SHARE Answers for Mainframe Release Management

Each year Serena attends the SHARE mainframe conference. This year it was in Boston and was very well attended. Our booth (pictured) was the center for some pretty hard core conversations about the role of the mainframe in enterprise release management. Over the course of three days we got to talk with many release practitioners, release customers, release vendors and release gurus. Some pretty consistent messages came out of these conversations, which I want to “share” (pun intended) with you.

  • Enterprise release management is a major IT focus area.
  • There are too few resources devoted to enterprise release management.
  • Doing mainframe release management off the mainframe is becoming an increasingly important capability.
  • Most of the current tooling isn’t keeping pace with modern release management needs and best practices.
  • The business wants enterprise release management and they want visibility into what is happening.
  • There is a dramatic rise in “urgent” requests.
  • Releases are getting too big, too inter-dependent and too difficult to test thoroughly.

About three-quarters of the people I spoke to had some initiative to address synchronizing mainframe and non-mainframe releases. More than half said they were unhappy with the old tools they were using.

One visitor to the booth went as far as to say, “I go out of my way to avoid using ’name of solution.’ It slows everything down; everyone hates it but we can’t replace it because it’s wrapped around everything else.” We showed him the new migration utility we have developed that automatically moves all the repository artifacts from one repository into ChangeMan ZMF and he was impressed. Enterprise release management teams do not have to stick with their current solution any longer.

Another hot topic at the booth, one my colleagues from our mainframe solutions architect team spent much time demoing, was about the importance of being able to synchronize releases across projects. Frequently, these days, our releases comprise of components for the web, and mobile, and mainframe, and communications and big-data and we have to make sure they are all ready to be installed together. This usually results in long weekends in the office by 10’s, even 100’s, of people at once. With the introduction of the new Serena Mainframe Connector, it is now possible to synch your projects across the heterogeneity of platforms, methodologies and time zones.

You can see all these great technologies at xChange13, Serena’s global user conference, which is right around the corner. Come and join the exchange about what you think enterprise release management should look like and learn from your peers about their best practices and cool solutions to the most pressing issue in IT today.

SHARE 2013 was a great conference and gave me lots to think about. Of course, next year is going to be quite the show as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the mainframe!

See you in Miami for xChange next month.

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