Serena Blog

In the next few weeks Serena is going to be announcing important new versions of our ALM, Release and Deploy solutions.

Ever since Serena’s CEO, Greg Hughes, introduced the concept of “Move Fast Without Breaking Things” at our User Conference in Washington DC in February, we have seen an overwhelming acknowledgement from our customers and partners that this is the perfect encapsulation of what modern application development and deployment means to them.

For Highly Regulated Large Enterprises (we call

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JenkinsAs the leader in deployment automation, Serena is a proud sponsor of the Jenkins User Conference 2015 World Tour. Come visit us at our booth and meet our experts in DevOps, CI/CD and enterprise release management.

Network Learn Explore @ the

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Tags: Serena 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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So 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

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Tags: xChange

Serena Central - Your Serena community and marketplace
Today 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.


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

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, 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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Tags: DevOps, Serena

Technical blog posts

A Custom Application Group can be defined in the Application Administrator for an environment and will show in Work Center for that environment. However, this is NOT included in a Snapshot and therefore does NOT get Promoted across Environments.

Serena provided Solutions however, contain their Application Group Information at the design level (in Composer) and therefore go to the Environments on deploy/promote.


This BLOG will guide you through defining your own Solution Definition and therefore creating an Application Group when Deployed or Promoted.


Warning: This includes a registry key change that opens up some hidden capabilities. Please be very careful and only use for the duration of defining the Solution information. Do NOT use this on any Serena Solutions.


To temporarily turn on the ability to add a Custom Solution to a Process App:

    1. Create the following String key in the Windows registry:
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Serena\Studio\Solution Developer
      Value: Enabled
      Type: REG_SZ
      Data: True
    2. Close and reopen Composer, if it was open.

Note: The options below become read-only if the registry key is disabled.

Create your own Business Solution - this will create an Application Group in WorkCenter to which you can add other Process Apps

Use the feature to create an application group for a set of process apps that make up a Custom Business Solution

To create an application group:

  1. In Composer, open one of the process apps that is included in the solution.
  2. Select the process app from the App Explorer.
  3. Select the Business Solutions tab in the properity editor.
  4. Click New to open the Business Solution editor.
  5. Provide a name, description, short name, image, and version. If you do not provide an image for example you will get errors on deploy (not that you do not get a validation error).
  6. Copy the provided ID. Please note, that if you cannot see the Business Solution when created, you may need to reopen Composer to see this.
  7. Open the other process apps that are part of the solution and create a new business solution. Paste the ID from the first process app and provide the remaining properties, which must be identical for each process app in the solution.

When the process apps are deployed/promoted, the application group is automatically created and available in Application Administrator and Serena Work Center.

Important: Remember to Disable the Registry Key after you have Completed

Tags: SBM

Customers often ask how to connect Serena Deployment Automation and Maven or Maven based repositories like Nexus. Screens may differ in later versions of SDA.

Tags: SDA/Deployment Automation

New in SDA 6.1

A plugin for Atlassian Bamboo is now available to integrate the Bamboo CI processes with SDA deployments.


The following PDF document serves as a comprehensive introduction to using the Altassian Bamboo plugin and covers the following:

Tags: SDA/Deployment Automation


Relating Existing Records in SBM


Many processes you implement in SBM will require either creating related items or linking to existing SBM items.  (For the purposes of this blog entry I will use the generic term “item” to refer to a record moving through an SBM workflow.)

For those of you that have used SBM since the days that it was called TeamTrack or if you have ever seen that dropdown list called Item Link Type, this was the method used prior to relational fields to relate records and take action on them.  There are several drawbacks to this feature, especially since we now have better options.

1.      Visibility - When using the links, all links are displayed in the Attachments section of your form.  This limits your ability to choose where the links are displayed.

2.      Usability - Links are displayed using the “Value Display Format” defined for the table.  While this may be ok for an auxiliary table, the typical use cases desire a nicely formatted table with several columns of data displayed.

3.      Integration - To take action on related linked records requires you to define triggers in the Global Application.  As a personal best practice, I only use the Global Application when explicitly necessary and in my book that is usually only when I want to promote users or groups from one environment to another or access the system contacts and companies tables.  This way all of the stuff that affect my one process application is together and I don’t have to worry about a Global App dependency.

4.  Reporting-It is very difficult to report on a list of related items when they are item links in a listing report vs. a field that you can add as a column to your report.

There are two newer features that make relating items a snap! 

1. Relational fields for relationship creation(these have been around since at least TeamTrack 6.6.1)

2. Relational Grid for visibility. (relatively newer, available around SBM 2009R1)

Using relational fields and transition actions is a much more generic, but flexible way to accomplish what the specific sub-task, item link and trigger features offered in TeamTrack.

So let’s take a look at relating existing items.

First - If you want to associate a single item, then use a single relational field, if you want to relate multiple items, use a multi-relational.

To use these fields, the user will type search criteria in the blank, then click the magnifying glass to search for matching records. 


This field also includes a popup search window that allows you to search against additional fields in the related table.  This is the icon to the right of the search box.


Once your record is saved, the icons next to each entry allow you to view the details of the selected records.



We can make this even more usable if we introduce relational grids.  Remember that Value Display Format I mentioned earlier?  Well that is used for the display in the relational fields too.  So to improve our user experience and allow our users to see more of the data associated to the related records, we can use a relational grid.

Here are the steps to create a relational grid.

1.      Ensure you have your relational field created.

2.      Create a listing report in Composer that contains the columns you want to display.


3.      On your custom form, add an embedded report widget.

a.      Choose the relational grid option at the top of the configure dialog

b.      Select your relational field in the first drop-down

c.      Select your composer report in the second drop-down

d.      Click OK

4.      If you want to allow users to query for records rather than view the entire list, edit your Composer report to include the query condition.  i.e. Title contains query at run-time

5.      On your custom transition form, add an input field to your form

6.      Go to your embedded report widget and edit the query properties

a.      Enter an open curly brace, { , and from the drop down look for your text input field in the list and select it.


7.      Go to your state form and add a relational grid to show the selections.

8.      Deploy your changes and you are done!


NOTE:  SBM will give you an error if you have your relational field AND your relational grid on the same form.  So make sure you do not have your relational field on the form.

Here is a sample of the relational grid with making row selections, in the first image.  In the second image, you will see an example of check-boxes used to make selections.


In my opinion, we have solved half the problem.  What about the records we just referenced, what if we would like to have a pointer from those records back to this record?.....That will be the topic of my next blog, and you will get to create another orchestration, albeit a simple one.







Tags: SBM

The rapidly expanding growth of distributed ZMF clients can be attributed to a more intuitive user experience,  smart editors, integrated debuggers and more.   As this technology becomes more widely implemented,  customers have requested  stronger network security for their ZMF Environment.  Specifically the request has come in for all ZMF communications to be encrypted using the strongest version of TLS.

Tags: ChangeMan ZMF/Mainframe

Administering SBM

Within SBM, there are three different levels of Administrators…

  1. System Administrators
  2. Managed Administrators
  3. Global Managed Administrators

Let’s break down what each of these are.

Tags: SBM

We have now launched four Dimensions CM Special Interest Groups (SIG’s) on Serena Central. We use SIG’s to engage with the community around specific areas of the product that we are developing. By becoming involved in a SIG you will be able to gain insight into and provide direction on how a feature is evolved.

Tags: Dimensions CM

Pipelines were introduced in SDA 5.1.3, and allow for deployments to take place across multiple environments when running a application process.


A pipeline is a sequence of environments where an application process request is propagated



For more information on how to set up a simple pipeline in SDA, please check out the following


SDA 5.1.x: PDF document

SDA 6.x PDF document

Check out the accompanying Video SDA: Pipeline Getting Started Tutorial on KBTV.

Tags: SDA/Deployment Automation

The Kiuwan Analysis Expert

In the eigth of a series of articles we are going to look at the Kiuwan Analysis tool and how you can harness this technology from within Pulse.

Kiuwan is a third-party commercial cloud based service code analyser that performs an in-depth analysis of source code using a suite of analysis tools. The Kiuwan expert is bundled with Pulse, however a Kiuwan account and Kiuwan Local Anaylzer tool will be required in order for the expert to be able to utilise the cloud based service.

Tags: Dimensions CM

Want to try out the new SRC mobile client, but don't have SRC?  Or you do have SRC but don't have a non-production instance to play with?  We've got you covered!

During the SRC mobile beta, we made a test server available to our beta testers.  To help out folks without easy access to an SRC instance, we've left that server up and running.  Just download the SRC mobile client from the Apple App Store or Google Play and connect to our hosted server using the following information:

Tags: SBM

Dimensions CM server has an inbuilt mechanism that allows a job to be run from a client either directly on the server itself or on a remote server/agent installation. It is also possible to schedule these jobs and use specific variables and implement logic using the CM templater system.

The following PDF document provides a complete but simple example tutorial of how to achieve this.

Tags: Dimensions CM

As much as we may hate to admit it, problems do sometimes arise in the ZMF Server started task that may lead to an abend (and I hasten to stress that these are not always Serena's fault!).  Also, back in the dim and distant past that coincided with the release of ZMF 7.1, the recommended started task dump file contained in the SERVER sample CNTL member changed from the tried and trusted:

//SYSUDUMP  DD SYSOUT=*                             *Abend list        

to the new (and slightly mysterious for some):

//SYSMDUMP  DD DISP=(MOD,CATLG,CATLG),             * SYSMDUMP         
//             DSN=somnode.SERCOMC.SYSMDUMP(+1),                      
//             UNIT=SYSDA,SPACE=(CYL,(200,100),RLSE),                 
//             DCB=(DSORG=PS,RECFM=FBS,LRECL=4160,BLKSIZE=4160)       

Many of our customers are comfortable with SYSMDUMPs.  However, if you are unfamiliar with this format, have never made the change to your started tasks’ JCL, are wondering why this happened, how these should be handled or are interested in some of the common mistakes we see customers making with them, then please read on.

Tags: ChangeMan ZMF/Mainframe

Introducing the Jenkins CI Expert

In the seventh of a series of articles we are going to look at the Jenkins CI tool and how you can harness this technology from within Pulse. Allowing the user to be able to implement Continuous Integration and Continuous Inspection when delivering changes.

Tags: Dimensions CM

Introducing the Serena Deployment Automation expert

In the sixth of a series of articles we are going to look at the Serena Deployment Automation (SDA) tool and how you can harness this technology from within Pulse.

Tags: Dimensions CM

So why should we care about this “DevOps” movement?

DevOps is more than developing software and getting it in to the hands of your users. The term development encompasses so much more than code. Development encompasses things such as requirements definition and management, version management, business analysis, user acceptance testing, and much more.

Tags: SBM

 Upgrading to SBM 11.0 and have a large database? – Index the Work Center Smart Search in advance


In SBM 11.0, the Work Center search index is completely rebuilt when Tomcat is started for the first time after the upgrade. If you have a large Application Engine database and/or sizable attachments (and wish to index these) then the Work Center index could take a long time to complete (hours/days). This blog describes how you can create the index prior to upgrade.

Tags: SBM

When making manual updates to files in SBM, we like to make copies of the original.  We, also, tend to leave these copies in the original directory.  This practice can cause issues when making updates to JBoss / Tomcat files. 

XML, WAR and JAR files are all files that can get loaded even if they have a different name.  We often think the update failed, when in fact JBoss / Tomcat actually loads a different file.

To solve this issue, save the copy to your desktop or documents folder for back up.

Tags: SBM

Introducing the Checkstyle expert

In the fifth of a series of articles we are going to look at the Checkstyle analysis tool and how you can harness this technology from within Pulse. 

The Checkstyle expert is included out of the box with Pulse and is used to report as to whether source code complies to certain coding standards.
Style compliant code can be an important metric in determining the health and quality of code being delivered. Checkstyle automates this process and generates a detailed report, which can be inspected directly from within the Pulse Review.

Tags: Dimensions CM

Over time, the list of requests in your global inbox of your Dimensions Desktop Client can become full of requests, making it difficult to browse the current requests on which you are working.  To alleviate this, any old inactive requests can be moved to the Secondary Catalog.  Once moved, the requests are still searchable via Edit - Find - Secondary Requests on the menu bar.  Users with adequate permission can search for requests in the secondary catalog and right click to move them back to the main catalog if you move a request that is still active by accident.

Tags: Dimensions CM

The Dependency Vulnerabilities Expert


In the third of a series of articles we are going to look at the Dependency Vulnerabilities analysis tool and how you can harness this technology from within Pulse.  

Tags: Dimensions CM