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  • Opinions please on Change Management Software

    Two packages that come to mind are from "Soft Landing", and "Aldon" software. Dave

  • #2
    Opinions please on Change Management Software

    There have been other discussions on the topic of change management software in this forum. You may want to do a search of the archives. I have worked (and still work) in shops that use Implementer from MKS Software, and I have worked in shops that used their own (written in house). I do think that even in a small shop something is needed to keep track of code modifications. My only experience with purchased CM software is with Implementer. I am not happy with it, despite the fact I went to Chicago to get training from the vendor. At that time, I was the Configuration Manager for a LARGE number (150+) of programmers. In my opinion, Implementer is not intuitive, and there's a significant learning curve even for developers with minimal checkin/checkout needs. My experience with MKS Technical support has been a disappointment. Personally I have never been able to get an answer in one phone call. Instead, each time that I called they would create a "ticket" with my issue/question/problem and someone would call me back in a day or two or three. And there were a few occasions when their "resolution" to a bug was to modify one of the Implementer's files! I am not comfortable with this type of "fix". By the way, Implementer is a skill listed on my resume that may get me another (better?) job but the irony is that I'd prefer to use a different CM package! I have seen product demos on Aldon and I was impressed. I wish I had the opportunity to get Aldon on my machines now, or at least get their product seriously considered. I suggest going to the vendor's web sites. You may be able to get a demo version of the software or have a rep come and demonstrate the product for you. Have a check list of requirements ... for example, what type of objects do you need the CM software to handle besides the standard RPG and CLs? ILE, Java, IFS files, LANSA, graphics, etc. Good Luck.

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    • #3
      Opinions please on Change Management Software

      We have used both Implementer and Aldon packages....and Aldon without a doubt has been wonderful for us. Our shop has varied in size over the past few years from a maximum of 14 developers to a minimum of 4. Aldon has given us far fewer problems overall, and has solutions that handle making adding fields to files easy, and keeping printer file attributes intact.....Implementer usually lost things and caused us problems.

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      • #4
        Opinions please on Change Management Software

        We have been using the Aldon product since 1992. Back then we looked at other packages and decided on ACMS. We have not regretted it. It is now our world wide standard for my company's foreign installations. It is complex, powerful, and quite flexible. I figure the learning curve for a programmer at 3 days for most of the options. It does manage S/36 objects teh same as the native /400. Their support staff is excellant. Response is within 3 hours depending on how close you are to Oakland, CA. While there are some other good products on the market we have found this one suits our environment the best. It's tier priced, and they do offer trial copies. Try www.aldon.com. For what it's worth, we are also standarizing on the Aldon LAN product Affiniti. Happy holidays.

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        • #5
          Opinions please on Change Management Software

          Jack, Does it also manage source code stored on a LAN server or in the IFS? We use BCD's Websmart and I'd like to have only one program to manage all my source. Thanks, Chuck "Jack McGuigan" wrote in message news:6ae53b30.3@WebX.WawyahGHajS... | We have been using the Aldon product since 1992. Back then we looked at other packages and decided on ACMS. We have not regretted it. It is now our world wide standard for my company's foreign installations. It is complex, powerful, and quite flexible. I figure the learning curve for a programmer at 3 days for most of the options. It does manage S/36 objects teh same as the native /400. Their support staff is excellant. Response is within 3 hours depending on how close you are to Oakland, CA. While there are some other good products on the market we have found this one suits our environment the best. It's tier priced, and they do offer trial copies. Try www.aldon.com. | For what it's worth, we are also standarizing on the Aldon LAN product Affiniti. | Happy holidays.

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          • #6
            Opinions please on Change Management Software

            In the interest of "full disclosure", I am an employee of SoftLanding Systems, maker of TurnOver, one of the CM solutions discussed in this thread. However, I am also a frequent speaker on this very topic at COMMON, where I give a vendor-neutral "Change Management 101" type of presentation. (I'll be happy to e-mail you this powerpoint if you'd like). I'll try to keep my responses brief and factual--no "salesy" stuff. First of all, it is a common fallacy that a packaged CM solution is overkill for small shops. Today's CM systems are as much focused on productivity gains for the programmer as they are in "controlling" or managing the source and objects. I offer that anything that can be done to make your two programmers more effective and more efficient in their development process would be a very worthy investment. For a list of white papers and product reviews by non-SoftLanding personnel, (e.g. Paul Conte, iSeries News, etc.) see SoftLanding's TurnOver Now to your specific requirements list: - TurnOver handles S/36 code - TurnOver manages both new development and modifications quite nicely - TurnOver is written in RPG ILE. SoftLanding uses all of TurnOver (including the project management and request tracking features) to drive our own business. Therefor, you'd better believe we know how to handle ILE and that it is easy and and as automated as possible. - TurnOver doubles as a PC Change Management tool. Our concept here is that you are 100% free to choose whatever IDE (WebSmart, VAJ, WebSphere...) and whatever Version Management (PVCS, SourceSafe, CVS, none..) you want to manage the "front end" of this process. Our job is to take these objects from whereever they are now and promote them in a managed and tracked fashion to where ever you want them to go. Even better, you can promote native and PC changes together in the same all-or-nothing promotion. - TurnOver has user-based pricing available - TurnOver is very flexible in design. We can make it as tight or as lose, as simple or as complex as YOUR needs dictate. - We can do product demonstrations via the internet: all you have to do is sit back and watch. You can also load the software on your machine for a risk-free 30 day trial. We'll even help you set it up as part of your evaluation. - TurnOver support is second to none. Ask our customers. Most often you will get a live support agent on the phone when you call and most often, they will answer your question while you are still on the line.

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            • #7
              Opinions please on Change Management Software

              I too have experience with Aldon. We implemented it at two organizations I worked with. We also evaluated Soft Landing and thought it was a very good product but Aldon was the best fit for us in both instances. The key I think, will be that you must treat this as any other software product implementation. If you don't consider the procedures you'll need to put in place to take full advantage of any CMS product. You should be sure to create, if you don't already have, a test or q/a environment, a common developers environment and make sure you have the proper controls and procedures as to who can promote to which environments. Make sure your organization is clear on what you hope to accomplish before evaluating products, and ask the vendors how they will address those issues as part of the evaluation. I know Aldon has had a very good document that identifies some of the key things you should consider, and probably the Soft Landing white papers are similar. I think it's a worthwhile endeavor but everyone has to buy in or it'll fail. I've seen some resistance from programmers, (no, really!) so it might actually be an advantage that you're a small shop now because it'll be easier for everyone to voice their opinion as to what is needed. Good luck!

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              • #8
                Opinions please on Change Management Software

                I have used Implementer over the past 8 years. It was originally a Silvon Product, but became an MKS asset several years ago. In the first 6 years I setup, and administered the tool for several companies. Most of which began with a home grown system of some type. The setup in these companies was very straight forward and developer use was very easy. The hard part is getting management buyin for some of the decisions you have to make regarding authorities and procedures. Two years ago I hired into the company I am in now. They have 30 programmers and used a home grown system for development on three systems (hosts). They were struggling with growth, and with over 350 AS/400 or iSeries machines deployment was an issue. Management here saw all the demos the vendors had to offer and went with MKS Implementer. I figured that setup here would be a snap, but I did not fully understand the age of the systems or the database relationships. As it turned out, to offload development from just one development box I had to tame just under 100 Database Libraries that were under a single program library. That being said, Implementer had the power I needed whether I wanted the job or not. Management bought into a Production, QA, and Development model I designed and off we went. We have looked back at where we came from, and our software defects are way down and the Level Checks and Halts are gone. We recently added Visual LANSA to our toolkit. MKS has done a great job of gathering our requirements, along with other customers. They have allowed us to QA their work, and we got a "Standard" software package from them that performs like custom code. If you have seen all the demos, you're probably looking for quick and easy. But keep in mind that the basics are all the same, Checkout, Compile, Promote, Test, Reject, and Promote. Make sure what you get handles the weird stuff in a normalized way, things like Triggers, OVRDBF's, Object Pre-checking, Concurrent Development, and make sure they have a sound grasp on how they handle Security. If they are into banks and casinos, they probably have the security you need. Good luck in your quest.

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                • #9
                  Opinions please on Change Management Software

                  Our shop has no rules, and you can imagine the mess that makes of reliable source and what makes it into production. It's time for us to implement a real and enforceable Change Management System. I'm looking for suggestions of what you are using out there, different vendors, strengths and weaknesses. Here is some of our criteria that may guide your advice: We are a small shop (2 programmers). Legacy software is in an S/36 environment. New development is in RPG IV ILE. Right now we are doing about 75% maintenance, 25% development. Thanks in advance for any and all comments, or pointing me to previous discussions on this subject.

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                  • #10
                    Opinions please on Change Management Software

                    Because you stated that you are a small shop, I would guess that either the budget is limited or something bad has happened to needed source that has prompted a budget increase. A couple of years ago, I worked for an organization utilizing Implementer, and the security (no 2 people can have the same source checked out) was exactly what they needed as there staff was larger and nobody had too much of an idea what each other was working on. If the budget is not available to spend too much and an in-house solution is needed, the company that I currently work for has an in-house written product that can archive the object (optionable), archives the source to another library for 7 members, moves the source from the *TEST to *PROD system and creates the program/dspf, etc. (optionable). If the in-house program is desired, e-mail me at yarringl@sasinc.com and I can supply some of the details as to how the application works. Good luck - Lee.

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