Reviews (1-1 of 1)
October 28, 2016
Score 9 out of 10
Serena Change Management (a.k.a. Dimensions) is a code repository with a lot of functionality and power. It is used by the IT department to facilitate segregation of duties regarding code moves across our environments. It has been instrumental in maintaining the various audit certifications an insurance company requires to compete in the marketplace. The product has an excellent reputation within the audit community and helps establish trusts with them. As a code repository is quite powerful and includes all the features one requires including: code comparison using Araxis Merge, pedigree, history, branching and merging, automated deployment, and baselines. Serena Change Management is role based, ensuring that code can only be checked out, modified, promoted and baselined by the those in the appropriate roles.
- Code Promotion: Dimensions CM allows supervisors to control changes to code, in that they delegate requests to developers, and act as a gatekeeper prior to promoting to the next environment. This functionality is configurable so you can set up a workflow that best fits the structure and requirements of your own company.
- Code Repository for changes and versioning: Code can be checked out by item or by synchronizing folders. Code revisions can be compared against other revisions or work files. Item histories show which developers made which modifications, and which supervisor and operations personnel were involved in assigning the request and promoting the code to each environment. Additionally a pedigree will show a stream diagram which graphically displays branches and merges.
- Deployment: Serena Change Management offers help automating deployment including integrations with SVN and Jenkins. Its newer versions also have a powerful graphical deployment automation tool (Serena Deployment Automation- SDA). It comes with a certain amount of licenses built-in. If you have a many nodes to deploy to there will be separate licensing costs for that.
- The only major negative that I have encountered with Serena CM product is that the very power and flexibility of the tool means there is a risk that you will make a mess of things. In other words it gives you plenty of rope to tangle yourself with. I recommend careful, well thought out deployments implementing the built in roles and workflows that can be turned on and configured, using a consistent methodology.
- My experience with the Serena help desk support has not been impressive. Though reasonably polite and diligent, the technicians were well trained, and often gave bad advise and terrible scripts. On several occasions I had to rewrite scripts they have me; if I had run them as provided they would have caused even more difficulties than the problem I was trying to solve. I speak of the support in the past tense because I conditioned myself not to call them, it was usually just easier to solve nay problems my self. They do have a good account management team though, and for any major issues you can go thru them.
Read Eugene LaRoche's full review
Serena CM is well suited to highly controlled, audited, and process driven environments. It will allow strict segregation of duties, and change traceability. If implemented correctly it will help you quickly build trusts with your auditors. It is also well suited to environments that require constant branching and merging. Due to the complexity of the product and learning curve for your development and operations team it may be overkill in a small shop with loose rules.