Changing fortunes for SCM
July 1, 2010 —
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For the moment, though, Sink said DVCS tools are more compelling to developers than managers because of the productivity boost they can provide.
Repenning agreed: “Many of the developer attractions of DVCS are individual user conveniences,” such as “local, fast and private versioning, graceful developer-to-developer merges without bothering the central repository, and easier project joins,” he said.
Repenning thinks that DVCS will be ready for enterprise use in a future that he says will include “automatic branch ‘push’ to a designated central repository, central control of access rights and automatic status updates (‘Who’s working on what, how has it changed?’) to all players,” he said.
However, current DVCS tools also present task-management issues as far as disconnected operations, Sink said. “I believe this is the one thing that needs to improve before DVCS tools can become mainstream.”
Nigel Chanter, COO of SCM vendor Perforce, said that DVCS tools do not offer the same amount of visibility as a traditional centralized model. Traditional models, he said, “offer the best control of metadata of projects all in one place and enable instant access and visualization of assets,” unlike DVCS solutions.
Some experts have also predicted a shift from one suite offering all an organization needs to users picking and choosing which tools they wish to implement, said Daniel Magid, chief product strategist of ALM vendor Aldon. “I’m seeing a movement away from a single suite from a single vendor to users choosing what they want,” he said.
For example, people might implement Aldon’s Service Desk and life-cycle management solutions while using an open-source tool like Subversion for source control, plus use a build tool like CruiseControl or Hudson while using Eclipse-based IDEs, Magid explained. Either way, he said, “I’m seeing people starting to look at hooking different solutions together.”
Repenning predicted this “best-of-breed” tool collaboration as well. “We are entering a period of consolidation in the SCM world where we now see a cross-pollination of the ‘best-of-both-worlds’ products,” he said.