How has it helped my organization?
It has helped us to integrate version control with change management. That has helped us track the application flow across each of our environments, promotion from dev to our higher environments, to production. The tracking aspect of the tool is one of the primary benefits, with security. That helps us keep tabs on all of the promotions, and we are able to manage write approvals before it goes into production.
What is most valuable?
CA Harvest has been one of our primary version control tools. It has helped us map all of our applications into a version control environment, where we are able to map them, and help the code promotion across each environment, and we are able to deploy them in a safe manner.
What needs improvement?
One feature that we are looking for is traceability, and also merging. That is a little cumbersome right now. We have provided our feedback to their representatives so they can provide us a good merging capability next time.
One thing that I would like to improve is making the tool a little more user friendly. It takes a little bit of time to adjust to the tool because it's a little different than other version control tools out there in the market. But, it has its own benefits and own security, but that user experience, if they're going to improve it, that would be really great.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It has been a stable solution. We have more than 250 applications hosted, and it helps us keep them together in the same application. Because of the database involved, and because of the aspect of controlling the application, it has helped us keep the environment stable. Whenever we get a new patch, we are able to test it in our lower environment before we take it to production. So, Harvest has been a very stable tool for us.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have tested the scalability aspect, because we have grown from a small organization into such a large organization. We have onboarded applications which were not in Harvest before. We were using different version control tools before, like SVN and some other open-source tools. We were able to migrate those applications from those tools into Harvest, and scale all the applications in Harvest.
How are customer service and technical support?
Technical support has been really great. For all of our problems, we are able to reach out to them. The solutions have come back soon. They have been providing those solutions in patches so that we don't disrupt the entire application. We are able to test it and integrate it quickly. We have many challenges. We work with a lot of the teams. We are, of course, working together. It has been a one-team experience for us.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We had been using multiple solutions across our organization, but we wanted to bring in an enterprise solution, which would be common across all our applications. We were working with Endevor for our mainframe applications, and that's how we brought Harvest in. And it has been a great advantage to consolidate all our tools into this one solution.
How was the initial setup?
I was not directly involved in the first-time set up, but I've been involved in a lot of migrations, taking applications from other version control tools into Harvest, and that has been a good experience.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We had other vendors which we were looking at, but one advantage is that CA came to us with a solution rather than the tool. The solution helped us understand that the tool would be a good benefit for us if we bring it in, and because of the audit capability, etc., that was the primary thing that we were looking for.
One thing that we really look for when selecting a vendor is the interaction that would help problem solving; an interaction where we tell them our problem and they, not as sales, try to provide us a solution, rather than trying to sell the tool itself. So, that solution was what benefited us and we understood the solution well before we got the tool in.
What other advice do I have?
The auditing capability is one aspect that I would really recommend other colleagues to look into, because all the other version control tools out in the market provide speed, but the auditing capability is missing; the change management interaction; etc. I would say look at that aspect, so you are not really tracking, and you have better visibility and traceability of the code promotion.
It has been a really good solution, getting in all our applications together, and creating a change management kind of a workflow. I haven’t given it a perfect rating because I still want the user experience to be better; to improve; make it faster in terms of understanding the tool.