Dimensions CM "How To" Presentations & Demos

This morning we completed the second of our Virtual User Group webinars focused on a series of How To topics. Recordings are available for the first two completed VUGs, and registration is available for our next VUG on December 12th.

 

June 26th: Dimensions CM VUG: Projects Streams and Branching Patterns

 

 

Development teams are switching to modern development practices and they are branching and merging, not per-file, but per change set and branch etc. CM practices are evolving these and can easily be accommodated in Dimensions CM. Take the lead in modernizing your CM implementation and learn how to adopt modern patterns and practices that speed development with quality

 

October 10th:  Dimensions CM VUG: Implementing Continuous Integration and Inspection Tool Chain Practices

 

Adopting these disciplines and practices, learn how you can show if your teams are converging to quality or diverging from quality in real time. Through an automated Continuous Inspection Toolchain providing rapid feedback to development increase the quality and release readiness of development deliverables and optimize automation of your deployments.

 

December 12th: Dimensions CM VUG: Saving Time and Rework Through Automated Code Review with Key Insights

 

Automate and secure collaborative code reviews together with key code-review metrics and insights within your development lifecycle to measure and address findings and vulnerabilities on every stream. Learn how to include and aggregate results from code-centric tools to further eliminate risks and increase quality assurance within development and engineering.

 

As always, we encourage and welcome additional topics of interest and feedback and I'll look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

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Make code review and continuous inspection a habit

Agile and DevOps practices enable faster delivery, higher quality and lower risk. Adoption of automated Code Review and Continuous Inspection practices help deliver on this promise.

"The average defect detection rate is only 25% for unit testing, 35% for function testing, and 45% for integration testing. In contrast, the average effectiveness of design and code inspections are 55% and 60%", in Code Complete  by Steve McConnell

Code review is systematic examination (often referred to as peer review) of source code. Of course, modern applications now include services, libraries, images etc.

Continuous Inspection is very frequent inspection of software to provide early warning of maintainability and other code quality issues, such as coding standard issues, static analysis findings, web vulnerabilities, security and licensing risks.

A successful strategy for code review and inspection requires balance between automated processes and a non-threatening, collaborative environment in order to avoid regimented peer reviews that stifle productivity and hinder adoption.

 

Modern Dimensions CM implementations enable enterprise teams to make code review and continuous inspection a habit that will speed delivery, increase quality and reduce risks in your development and deployment pipeline.

Here's how:

  1. Highlighting just the lines of code that have changed increases the efficiency and effectiveness of reviewing each commit, increasing the ability to find and collaboratively discuss coding defects.
  2. A code review that presents both the highlighted code changes AND any continuous inspection findings optimizes your inspection rate and time on every commit.
  3. Providing the ability to collaborate with the developer in reviewing while not forcing a pace that is uncomfortable to developers or reviewers encourages engagement and focus while allowing any necessary breaks for a task over a period of time can greatly improve quality of work.
  4. Incorporating a code review checklist enables teams to decide how you will measure the effectiveness of peer review and name a number of tangible goals. Checklists can be the most effective way to eliminate frequently missed steps and avoid the challenges of standardizing and avoiding omissions.
  5. Conducting the peer review on each commit, together with any code annotations, guides the reviewer through the changes in sequence, proving insight into the reasons behind code modification and insights into any inspection findings.
  6. Embracing the "shift left" feedback and results from continuous inspection optimizes your code review process beyond your wildest dreams, establishing an automated process for fixing defects and resolving inspection findings.

I urge all Dimensions CM customers to upgrade to our latest release 14.3.3 and adopt and leverage peer review and continuous inspection to create a positive review culture and make code review a habit.

As development teams and groups, we should all be creating an environment in which friends don't let friends commit "unreviewed" code to the mainline.

 

 

 

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New course: Dimensions CM 320 Advanced Administration and Configuration

New course: Dimensions CM 320 Advanced Administration and Configuration

 


Introducing a brand new e-learning course, based on the latest cutting edge technologies in Dimensions CM 14.3. The course is recommend for experienced users who have participated in the CM200 and CM300 courses.
 
Course Goal
To provide a familiarity with the more advanced capabilities of configuring Dimensions CM.
 
The course is self-paced and takes about 4 hours to complete. Progress is bookmarked automatically, allowing the student to complete the course in multiple sessions.

Course Objectives 


Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
 
- Understand three major performance degraders and how to address them
- Describe Continuous Integration plus Continuous Inspection and its benefits
- Describe CM Build, plus alternatives: Dm_make, Maven, Jenkins
- Understand the two Jenkins CI integration options available
- Describe an overview of API offerings, including typical usage scenarios
- Understand report concepts, reporting options, published views
- Understand users inbox notifications
- Describe email notification event
- Describe a remote job and the templater
- Understand the job scheduler
- Understand what the Java API can achieve
- Describe how to access the Java API documentation (Javadoc)
- Understand the Eclipse Plugin and what it achieves
- Describe the Eclipse plugin functionality
- Complete wrap-up module including quiz
 

Course Content


The following modules are covered:

1. Performance tuning
2. Build Automation
3. Continuous Integration
4. Event Triggers and APIs
5. Reports
6. Mail notification
7. Remote jobs, scheduling and deployment scripts
8. Java API
9. Eclipse plugin
10. Glossary and Quiz
 
 Course can be accessed from the eLearning site.
 Contact: education@serena.com for more details.

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Team Guru Gets a Raise with Baselines Request Templates

I was recently working with a client whose deployment process consisted of having developers email their team guru with a list of files to grab, the version of the files, the location of the files and what machine to deploy said files onto. Can you say bottleneck? Can you say lost in the (e)mail?

Now in all fairness to the client, these weren’t your typical files. They consisted of Informatica files, Oracle files, and shell scripts that needed to be deployed together in some cases and separately in others. In other words, not your typical deployments.

Luckily the client was looking for a solution to manage their parallel development as well as with automating their deployments. Dimensions CM and Deployment Automation to the rescue. With these two products, we could also help the team guru get more control on the incoming tsunami of requests. Ironically we did it with a request. Dimensions CM Request that is.

Below I will show you how to use Requests to create a Baseline to contain only the files that need to be deployed and then how to map Dimensions CM with Deployment Automation to perform the actual deployments.

Please note, that I don’t have an Informatica system to show you but I think you’ll get the gist.

Create Baseline Template

First thing to do is create a Baseline Template where the Scope is Requests. This will allow you to specify the criteria for inclusion of file revisions based on a list of requests. Later when we make modifications to a file and deliver into a stream, we will relate it to a request. This will automatically create an In Response To relationship in which the baseline will use to include the files. 

From the Admin Console create your baseline template like the one below.

 

Next add the Requests that should be included in the template along with the criterion like below.

 

  • Request Type: The request type for which this criterion applies.
  • Request Status: The lifecycle state of requests to be used in the selection criteria.
  • Baseline status code:
    • Choose SUP to include requests at the specified state and upward.
    • Choose EQS to include requests only at the specified state.

Note, that once you use the template to create a baseline you cannot modify the template. It’s best to just add all your request types that could be used for creating baselines. 

Map Dimensions CM Product with Deployment Automation Application

Beginning with Dimensions CM 14.2 you could optionally install Deployment Automation (DA) with Dimensions CM. But starting with v14.3, you could use DA instead of Dimensions Deployment areas when deploying baselines.

If you have not already configured Dimensions to use DA, modify your Product in the Admin Console like below mapping the CM Products to the DA Application. For complete details see the Dimensions CM Deployment Guide. You will need to make modifications to the dm.cfg file, setup authentication between the two products, and map the GSL to DA environments. Note, during a fresh installation this will be automatically configured for you.

 

At this point you may be asking yourself what mappings are allowed. You can map one CM Product to one DA Application or many CM Products to one DA Application. See below for what is okay and what is not okay.

But that’s okay! This is not a limitation.

We can use many Component Processes within the same DA Application to deploy Informatica, Oracle, and shell scripts together or separately. Look for blog later on about the pros and cons on whether to use one component with many processes or many components with their own processes.

 

 

Create Baseline

Now back to solving our team guru’s workload. 

First, we need to make a file modification and relate it to a Request upon delivery (or check out if using Projects). When you do this, CM will automatically create an In Response To relationships between the file and the request.

Second. Action your request to the correct lifecycle state to fit the criterion you specified above when you create your template.

Now you can create your baseline. 

When you do remember to select your Request and Baseline Template as shown below. 

 

 

Now you have a baseline that only contains the files related to the Request (DEMO_TASK_1). 

 

 

If you have Dimensions CM setup with the Deployment Automation tool, you can now deploy your baseline that will only deploy your specific file(s) base on a Request.

 

Summary 

Dimensions CM is a powerful tool in that it allows the developers to relate their source code directly to their Tasks. The In Response To relationship between source code and requests is invaluable. 

That’s great Rose but what about the poor guy that is overwhelmed by all the emails? 

When the developers actions their Tasks to the next state in the lifecycle, Dimensions CM can email the person with all the information that is needed for him/her to deploy the files.

Dimensions knows which files to grab, the version of the files, the location of the files and DA knows what machine to deploy said files onto. Can you say no more bottleneck? 

Okay, so the team guru is still getting emails, but with the time saved from not having to deploy manually allows the guy to keep up with all the requests coming in. Not to mention providing nice reports and metrics for his management. “Look at all this work I’m getting done boss, I think I need a raise” said the team guru.

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