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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Release Control 6.2 Bonus Feature: Creating and Managing Custom Timelines

Release Control 6.2 Bonus Feature: Creating and Managing Custom Timelines

If you've installed or upgraded to Release Control version 6.2, you now have access to a handy bonus feature that makes it easy to create and manage custom timelines. This has its own separate user interface.

Although you can define timelines directly in SBM, it's nice to have a separate UI that is designed just for this purpose. It simplifies things. 

Here are just a few details to get you started, so you can get in there and explore on your own.

How do I get to the UI?

To get started, enter the following URL (changing the server name to your SBM server, of course):

http://<SBM_SERVER>/workcenter/tmtrack.dll?StdPage&Template=rlm/customGanttManager

 

What report should I choose?

You must choose a report that has all the data needed to display as a Gantt chart, such as the "All Release Trains" report. You can use that report as an example to create others of your own.

See this related blog that tells how to create various reports that can be used for timelines, such as All Environments, All Scheduled Maintenance, and All Scheduled Release Packages. 

Although this blog was written for RLC 6.0, most of it still applies to RLC 6.2. 

What can I define for my timeline?

There are several selections you can define for each timeline, such as:

  • Ranges

    Ranges are the colored bars that render horizontally across the timeline. Ranges must have a start date and an end date and may also have actual start and end dates, so that you can visually compare planned versus actual.

  • Events

    Events are single points in time represented on the timeline with icons. Like ranges, events can optionally have actual dates and icons configured for comparison.

  • Overlays

    Overlays have both ranges and events. They come from a different report than the primary items and are linked with a relational field. You can configure as many overlay items as you need. This powerful feature enables you to plot ranges and events from different items directly on the timeline of the primary item. In the default configuration, we use this to plot milestones on the release train.

  • Child Items

    In addition to overlays you can add child items, which can have their own ranges, events, and even overlays. If you expand the primary items you will see all of its child items plotted on the timeline underneath it. 

For more details on each of these, see this related blogAlthough this blog was written for RLC 6.0, most of it still applies to RLC 6.2.   

Share with the Community 

Please share your experiences with this new feature with the Community. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

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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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Why I Love This Product Essay Contest

We know you love using Micro Focus products, so now’s your chance to tell us about it. The ‘Why I Love This Product Essay Contest’ is a chance for you to tell us how Micro Focus products make your life—and your users’ lives—easier. Whether you’re using ZENworks to manage your endpoint devices or Silk to accelerate the delivery of your applications, we want to hear how much you love Micro Focus products. ONE-T-shirt_smPlus, by entering the contest, you’ll receive a free Micro Focus Community t-shirt.

To participate in the contest, simply send your finished essay to cool.guys@microfocus.com with the subject line that includes the title of your essay as well as the solution group your product falls under. For example: Why Visual COBOL Rocks my World—COBOL Development All entries must be submitted by 10 July 2017 to be eligible.

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Jenkins plugin getting started tutorial

Jenkins plugin getting started tutorial

The following implementation is an alternative to using Jenkins CI with Jenkins if it is not possible to use Pulse. The plugin represents a simpler less feature rich integration.

For more information on the Pulse implementation please refer to Pulse experts: Running the Jenkins CI expert.

The following PDF document serves as a comprehensive introduction to using the Jenkins plugin and covers the following:


  - Install Jenkins against an existing Tomcat installation
  - Configure to run with Dimensions CM
  - Install the Plugin
  - Create a Jenkins Project
  - Integrate the Jenkins Project with a CM Project/Stream
  - Extend to produce a closed loop build

See the PDF Document for more information.

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YOUR Process Application Help

SBM has come a long way in providing many areas for you to provide contextual help for your users.  In addition to the tool-tips that you have been able to add even back in the TeamTrack versions, now you can add HTML formatted help in the General properties of any state, transition, and workflow.  Even the field end-user help can be HTML.  Another option is to include text boxes on the form it self or buttons that open a dialog to provide users with context specific help.

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Save status update summaries to journal

I have come across some customers that are using SBM for processes that require users to enter weekly status updates or next steps.  This could be for things such as project tasks, sales opportunities, or any other work item where a someone needs to be kept informed of the progress of the work.  In addition to capturing the updates, sometimes there is a requirement to store the previous entries in a journal field.  This way you can go back and review the status update history but still be able to have a clean listing report with just the latest entry.  This blog entry provides details on how to implement this type of functionality using form actions.

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David Sheaffe
Another fantastically simple and practical solution
Sunday, 04 June 2017 10:10 PM
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Dimensions CM: Pulse learning resources

Dimensions CM: Pulse learning resources

There is a wealth of information on Pulse available, from a simple demo to feature deep dives going through worked examples.

 

Video Resources

 

Video: Intro to change sets http://help.serena.com/doc_center/demos/CM_141_changesets.html

Video: Pulse Expert Chains http://serenacentral.com/learn/kbtv/dimensions-cm/pulse-expert-chains

Video: Pulse Peer Review http://help.serena.com/doc_center/demos/CM_141_peer_review.html

Video: Pulse Agile http://serenacentral.com/learn/kbtv/dimensions-cm/dimensions-cm-14-3-getting-started-with-pulse-agile

Video: Halt on Failure and Script  http://serenacentral.com/learn/kbtv/dimensions-cm/cm-14-3-new-experts-halt-on-failure-and-script-experts

 

Blog Posts

Pulse Experts Ultimate Guide: http://www.serenacentral.com/blogs/entry/cm-14-pulse-experts-the-ultimate-guide

Dimensions CM 14.3 Pulse Reviews http://www.serenacentral.com/blogs/entry/dimensions-cm-14-3-pulse-reviews

Pulse Agile – Evaluation Tutorial http://www.serenacentral.com/blogs/entry/pulseagile-evaluation-tutorial

Dimensions CM 14.3 Pulse Agile Requests http://www.serenacentral.com/blogs/entry/dimensions-cm-14-3-pulse-agile-requests

 

 

Elearning resources

The following courses are available on demand more information can be found the Courseware catalogue

  

CM120 Dimensions Admin Essentials

  • Configure Pulse
  • Understand the Changeset Graph, Contributors, Punch card and history views
  • Describe extended report information on a Pulse review

 

CM320 Advanced Administration and Configuration (in development)

  • Understand Continuous Inspection
  • Create an expert chain
  • View a Pulse Report

 

Instructor led training resources

 

The following courses are instructor led class room training, more information can be found the Courseware catalogue.

  

CM200 Dimensions CM for Developers

  • Configure Pulse
  • Understand and inspect changesets in a stream
  • Describe Pulse and understand it’s use
  • Login to Pulse and view changesets for an existing stream
  • Understand and utilize a Pulse experts
  • Add an expert chain to run a Jenkins Build and summary
  • Perform a modification and delivery and review new changeset and expert execution
  • Peer review and approve a change
  • Optional homework: View the video: Introduction to changesets and the annotation view
  • Optional homework: View the Pulse Quick Tour presentation
  • Optional homework: Complete the tutorial: CM 14.2: Pulse Experts: Running the Checkstyle Analysis Expert
  • Perform a review of a newly created changeset in Pulse
  • Describe Pulse Agile usage and features
  • Use Pulse Agile to plan and track development tasks

 

CM220 Dimensions CM New Features Fast Track

  • Configure Pulse
  • Describe Pulse and understand it’s use
  • Login to Pulse and view changesets for an existing stream
  • Understand and utilize a Pulse experts
  • Add an expert chain to run a SDA deployment and Summary expert
  • Perform a modification and delivery and review new changeset and expert execution
  • Peer review and approve a change
  • Optional homework: View the Pulse Quick Tour presentation
  • Optional homework: Complete the tutorial: CM 14.2: Pulse Experts: Running the Checkstyle Analysis Expert
  • Describe the Peer Review in Pulse
  • Perform a Pulse Peer Review
  • Understand Agile planning and tracking
  • Describe Pulse Agile features
  • Describe Pulse Agile terms
  • View a simple demonstration of a planning and tracking Scenario

 

CM300 Dimensions CM for Administrators

  •  Configure Pulse
  • Describe Serena Pulse and Experts
  • Describe Pulse Agile
  • View Work Completed Serena Pulse
  • Update a request using Pulse Agile
  • Create a backlog, feature and iteration
  • Action a request from the card wall

 

 

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DA: Deployment Automation Artifactory Tutorial

DA: Deployment Automation Artifactory Tutorial

Introduction

Artifactory is a Universal Repository Manager supporting all major packaging formats, build tools and CI servers.

Deployment Automation 6.1.4 now provides a source type and plugin access to the artifcactory repository.

 

Implementation

The PDF document describes the steps to get up and running with a simple Artifcatory installation, testing the source type and plugin, using the following steps:

 

Step 1: Install Artifactory
Step 2: Create an Artifactory repository and configure
Step 3: Configure the artifcatory repository
Step 4: Install Curl
Step 5: Create and add a file to the repository
Step 6: Download and Install the plugin
Step 8: Create a component to test the plugin
Step 9: Create an application
Step 10: Run the Artifactory component process

For more information see the PDF document.

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This is a awesome article. Very simple way of online essay writing service writing and interesting topic. I will read again and ag... Read More
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Sub-task Numbering

Use Case:  You are creating a sub-task workflow and you want the numbering to be similar to the parent for ease of identification of the relationship.  For example, if my parent’s number is 000512 then I want my child to be 000512-1, the next child to be 000512-2 and so on. 

Using the field refresh properties and transition actions we can enable this type of numbering, WITHOUT coding. J

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