Merant, a provider of software and services that deliver flexible control of code, content and other business-critical assets, announced a powerful new version of Dimensions, a comprehensive change management platform. The latest version, Dimensions 8, delivers dramatically improved usability and administration, customizable process models, and a next-generation, fully integrated and automated build solution.

Dimensions provides – in a single change management framework – comprehensive process control, versioning, baseline management, issue management, release management, next-generation build management and workflow management. Ideal for collaborative team environments and distributed groups, Dimensions can be rapidly implemented, ensuring the protection and management of all enterprise assets.

Featuring process control that can be easily customized to fit agile or traditional methodologies, or modeled on specific needs, Dimensions quickly simplifies change management across an entire organization. Leveraging the Dimensions platform, organizations can reduce costs, increase productivity, and better manage their technology initiatives to meet business objectives and regulatory or audit requirements.

Dimensions 8 delivers an impressive array of new features that enhance its overall flexibility, usability and performance, including a single, enterprise- wide repository, database independence, and native IDE support. Other new or improved capabilities are client usability, enhanced administration tools, seamless integration with Merant’s industry standard process asset library, and a comprehensive build capability.

Already designed to adapt quickly to existing infrastructure, the latest release of Dimensions is more flexible than ever. Dimensions 8 delivers full support for multiple databases including IBM’s DB2 Universal Database for UNIX, Windows and Linux, Oracle 8i and 9i, and even custom Oracle databases. A summer 2003 release of Dimensions will support Microsoft SQL Server 2000, freeing organizations to use the tools and technologies best suited to their needs.

Dimensions 8 is also the first product in the industry to capture – within a single repository – all meta-data associated with electronic assets, processes, issues and relationships. By ensuring that all assets are contained in this repository, Dimensions gives customers unprecedented power and flexibility for accessing and managing assets. Authorized users can view and manage assets, processes and issues from anywhere in the organization, at any time, with a uniform user experience. This also ensures the most comprehensive impact analysis of changes to products, programs and infrastructure, reducing the burden on service organizations and minimizing the risk of negative effects on ROI and revenue.

Moreover, Dimensions 8 seamlessly integrates with popular third-party technologies, such as Mercury Interactive’s test management software, TestDirector 7.6, and Telelogic DOORS, a multi-platform, enterprise-wide system for ensuring a project’s compliance to specified requirements and standards. As a result, Dimensions not only automates communication, collaboration and coordination across development and QA groups, it also offers a closed-loop solution for seamless, requirements-driven development. This dramatically enhances productivity, software quality and reliability, and even boosts end-user acceptance.

Dimensions 8 offers native integrated development environment (IDE) support, enabling simplified issue, version and process management from within all leading IDE environments, including Visual Studio .NET 2003. Tight integration with Merant Build, Merant’s new, next-generation solution for build management, ensures that engineers can easily initiate automated builds locally or remotely through the Web interface when working from known baseline configurations. And, since Dimensions automatically maintains and manages all dependencies as it captures and stores the subsequent bill of materials, it provides superior impact analysis and reduces the expense and risk associated with rebuilds.

Dimensions 8 also features powerful new administrative tools, including an intuitive, Web-based administrative console and a graphical lifecycle designer. Authentication against the LDAP server further simplifies tool administration, and support for industry-standard 128-bit encryption ensures all network traffic is secure inside and outside the firewall.

Merant has also significantly enhanced Dimensions’ overall ease of use, with a specific focus on meeting the needs of developers. The desktop client has been redesigned to be similar in appearance to Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003, improving productivity, and is easily customized to suit individual preferences. Dimensions’ web client has been extended to support additional functionality, and now delivers improved performance across a WAN. The ability of organizations to deploy an intuitive, functionally rich and secure web client broadens access across the enterprise, without incurring administrative costs.

Dimensions 8 also includes a more robust process engine that quickly implements – and then enforces – business processes to automate and optimize activities throughout the development lifecycle. This powerful process engine supports a wide range of industry standard methodologies, processes and best practices, and integrates seamlessly with Merant’s industry standard process asset library. As a result, customers can easily leverage CMM, CMMI, CMII, FDA, ITIL, SEI CMM, ISO 12207, PMBoK and the IEEE standards.

In addition, Dimensions 8’s process engine offers full scripting capabilities so that organizations can capture and apply comprehensive version control and change management practices to processes, even across multiple databases.

Merant Build is the industry’s first fully integrated, automated solution for building software applications. Tightly integrated with Dimensions, it supports all leading integrated development environments (IDEs). Builds can be initiated from the ISPF, web client or command line for local and remote support, and there are pre-configured build types for C, C++, JAVA, COBOL, PL/I, CICS and DB2. Powerful logging and reporting capabilities offer visibility into the live status of builds, and full integration with Dimensions ensures that all dependencies are captured and stored to provide superior impact analysis and reduce rebuilds.

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