As agile processes evolve, software configuration management (SCM) tools grow as well. Newer vendors are able to forge novel extensions to the traditional SCM platform, but established vendors have firmly entrenched bases.
For AccuRev, whose SCM tool employs a visual stream hierarchy to display project data, this meant it had to create a link between its tool and ClearCase, IBM Rational's widely supported SCM tool.
Consider a best-of-breed toolmaker's challenge: Companies over time build up large scripting environments in ClearCase. These are not easily ported, especially when daily software production is an imperative.
Now AccuRev has come up with what it calls an "SCM coexistence solution" to let established ClearCase shops work with the AccuRev format. AccuRev 4.6 for ClearCase allows for collaborative development between groups using ClearCase and AccuRev via bi-directional synchronization.
The basic format of software configuration viewing -- which is not too different than ubiquitous desktop file managers -- has not changed much over the years. AccuRev's streaming model has received kudos for use in parallel development. While looking to coexist, it is also positioned as a competitor to ClearCase.
"The ideas behind ClearCase date back to 1985," said David Jabs, vice president of engineering at AccuRev. "The world has changed. The original ideas predate the origin of off-shore development, of the Web, and of Agile [development]."
Jabs' words may have special resonance. He was one of the founding architects of IBM Rational ClearCase, which was initially developed at Atria Software.
Is ClearCase getting long in the tooth? IBM may think so. It has signaled that it will re-do the software using its Jazz technology platform.
Still, coexistence is the watchword.
"ClearCase scripts in builds, and tests need to be replicated on the AccuRev side," said Cliff Utstein, vice president of marketing at AccuRev. "What AccuRev for ClearCase lets you do is take a team and move them to AccuRev, yet have all of the code from the new team integrated [in a larger environment]."
Each team sees the changes in their respective tool view. Utstein calls this trend "multiple levels of coexistence."