Serena Blog

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

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Tags: SBM, Serena

DevOps bubbleDevOps is not restricted to platforms that are more modern. Many DevOps teams own the responsibility of mainframe deployments as much as they own the non-mainframe ones. Releasing software safely into production has been a critical skillset in the mainframe community for five decades. It

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Tags: Serena

Large enterprises are under pressure from the marketplace to increase business agility. Failing to do so, could impact market share, competitiveness and financial stability. This translates into delivering higher quality software faster. But the complexity of large enterprise IT produces many challenges. Enterprise IT often supports hundreds of applications across different types of systems that are developed using different methodologies by geographically dispersed teams. There is no single delivery pipeline or release process, there are many, often operating at different speeds from manual to automated, and all operating under a mandate of regulatory compliance.

Gartner recommends that these enterprises take

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New StoryDuring the holiday season, oftentimes people get so busy and distracted with our million and one things to do on our lists, we forget to stop and think about the less fortunate. This year I wanted to team together with all Serena employees to make a real and transparent difference. To unite in helping to build a home for a family in need.

We accomplished this through the charity organization, New Story, who funds life-saving homes, turning tent slums into sustainable communities for

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DevOps and the Rise of Bimodal ITAs enterprise IT begins to adopt DevOps practices, questions and issues emerge about how to best implement the culture, process, and tools to deliver on the promises of faster business innovation at a lower cost. How do you transform the current state? The Enterprise IT landscape is complex, sophisticated, dynamic, and frequently chaotic. Unlike Internet startups, you are dealing with a large, diverse set of heterogeneous infrastructures glued together across many teams and locations that

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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

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We have started the planning for xChange 2016 at last! So here’s what we know:

  • Location: Chicago IL, back to the Windy City where we were in 2007. The city skyline has changed quite a bit but still spectacular and the new River Walk is really impressive with amazing places to eat and hang out. Deep dish pizza is still the best in the world and Chicago dogs are to die for.
  • Date: 19th of September, 2016 so block off you calendar now.
  • Hotel: The newly remodeled Renaissance Hotel on Wacker Drive right on the river.
  • Agenda:


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

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Bringing customers together to share experiences and comment on the latest ideas and technologies from Serena is one of the primary ways we guide and shape product direction. If you are in the Bay Area on November 5th you should join us and be part of this informative day:

High-Level Agenda

Tags: Serena

One repository or many … the answer is neither

One of the most commonly asked questions these days is “Should all our source code be in one repository?” This is a complex question and leads to a somewhat interesting set of answers.

Before we get to that lets try and understand the question a little more and find out why customers asking this? In IT we like to centralize and optimize. Gathering all the code in one place is seen as the next logical set of distributed data ripe for centralization and optimization. All in one place means we can manage access better,

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Technical blog posts

The Jira Request Provider allows users to search for and associate items in Jira with a Release Package. This provides visibility and tracking of the items that will be deployed as part of the release process.

Download: Jira Request Provider Plugin for RLC 6.0

Tags: Release Manager/Release Control

Microsoft formally went through with their plans to end support for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 on January 12, 2016.  Serena did post a warning about this back in November 2014, so hopefully it didn't come as too much of a surprise.  But now that it's a reality, what can you do to keep browser access to Serena products available for your users?

1. Upgrade to Internet Explorer 11

Likely, the easiest thing to do will be to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11.  IE11 is still supported by Microsoft and will continue to get patches and security updates into the near future.  In addition, IE11 will have the same basic look and feel as IE 8, 9 and 10 which will reduce the amount of training and self-discovery required for your users.

2. Move to Firefox or Chrome

A less conservative move could be to embrace Firefox or Chrome as your browser of choice.   If you organization allows for non-Microsoft browsers, both Firefox and Chrome have abandoned the traditional versioning of browsers and automatically update in place on a near monthly rate.  This can reduce the IT overhead of "big rock moves" from one major version to the next.  

3. Move to the Microsoft Edge browser

The future of Microsoft browsers is Microsoft Edge.  While Windows 10 comes with both Internet Explorer and Edge, Microsoft has stated that Internet Explorer 11 will be the last release of IE and some folks may want to get ahead of the game by just moving to Microsoft Edge.  Of course, you'll need to be on Windows 10 to do that but if your organization is on the leading edge of technologies, this is a good time to switch.

4. Continue using IE 8, 9 or 10

Of course we can't recommend this option, but if your organization can't move away from the legacy versions, you'll have to hope that new security concerns aren't discovered or that you don't run into any new defects.  If you haven't already, it'd be good to start evaluating what's keeping you from moving to IE11, Firefox, Chrome or Edge and put a plan in place how to overcome those barriers sooner than later.


Tags: SBM

The EmailClient Plugin has been introduced in SDA 6.1 and allows a user to be able to send an email as part of a component/generic process step. Giving the ultimate flexibility in generating custom email notifications as part of a deployment process.

The PDF tutorial describes the following 4 steps can be used to implement and test this new plugin


Step 1: Download the plugin
Step 2: Install the plugin
Step 3: Create a generic process to test the plugin
Step 4: Run the EmailTest process

Please see the attached PDF document for more details.

Tags: SDA/Deployment Automation

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.

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