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Serena goes for single source of control for code, Web

Software change management used to be about automating changes to code and content in client/server or mainframe-based environments. Today, automating change is an even more complex affair. Enterprise environments routinely integrate Web and legacy applications. When customers access a company through the Web, they're interfacing a group of applications running across several platforms. If changes are not coordinated across this environment, outages will occur.

This is why Serena Software Inc. has added XML Services to the latest release of its mainframe change management product. The new feature in ChangeMan ZMF 5.3 will give companies a single point of control to manage software code and Web content changes throughout the enterprise, using a Web interface, WAP device or palm computer.

The feature will also allow companies to use standard XML to access mainframe data from a familiar development environment. For instance, customers will be able to reduce the cost of generating reports on enterprise change by integrating ChangeMan with third-party report writing applications. 'Companies can do that for a fraction of what they were paying before, just by having the data available on an XML style sheet,' noted Tony Stayner, vice president of marketing at the San Mateo, Calif.-based software vendor.

The idea of integrating XML and the mainframe will have broad appeal, added Stayner, who predicts that 'the vast majority' of Serena's installed base will be using the feature within a year. 'People have been trained to think of the mainframe as cumbersome and slow,' he said. 'The world of XML services opens up new possibilities. Now you can export [mainframe] data into a desktop database like Microsoft Access or a desktop application like Microsoft Project.'

General availability of the product was announced today, along with enhancements to Serena's distributed change management product line. These enhancements include integration with the SAP R/3 environment, new support for Linux on the IBM e/Server z/Series, and support within a single environment for consolidating Unix Web servers.

For more on change management, please see 'Change management in the 21st century' at http://www.adtmag.com/article.asp?id=3876

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