Version Control
 What is CM?

 What Problems?

 Version Control


 CM Quiz

 Versions & Branches


 ClearCase on NT


 Essential Commands

ClearCase® is a software product sold by Rational Software, Inc.. It is a Configuration Management System. What does that mean?
A Configuration is a meaningful combination of versions of files. A Configuration Management System is a system which makes it easy to record useful configurations and to reproduce them easily.

For example, if your product is built from a collection of source and include files, then all the files that were used to produce a given release are part of that release's configuration. But you edit files from time to time, creating new versions of those files. So, even though the same files are used to build the next release, they are different versions of those files.

Not all combinations of versions of files are useful. Mixing older include files with newer source files might not even compile! We call a useful combination of versions of files a configuration. If a combination is not useful we call it version skew.

From now on we will use the acronym CM to mean Configuration Management.

How Does ClearCase Work?
ClearCase manages all your product's source files. It can also manage your documents and can optionally manage files derived from source files (e.g. object files, libraries and executables). ClearCase keeps track of which versions you are working with at all times and gives you a workspace, called a view, that appears to contain a copy of all your product's files. Your view makes sure you are working with the right versions.

You work as usual in your workspace, editing files, compiling and testing. You check files out when you want to modify them and you check them back in when you are done. You'll learn all about checkouts later in this course.

ClearCase can be used in many different ways with corresponding benefits and costs (in terms of time and complexity). There is room for a lot of strategy in how you use ClearCase, just as there is a lot of strategy in chess, even though there are relatively few rules.

The rest of this course will explain in detail what problems ClearCase addresses for you and how, as well as key strategies and mechanisms you can take advantage of to get the most out of ClearCase. You'll learn the most useful ClearCase commands, but you'll also learn when and why to use those commands.

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