Garry Womack

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I am Technical Director for North America Professional Services and have been with Serena since 1998 (17+ years). I work in our Professional Services team, support technological initiatives within our organization, and provide onsite and remote consulting services for many Serena products, primarily on Windows and UNIX platforms.

I have a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Central Oklahoma. After college I worked as a software developer and taught Visual Basic part time at the university.

My background enables me to better understand customers' software development needs as well as extend and customize our products using advanced techniques.

Aliases are not only for Spies

It is common in small shops for people to use a server's real name to access an application, for example: http://slvdc01/tmtrack/tmtrack.dll.

This is simple and easy, but eventually you will upgrade your application and move it to a new server, then the URL for users will change, links on your intranet page have to be updated, and inevitably users will get confused and frustrated. 

Instead, use a friendly alias that users can remember. Example:

Beyond being more resilient to changing server names, this has the added benefit of making it easier to secure with certificates, scalable, and even to provide easier access over the internet if desired. If your product (like SBM) is connected to by other integrated systems, an alias also reduces the need to update those systems as your implementation grows.

Recent Comments
Garry Womack
Hi Keith. While it can be possible, this is typically an area where the actual server name is used. There are a number of factors ... Read More
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 2:02 AM
Keith Terwilliger
Good info Garry, thanks.One question that I was asked about last week by our security team was the use of the server names in the ... Read More
Monday, 27 April 2015 1:01 PM
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Maximize your ROI when using Professional Services

Over the 17 years I have been providing consulting through our Professional Services team, I have identified a few easy tips for saving time and money as well as ensuring a successful investment.

Be Prepared

Work with Serena to understand any prerequisites which need to be satisfied before starting the Services. This includes the following:

  • Identifying internal stakeholders, sponsors, and supporting staff - without their involvement and support there cannot be success.
  • Providing physical and network access for the Serena staff as appropriate
  • Procuring servers with the correct OS version for the products being implemented.
  • Installing and configuring any prerequisite software
  • Procuring databases on a supported RDBMS with any appropriate character sets or other configuration details as needed.
  • Establishing any networking elements needed in advance. This includes DNS aliases, firewall rules, VIPs, WIPs, and Load Balancers.
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How to Manage Customizations to Serena Products

If you have a need to customize Serena products beyond standard configuration changes, please keep reading.

Who Should Version Changes

Anyone choosing to modify the files or database content provided as part of our installation process should consider themselves an extension of our development team performing concurrent development. This can be a large task to take on and you risk putting yourself in an unsupported position - Serena Professional Services are highly recommended. Any team member helping to develop your customizations should have access to a common version control repository.

Recent Comments
David Goodale
Garry, Would you describe more on versioning key database content? What sort of tools would you use for preserving database cont... Read More
Wednesday, 08 April 2015 10:10 PM
Garry Womack
Most of the database content to which I am referring can be persisted to disk as a file (an XML file or a SQL script) and then ver... Read More
Thursday, 09 April 2015 12:12 AM
Rose Wellman
Great suggestions. I always said to put CM under CM for Dimensions customers. Meaning put Dimensions CM changes under the control ... Read More
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 4:04 AM
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Using Chrome Developer Tools (aka DevTools)

As a developer I often find myself needing to do one or more of the following:

  • Debug JavaScript in a web browser dynamically with breakpoints and view local variables without having to resort to using "alert()"
  • Finding the correct identifier for a particular html object on a web page for use with JQuery operations
  • Determine what is causing a web page to load slowly
  • See the http requests generated from a web page and their responses from the server, complete with headers and cookies.
Recent Comments
Lakshmi Patel
Excellent article!
Sunday, 12 April 2015 8:08 PM
David Goodale
Good post. One of my most used features on support is seeing the HTTP requests and responses. It is especially helpful in identi... Read More
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 4:04 AM
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Using to figure out how things work from the inside out

Have you ever wondered what a program is doing when it is running? Perhaps what files it is reading or what registry entries it is using? Or maybe you would like to explorer your inner hacker. Microsoft acquired a set of tools from which allows you to explore many aspects of applications running on a Windows operating system. If you are used to UNIX, similar tools would be truss, strace, and top among others.

These tools are very common and FREE! Only download them from Microsoft's website (alternatively from which will redirect to to ensure they are safe and virus-free. Many server administrators already have them installed on servers or somewhere on the network. Most of these tools have a simple footprint which allows them to be unzipped and used without a formal installation process.

While there are numerous utilities available in their suite, this article focuses on the two I use most often when doing development and integration work. The two listed here are graphical applications, but there are many for use from a command line with textual user interfaces.

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Best Practices for Managing Field Privileges and Ordering

Have you ever felt that you spend a lot of time managing the field privileges and orderings for workflows and transitions within SBM?

There could be several reasons including:

  • You upgraded from TeamTrack and still manage field visibility in a similar way.
  • You have a primary table that supports multiple workflows which do not share the same fields.
  • You do not use custom forms for states and/or transitions.

The following recommendations will reduce the time it takes for you to maintain your SBM Process Apps. These recommendations basically all strive to make the fewest changes to your system in order to achieve the presentation needed for your users. An added benefit is that in the end your user experience will be much more consistent as well.

Recent Comments
David Sheaffe
Great post. The situations in your Recommendations 2 & 3 are something that I always have an issue with how best ot manage.
Sunday, 29 March 2015 9:09 PM
David Goodale
Great topic and well-organized. I would add in the case of section 3 to be careful when creating multiple groups of fields where ... Read More
Monday, 30 March 2015 4:04 AM
Curtis LaPrise
Good Article, very useful and a MUST READ for new SBM designers.
Friday, 04 September 2015 4:04 PM
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SQL Reporting on the SBM Database

Have you ever had the need to query information from SBM's Application Engine database directly? Perhaps you want to report on how the system is configured, or perhaps you need to report on information in ways not available through the user interfaces.

Recent comment in this post
David Sheaffe
While note for everyone, getting to know that database structure has been invaluable in doing investigations when we have an issue... Read More
Thursday, 09 April 2015 10:10 PM
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