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New SCM system supports expanded IDEs

For Joachim Thuau the formula was simple: Two hours saved each week, over the past three years, freed a copious amount of time for the IT supervisor at Heavy Iron Studios, a division of video game developer THQ, Inc. Before implementing a software configuration management (SCM) system, he’d waste time ensuring all users were accessing the appropriate files they needed to access. Now, he no longer has to.

Upgrades were released last week for Perforce’s SCM system—a dev tool used to track software management among enterprises. It now supports developers across more than 50 operating systems. Version 2006.1 also boasts enhancements to its server, updates to its user interface and is capable of supporting more IDEs than ever before.

“It makes our life very easy,” said Thuau. “It was the solution used in other divisions of the company and, from there, it was just a walk in the park; everything made sense and did what it was supposed to do.”

Thuau initially used the software for source code management but a year into Perforce, he extended use to digital assets. The tool lets other users, within an org, access assets without pestering IT staff. THQ operates with disparate studios each with their own server and licenses. According to Thuau, more than half of those divisions now use Perforce.

“At Perforce we believe in product evolution, not revolution,” said Christopher Seiwald, president and CTO, Perforce. “…We continue to improve the visual appeal of our client software in order to better enable developers to exploit the power of the server.”

The SCM system, which manages changes to source code, docs and digital functions within software dev environments, features several enhancements:

  • A new audit feature that allows the server to log individual file access to create an audit trail. A log is created each time a file is accessed on the server, displaying which users have accessed the file and the other files that user is working with.
  • An upgraded file merging system using Perforce’s Inter-File Branching streamlines branching and merging functions for developers, enabling speedier integration.
  • The software’s Web Client (P4Web) includes RSS 2.0 functionality, allowing users to track jobs and changelists by viewing RSS feeds within the Web Client.
  • And the improved SCM system supports Microsoft Visual Studio 8.0 through its plug-in support for Microsoft SCC API. This feature allows users to change file types and operate changelists from within the plug-in.

Version 2006.1 is available now. Developers can download the software for a free 45-day trial, inclusive of technical support. Two-user versions are also available through Perforce. End-user licenses─with one year of support and maintenance─are priced beginning at $800 per seat.

About the Author

Jason Turcotte is an assistant editor at Application Development Trends. He can be reached at jturcotte@1105media.com.

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