1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on Oct 12, 2018 1:34 PM by Joe Goldberg

    Can we move this community into the 21st century?

    Robert Stinnett

      Major frustration point, that I have brought up for years at BMC Exchange, local user groups, anyone at BMC who visits, R&D -- you name it.  Seems like "lots of people agree", but nothing is getting done about it. 

       

      First, we need a better way of getting ideas and enhancement requests out there.  About 3 years ago now at the last big BMC Exchange event, they did this huge wall of post-it notes with stickies for all BMC products.  For Control-M alone we probably had at least 100 stickies up on that thing.  People would come by, move them up or down (think: voting) and add new ones.  It was wonderful - it was direct feedback from real customers about what we wanted! 

       

      Today, we still have to type in these god-awful RFE forms that are about as useful as a TPS Report.  They go into some invisible, silent filing cabinet somewhere that nobody else sees.  Years go by, and you don't hear any feedback.  Why in the world can't we get a digital sticky board so people can start sharing/posting ideas and enhancements like we had at Exchange all those years ago?  Even this Ideation thing -- it hasn't made it to Control-M yet.  WHY!?

       

      Second, we need a community Slack channel for customers to join.  Chef does this, and its a great success.  Sometimes we just want to share information or ask "Hey, has anyone ran into this before?" and just need a one-line answer.  The communities site is nice, but just isn't interactive or real time.  We need something more modern and more universally accepted.

       

      Third, there has got to be a better way to share content with others.  Take for instance the new jobsascode.io website -- I love it!  But then you go to controlm.github.io and want to contribute something and you are redirected to automation-api-getting-started and then out of nowhere you find another automation-api-community-solutions.  It's like a wild goose chase - and even the support folks are telling us "Well, we never heard of that community-solutions one either!"

       

      Finally, there is no doubt that Jobs as Code is huge -- and kudos on the new jobsascode.io website.  However, you need to really get with the community contributions and testing of what you are releasing.  The latest OVA release for workbench doesn't work (has a port error, verified by support), and the one that is linked in the API docs takes you to an older OVA that is running the 9.0.5 release of the CLI, instead of the 9.18.100.  So pretty much out of date and doesn't match the documentation.  Stuff like this shouldn't happen, and when it does we need a way for the community to jump in and get pull requests or whatever else out there to get it fixed ASAP!

       

      Hopefully this post makes it farther than my feedback over the years that up until now really hasn't seen the light of day.  Not asking that we move a mountain here, but let's at least rush into this new era of workload automation using modern tool sets and making sure we are collaborating the best we can to fully embrace the whole DevOps mentality.

       

      Robert

        • 1. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
          Kai Nicholson

          Couldn't agree more around feature requests..  I understand the need for an RFE if it's something very specific to a particular use case - but overall it ends up stymieing suggestions that could improve the products as well as hiding the fact that multiple people may be in exactly the same situation and need the same thing as you.

           

          Numerous times I've just given up because the thought of filling out an RFE gives me PTSD.

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          • 2. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
            Paul Robins

            Hi Robert, I completely agree about RFEs. They disappear into a black hole and I don't think our account managers even see them.

            In this Communities forum we have the ability to post Ideas which community members should be able to vote and comment on. I've never tried it. Do you think if we all pulled together and used this, and related each idea to an RFE\CAR number, that this would be useful?

            I can dig up my last RFE and post it as an Idea to test the concept...

            Cheers,

            Paul.

            2 of 2 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
              Vishnu Nair

              Friends, unfortunately ideas are not enabled for Control-M community yet (I hear it was the business decision taken long back) Ref: Ideas FAQ . What I can do for now is make your voice heard.

               

              FYI- Matt Laurenceau, Kelsey Adams McRae, Criss Scruggs, Amit Cohen .

              • 4. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
                Mark Francome

                Well apparently there are now 100 people working on developing Control-M alone, so we should be seeing some acceleration in dealing with this. However they would also be working on some major overhauls on the nuts & bolts side of things (automating the automation tool is a long road).

                 

                I remember being excited about submitting RFEs, but I have forgotten the last one that went anywhere. And some of the stuff that makes it into new releases does make you wonder - I ran into a Control-M Server v9.0.00 utility the other day that still shouts to ECS (as opposed to EM), which is kind of scary (as is the MFT bug that required 9.105).

                 

                Having said all that, the very nature of Control-M means we always have an element of "testing in the field" and we have moved a long way (version 6.0, anyone?).

                • 5. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
                  Joe Goldberg

                  Hi Robert, a very big thank you for your continuing passionate involvement in this community, for your kind words about jobsascode.io and most of all for your unvarnished candor.  I want to unreservedly say the points you raise are 100% fair.  I am taking your post as a personal call-to-action to reach out to other groups within our product line and to give you a direct response to each of the points you raised. Please consider me your direct contact for updates and status and expect to hear from other stakeholders as we work on these issues

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                  • 6. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
                    Robert Stinnett

                    Mark Francome  - I heard about the increase in developers as well, and that is great.  But the next question I am going to ask is "What are they working on?"  because that is more important than how many there are.  This ties directly back to the lack of visibility into enhancement requests out there.  They could be developing an awesome GadgetXYZ, while 99% of the community out there is dying just to get GizmoABC.

                     

                    Honestly, after using this product now for close to 20 years (yikes!) I think in all that time I heard one time any feedback on an RFE.  I just simply stopped putitng them in -- why bother?  Was going into a black hole anyway.  Nowadays I just hunt down email addresses of people I know working on Control-M at BMC and pester them, or pester the support people enough to make them send in a request (but to be honest, they tell me the same thing - visibility into those requests and priority of them is hard to tell at best).

                     

                    We have moved a long way, for sure, but things are changing so rapidly nowadays, and everyone is screaming Automation.  It's vitality important to be working on the the things that the user base wants, as well as providing methods for the user base to connect and share effectively and efficiently.

                     

                    I said this a million times - you want to get someone to use your product?  They better be able to find out everything they need to know via a Google search about it.

                    • 7. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
                      Robert Stinnett

                      Vishnu Nair - Sounds like the decision was made in a vacuum back then and needs to be re-evaluated if you ask me.  That's probably the #1 thing you can do for us.

                      • 8. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
                        Robert Stinnett

                        Here's hoping for the best, Joe Goldberg.  With the rapid changes we are undergoing nowadays, and with collaboration being key, items like this become critical for success.  I probably do more in 1 month now in terms of pushing the boundaries of this tool than I used to do in a year.

                         

                        Here's one more to add to the list, while we are at it:  You can't contribute a fork/branch to any of the repos on github.  Tried to push up some examples I wrote to help others, and both the repos gave me a 403 error.  I see no reason that public contributions can't be turned on -- not like we are trying to push to the master branch.  This is going to be one of those things that if JobsasCode is going to thrive is going to be a must-have.

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                        • 9. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
                          Rolf Pfister

                          fully agree with Robert - saying this as a 15+ year Control-M consultant ..

                          2 of 2 people found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
                            Rick Westbrock

                            I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who feels that the RFE process is cumbersome at best. I have only been using the product for three years but I too have already given up on filling out any RFEs, primarily because one of the questions is how many users does it affect and we are a relatively small shop so I felt that if my answer was 20 then my request would likely be ignored.

                             

                            I am also a Remedy developer and I think the way that Ideas are implemented here on Communities is pretty good as it allows customers to see what features other customers are interested in at vote up ones they agree with. It also allows discussion as sometimes the original poster of an idea might be on the right track but maybe didn't phrase it the best way and community feedback can be very valuable there.

                             

                            On the other hand I have seen many Remedy ideas stagnate for many years despite hundreds of upvotes so the platform is only half the battle, BMC must also be good about responding to ideas.

                             

                            Matt Laurenceau I would love to hear you chime in here as I know you are a great advocate for customers.

                            • 11. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
                              Matt Laurenceau

                              Rick, all, I'm all for ideas to be added to Control-M community, giving more opportunities for Customers to succeed with each other.

                              I'm talking to Product leadership team (so that we manage priorities on what's next for the Control-M Community: low hanging fruits, etc.)

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                              • 12. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
                                Robert Stinnett

                                Here is a good example of what I am talking about, and why it is vitally important to get a more direct connect between customers and BMC developers and product management. 

                                 

                                In the previous release (before 9.18) of Automation API you could set a quantitative resource to zero via the API and CLI (ctm run resource::update) .  This was changed, without documentation or notice, in the latest release.  So now when you issue the exact same command you get this back

                                  "errors": [

                                    {

                                      "message": "Resource Max  value must be between 1 and 9999."

                                    }

                                We entered a support ticket and were told it does appear to have changed, and they will look at fixing it "in the next release".

                                 

                                REALLY?  We have automation designed around this that no longer works.  So we had to spend over a week trying to find a work around, and still haven't fixed 100% of it.  This has caused us unnecessary work  because a feature was changed without rhyme or reason.  This is an example of where integration testing should have caught a change like this immediately. 

                                 

                                Telling a customer that  it might be fixed "in the next release" is a slap in the face and does nothing but give Control-M a bad name.  In my opinion when things like this change an immediate change needs to be expedited to fix it. 

                                 

                                Robert

                                4 of 4 people found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
                                  Matt Laurenceau

                                  Thanks Robert for sharing this "perceived regression" example (you know I don't understand tech details).

                                   

                                  Making sure that Guy Eden and Criss Scruggs are in the loop.

                                  • 14. Re: Can we move this community into the 21st century?
                                    Rolf Pfister

                                    good example to show how far away Control-M is currently from the customer...

                                    i have an other (minor) one:

                                    I hear my customer shouting (just switched to V9.0.18) about the Planning Domain Job Def Panel for the Variables. With V8 we entered the Variable Value directly on the main job panel - with a lot of space and sizeable columns - just fine.

                                    With V9.0.18 we are forced to carefully select the wanted line and on following edit a funny small  window with a value input field of 20 characters is presented.

                                    That window is not sizeable and responsive - (of course as well ?), Makes fun if one has to change more then one job ....

                                     

                                    For sure not a very important one - i could list dozends of higher prio and i dont want to start a "bug" list here but i have stopped to fill RFE's as well because of the current customer relation policy we are seeing.

                                    2 of 2 people found this helpful
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