Serena Updates Its Dimensions

With a nod to regulatory compliance and integration, officials at Serena
Software launched an update to its development platform.

Dimensions is one application within the San Mateo, Calif., company’s Serena
Application Framework for Enterprises (SAFE) software suite, the platform
from which developers track and manage enterprise applications.

The suite is one of several competing versions in the marketplace for
application lifecycle management (ALM) software: competitors include IBM
, Borland and Microsoft .

Dimensions 9 has added several components to improve change management
within the enterprise application, whether it’s on the Microsoft or Java
platform. The improvements include tighter integration with Visual Studio
.NET and Eclipse-based tools to let developers work on their preferred IDE
; electronic signatures; and
managing code changes across multiple sites.

“Organizations today are faced with multiple tools and technologies —
whether they are .NET , J2EE , legacy
or all three — and coordinating and managing
application development across such a diverse portfolio of technologies can
be quite complex,” said Ash Owen, a director of product marketing at Serena.

On the compliance front, Dimensions’ addition of electronic signature
support means software changes will only be executed by authorized people,
one that leaves an audit trail on the software’s Traceability Matrix
summary.

Serena developers built up an existing add-on feature called Replicator to
boost Dimensions’ outsourcing support component. Very similar to IBM’s
ClearCase MultiSite, Replicator synchronizes and replicates software
configurations and assets to distributed work sites. That kind of
management is important, especially in the case of offshore outsourced
projects.

“As IT environments increasingly incorporate development teams split across
different geographies or even outsource development to third-party
organizations, there is tremendous pressure on IT to maintain the speed and
quality of its application development process,” said Clive Burrows,
principal analyst at research firm Ovum, in a statement. “Dimensions 9
brings significant enhancements that alleviate this pressure and will
provide major benefits to any organization with a distributed development
environment.”

Serena has spent a busy year building up its SAFE application suite. In
March, the company spent $380
million
to buy competitor Merant, expanding its business beyond the
mainframe customers it catered and into distributed computing operating
systems.

In June Serena Software bought the technology and assets of Integrated
Chipware’s Rights and Traceability Management (RTM) technology to fill out
its ALM software suite.

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