What Problems?
 What is CM?

 What Problems?

 Version Control


 CM Quiz

 Versions & Branches


 ClearCase on NT


 Essential Commands

What Problems Does ClearCase Address?
Your company has selected ClearCase to solve some very specific and challenging problems that confront all companies which develop software. Your ability to use ClearCase well to address these problems is part of your company's competitive edge. Chances are your competition is also using ClearCase.

So, what are these problems?

Reproducability of Releases
How can we see the exact versions of source files (and include files, documents, etc.) that were used for the XYZ release of product ABC? How can we see the exact binaries for that release?

Concurrent and Parallel Work
How can people work on the same files at the same time in the same project? How can multiple projects exist at the same time for the same product?

How can we manage the source for the different variants of our product set, like platform or architecture, product, feature set, localization, etc.?

Third Party Integration
How can we integrate our products with third party software when we have no control over how they manage their files?

Build Avoidance
How can we minimize the amount of time engineers spend waiting for builds? Does everyone need to recompile files in their workspace when a widely included file is changed?

Workspace Management
How can people keep files for different projects separate? Does everyone need a copy of all files to get their work done?

Process Control/Shepherding
How can we make the development environment aware of our engineering processes so that it can help us avoid missing important steps or making mechanical mistakes?

Change Migration
How can we ensure that fixes made to one release make their way into subsequent releases? How do we move changes in a maintenance release into the development release?

How Were They Addressed Before ClearCase?
Historically, some companies have expected these problems to be solved by engineers without providing the tools and infrastructure to support the solutions. Engineers have used Version Control systems like RCS, SCCS, and PVCS as a starting point for addressing these problems.

Typically, some software guru (who may no longer work at the company) will have created a proprietary software systems built on top of these Version Control systems. But invariably these proprietary systems are limited both in flexibility and scalability. They just don't work well when the number of files, projects, products and engineers gets large.

Typically there isn't enough time to devote to enhancing that proprietary CM system, so the engineers suffer with inadequate tools. This may continue until situation gets so bad that schedules get missed, quality problems arise, and people are tempted to quit in frustration! Sound familiar? It is a common tale in the explosively growing software industry.

When a company decides to actually fix their CM problems then they often turn to ClearCase. ClearCase is an engineering infrastructure that can support effective solutions to all these problems, in a manner that scales up to the needs of even the very largest producers of Software. Companies like Oracle®, Sybase® Motorola®, AT&T® and Microsoft® use ClearCase to manage their software and more. It is a good sign that your company has decided to use ClearCase.

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