Time to join the party: Change Management and Continuous Integration…with CA SCM?

I, like many RAJPs out there, suffer from all kinds of inferiority complexes.  I see other developers doing things like “Unit Testing” and sending there applications to something called  “QA” and I think  “Hey!  Why wasn’t I invited to this party?  I want to play with the big boys, too!”    Well, I’m trying to get into this unit testing habit…slowly.  And we now have a QA specialist on our team.  And although we do something resembling version control, I’m seeing that there’s another party going on that I never bothered to attend.  Sure, I may stand on the wall and move a little to the music from time to time, but I’ve never truly jumped out onto the dance floor and busted out the white-man’s overbite while pumping both fists into the air in front of me like a true Change Management/Continuous Integration stud!

So, I’m serious about getting serious with CM and CI, but I have a lot to learn.  I’ve been involved with a product called CA SCM (CA Software Change Manager…formerly Harvest) for over 7 years now I’m still standing on the wall with it.   Well, now I’m ready to boogey, but how?

During a super training class on Hibernate, our instructor, Brian Sam-Bodden (author of Enterprise Java Development on a Budget and Beginning POJOs:  Spring, Hibernate, JBoss, and Tapestry), turned our team onto the idea of Continuous Integration.  He laid out a beautiful picture with 3 Sun Solaris servers, Cruise Control, SVN, Maven, MyEclipse, and Glassfish.  All open-source (which I like).  I took the plan to my CA SCM admin and he said, “That’s pretty cool, but did you know CA SCM can do all that?”

Can you believe this guy? GEEZ!  What a buzz kill!  What a killjoy!  He just rained all over our little CM/CI parade.

See, we think  of CA SCM as like our old junker that we drive on back roads so that no one will see.  We don’t wash it.   It still plays cassette tapes.  It’s backseat floorboards are littered with perfectly preserved McDonald’s french fries from the previous millennium.  Why would we want to do something new and cool with it?  I politely nodded to the kindly old admin and said, “Thanks, buddy.  We’ll take that into consideration.”  (By the way, our admin would take offense to being called kindly OR old…buy just roll with it.  It makes a better story.)

Sure, we want to go to the party, but not with an old proprietary geezer like CA SCM!  But then I went to Las Vegas for the CA World Conference and spent a week with CA SCM r12…and that old geezer can rock with the best of them.  In fact, I’m willing to jump out onto the dance floor and bust out the white-man’s overbite while pumping both fists into the air in front of me…like a CM/CI stud!

Me a the CA World conference after one too many sessions on Change Management
Me a the CA World conference after one too many sessions on Change Management

I will spend the next month or two blogging the challenges and triumphs of using CA SCM r12 with Sun Solaris, Glassfish, MyEclipse, and Ant (or possibly Maven or possibly OpenMake Meister) to ahieve CM and CI on our next project.  Can CA SCM stand up to the likes of SVN/Cruise Control?  Will I lose all of my open source friends in the process?  I’ll be sure to let you know.

Get your back up off the wall, RAJPs!  Let’s end this year with a bang!


  1. I’ve often wondered why developers think that just because it comes from open source it is better. Open source does offer early glimpses at trends, but it is sometimes the commerical products that take the open source technology and then really puts it to work. I think that R12 is a good example of this with its use of the eclipse RCP or how OpenMake Meister leverages Ant in its build services.

    Glad to see you are jumping in with both feet on the dance floor. Sometimes you’ve got to stop following the two step and come up with a rhythm of your own. I believe you will be pleasently surprised to see what CA SCM and Meister can do for streamlining your Java EE app dev and supporting your continuous integration process.

  2. Nice to hear from OpenMake. You guys rocked the CA World conference this year. My CA SCM Admin and I are in discussion over Meister. I want to start by assuming the role of Build Meister with this project so that I can say, “Hey! We have a problem here that Meister solves. Let’s buy it.”

    I find it’s helpful to encounter the problem first.

    Concerning open source. This is like politics and religion to folks. Very personal stuff. I personally, have benefited significantly from both open-source and proprietary technology. Truthfully, EVERYBODY has. Members of my team are unhappy with the idea of using CA SCM and Meister to manage configuration items and continuous integration.

    A common argument is “Everyone else is using Cruise Control and SVN.”

    My answer, “Hey. Everybody is driving Honda Civics and Nissan Altimas out there. They’re cheap and dependable. But if you had the choice to drive a BMW or Mercedes, wouldn’t you?” Our division pays good money for CA SCM. I don’t think our division manager would look favorably upon us dumping it for a free product without first giving what we already have a try.

  3. Please join the group ‘ CA SCM (Software Change Manager) formerly Harvest’ in LinkedIn. You can post your SCM related questions there and get them answered.

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