My Documents folder to store design files like templates, form extensions and backup blueprints. The backup functionality is discussed in another blog here. The template and form extension files are stored in the Library subdirectory that is new for SBM Version 10.1.5. 


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Tags: SBM


If you would like to keep up to date with new or changed KB articles then you can subscribe as detailed below. This will enable to keep abreast of any newly created or changed Patches, Alerts, Defects or Solutions.


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Tags: How Tos


Work Center is designed to provide role-based pluggable application access. It allows SBM administrators to configure Work Center UI to better match the user’s job functions.  Within a single deployment of SBM in an enterprise, Work Center can be configured to have different menu items, applications, workflows, and access privileges to users across different departments. 

This article discusses how Work Center can be configured for 3 different departments – Marketing, R&D and SaaS Ops and provide menus, dashboards, work items appropriate to users of these departments.


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Tags: SBM


Today's post is a debugging tip for your AppScript.

Logging values of variables and object properties is a very useful tool. SBM has interfaces such as Ext.LogInfoMsg() functions that are useful in logging messages to the Windows Event Viewer Logs. I find it a little nicer to avoid filling up my Windows log and instead log to a separate file.

In comes the function Ext.AppendTextFile(filename, messageString). It will write a message to a specific file. It is import to remember that the IIS app pool identity credentials are used to write to this file. For this reason, I like to store my log file in the SBM Application Engine directory which requires the identity user to have write access to it. The following line of code will write a message to "scriptlogging.txt" file.

 Command to log message to file


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Tags: SBM


b2ap3_thumbnail_justAutomateIt.pngThis post will cover how to automate the configuration of a website running with IIS 7 using Serena Deployment Automation (SDA).

Although the (manual) steps are quite easy, it can be tedious. And tedious steps become error prone; so just automate it.


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Tags: SDA/Deployment Automation


Have you ever tried to delete a field or state in Composer and discovered that you can only 'soft' delete it?  This occurs because once a process app has been published, Composer prevents you from making changes in the process app that cannot take effect at runtime.  Below, we discuss why this is, and what you can do to get around it when you need to.

SBM Runtime Records

Your SBM runtime data (the records in your primary and secondary tables) represent the essence of the work in your business processes. This is true both for active items which represent work currently underway, and inactive items, which represent the history of the work your team has performed.  We'll start by discussing what happens with this data when you change the definition of the process.

 


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Tags: SBM


It is common in small shops for people to use a server's real name to access an application, for example: http://slvdc01/tmtrack/tmtrack.dll.

This is simple and easy, but eventually you will upgrade your application and move it to a new server, then the URL for users will change, links on your intranet page have to be updated, and inevitably users will get confused and frustrated. 

Instead, use a friendly alias that users can remember. Example: http://sbm.domain.com/tmtrack/tmtrack.dll.

Beyond being more resilient to changing server names, this has the added benefit of making it easier to secure with certificates, scalable, and even to provide easier access over the internet if desired. If your product (like SBM) is connected to by other integrated systems, an alias also reduces the need to update those systems as your implementation grows.


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Tags: SBM


How to implement a simple application rollback scenario.

The following document describes how you can configure an SDA application process to use advanced inventory management. This then allows the application process flow to be configured to allow for a post deployment diagnostic step to be run and automate an automated rollback mechanism upon the diagnostic test not passing.

To access the document please click on the following link.

An accompanying KBTV video will be available soon.


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Tags: SDA/Deployment Automation


SBM process apps may include target servers and / or endpoints that need to be updated when the server that house the AE and / or OE change.  This document covers how to make a SBM database work as expected by redeploying or promoting process apps after moving servers.
 
I have tried to include full detail about environments and about why we need to each step to refresh a database and/or move to a different application server.  Here is the quick view of what we need to do.

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Tags: SBM


How many times have you created a complex notification rule or escalation and wanted to test it before going live but just wish you did not have enable all of your notifications and cause heartburn for your users?

I get this question all of the time and discovered that we added this capability in version 10.1.2.

The key is the use of the out of box, "Console" channel plug in.  What it does it log the email notifications in the ns.log file so you can ensure that the right notification, notifies the right people at the right time.  As a bonus, it will also show up in the Work Center UI notifications.


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Tags: SBM


Many of the most common questions about new releases revolve around the platform matrix.  What operating systems will be supported?  Will it support the latest browsers?  When will the older versions of the database be dropped from the matrix?  These questions are important because you need time to plan for any changes that are happening - either with your own environment or due to changing support within the product.  To help with any such decisions, I'd like to share our current thoughts about what is changing in the next major release of Serena Business Manager.  The next major release is tentatively planned for release by the end of CY2015.  


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Tags: SBM