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Configuration Management made easy… also for small teams.

“It started with the search for a bug tracking solution... and ended with a new configuration management system and a completely reorganised repository structure", smiles Philip Keller. The tool previously used by Metrolab, CVS, no longer met the company's requirements. Besides Perforce, open-source tools like Subversion and Git were also evaluated. "A deciding strength of Perforce is its integration with Eclipse and LabVIEW, which we use intensively.“

0 to 100 in only two days

Details

Introducing Perforce Helix-Core to a small customer, migration from CVS.

Year

2014

Related products

Helix Core Helix Swarm

User-friendly versioning, centralised configuration management with the possibility of working off-line, powerful interfaces to Eclipse and LabVIEW, as well as a migration tool for CVS… these arguments were decisive for Metrolab to introduce Perforce Helix Core. Philip Keller, Marketing & Product Manager of Metrolab Technology SA, reports.

Metrolab, headquartered in Geneva (Switzerland), is the worldwide leading supplier of highly precise magnetometers. The instruments are developed, produced and sold by ten employees in Switzerland. These high-tech products are primarily used in medical technology, but also by research institutes and calibration laboratories. Since October 2013, Metrolab is managing its software development with Perforce Helix Core.

Configuration Management – Streams – branching & merging made easy

Beside the aforementioned advantages, Metrolab was also taken by the visualisation capabilities of Streams. “We have used Streams for branching & merging right from the beginning – a decision which has solved many problems for us! Thanks to the visualisation in Streams, it’s easy to see who is doing what: today project management is substantially easier.”

Perforce support compelling

Metrolab consciously decided to perform the evaluation and migration in-house. “EVOCEAN and Perforce supported us extremely well! The fact that already during the evaluation phase we had unlimited access to competent and extremely reactive support is not self-evident”, adds Philip Keller. The migration of all CVS files took several months and caused more trouble than anticipated. “Especially the conversion of our files to UTF and the end-of-line handling challenged us”. Playing through all scenarios in a test environment proved itself as an efficient approach and is strongly recommended.

0 to 100 in only two days

“Careful preparation, a few hours of training, and the self-explanatory documentation of Perforce Helix Core… within only two days the whole team was productive,” Philip Keller explains further. Metrolab also used the migration to optimize the structure of its repository. “The reorganisation of existing structures needs careful thought, and often also requires adaptations, for example to the makefile scripts. Nevertheless, it is a great chance to eliminate burdens of the past.”

Further extensions

“At the moment, four software developers work with Perforce Helix Core,” explains Philip Keller. “Our near-term goal is to also use Perforce Helix for hardware development. For an efficient version control, we plan to administer our production and marketing documents also with Perforce.” Finally, because code reviews are also a topic at Metrolab, Helix Swarm is being considered to simplify collaborative development.

Expectations fulfilled 100 percent

“Yes, I can recommend Perforce Helix Core with a clear conscience!” according to Philip Keller. The tool sells itself: within only one week, all employees were persuaded that Perforce was the answer to their problems. The shelving of files – temporarily storing copies of open files in the shared Perforce repository – won the users over right away. “Perforce is a transparent tool which supports the problem-free cooperation of several developers – if necessary also in distributed teams. Today we feel confident in what we do!”

 

Used technologies

Before Project

Versioning Control Software

CVS

Code Review

Nothing

Eclipse

No Integration

LabView

No Integration

After Project

Versioning Control Software

Perforce -Helix Core

Code Review

Perforce - Helix Swarm

Eclipse

Integrated into Helix-Core

LabView

Integrated into LabView

Used technologies

Before Project After Project
Versioning Control Software CVS Perforce -Helix Core
Code Review Nothing Perforce - Helix Swarm
Eclipse No Integration Integrated into Helix-Core
LabView No Integration Integrated into LabView