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


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


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


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


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


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