My ‘vendor-watching’ confession

Big magazines and websites often have what I like to call ‘vendor watchers’. Across the pond, our colonial cousins ZDNet famously boast Mary-Jo Foley among their ranks and what Mary-Jo doesn’t know about Microsoft you do not need to know.

Big magazines and websites often have what I like to call ‘vendor watchers’. Across the pond, our colonial cousins ZDNet famously boast Mary-Jo Foley among their ranks and what Mary-Jo doesn’t know about Microsoft you do not need to know.

For myself, I have a few vendor favourites. Microsoft does in fact continue to fascinate, Sun and Adobe are always appealing and when it comes to databases I find IBM and Sybase a lot more interesting than Oracle, but that’s just my opinion.

So then I come to this week’s news. It appears that according to my topical barometer I seem to be a Perforce-watcher as I am tracking this week’s news of a new version of this Software Change & Configuration Management (SCCM) tool, which introduces code review support and some other new functions which I will detail below.

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Alan Carr: the thinking man’s topical barometer

OK it’s Friday but let’s be serious now. As open source SCCM gains ground, what has Perforce got up its sleeve for us if you still like your tools boxed and off the shelf? Rather than talk to you about improved performance (that’s in there too) I think we have to look at more tangible productivity improvements if we are to get the measure of SCM (or SCCM) tools that are designed to track changes and movements in the code base repository as a project evolves.

So, where does the latest version reduce time and make things slicker basically?

The new product introduces “shelving” which improves team collaboration and facilitates code review (I will explain below) and real-time metadata replication with additional functionalities for working offline.

With the new shelving feature, developers can cache modified files in the Perforce Server without first having to check them in as a versioned change. On the company’s corporate blog Laura Wingerd explains that shelving means that, “For teams, shelving makes code reviews and code handoffs possible. Individuals can use shelving for multi-tasking, code shunting, incremental snapshots and safety nets.”

The offline augmentations mean that developers can now work disconnected, with all file changes and history preserved when the user comes back online. This release is 2009.2 Perforce Server (beta) and the product was unveiled at the start of this week.

Interested developers are invited to download and evaluate Perforce free from the Perforce website. End-user licenses for the complete solution, including one year of support and maintenance, start at $900 per seat.

There – I’ve said it. I am an occasional vendor-watcher. But the first PR agency that pitches to me using this theme gets deleted from my contacts in a heartbeat OK?