Ashley Owen Archive

Well, since meeting with our new Micro Focus colleagues, the energy, enthusiasm and content for our DevOps Interchange conference has picked up significantly as has the flood of terrific customer and partner presentations received. The Product teams have been combined and there has been frenetic activity in the Lab so you don’t want to miss the reveals and synergies across our broader Software Development and Test portfolio.

Needless to say, 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, and we’d love to see you. Our tracks this year, include Enterprise DevOps, Software Development & Test, IT Process & Operations, Release & Deployment, and Mainframe tools and techniques. With 16 sessions in each Track there is much to look forward to and we invite you to check out the detailed sessions on the conference website.

Let’s take a quick tour of the highlights …

  •             Over 75 in depth technical sessions – nearly half delivered by customer practitioners just like you
  •             A Solution Pavilion packed with your favorite, new and value-added partner solutions
  •             Lab coat wearing product experts that are anxious to answer your every question in the Answerzone
  •             Latest new product innovations and integrations  you will see and hear first at the DevOps Interchange conference.
  •             Incredible end-to-end demo of modern software development and testing infrastructure – “The Mother of all Demos”

…and the opportunity to mingle with your peers that always make this conference so special.

Be sure to register today!

The heart of every Serena xChange User Conference is the track session content and its soul the informative presentations. Very often, and after each  presentation is delivered, ongoing conversations and dialog permeate the conference breaks – engaging your peers, Serena product experts and technical support.

The Call for Speakers is currently open through June 30th

Selected speakers receive complimentary registration to the conference.

This year we are looking for topics in the following five categories:

  • Enterprise DevOps: your perspectives and insights on Agile and DevOps best practices that could leverage current or future Serena solutions.
  • ALM Solutions with Dimensions RM and CM: how you have used Serena solutions to plan, define and develop software applications, support development teams and deliver quality deliverables. Example products included are Dimensions CM, Dimensions RM, PVCS and SBM.
  • Change, Release and Deployment: how you have used Serena solutions to automate the release and deployment of applications. Example products included are Serena Release Control, Serena Deployment Automation, Dimensions CM as a secure vault, and SBM.
  • Business and IT Processes with SBM: how you have used Serena’s SBM platform to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your IT and line-of-business processes.
  • ALM Solutions with ChangeMan ZMF: your opportunity to show how you use Serena Mainframe solutions in your business.

Submissions for each track should address three main themes:

  1. What was the innovation or learning you were able to achieve using the technology or best practice?
  2. How did this change the processes and practices of the team?
  3. How do you measure the improvement you made and what value benefits did you realize?

To help focus the content on the limited time you have, ask yourself this question:

“What is the ONE thing I want the attendees to be able to do after my presentation that will the biggest impact on their use of the solution?”

Sessions last for 50 minutes and are usually 40 minutes of presentation and 10 minutes of questions and answers.

Where possible, we encourage you to include a real-time demonstration of the points you are making. Wireless internet access will be available for your use.

When you submit your idea, make your description as interesting and relevant as possible. Only the very best of the very best will be selected.

If you are selected to speak, you will receive a free pass to xChange2016 (worth $1,895).

Submit your ideas now! The closing date for submissions is June 30th.

Good luck! I look forward to seeing you in Chicago in September!

SBM App Winners Blog post imageWe recently closed the SBM App-A-Thon contest and would like to thank each and every one of the contest participants, and in particular those that contributed a process application, form extension or plug-in. Thank you!

It is our pleasure to announce the winners.

The grand prize of an Apple TV and ticket to Serena xChange16 in Chicago week of September 19th, 2016 goes to Neha Choubey from Daimler Chrysler.

The second prize of a $100 USD American Express gift card goes to Sebastien Meyrat from Lombardodier.

And for third place, an honorary badge has been displayed in the profile of David Scheaffe, from GBST in the Serena Central community.

I invite you to view the winning SBM process apps on Serena Central today.

Congratulations to our winners! And thanks, again, to each of you who participated in the SBM App-A-Thon contest. We will be contacting each winner personally.

Tags: SBM, Serena

Peer Review

Much is being written about, found and reported on the Volkswagen AG emissions scandal. As a long time practitioner of software change and configuration management practices, events such as these become teaching moments from which we can all learn.

An average vehicle today contains around 60 microprocessors to run electric content – four times as many as a decade ago. More than 10 million lines of software code run a typical vehicle’s sophisticated computer network – or over half the lines of code that reportedly run Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner (Source: 2014 Center for Automotive Research)

Software innovations are at the heart of the automotive industry, and the speed and velocity at which software changes in order to drive competitive differentiation, profit and market share is increasing.

Safety critical standards such as ISO 26262 ensure functional safety features form an integral part of the automotive development process. However the increasing volume and velocity of software development is increasing the complexity of software configuration management and placing more accountability on the health and quality of software deliverables regardless of whether the software components are sourced from 3rd parties, open source or internally developed.

Eyeballing the changes in real-time is possible and can now be automated such that developers, engineers and reviewers visibly see defects, errors or vulnerabilities before software deliveries are prepared and delivered. Shift left is a practice of DevOps that seeks to provide rapid feedback to developers and ought to be applied to any software development process.

The discipline and practice of Software Change and Configuration Management should now include a visual and real-time representation of branches and stream activities, integrate a collaborative peer and code review, enable continuous inspection and report rapid feedback to the developers and engineers on process failures, defects, findings and vulnerabilities. For example, a collaborative peer review can generally  save up to 30% of re-work hours, improve coding by up to 25%, and find and detect between 70% & 90% of defects (source: Peer Reviews in Software – a Practical Guide by Karl E. Wiegers) and can be further optimized when integrated into the developmental CM process.

I invite you to check out your existing SCM practices and processes and assess how you can avoid bad software emissions. Learn more about how Serena Dimensions CM 14 can help.


We are delighted to have been recognized as a leader in Enterprise Service Management in Research In Action Selection Matrix.

Of particular note, the report emphasizes how Serena differentiates in realizing the importance of integrating Application Lifecycle Management and ITSM processes for the future of IT Service Management. For many years, we have seen customers increasingly adopt SBM for automating Business, Application Development, and IT Operations processes.

  • Serena Business Manager (SBM) is the leading low-code process management platform for development and operations teams to orchestrate and integrate IT and business processes. Used extensively for software development, delivery, and operations groups.
  • Serena Request Center (SRC) provides IT with a centralized request center that can serve as the “store front” for IT promoting self- service, streamlining request fulfillment processes and cutting IT costs.
  • Serena Service Manager (SSM) presents a process-driven approach to ITSM that allows business and IT to work together in perfect harmony and comes packaged with fully functional, easy to use applications for request, incident, problem, financial asset, knowledge and change management with a configuration management database (CMDB).

We value our many customers who have validated Serena’s strategy of building modern solutions that empower Application Lifecycle Management and IT Operations to move fast in providing and servicing critical business needs without breaking things.

If you missed the press release, you can view it here.

I also invite you to access the vendor selection matrix here.

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 Serena Support to achieve a smooth, successful and timely upgrade implementation. Key takeaways included:

  • Working closely with Serena Support to lay out the process of implementing a successful upgrade
  • Leveraging the Upgrade Lab to identify any data anomalies and gather insight into how long it would take to complete
  • Collaborating with Serena Support and the Upgrade Lab results to secure a successful and confident upgrade in only a few hours

Serena Support was engaged through the planning, execution and implementation and as a result the HCSC team ran into almost zero issues, achieving an upgrade implementation that is now servicing 500 to 600 active users of Dimensions CM.

With Dimensions CM 14, HCSC are now benefiting from a modernized developer centric approach, increasing their development efficiency. The new enhanced merge tool is speeding their ability to accommodate and streamline parallel development, and they are now champing at the bit to implement the visual change graph and collaborative peer review.

Moving forward, HCSC have installed Serena Business Manager (SBM) as a platform for connecting processes across change, quality and release management, and are expanding their use of Dimensions CM 14  for all software applications.

Peter Raymond, Principal Product Architect provided an excellent overview of the Dimensions CM Bridge technology, extending our ability to integrate with broader client tools and then demonstrating use of NetBeans IDE, TortoiseSVN, and SVN command line with Dimensions CM.

Don Irvine was excited to share some Dimensions CM Roadmap highlights – including a number of significant improvements focused on the user and developer experience, a new plug-in architecture to support additional tools such as Unit test and static analysis with results incorporated into the visual change graph, and files decorated for peer review. Customer participation and feedback was positive, and members are invited to join us in the Special Interest Group that was announced during the VUG.

In 3 weeks we will host Serena xChange15 and Don highlighted a number of track sessions that will both excite and compel users to attend the conference and engage in direct product feedback and validation. We hope to see many of you there, and if not, then at the next quarterly Dimensions CM VUG in May.

In the event you missed the VUG, or would like to reference it in the future, you are invited to view the February Dimensions CM VUG recording.

CM_GraphicresizedOn 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 broad and successful adoption across all regions including Europe, North America, LATAM and Asia Pacific. Reports from our partners, our own Professional Services team and our customers who took advantage of the Free Upgrade Lab, have been overwhelmingly positive. If you are at all hesitating over the upgrade, rest assured that many customers have successfully completed the transition and are now enjoying the many innovations and significant performance improvements delivered in Dimensions CM 14.

Of course, for those who participated in the CM 14 Preview and Beta program, we continue to offer Serena’s greatest gratitude, for you have helped us achieve not only the most innovative release, but the most reviewed, validated and tested. Existing members will shortly hear of more Preview program and Special Interest Group events, as the innovation is set to continue, and we’d love to have you come join us and participate as we collaboratively drive and deliver on our roadmap vision. If you are an existing customer or well qualified prospect and wish to join the Preview Program, simply register here.

We continue to offer the Free Upgrade Lab, which is proving to be an incredibly popular service, and when you receive your full and comprehensive Upgrade Lab report, you will know we are not leaving a stone untouched or a customer left behind in ensuring your successful upgrade and implementation.

We also offer a Ramp Up program, for those customers that wish to take advantage of a free health check, and additional assistance in the planning and execution of a successful upgrade with the very best resources in Serena, including access to the Dimensions R&D team and on-line training videos.

Whether you are on a back release or prior release, we have you covered, and I invite you to contact your local account manager or Serena Support, or simply drop me a line, and we will be very pleased to advise you on the most appropriate service that will result in a smooth and successful Dimensions CM 14 upgrade and implementation.

As the overall owner of the content for our next xChange global user conference, I always remember that the heart of xChange15 is the breakout session content but the soul of xChange is the array of fantastic customer presentations.

I am delighted to announce that, as of today, you can learn more about the xChange Call for Speakers on the xChange website and then submit your ideas for presentations. Selected speakers receive complimentary registration to the conference.

This year we are looking for topics in the following five categories:

  • Explore: your perspective and insight on industry trends and hot topics that could leverage current or future Serena solutions.
  • Develop: how you have used Serena solutions to define and develop software applications, support development teams and deliver quality deliverables. Example products included here are Dimensions CM, Dimensions RM, PVCS and SBM.
  • Deploy: how you have used Serena solutions to automate the release and deployment of applications. Example products included here are Serena Release Manager, Serena Deployment Automation, Dimensions CM and SBM.
  • Automate: how you have used Serena’s SBM platform to improve the efficiency & effectiveness of your IT and line-of-business processes.
  • Mainframe: your opportunity to show how you use Serena Mainframe solutions in your business.

With the exception of the Explore track, submissions for each track should address three main themes:

  1. What was the innovation you were able to achieve using the technology?
  2. How did this change the processes and practices of the team?
  3. How do you measure the improvement you made?

To help you focus the content on the limited time you have, ask yourself this question:

“What is the ONE thing I want the attendees to be able to do after my presentation that will the biggest impact on their use of the solution?”

Sessions last for 50 minutes and are usually 40 minutes of presentation and 10 minutes of questions and answers.

Where possible, we encourage you to include a real time demonstration of the points you are making, and we will have wireless internet access available.

When you submit your idea, make your description as interesting as possible. Remember, we want the very best of the very best for the conference.

If you are selected to speak, we will give you a free pass to xChange2015 (worth $1,895). You will be notified whether or not your proposal has been accepted.

Submit your ideas now! The closing date for submissions is October 17th.

Good luck! I look forward to seeing you in Washington DC in March.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the release of Serena Dimensions CM 14, which is without a doubt the most innovative and powerful release of our premier software change and configuration management (SCCM) product ever.

Resolving the growing complexity of application development has been a common theme as we engineered this new release in partnership with 150 current customers that participated in our Preview, Special Interest and Beta programs. Contributions from our customers drove the many evolutionary features we introduced, and their help validating and verifying our implementation approach has been invaluable. Thank you to all 150!

Many of the new capabilities in Dimensions CM 14 relate to the introduction of changesets, which are central to eliminating the complexity and concern associated with the growing adoption of parallel development. We are delighted to introduce a new visual user interface for Dimensions CM 14 that we call Pulse that, and as its name implies, provides visibility and insight into the heartbeat of development. The ability to visualize changes and code branches across multiple projects, platforms and locations enables teams to streamline the delivery of code changes in a process that is consistent and easily managed, while the new visual change history provides continuous insight into change health and release readiness. As Ken Vane from Navy Federal Credit Union said, “The visibility and insight that Dimensions CM 14 provides allows us to see if we are converging to quality or diverging from quality in real time.”

Software development/engineering requires extensive collaboration across team members, so with Dimensions CM 14 we introduced a web-based collaborative peer review capability that is integrated directly into the development process and accessible within the developer’s IDE. As developers, we thrive on teamwork and collaboration and now can do so through in-line comments/annotations and associated discussion threads, increasing visibility and speeding delivery. Doing so is critically important, especially in complex, globally-dispersed development team. As Richard Prescott, Software Development Technical Lead at SPTS technologies and customer preview program participant, observes, “The task of managing the merge of new features or patches from one branch to another will be greatly simplified, and the adoption of peer review will improve team collaboration and quality.”

Many of our customers use development teams spread around the globe, requiring high levels of scalability and security to protect their intellectual property. During the development of Dimensions CM 14, we listened carefully to the needs of software development teams in these environments and are delivering significant performance and security enhancements. Performance is everything to developers, and we have introduced a personal library cache that significantly speeds access to files through a secure local cache for those geographically distributed team members. In addition we have considerably enhanced network performance through delta file transfers of only the changed sections of text or binary files. Initial results from beta customers reveal a significant improvement in performance and accessibility, and we look forward to publishing additional results from our early adopters.

Years ago, I thought we were in the midst of development platform consolidation, but today we are just exploding again with the addition of new mobile and cloud environments. We heard our customers who are extending their current applications, or building new applications for today’s modern mobile devices, and delivered new support for development platforms and clients.  With Dimensions CM 14 we have extended our platform support through a native integration with the Appcelerator platform and with integration and interoperability with Apple’s Xcode. We also support Mac OS X clients with the addition of support for Safari.

There are many more features and capabilities to mention, so I’ll direct you to the following links to learn more:

  1. Read today’s press release
  2. Sign up for our June 25th live webcast and Q&A with Dimensions CM product experts
  3. Watch videos previewing new features on our YouTube channel:
  4. Visit the Dimensions CM product webpage

I couldn’t be more thrilled and delighted with the release of Dimensions CM 14! For current Dimensions CM customers, I encourage you to download, install and test the new version, then contact Serena for any help you need with the upgrade. For those of you interested in learning how Dimensions CM 14 can replace other SCCM solutions in your enterprise, please contact me directly, reach out to your Serena account executive or simply email

Finally, my thanks and congratulations go out to the Serena team for their superb effort in delivering the Best Dimensions CM Product Ever and to the many customers who contributed to it through the Preview Program.

Modernizing the application development and delivery lifecycle is top of mind for many organizations as they seek ways to meet the increasing demands for new applications and services. With speed and business alignment remaining the top app dev priorities in 2014 (see my blog post on this topic), we see a re-emergence in the importance of application change and configuration management, the adoption of modern development practices, and the visibility and transparency into the health and quality of application development deliverables.

One of the top “Aha!” moments from xChange13, Serena’s global user conference, was the positive reaction to the Dimensions CM 14 Preview Program, which allows customers to get an early look into the upcoming release of Serena’s process-based software change and configuration management solution. Now, six months later we have 130 preview program members across 95 companies, an incredible reflection of the interest in the best Dimensions release ever.

Preview Program members have had the opportunity to influence and contribute to product designs through Special Interest Groups, and track and validate implementation through regular product demonstrations from R&D. This has been a remarkable journey for our product development team and our Preview & Beta program members. We’ve been delighted with the contribution and feedback from so many customers.

Among the many innovative capabilities in the upcoming Dimensions CM release are:

  • The ability to graphically show the health and quality of changesets within development streams (screenshot above).
  • The ability to make informed decisions based on the status of CI builds and unit tests.
  • A seamlessly integrated collaborative peer review.
  • An intuitive developer experience.

As one of our Preview members stated upon seeing a preview of Dimensions CM 14 Beta 3:

“The visibility enables you to see if you are converging to quality or diverging from quality.”

Any SCM or Development practitioner will immediately recognize the value of simplicity over complexity, health and quality over failed builds and merges, and visibility and transparency over siloed tools and processes.

I highly recommend you check out the four short videos of new features in Dimensions CM 14 (links below), and invite you to register for the Preview Program to learn more, or simply to contact your Serena Account team.