David J. Easter

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David J. Easter is the Director of Product Management for SBM and Solutions at Serena. Prior to Serena, David spent 8 years with BMC Software primarily in charge of the Remedy development platform and has performed product management at companies like Acer America, Nortel Networks and Phoenix Technologies.

Introducing ModScript - the next evolution in SBM scripting

Introduction

Beginning in version 11.3, SBM supports a scripting language called SBM ModScript, which offers a degree of power and flexibility beyond that available through the standard administration interfaces. SBM ModScript is accessible from the same contexts as SBM AppScript—you can associate scripts that implement custom features with transitions, notifications, and the self-registration form. You can also set up scripts that run when a user visits a special SBM URL. SBM ModScript is modeled after ChaiScript and contains extensions to support SBM. Programmers can use SBM ModScript to implement custom features in an SBM system.

Now that ModScript is available, questions have come up about the future of AppScript. To help understand what this all means, please review some of the frequently asked questions below.  And feel free to ask additional questions in the comments section. 

So what happens to AppScript?

We here at Micro Focus want to ensure that the transition from AppScript to ModScript is a smooth one, so the two will co-exist in SBM releases for some time.  We want to be sure that ModScript exceeds the capabilities of AppScript before we deprecate AppScript.  AppScript will eventually reach its sunset, but we will give customers advanced notification before that happens.

Do I have to re-write all my App Scripts?

If you want to update your current library of SBM AppScripts, you can use the SBM ModScript conversion utility. Note that this utility is provided on an experimental basis.  It is important to note that the utility provides a way to convert existing SBM AppScripts to SBM ModScript; however, the resultant script does not represent what is considered SBM ModScript that was written with best practices in mind. The utility converts the script into a usable SBM ModScript, but when you begin writing new SBM ModScripts, you do not need to follow the same conventions that resulted in the converted script.

Does this mean support for AppScript is ending in SBM 11.3?

No.  While support for AppScript will eventually end, this would be a future event. AppScript will continue to be supported in releases of SBM that include AppScript until those releases are no longer themselves supported.  By the way, you can see the Product Support Lifecycle Matrix on Micro Focus SupportLine for information on expected end-of-support dates. 

Can I continue to use AppScript in SBM 11.3?

Yes.  While Micro Focus / Serena recommends using ModScript for any new scripts to obtain the most modern and premium experience, organizations may enable and continue to utilize AppScript until such time that it is no longer included in SBM.

Will legacy process apps calling AppScript be affected by this change?

Legacy process apps are expected to continue using AppScript and should function as designed with no modifications required.  There will be no conversion of calls to AppScript to ModScript automatically.  Any changes must be done consciously by a designer.

Will defects in AppScript continue to be addressed?

It is expected that development against AppScript will end with the release of 11.3.  Any non-critical issues encountered with AppScript are not expected to be addressed in patches or to future releases of SBM.

When you say that non-critical issues will not be patched, what defines the difference between a non-critical issue and a critical issue?

A non-critical issue is an issue where business functions are still accessible but may be cosmetically affected or require an inconvenient workaround to operate properly.  Critical issues are those where no workaround is available for a required business function and the business function is not accessible or usable.  While Micro Focus / Serena will work with customers on a case-by-case basis to define the severity of any discovered issue, final characterization is at the discretion of Micro Focus / Serena.

When will AppScript be removed from the product?

At this time, Micro Focus / Serena has not identified a specific release for the removal of AppScript.  When such a release is identified, a Statement of Direction will be issued with more information.  

What resources are available to assist users in transitioning to ModScript?

The best resource is the ModScript Transition Guide in the Documentation Center. You can also ask questions here on Serena Central.

 

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Life after Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10

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.

 

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Try the new SRC mobile client - even if you don't have SRC

Try the new SRC mobile client - even if you don't have SRC

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:

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Recent Comments
Vickie Ortega
I've been using this for a while now and I just love it. In fact, this saved me earlier this week! My computer GPF'd and wouldn't ... Read More
Thursday, 28 January 2016 8:08 PM
David Berner
This looks great. Is there a (planned) feature to enable some form of single sign on (adfs integration , certificate log on, ...) ... Read More
Saturday, 05 March 2016 11:11 AM
David J. Easter
Authentication for the mobile client uses the same mechanism as the browser. So if you have SSO enabled for your SBM server to en... Read More
Saturday, 05 March 2016 3:03 PM
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