Introducing Dimensions CM Git Client and Git Extensions

You know how to use Git and want quickly move to Dimensions CM?

Do you work on multiple projects some of which use Git and some use Dimensions CM?

Do you use an IDE that doesn’t integrate with Dimensions CM?

I have good news for you. Dimensions CM team has recently released Dimensions CM Git Client and Git Client Extensions for the most popular IDEs.

What is Dimensions CM Git Client? It’s a software installed on top of a standard Git, and it allows you to clone sources from Dimensions CM repository and synchronize changes back to Dimensions while still working with local Git repository. Every commit becomes a changeset in Dimensions, you may still use Dimensions requests, reviews and pull requests. Git Client is available on Windows, Linux and MacOS. The download link requires a login, but don’t hesitate to create an account and download – it’s free of charge.

What about Git Client Extensions for IDEs? Git Client extensions simplify clone, provide access to Dimensions requests, reviews and Micro Focus Pulse, and work together with Git Client to provide the best user experience in your favorite IDE. Extensions are available for IntelliJ-IDEA-based IDEs, Eclipse, Visual Studio and VS Code. IntelliJ plugin is available for download from the plugins repository, refer to SupportLine site to find other plugins. They’re also free of charge.

How does it work? It’s easy: Run Git bash, type
> git clone dimensions://stl-ta-vcw12-8/cm_typical@dim12/qlarius/mainline_vs_str/
Cloning into 'mainline_vs_str'...
done.

Now sources from Dimensions are stored in a fully-functional Git repository. The URL is a source code locator in the remote Dimensions repository, its syntax is:

dimensions://server/db_name@db_connection/product/stream

For the first time it’ll ask you to enter credentials to connect to remote server. It is recommended to use Git Credential Manager to store passwords securely.

Let’s do the same in VS Code:

View > Command Palette… > Git: Clone

URL: dimensions://stl-ta-vcw12-8/cm_typical@dim12/qlarius/mainline_vs_str/

Or better:

View > Command Palette… > Dimensions: Clone

Connection string: dimensions://stl-ta-vcw12-8/cm_typical@dim12/qlarius/mainline_vs_str

Now pick stream to clone, then pick path > Select > Open

Voila! The repository is cloned and opened in VS Code

How to synchronize?

It’s the same as you usually do for Git, commit and push:

> git add -A && git commit -m "Making changes"
> git push

If you wish to use a request:

> git add -A && git commit -m "Making changes with a request [qlarius_cr_35]"
> git push

Note the request ID in square brackets [qlarius_cr_35] - this instructs Git client that you want to relate a request to a commit. When the changes are synchronized to Dimensions this commit becomes a changeset with request QLARIUS_CR_35.

 Run git pull to update changes from Dimensions repository. Every Dimensions changeset becomes a commit in your local Git repository.

 From VS Code it’s even simpler:

 Go to View > SCM

 Note that there’s Dimensions Request section > Press Set Default Request > Pick the request from your inbox > The request is added to the commit message

Now review and stage the changes, add a comment and hit Commit. Press Synchronize Changes at the status bar to synchronize with a remote repository.

To open the request in Pulse select:

View > Command Palette… > Dimensions: Open Request

The Pulse request page will be opened in a browser window. You can view request summary, action the request to a new state or update request attributes.

Try out the Dimensions CM Git Client and Git extensions for IDEs. Also check our Documentation Center: for the Git Client and for Git extensions.

 

 

 

 

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Parallel Development Using Dimensions CM

Streams

The recommended way of doing the parallel development in Dimensions CM is to use streams. Streams represent branches of development. They contain files and folders, keep track of their revisions, history and pedigree.

Different teams may use separate streams for parallel development. A stream may be created based on a mainline stream or project and merged to it later.

You can work with streams using the command line, in the desktop and web clients, the Windows Explorer or any of the IDE integrations.

Topic Streams

Topic streams are private development branches by default only visible to the originator. With topic streams you can:

  • Isolate work from an existing public stream
  • Hide the changes until they are ready to be merged back into a public stream
  • Create a backup of your local changes in the repository when you need to switch to other task. This is called shelving
  • Use pull requests to automatically integrate changes to the parent stream

 Projects

Projects may also represent a branch of development. Unlike streams they employ the exclusive lock model, where developers request write access for a file before making changes. Projects are more suitable for: managing non-software assets or large binary files, work in a regulated environment or for using remote replication.

Different people may need to work on the same files for different purposes. In this case, projects use version branches to separate concurrent revisions of the same file, and those revisions need to be consolidated (merged) on a file level.

Stream Relationships

  • Items. The stream contains a list of item revisions, it owns items
  •           Requests. By default any created request is related to a stream, but it may be not related to a stream. The requests may be listed in a stream inbox or catalog view and used for delivering changes. A stream may be configured to always require a request for delivering changes
  •           Other streams/projects. The stream may be based on another stream or a project or be parent to a child stream.
  •           Baselines. Baselines are snapshots of a stream state at a particular time. Baselines are created based on a stream or may be used by a stream.

 Parallel Development

Streams enable interactive update-modify-deliver-merge process for developers.

  •          Use Update to get content from the remote repository to a local work area
  •          Make local changes, build and test
  •          Use Deliver to commit changes to a repository
    •         Streams maintain the single line of descent for item revisions, this ensures that files in the repository don’t have revisions with conflicting content
    •         Developers don’t obtain an exclusive lock for files, and that allows to work on the same files in parallel
  •          Use Merge to reintegrate the changes between the development branches. 
    •      Interactive merge allows to resolve any conflicting content
    •      Pull requests automate merging from a topic stream to a parent stream

 

 

 

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What's new in Visual Studio Integration in 14.5

Topic Streams and Pull Requests

Topic Streams are great when you want to make isolated changes, experiment and re-integrate them later into your mainline stream. They work together with Pull Requests – a type of review that allows to evaluate a set of changes and orchestrate their automatic integration into the target stream.

From Visual Studio integration you can create a topic stream with New > Topic Stream command:

When creating a new topic stream you can choose an option to reuse your existing solution work area by rehoming it. Rehome will convert your existing work area and align it with the new stream, it is faster than fetching to a clean work area.

After the topic stream is created you can access its pull request from the Dimensions Explorer:

Using the pull request you can review and approve the changes made in a topic stream. Depending on Dimensions Pulse settings, an automatic merge to the target stream may happen.

Pull requests are also accessible from the Reviews panel:

View enhancements

Baselines panel now has the same design as the requests panel:

Streams and Projects panel also updated, now it supports search and can show recent and favorite streams or projects:

 

Themes support for request properties:

Reorganized main and context menu commands for better usability, reviewed and updated toolbar and context menu icons:

 

 

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Featured

New Course: Dimensions CM 14.5 Essentials

New Course: Dimensions CM 14.5 Essentials

 

Micro Focus Education Services

 

 

 

 

May 1, 2019

New Course Announcement:

 

DCM240 – DCM 14.5 Essentials

 

Micro Focus Education is pleased to announce the release of its newest offering within the ADM portfolio.

·         Developed with Micro Focus ART

·         Self-paced, with tracking and graded exam

·         Interactive software simulations with voice-over and closed captioning

·         Online resources include exercise scenarios and process app workflows

·          For more information access the Course outline or register HERE

 

 

Training Type:

Digital Learning

Duration:

3 hours

Audience:

This course is recommended for Dimensions CM (DCM) users and administrators.

Description:

This course provides the concepts and skills to work with major new themes and functions in DCM 14.5, Topic Streams, Shelves, Pulse Agents. It includes standard workflows descriptions and best practice. This course covers the following areas: Topic Streams, Pull Requests, Rebasing, Rehoming, Code Reviews, Peer Reviews, Basic and Advanced workflows, Pulse Agents, Agent Capabilities, Agent variables.

Learning Path:

Dimensions CM offers a comprehensive and integrated platform to manage, change, versions, builds, deployment, process for both waterfall and agile development methodologies.

  • DCM 100 ‒ DCM Essentials
  • DCM 120 – DCM Admin Essentials
  • DCM 200 ‒ Dimensions CM for Developers
  • DCM 240 ‒ Dimensions CM 14.5 Essentials
  • DCM 300 – Dimensions CM for Administrators
  • DCM 320 -  DCM advanced administration and configuration

Registration URL:

https://inter.viewcentral.com/events/cust/catalog.aspx?cid=microfocus&event_id=1894&pid=1

 

DCM240 – Modules and Learning Objectives

Modules

Objectives

Module 1: Basic Topic Streams

·         Describe Topic Streams

·         Understand Pull Requests

·         Know what a rebase of a stream accomplishes

·         Know what a rehoming of a work area accomplishes

·         Follow a basic topic stream workflow

Module 2: Advanced Topic Streams and shelving

·         Describe Shelves

·         Consider use cases for shelves

·         Understand code reviews

·         Describe how pull requests implement code reviews

·         Understand how topic streams and shelving work together

·         Explain conflicting and non-conflicting merge strategies

·         Follow an advanced topic stream and shelving workflow

Module 3: Pulse Agents

·         Describe Pulse Agents

·         Install a Pulse agent

·         Connect the agent to the server

·         Describe capabilities and how they can be used with Agents and Chains

·         Describe variables and how they can be used with Agents and Chains

·         Configure a Chain to run on a specific Pulse agent

·         Execute the Chain on a Pulse agent

 

For more information access the Course outline or register HERE

 

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What’s new in Visual Studio integration in 14.4

In 14.4 release Visual Studio integration has seen a lot of improvement. The focus of the changes was improving usability, discoverability and modernizing the look.

Redesigned Dimensions Explorer

We’ve made significant investment into updating the look and usability of Dimensions Explorer, previously known as Serena Explorer. It’s a single place where you can read current solution state, access views and operations. It eliminates ambiguity and clearly displays current solution context.

Often used as a starting point to begin work, Dimensions Explorer provides hints and informs about next steps:

    

Themes Support

Themes are available in Visual Studio 2012 and newer, and Visual Studio integration views now react to theme changes on the fly.

Light theme

Blue theme

Dark theme

Integrated Peer Review Process

With Dimensions CM Pulse, peer review process is very easy. It is a powerful tool to review changes, make comments, view code annotations and collaborate. It is accessible from Visual Studio Integration with Reviews panel. You can switch between different display modes and work with reviews inside the IDE.

 

Reviews panel

Doing code review:

Repository Browser

Ever wanted to view repository structure? Easy to do with Repository Browser view. Navigate folders, view file content, and see who made the changes.

Repository browser

Better Requests View

Completely redesigned Requests view displays requests in a usable, easy to find way. Three view selectors allow switching between display modes. Type text in the search field to narrow down the list of requests. Search works for any of the visible columns. Its look and feel is consistent with Reviews panel, and it’s very easy to use.