Test Connection to Server Endpoint

Imagine that you are testing a connection to server during setup or that an endpoint that was previously working no longer works.  You know that the server is beyond a firewall, but it should be off.  But then again, you have the server firewall, as well as, the hardware firewall or proxy.  Add to the configuration complexity the fact that the error message returned is cryptic at best.  What can we do?

You used to use telnet to test a connection, but Windows Servers/Workstations no have it installed by default.  What can we do?

Use PowerShell.  Here are the steps to test your connection to your LDAP server (myldap.company.com), for instance. 

Open PowerShell on your Windows Server.
Type: $TCPClient = New-Object -TypeName  System.Net.Sockets.TCPClient
Press enter.
Type: $TCPClient.Connect('myldap.company.com',389)
Press enter.
Type: $TCPClient.Connected
Press enter.
If the last command returns True then you have successfully made a connection.  If it returns nothing then you have not made a connection.
Now close your connection.
Type: $TCPClient.Close()
Press enter.
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Using Beyond Compare within DimensionsCM 14.x

DimensionsCM 14.x ships with Araxis for file comparison/merging, however some customers like the look-and-feel of other tools such as Beyond Compare.  Here are the steps needed to configure DimensionsCM to use your utility of choice.

Configuring different compare/merge tools is documented in the System Administration Guide in Chapter 7 (“Configuring the default merge tools”).

Edit the local file %USERPROFILE%\.dmwebtools\native.properties (e.g. c:\Users\Administrator\.dmwebtools\native.properties).


 In that file you can configure which merge tool to use by default and override that for specific file types…to use BeyondCompare for all merge/compare operations the following configuration is used:

*(be sure to #comment out existing settings)

*the path for the Beyond Compare exe is the default install path for the current version as of this blog, BeyondCompare 3....your path may be different depending on your install selection


#### *****************************************************
#### *** Used by the Web Client Native Tools Installer ***
#### *****************************************************
#### ***
#### Dimensions customizable Diff/Merge properties file - to use Dimensions merge tool leave
#### USE_DEFAULTS=1. Otherwise set USE_DEFAULTS=0, then uncomment and modify the diff/merge tool
#### params as appropriate.
#### For further information on customization please consult Dimensions documentation.

# Use default diff/merge tool

# Sample customization settings for diff/merge tools for all file extensions
#MERGE_PARAMS = merge %a %d1 %d2 %t
#DIFF_PARAMS= diff %a %d1 %d2

#### Beyond Compare
MERGE_TOOL=C:\Program Files (x86)\Beyond Compare 3\BCompare.exe
MERGE_PARAMS ="/fileviewer /savetarget=%t %d1 %d2"
DIFF_TOOL=C:\Program Files (x86)\Beyond Compare 3\BCompare.exe
DIFF_PARAMS=/fileviewer %a %d1

# Sample desktop client specific customization settings for diff/merge tools for DOC file extensions
# MERGE_TOOL_DOC=C:\\Program Files\\Winmerge\\winmerge.exe
# MERGE_PARAMS_DOC =/e %a %d1 %t
# DIFF_TOOL_DOC =C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003\\Common7\\Tools\\Bin\\windiff.exe

# Java specific

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Dimensions CM "How To" Presentations & Demos

This morning we completed the second of our Virtual User Group webinars focused on a series of How To topics. Recordings are available for the first two completed VUGs, and registration is available for our next VUG on December 12th.


June 26th: Dimensions CM VUG: Projects Streams and Branching Patterns



Development teams are switching to modern development practices and they are branching and merging, not per-file, but per change set and branch etc. CM practices are evolving these and can easily be accommodated in Dimensions CM. Take the lead in modernizing your CM implementation and learn how to adopt modern patterns and practices that speed development with quality


October 10th:  Dimensions CM VUG: Implementing Continuous Integration and Inspection Tool Chain Practices


Adopting these disciplines and practices, learn how you can show if your teams are converging to quality or diverging from quality in real time. Through an automated Continuous Inspection Toolchain providing rapid feedback to development increase the quality and release readiness of development deliverables and optimize automation of your deployments.


December 12th: Dimensions CM VUG: Saving Time and Rework Through Automated Code Review with Key Insights


Automate and secure collaborative code reviews together with key code-review metrics and insights within your development lifecycle to measure and address findings and vulnerabilities on every stream. Learn how to include and aggregate results from code-centric tools to further eliminate risks and increase quality assurance within development and engineering.


As always, we encourage and welcome additional topics of interest and feedback and I'll look forward to hearing from you.



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Make code review and continuous inspection a habit

Agile and DevOps practices enable faster delivery, higher quality and lower risk. Adoption of automated Code Review and Continuous Inspection practices help deliver on this promise.

"The average defect detection rate is only 25% for unit testing, 35% for function testing, and 45% for integration testing. In contrast, the average effectiveness of design and code inspections are 55% and 60%", in Code Complete  by Steve McConnell

Code review is systematic examination (often referred to as peer review) of source code. Of course, modern applications now include services, libraries, images etc.

Continuous Inspection is very frequent inspection of software to provide early warning of maintainability and other code quality issues, such as coding standard issues, static analysis findings, web vulnerabilities, security and licensing risks.

A successful strategy for code review and inspection requires balance between automated processes and a non-threatening, collaborative environment in order to avoid regimented peer reviews that stifle productivity and hinder adoption.


Modern Dimensions CM implementations enable enterprise teams to make code review and continuous inspection a habit that will speed delivery, increase quality and reduce risks in your development and deployment pipeline.

Here's how:

  1. Highlighting just the lines of code that have changed increases the efficiency and effectiveness of reviewing each commit, increasing the ability to find and collaboratively discuss coding defects.
  2. A code review that presents both the highlighted code changes AND any continuous inspection findings optimizes your inspection rate and time on every commit.
  3. Providing the ability to collaborate with the developer in reviewing while not forcing a pace that is uncomfortable to developers or reviewers encourages engagement and focus while allowing any necessary breaks for a task over a period of time can greatly improve quality of work.
  4. Incorporating a code review checklist enables teams to decide how you will measure the effectiveness of peer review and name a number of tangible goals. Checklists can be the most effective way to eliminate frequently missed steps and avoid the challenges of standardizing and avoiding omissions.
  5. Conducting the peer review on each commit, together with any code annotations, guides the reviewer through the changes in sequence, proving insight into the reasons behind code modification and insights into any inspection findings.
  6. Embracing the "shift left" feedback and results from continuous inspection optimizes your code review process beyond your wildest dreams, establishing an automated process for fixing defects and resolving inspection findings.

I urge all Dimensions CM customers to upgrade to our latest release 14.3.3 and adopt and leverage peer review and continuous inspection to create a positive review culture and make code review a habit.

As development teams and groups, we should all be creating an environment in which friends don't let friends commit "unreviewed" code to the mainline.




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New course: Dimensions CM 320 Advanced Administration and Configuration

New course: Dimensions CM 320 Advanced Administration and Configuration


Introducing a brand new e-learning course, based on the latest cutting edge technologies in Dimensions CM 14.3. The course is recommend for experienced users who have participated in the CM200 and CM300 courses.
Course Goal
To provide a familiarity with the more advanced capabilities of configuring Dimensions CM.
The course is self-paced and takes about 4 hours to complete. Progress is bookmarked automatically, allowing the student to complete the course in multiple sessions.

Course Objectives 

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Understand three major performance degraders and how to address them
- Describe Continuous Integration plus Continuous Inspection and its benefits
- Describe CM Build, plus alternatives: Dm_make, Maven, Jenkins
- Understand the two Jenkins CI integration options available
- Describe an overview of API offerings, including typical usage scenarios
- Understand report concepts, reporting options, published views
- Understand users inbox notifications
- Describe email notification event
- Describe a remote job and the templater
- Understand the job scheduler
- Understand what the Java API can achieve
- Describe how to access the Java API documentation (Javadoc)
- Understand the Eclipse Plugin and what it achieves
- Describe the Eclipse plugin functionality
- Complete wrap-up module including quiz

Course Content

The following modules are covered:

1. Performance tuning
2. Build Automation
3. Continuous Integration
4. Event Triggers and APIs
5. Reports
6. Mail notification
7. Remote jobs, scheduling and deployment scripts
8. Java API
9. Eclipse plugin
10. Glossary and Quiz
 Course can be accessed from the eLearning site.
 Contact: education@serena.com for more details.

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