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.
See you in Washington DC in March!Read More
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 businessRead More
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…Read More
How does a developer know when they are done?. How does a business know that their new application or feature does what the customer wants it to do? By testing. Testing is a cross functional activity that involves the whole team and should be done continuously from the beginning of the project. It serves as the gauntlet that a committed change has to run and pass in order to be considered worthy for release. While testing is a major key ingredientRead More
We are looking for new and innovative uses of Serena Deployment Automation Community Edition and are announcing a new contest with a chance for a $1,000 Amazon gift card!
On June 10th I announced Serena Dimensions CM 14 – the best ever, and I am pleased to report that we have now secured a number of successful early adopters, many of whom are live and in production, and attracted a significant number of accounts that are now actively pursuing or planning their implementations and upgrades.
We have seen broadRead More
In our October 2014 Mainframe Virtual User Group (VUG), we highlighted the latest features in the ChangeMan ZMF 8.1 release, set to go GA at the end of the month. In addition to Kevin Parker and I presenting
at this VUG, we were joined by Greg Hughes, President and CEO of Serena Software and some of the lead developers of ChangeMan ZMF, and the Client Pack to demonstrate some of the functionality in his forthcoming release.
You mayRead More
The world of configuration management is no longer just about servers in the data center. It is rapidly expanding and supporting other environments including cloud, mobile devices, embedded devices, BYOD and devices in the car and home. All these environments need to be configured as a broader system tying into a business platform or application. Everything is growing and becoming increasingly pervasive,Read More
We are gearing up for our next global user conference, xChange15, to be held March 22-25 in Washington D.C. Like our past xChange conferences, this one is going to be all about helping our customers get the most value our of their Serena software investments, with presentations and workshops featuring the best thought leaders, technical experts, fellow customers and technology partners.
In three jam-packed days, we provide over 60 technical sessions on the products you are using today, like SBM, DimensionsRead More
Back to Single Sign-On again. Today, we are not talking about Serena Single Sign-On so much, but having the user automatically authenticated using the user credentials logged on to the workstation. I refer to this as auto-logon using Kerberos or NTLM credentials of the workstation user.
The browser needs to be capable of auto-logon using the WWW-Authenticate header; it is the browser that makes auto-logon possible. Chrome has this ability built in, and you can specify sites to do this auto-logon in Firefox. Neither Firefox nor Chrome use the Security Zones that Internet Explorer uses.
Is your SBM Secure?
SBM has been delivered for many years now with a set of default certificates for various Components. The documentation and more recently the Configurator 10.1.1.4+ (via messages and diganostics) strongly advises customers NOT to use these and generate their own unique ones.
In practice however a large number of our customers continue to use the default ones delivered with SBM. By using the default certificates, that are not unique to your site, there are many copies of these all over the world with not only Serena employees, Serena customers and anyone who has evaluated or installed SBM in the past.
Serena Central has various videos on how to perform certain functions within SBM which are great if you are already familiar with the solution. I learn something new every day from these great videos.
But how do you get started if you are new to SBM?
In this post, we will build a simple, intuitive process common to everyone-- Vacation Request!
I have both a video and document that will show you from start to finish how to create a new application consisting of the typical elements: workflow, fields and forms. Then deploy it to an environment and test it out.
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.
It is so easy to open Composer, make a "little" change and click Quick Deploy. But, is a Quick Deploy sometimes too quick? Have you ever waited patiently for the "Deployment Completed" message only to realize that you deployed to production instead of staging? Or, maybe you didn't realize what happened until users started to call about sudden strange behavior... Don't feel bad. It's happened to a lot of administrators. We hear from customers all the time who have deployed something to production by mistake and now need to rollback.
Here we will discuss how to prevent a quick 2 minute change from becoming a long 2 hour recovery exercise.
Here are some simple ways to customize the Serena Request Center by editing the wrapper.htm file.
In this blog, I'll be adding:
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?
Another customer issue that pops up from time to time is the inability to obtain a dump from the CMN ZMF ISPF client. The actual abends can be unexpected or deliberate and related to issues within the product, environment or customizations.
So, how can we get something more useful out of ZMF than messages such as “Abend 0C4000 hex occurred processing command 'CMNINIT '.”?
You can perform certain actions such as deliver or update from the Explorer window without having to start a desktop client or web client. It works with both projects and streams.
I personally find it quicker to perform my updates &/or checkouts when not using the IDE. Especially for files such as Word, PPT, etc.
Below you’ll find 2 videos showing how to work with the Windows Explorer plug-in.
It’s hard to believe that it is has been nearly a year since the release of Dimensions CM 14.1, the most significant release of Dimensions CM in a decade. Over the last year we’ve been amazed by both it's rapid adoption and the rave reviews that it has achieved. However, we've not used this as an excuse to stand still with the Dimensions R&D team continuing the pace of innovation in the Serena Labs, and in July this year we will be releasing the first major update to the CM 14 platform - Dimensions CM 14.2.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be penning a number of blogs introducing you to the new features that are coming next month. This is the first in that series, and I’m going to use it to introduce you to the platform changes in Dimensions CM 14.2 through the sections below (the full platform matrix is available on the Serena Support Site).
If you are using Dimensions CM every day and actively working with docked windows on the left pane ("My Current Stream", "Global Catalog", "Global Inbox", "Reports and Lists) or at least with one of them, you definitely have inconvenience with expanding them each time you open CM.
ZMF 8.1 and ZMF Client Pack 8.1 Documentation Delivery Schedule
The following table identifies the quarterly delivery schedule for updates to ZMF and ZMF Client Pack documentation at the 8.1 release level.
You can download the documentation for ZMF 8.1 and the ZMF 8.1 Client Pack from the Download area of the Serena Support Web site at:
You will need a user ID, password, and authorization or product license to access the ZMF and ZMF Client Pack product at this location.
Have you found yourself needing to make SBM SSO authenticate a user with a login in a format not supported in other products such as Dim RM and CM? For example, depending on the version you are running, Dim CM or Dim RM cannot support the following login formats:
1. Logins with spaces: e.g. Mark CRT Schmidlap
2. Logins that have special characters like the ‘@’ in an email addresses: e.g. Mark.CTR.Schmidlap@YourCompany.com
3. Logins over 25 character in length
4. Login that changed – such an name change due to marriage. e.g. Mark got married and he took his new wife’s name of Schmidlap so his new login is Mark.CTR.Schmidlap@YourCompany.com.
A while back we came across the need to force users to select multiple values from a MultiSelection field. There were a few different ways to tackle this, but I ended up using this method which is really simple and easy to re-purpose.
You could go through the trouble of making a huge form action that accounts for the matrix of select-able possibilities but that would be really tedious and would require being maintained. Instead, this solution evaluates how multiselect values are entered into the database cell as comma separated rather than evaluating any of the literal values.
In SBM, the "Path to Production" describes the steps you take to get design changes you make in Composer into your production environment. The path to production used changes from system to system, often depending on number of users and other factors like the criticality of the process and the degree of oversight required before the production end-users see the changes.
If there is one thing that causes some folks heartburn, it is the built in inheritance in SBM. If you started with SBM back in the day when it was called TeamTrack, you may be familiar or you may have the most heartburn. J SBM has addressed some of the headaches that comes along with inheritance with the introduction of Composer, but the old saying that we give you enough rope to hang yourself is still in effect.