Parallel Development Using Dimensions CM


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 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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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


3 hours


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


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:


DCM240 – Modules and Learning 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.

Go from a request to a review:

Support for .dmignore files

New deliver wizard now supports specification of ignore rules via .dmignore files. Use context menu command to edit rules.


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Dimensions CM 2019 CABs Announced

Micro Focus is very happy to announce that we have secured the venues and dates for our 2019 Software Change and Configuration Management Customer Advisory Boards. This is a free event that we are hosting for our SCCM customers of AccuRev, StarTeam, and Dimensions CM.

For 2019 we are very pleased to announce that we will be holding the US CAB in Las Vegas. 

Please watch this space for updates.

Full details are noted below and please let myself, Jimmy and Arlene know if you want to secure your place and we will follow up with full logistics.