What is the best alternative to Rational ClearCase- SVN or Perforce?

fred.vergenz's picture
fred.vergenz asked on August 29, 2012 - 5:56pm | Replies (2).

The cost of Rational ClearCase licensing combined with the complexities of UCM and MultiSite have forced us to look at alternative tools. We have five locations over 3 continents with a mix of UCM, base ClearCase, and MultiSite implementations. Through discussions with CM folks at our sibling subsidiary companies we have narrowed the options to SVN or Perforce.

Could somebody please give their opinions on how these tools stack up against ClearCase?

2 Answers

Marc Girod's picture
Marc Girod replied on August 31, 2012 - 10:37am.

It depends in fact how you use ClearCase now, i.e. comparing to UCM, you might not lose anything valuable: you lost it already!

UCM is not ClearCase. It is in fact significantly less powerful and less interesting than base ClearCase.
So, while I can dp nothing about the cost of licenses, I could suggest you give a look at http://search.cpan.org/~dsb/ClearCase-Wrapper-1.17/Wrapper.pm on CPAN.

What I attempt to achieve there is to provide support for delivering [b]in-place[/b]. This is essential to promote derived objects which would have been produced before the delivery: delivering by merging (back) to an integration branch jeopardizes this, which ruins any chance of the .JAVAC mechanism of clearmake to compete against brute force methods implemented in ant or maven.

It also fixes most of the artificial problems created by branching strategies based on merging back, and related to MultiSite and mastership, as well as to performance and irreversibility, etc.

My analysis is that supporting a strategy of delivering by labeling required mostly to solve two problems:
- avoiding cascading forever
- getting some kind of incremental labels

This is what my wrapper does, down to handling the consequences of its changes (e.g. with providing an lsgenealogy function to replace the becoming inadequate lsvtree).
Note that I also submitted my wrapper as an RFE to IBM: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rfe/execute?use_case=viewRfe&CR_ID=258...


TechWell Contributor's picture

Of the two options you have mentioned, Perforce is the better "near replacement" for a large, established CC environment.

It is well established system with world class support, and has excellent integration with OpenSource and 3rd party toolsets.

Set against that is a need for good central administration (which you should be used to having used CC) and processes.

SVN is a good lightweight alternative if Perforce is deemed to be too complex or expensive.

Also consider Git, but be aware that its interfaces to Windows are not as mature as Perforce or SVN, and that some developers will be easily frightened by the degree of power it gives them, especially if they come from a centralised SCM environment.

CC appears to be something of an evolutionary dead end; IBM seem to be putting their efforts into Synergy and/or the RTC version control system.

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