TECHNICAL BRIEF

PVCS® Choices for Software Configuration Management
Overview
Enterprises seeking to leverage change for competitive advantage continually look for ways to improve their software configuration management (SCM) tools and practices. SCM enables faster implementation of change, with fewer errors and less risk. Such improvement requires that people, processes, and products be advanced along a growth path of SCM capabilities. To successfully move forward, all three – people, processes, and products – must maintain compatibility with one another within an overall system for enterprise change management of digital assets. People – both management and developers – must buy into the development processes, and the SCM products must underpin those processes. If not, failure may result. For example, implementing a process-rich SCM product in a process-challenged organization is prone to fail. The PVCS product family provides a growth path from entry-level SCM to comprehensive process-centric change management.

PVCS Growth Path for SCM
MERANT PVCS is the industry standard enterprise change manager. PVCS provides a comprehensive change management platform that lets customers protect their digital assets (software, applications, and content), manage change processes, and communicate throughout their teams – facilitating change across the enterprise. MERANT’s offering for SCM is unique because MERANT understands that a single SCM tool cannot meet the diverse people and process needs of every enterprise. For example, PVCS Professional™ provides excellent version management, issue management, and build management. PVCS Dimensions™ includes all those capabilities, plus it adds process/workflow management, baseline management, and release management. The correct product choice for a specific team/enterprise depends on the specific people and process situation.

PVCS Professional
PVCS Professional provides versioning, issue management and configuration build capability — all in a single package. Together, these capabilities enable basic process control of software development to ensure the protection and management of software assets during change.

P V C S

C H O I C E S

F O R

S O F T W A R E

C O N F I G U R A T I O N

M A N A G E M E N T

PVCS Professional can be quickly implemented for small to mid-size teams. These teams then are able to coordinate development and communicate changes and status at every step, as they build reliable systems with reduced time to market. PVCS Professional combines the capabilities of PVCS Version Manager™, PVCS Tracker™ and PVCS Configuration Builder™ within an integrated suite.

PVCS Dimensions
PVCS Dimensions provides, in a single platform, comprehensive process control, versioning, baseline management, issue management, release management, build management, and workflow management. For teams of all sizes, from small and nimble to the entire globally distributed enterprise and for simple or complex projects, it can be rapidly implemented, ensuring protection and management of digital assets. These teams are coordinated and communicating at every step, as they rapidly build reliable systems. With process control that can be easily customized to meet specific needs, PVCS Dimensions can simplify your change management across multiple-sites in an enterprise. PVCS Dimensions manages not only digital assets but team and project workflow as well.

High-level Comparison of PVCS SCM Capabilities
Both PVCS Professional and PVCS Dimensions address version management, build management, and issue management. Process and workflow management, baseline management and release management are addressed in a basic way with PVCS Professional by using links, interfaces and data sharing between the components of the suite. PVCS Dimensions is more advanced in its capabilities for build, release and process management. It relies on a single metadatabase repository and tightly integrates all management functions under a single, dynamic system. PVCS Dimensions manages all areas of SCM and the items, components, roles and processes involved, including enforcement of workflow steps, checkpoints and approvals. In a nutshell, PVCS Professional and PVCS Dimensions differ in their level of enablement for the most advanced SCM functions. Depending on the specifics of development needs and team structures, an enterprise may choose one over the other, begin with one and migrate to the other, or selectively use both within an overall enterprise SCM system. The following diagram shows the high-level differences between PVCS Professional and PVCS Dimensions.

MERANT

2 OF 9

P V C S

C H O I C E S

F O R

S O F T W A R E

C O N F I G U R A T I O N

M A N A G E M E N T

The enterprise can choose which PVCS product offers the appropriate features and scale for its teams and processes. SCM capability can be increased by advancing people, processes and products forward to the next level of PVCS functionality.

Comparison of Decision Points for PVCS Choices
As the table below shows, candidates for PVCS Professional have different people expectations and processes than do prospects for PVCS Dimensions. Therefore, it is important to understand the existing people expectations and processes before determining whether Professional or Dimensions is the most appropriate product for a given team or enterprise.

Table I. Expectations: People and Processes
People • Management PVCS Professional May allow individual contributors latitude to define/follow their own development processes, or may prescribe loosely defined processes. May be concerned that processes would get in their way. PVCS Professional Software development lifecycle may not be documented. May not have defined procedures for promoting code from development to PVCS Dimensions Recognize the need for defined development processes

Individual contributors

Processes • Software development lifecycle

Understand that defined processes increase productivity and software quality. PVCS Dimensions Software development lifecycle is defined and followed. Have defined procedures for promoting code from development to test to
3 OF 9

Promotion model

MERANT

P V C S

C H O I C E S

F O R

S O F T W A R E

C O N F I G U R A T I O N

M A N A G E M E N T

Issue management process

Build processes

test to production. May have a defined and automated process, and issues may be linked to code. May not be able to rebuild old versions.

production. Have a defined and automated process, and issues are linked to code. Can rebuild old versions.

Table II. Features: PVCS Professional and PVCS Dimensions Feature Version Management
• • • • Access control Integration with Build Management (See Build Management below) Reporting Capabilities Integration with Issue (change request) Management (See Issue Management below) Cross-platform Support Branch and merge worksets Branch and merge components User definable attributes Worksets (virtual workspaces) Work in progress/to-do lists Suspend components (Obsolete) Create relationships between items Impact Analysis Capability Configurable GUI interface Metadata database model Manage directories and directory structures.

Product PVCS Professional
Can control who perform which selected tasks on what items. PVCS Configuration Builder accesses PVCS Version Manager archives. Text and graphical HTML reports. Data allows export for use by external tools. Integrated with PVCS Tracker via TrackerLink; enables easy code module association with change records. PC to UNIX requires NFS mounting. Using a Branch Project. Must merge each item in project individually. Yes. N-way merge

PVCS Dimensions
Adds capability to control when a person can perform which task on what items. Several build tools are offered, including PVCS Configuration Builder. Text and graphical reports. Open database also allows external tools to create reports. Complete integration of version and issue management in a single product. NFS mounting not required, uses standard TCP/IP. Also supports OS/390. Yes Yes. N-way merge Yes Yes Yes. Pending lists. Yes Yes Yes Yes. Screens, fields, sorting, etc. can all be configured. Yes. Oracle runtime database included with product. Yes

• • • • • • • • • • • •

MERANT

4 OF 9

P V C S

C H O I C E S

F O R

S O F T W A R E

C O N F I G U R A T I O N

M A N A G E M E N T

Issue Management • Interface to Version Control

• •

Re-assign requests to different projects Database

PVCS Professional Can check-out/in components from Version Manager archives. TrackerLink available in Version Manager GUI. Export/Import only. PVCS Tracker requires existing installation of Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, or Sybase SQL Server.

PVCS Dimensions Complete integration of version and issue management in a single product. Yes Oracle runtime database included with product.

• • • •

Create parent/child requests Create relationships between requests Create Work Packages Multiple type of change requests PVCS Professional Includes PVCS Configuration Builder, which accesses PVCS Version Manager archives to build executables. PVCS Professional Promotion Models and event triggers provide logical lifecycle. One model per project. PVCS Professional Footprinting is stored inside executables and .dll’s. PVCS Professional Promotion Model support

Yes Yes Yes Yes PVCS Dimensions Several build tools, including PVCS Configuration Builder, which accesses files in item libraries to build executables. PVCS Dimensions Process engine supports multiple lifecycles for different development objects (code, issues, baselines, etc.) Users can be notified when new tasks are assigned. PVCS Dimensions Stored in the metadata database. Yes PVCS Dimensions Complete support links baselines to builds/releases to customers.

Build Management

Process/Workflow Management

Baseline Management • Bill of materials / Made of List • Distributed and parallel builds

Release Management

MERANT

5 OF 9

P V C S

C H O I C E S

F O R

S O F T W A R E

C O N F I G U R A T I O N

M A N A G E M E N T

Benefits of Moving from PVCS Professional to PVCS Dimensions
PVCS Professional customers who are ready to move up to PVCS Dimensions will see the following additional benefits.

Tightly Integrated Version and Issue Management
PVCS Dimensions’ total integration between version management and issue management provides tight control over software assets by (optionally) allowing files to be changed only in response to an approved change document. This integration between version and issue management virtually eliminates unapproved (and often untested and unreliable) changes to software. Tightly integrated version and issue management provide an audit trail because each change to a software asset is associated with a change document that explains the reason for the change and shows who approved it.

Process/Workflow Management
By default, even basic SCM (version, issue and build management) imposes some process. But formally defined and automated process and workflow management is more. It is key to enabling continual improvement at progressively higher levels of maturity. PVCS Dimensions with process and workflow management capability doesn’t just define the way things should be done — it institutionalizes the way things are actually done and assures that the process is enforced. PVCS Dimensions process and workflow management capabilities allow organizations to define, control, and tailor their development workflow including change, build and release processes across the entire software lifecycle. The result is significant improvement in consistency, repeatability, and predictability of development effort and products. Dimensions maintains relationships among development objects. These relationships provide the foundation for impact analysis, which allows the impact, on the entire system, of a proposed change to be evaluated before the change is made.

Baseline Management
Large enterprise projects can contain literally thousands of configuration items, and it is impossible for even the best project leader or manager to manage this level of detail. Baseline management addresses this problem by grouping configuration items in a way that is important to management. PVCS Dimensions allows baselines to be managed as any other configuration item. Access to baselines can be limited to prevent uncontrolled “quick fixes” that don’t get incorporated into the development code. Baselines can have lifecycles which allow them to move through predefined states such as “in system test” or “passed system test”. Additionally, baselines can be revised by adding change requests. Lifecycles allow the baseline to be managed as a high
MERANT 6 OF 9

P V C S

C H O I C E S

F O R

S O F T W A R E

C O N F I G U R A T I O N

M A N A G E M E N T

level entity while preserving a complete audit trail of every change to the baseline.

Release Management
PVCS Dimensions’ release management extends the development/test processes into production so potential disconnects are removed. For example, “filters” can be applied to the system test baseline to consistently select all the items that are meant to be included in the release. Release management ensures that the billof-materials is correct and, just as important, it provides documentation describing exactly what files were included in the build. Release management provides full traceability, which records the details of customers/sites who have received product releases and which releases have been issued to them. Therefore, when files need to be changed, analysts can query where and in what manner the file is being used. A complete audit trail is provided. Additionally, release management protects the released files from unauthorized modification thus closing the backdoor whereby developers can make “quick fixes.” PVCS Dimensions’ release management products can also create a delta release, which includes those items which have changed since the previous specified release was made. Delta releases can greatly decrease installation time and conversely reduce the amount of time that the production system must be off-line.

Increased Scalability
PVCS Dimensions’ n-tier client/server architecture and Oracle RDBMS allow virtually unlimited scalability.

OS/390 Support
In addition to supporting the most popular client/server platforms, PVCS Dimensions supports the OS/390. PVCS Dimensions OS/390 support brings many benefits to the enterprise. • Common development and release procedures and practices can be established across the enterprise for both the mainframe and client/server environments. All software assets, whether stored in mainframe or client/server environments, can be accessed from anywhere in the enterprise. Enterprise-wide change management is supported because change requests and defect reports can be entered, managed and tracked against configuration items from mainframes, UNIX or Windows platforms. Software assets can be shared and accessed across the enterprise regardless of the platform. Cost of ownership is reduced because the enterprise need not learn and support multiple SCM systems.

• •

• •

MERANT

7 OF 9

P V C S

C H O I C E S

F O R

S O F T W A R E

C O N F I G U R A T I O N

M A N A G E M E N T

Reporting is standardized across the enterprise with single scalable repository.

Increased Network Performance and Security
All PVCS Dimensions components communicate via an enhanced protocol. This protocol, running over TCP/IP, reduces network traffic and eliminates the need for the creation of temporary files on the Dimensions server when checking files in or out. The overall effect is higher performance and secure communications. The networking support also provides improved security by encrypting all Dimensions commands and, optionally, encrypting all items moved within Dimensions. The new protocol simplifies PVCS Dimensions access through firewalls across a LAN/WAN environment.

MERANT

8 OF 9

FOR MORE INFORMATION

800-547-7827
pvcsinfo@merant.com merant.com
MERANT Worldwide Sales: Asia/Pacific .................. (+65) 834 9880 Australia Melbourne ............ (+61) 3 9522 4466 Sydney ............... (+61) 2 9904 6111 Belgium .................... (+32) 15 30 77 00 France............... +33 (0) 1 70 92 94 94 Germany ................. (+49) 89 962 7 10 Japan ........................ (81)3 5401 9600 Korea ..................... (+82) 2 6001 3311 Netherlands............ (+31) 33 450 20 70 United Kingdom Newbury ............... (+44) 1635 32 646 St. Albans........... (+44) 1727 812 812 United States…………….800-547-7827

ABOUT MERANT
With over 25 years of experience, MERANT helps customers at over 30,000 sites worldwide, including 100 of the Fortune 100 and a majority of the Global 2000, improve their ability to manage change to enterprise digital assets-applications, code and content. Delivering the broadest coverage of digital assets, unsurpassed scalability and end-to-end change management, MERANT PVCS is the comprehensive enterprise change management platform customers use to make change a competitive advantage. For additional information, visit www.merant.com..

Also available at authorized resellers.
Copyright © 2001 MERANT. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. PVCS is a registered trademark and PVCS Professional, PVCS Dimensions, PVCS Tracker, PVCS Version Manager, PVCS Configuration Builder and MERANT are trademarks of MERANT. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 9/01

QSB01ECM170

MERANT

9 OF 9