What's a good configuration management tool for software code?
January 7, 2004 2:34 PM   Subscribe

Our company is looking at configuration management tools for software code. Any recommendations? Note: right now we code in a Microsoft environment (VC++).
posted by Bootcut to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
meaning build configuration?

Just not 100% on what "configuration management" you are interested in.
posted by rudyfink at 6:28 PM on January 7, 2004

you mean like cvs?
posted by juv3nal at 7:45 PM on January 7, 2004

I'm not the SCM guy for our shop but I work with them a lot and my particular work relies quite heavily on knowing about what's happening on the SCM side of things. Here's my take:

I've found ClearCase to be pretty unreliable in a Windows environment. The client integration is good, but it's damn hard to keep NT-based CC servers up under load. ClearCase on Windows has been about an order of magnitude more unreliable than the CC Unix servers.

If you're accustomed to restarting services regularly and the headaches of having developers rely on Windows servers, or your load is reasonably low, you could probably get away with it. Either way, you'll need a full time CM person to deal with ClearCase.

If your projects can deal with the limitations, CVS is an acceptable option, but you shouldn't go into it without knowing what those limitations are.

Arch and Subversion are maturing nicely, with Arch being heavily centered around the changeset concept. If your development cycle is compatible with a changeset mentality, Arch should work out nicely. I know bupkus about Windows client integration options for it, though.

Bitkeeper is getting a lot of press as the system of record for Linux development, but it's primarily used in closed source shops. Bitmover, the vendor, does offer Windows support for it. It's also a changeset based system.

Regardless of what you pick, do not base your SCM solution on SourceSafe. Branching is extremely primitive, it has no concept of concurrent development, and performance is abyssimal. There is nothing anyone could say or do that would get me to recommend it.
posted by majick at 7:47 PM on January 7, 2004

yes, don't use VSS -
Visual SourceSafe: Three lies for the price of one.
posted by BigCalm at 6:41 AM on January 8, 2004

My first big project at my last job was moving code *from* VSS into CVS - and they were never happier once it was done and I taught the developers how to use WinCVS.
posted by mrbill at 7:23 AM on January 8, 2004

I've heard many people say nice things about Perforce.
If you're on a tight budget, then CVS.
posted by sad_otter at 8:52 AM on January 8, 2004

I have used Perforce before, and it is a good tool. I find it a bit like CVS, without some of the annoyances and with some nice additional features. It's also amazingly easy to set up the server end.

That said, I use CVS almost exclusively because I've learned how to use or work around the difficult or missing features, and because it's free and works on just about every platform.
posted by hashashin at 3:32 PM on January 11, 2004

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