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Serena ChangeMan ZMF OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Serena ChangeMan ZMF is #6 ranked solution in top Software Configuration Management tools. IT Central Station users give Serena ChangeMan ZMF an average rating of 8 out of 10. Serena ChangeMan ZMF is most commonly compared to CA Endevor Software Change Manager:Serena ChangeMan ZMF vs CA Endevor Software Change Manager. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 33% of all views.
What is Serena ChangeMan ZMF?
Change management solutions that tackle the complexity of developing, deploying and maintaining software applications.

Serena ChangeMan ZMF is also known as ChangeMan ZMF.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Software Configuration Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Serena ChangeMan ZMF Customers
SPTS Technologies, Generali France, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (BBH), Kutxa-Vital-Banco Madrid, Space and Naval Warfare Information Technology Center (SPAWAR ITC)
Serena ChangeMan ZMF Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Serena ChangeMan ZMF pricing:
  • "It's on a yearly basis. I am not aware of any additional costs."

Serena ChangeMan ZMF Reviews

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JD
Compliance Manager at a hospitality company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
It simplifies things and has tight security but needs better technical support and a few enhancements

Pros and Cons

  • "We audit once a year for our ChangeMan access, accurate financial programs, and all of that. Auditors really love ChangeMan for how easy it is to get through and how tight the security is on it. Our internal auditors, external auditors, and SOX editors love this solution. We're in the healthcare business, so HIPAA regulations and all such things are a big deal, and this makes all that really simple."
  • "As such, there's nothing wrong with the product. It is great, but there are small things that can be better to make it much more friendly. The way you navigate through fields can be improved. If I'm going to stage a component over something that exists and that I've created in another library, and I want to pull it in and write it over what I've got there in my package, I've got to type in that data set name every time. That can be aggravating. It is not a big deal. The way things are sorted can also be improved. If you're doing a delete of a bunch of components, you can't sort those out by type or anything. Some things are just standard, and you can't look at them in a way that would be helpful."

What is our primary use case?

Mainframe developers are users of it. They create their JCO and programs. They do their own compiles and all that stuff. We also have distributed applications. They submit the JCO to our code migration group, and they build the dock line, the JCL, to run through a middle piece network of the stone branch. So, mainframe developers are hands-on users, but distributed developers are not.

How has it helped my organization?

We're going through and recompiling our top 100 programs by CPU usage by using the latest version of the COBOL compile. ChangeMan has made it really simple to identify those and get those compiled and tested to see what our return is and how much our savings are. It has been really good at that.

What is most valuable?

We audit once a year for our ChangeMan access, accurate financial programs, and all of that. Auditors really love ChangeMan for how easy it is to get through and how tight the security is on it. Our internal auditors, external auditors, and SOX editors love this solution. We're in the healthcare business, so HIPAA regulations and all such things are a big deal, and this makes all that really simple.

What needs improvement?

As such, there's nothing wrong with the product. It is great, but there are small things that can be better to make it much more friendly.

The way you navigate through fields can be improved. If I'm going to stage a component over something that exists and that I've created in another library, and I want to pull it in and write it over what I've got there in my package, I've got to type in that data set name every time. That can be aggravating. It is not a big deal. 

The way things are sorted can also be improved. If you're doing a delete of a bunch of components, you can't sort those out by type or anything. Some things are just standard, and you can't look at them in a way that would be helpful.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. We rarely, if ever, have any trouble with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We use it only for the mainframe developers. We don't use all the distributed tools that are available. From the aspect of mainframe work, it has been very stable. There's not a lot of growth there. All the growth has been on the distributed side. That's where all the new stuff is coming in, but we don't use that part of ChangeMan. We don't have any plans to increase its usage. We're just going to keep it as it is.

In terms of the number of users of this solution, we have developers, managers, product support, and QA. We also have CSCS folks, DBDO folks, and Focus folks who keep Focus separate. Then, of course, there are the code migration and change management people. Around 1,500 people have direct involvement with it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is not so good. To be perfectly honest, that's one of the reasons we were looking at other solutions. We're not really happy with their technical support or customer service.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

It was Pambelay. It was a half solution. It was an in-house written kind of tool.

How was the initial setup?

We've had it for 20 years. I started about a year or two before we got it. It was pretty involved and pretty complex. We didn't have a change management process for things like that. It was nowhere as formalized as this is. So, it was a big transition. It took us probably 18 months to get it fully integrated.

What about the implementation team?

We didn't use any outside consultants. We got help from Serena. Back then, we just used their conversion people, and, of course, we also had a developer going along with us. He wrote some manuals for other people at HCA to use and go through it.

We have two people to deploy and maintain ChangeMan. They're systems programmers.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's on a yearly basis. I am not aware of any additional costs.

What other advice do I have?

I tell people who are new to the product and who are starting to use it that instead of going through all different panels, there are multiple ways to do the same thing. Whether it's adding components to packages, staging them, or something else, you can do it all from the list option five once that package is created and it is at a good central location.

The processes are important. Don't ad hoc anything, and make sure you follow the rules because ChangeMan has a baseline. I can go out and update something in the production library, and it will be there, but I got to do it through ChangeMan. It has to see it happen. All this is very important.

I would rate Serena ChangeMan ZMF a seven out of ten. Customer support and technical support have dropped that score to seven.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
BL
Development Team Lead at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Very flexible with Johnny-on-the-spot tech support

Pros and Cons

  • "Scalability is great. It has absolutely met every need for us so far. We do have some concurrent development paths and we're able to flexibly assign variables. At the same time, our skeletons assemble where we want them to, so the scalability is very good."
  • "I would like to see them enable parallel development for online. It's available now for batch stuff on the mainframe. Jenkins, IBM, and Rocket all supposedly already have safe and workable version of Git for the mainframe. With that in mind, we need to know where our feature is."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for promoting and demoting to match our SDLC. So, things start off in development, we build it – whatever it is – and it moves to a testing region. We're trying to shift that left as part of our future state where it's automated regression. But right now it's, especially on the mainframe, it's mostly manual. We move it up to testing. If they're happy with it, it goes to integrated testing, which includes customer acceptance testing. After that, it's moved to QA where it is run for a certain period of time, depending upon different application requirements in an environment that very closely mimics production as close as we can get it. And then when it signed off there, ChangeMan handles everything except the actual move through the hole in the firewall.

Why it doesn't do that? I don't know. To me, it seems like it should be able to. We put it onto what we call an MFT server, which moves it to another server that's inside the DMZ for the mainframe application. 

On the distributed stuff, we run four different anti-virus suites against it, looking for vulnerabilities, penetrations, things like that. On the mainframe, I don't know that we do anything other than have a code to review with the Ops folks. 

What is most valuable?

I liked the fact that the skeleton design is very flexible and allows for concurrent development. We're currently talking to Serena ChangeMan about how to get to parallel development and whether or not they support it in a Git-style with branching. 

What needs improvement?

I would like to see them enable parallel development for online. It's available now for batch stuff on the mainframe. Jenkins, IBM, and Rocket all supposedly already have safe and workable version of Git for the mainframe. With that in mind, we need to know where our feature is. Unfortunately, as good as ChangeMan is, if we're listing downfalls, they should be talking to me about this. Not me having to go talk to them about it. Hopefully, they have this in the works and they are positioning their product for the future. That's just a straightforward comment. It really comes down to whether they are complacent or not. 

The other thing that should improve is cost. Git, even on the mainframe, a large part of the components "free". They're the way you set them up yourselves and they're self-sustaining and built into the infrastructure. You can't charge me for that. 

I gave ChangeMan an overall score of eight, but what could drive them to a nine is coming up with a way for all my code that belongs together to be tracked and moved together. Everything should move based upon the mainframe; it needs to be alerted and synchronized.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about 16 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a main prime app, so it's very stable. Would I say it exceeds my expectations? No, but that's because mainframes are a single point of failure; they have to be stable. And we've had no major outages that I'm aware of with the product. I never had any loss. We'd never lost code. That's important for source control management. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is great. It has absolutely met every need for us so far. We do have some concurrent development paths and we're able to flexibly assign variables. At the same time, our skeletons assemble where we want them to, so the scalability is very good. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never had any problems with their support, whether it was simple questions or complex questions. They've been Johnny-on-the-spot with the right answers.

How was the initial setup?

ChangeMan was very complex to set up. Its complexity is based around the fact that it's more flexible. It lets you do a little bit more than its competitors in slightly better ways and that's a good thing. 

At my previous job, it took us about 18 months to fully deploy ChangeMan from A to Z. 

What about the implementation team?

At my previous job, I was part of a team that deployed ChangeMan in-house. I highly recommend doing it yourself if you're going to be supporting it going forward. We did not have integrators because we wanted t come out the other end knowing ChangeMan fully. 

What other advice do I have?

My advice is: Take the time to learn it. It's very flexible and it will do what you want, so take the time to learn it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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