Technology Positioning Statement Report

3.2.1 Configuration Management and Version Control Tools

Description: Systems used to manage code configuration and versions among developer teams.

Category: 3 - Communication Technologies   Subcategory: 2 - Development Communication Tools


  Visual SourceSafe


Industry UsageSC Usage

Performance Metrics

Ease of use; security and data integrity; team-based collaboration and communication; interoperability with Microsoft languages and tools.

Usage and Dependencies

Industry Usage: Best-of-breed products that support and extend the Microsoft integrated development environment are offered by Rational, Merant, and Starbase.

Rational's ClearCase Offers version control, workspace management, build management and process configurability.

StarTeam provides "fast and efficient productivity modules that will enhance your SCM experience. These productivity modules include defect tracking, topic discussion, view management, and support for parallel development. Unlike other tools in the market, StarTeam delivers all this functionality right out of the box without the need to purchase additional products or perform complicated installations and configurations. It integrates with and leverages Microsoft Project, NetMeeting, and Visual SourceSafe."

Merant is a leader in version control systems. Its products such as PVCS Tracker are now supplied as MERANT ASaP, a "best-in-breed" solutions strategy by partnering with and integrating the best development solutions across the application development lifecycle. Carefully selected partners and staff provide "one-stop-shop" expertise in the setup and management of both the infrastructure and tools needed for developing e-business applications."

A related category is defect tracking tools. Here, Rational provides ClearQuest, "a highly flexible defect and change tracking system that captures and tracks all types of change, for any type of project on any platform, including Windows, UNIX, and the Web. The fully customizable interface and workflow engine enable ClearQuest to adapt to any development process, and with support for industry standard databases".

Visual Intercept, from Elsinore Technologies, "is the only project-oriented, three-tiered, enterprise-ready incident management system specifically designed for Microsoft Visual Tool users."

SC Usage: SC developers use Visual SourceSafe, Visual Intercept, Applix, and Rational tools to support project management and software development. However, the tools are not integrated, and much remains to be done to leverage the investments in these tools. For example, Rational Requisite Pro generates about 70 documents in planning a project; but there is no repository to organize and manage these documents. Without adequate data management, powerful code generation or authoring tools may create more documents than developers can usefully absorb. Hence, a more integrated data management process (and perhaps other tools) are needed.

SC Application Impacts: Development speed and defect reduction, which these tools enable, are key drivers for all SC applications.

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