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Plastic SCM Professional

A complete SCM (Software Configuration Management) solution designed for task based development, with branching, full project's structure versioning, distributed system, multiserver... support, security system based on ACLs and more.

Published by Codice Software
Distributed by ComponentSource since 2015

What's New in Plastic SCM Professional

What's New in Plastic SCM 3.0?

Integrated distributed code review: built-in code review system that tightly integrates with branches and changesets. A review can easily be created from these elements and then replicated, enabling a distributed review process.

Shell extension: Windows Explorer integration that allows developers to perform all the version control operations within Explorer. All the GUI views are accessible from the shell extension too.

New Subversion and Perforce importers: improved Subversion importer (both performance and usability) and a brand new Perforce importer.

New "pending changes view" on the GUI: now checked out items (i.e. items marked for edition from the GUI, command line or the plugins), changed items (modified outside Plastic control) and private items (potentially new files) can be checked in together from a single view.

Xmerge / Xdiff 2.0: the merge and diff tools get updated with "cross merging" technology capable of detecting moved (and modified) code in the same file. Xdiff is able to locate modified code and render it accordingly, and Xmerge is able to handle moved code (normally refactor) during the merge process.

External data storage: it is possible to "extract" data from file revisions in a repository and save them on secondary devices like DVDs, hard drives and so on) so they don't consume main database storage. It is possible to plug the media to the server for transparent access or to access the "extracted" data directly from the client machine (Plastic will prompt to introduce the
right media when accessing a "extracted" revision). It is useful for projects using really big files.

Annotate support on GUI: now annotate (cm annotate or cm blame) is also available on a graphical view, integrated with the GUI's view system. It's possible to explore the changeset or branch that altered any line in the annotated item.

SQLite backend support: Plastic servers can now use SQLite as backend. SQLite adds a new backend to the existing set of supported databases: Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server and Firebird. SQLite is very fast on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X environments, but it is better suited for distributed development (a developer running a small footprint server on his laptop or workstation). SQLite is the default on Linux and Mac OS X evaluations.

Selector explorer: it is possible to explore branches, labels and changesets without having to download them to a workspace. Advanced users can edit the selector to try more complex configurations.

Performance improvements: as usual every new Plastic release is faster than the previous one. We thoroughly tested Plastic with big workspaces (>250k files and 40k directories) and big repositories in several scenarios: from heavy load (hundreds of concurrent users (computer simulated) against a single server) to single user operations (quickly adding a big workspace into a repository) where we can consistently beat all our major competitors.

What’s new in Plastic SCM V2.9.x?

  • IntelliJ IDEA 5.1 / 8 integration
  • Pulse continuous integration server
  • Support for Visual Studio 2010
  • Shared Workspaces: Workspaces are no longer tied to the machine on which they were created and can now be shared among machines via network shares
  • Extended Branch Review: The review interface can now be used to walk through the changesets in a branch allowing a step-by-step  review of a task branch implementation
  • Symlink Support: Symbolic links are fully versioned items inside Plastic
  • Oracle Database support added as a Plastic backend database option
  • Sparse Tree / Cloaked Items Support: A user can choose to specify folders that will not be downloaded by default by an update operation
  • CVS and VSS importer improvements
  • Performance and stability improvements in the Linux server which takes advantage of 64 bit support improving memory allocation and higher server load

Other Improvements:

  • Eclipse:  Filter to select an object on the view
  • LDAP authentication Mode: Clients are no longer required  to have an active connection with the LDAP server - only the Plastic server requires an active connection to the LDAP server.

What’s new in Plastic SCM V2.7.x?

  • Mac OS X Plastic Client & Server installer.
  • Xmerge (Cross-merge). It is just a feature that helps developers merging code that has been moved and modified in parallel. This is very likely to happen when you refactor your code.
  • Implemented a Visual Studio 2005/2008 package to integrate Plastic SCM client. Now, Visual Studio IDE can show Items, Branches, Changesets, Branch Explorer, Labels and repositories. All operations from context menus are available.
  • Added functionality to Eclipse plugin to branch, merge from branch, merge from label, view changesets.
  • Support for the sandbox branching workflow. The sandbox branching workflow requires that all developers work in their own branch.
  • Implemented a new annotate (blame) command. This command shows the author and the revision information in-line for the specified files. Each line of text is annotated at the beginning, with the author (username) and the revision number for the last change to that line.
  • Now annotate command is compatible with tortoiseblame
  • Replica tracking. All replicated objects in the data have information about the replication server source. This information is shown in the properties panel for each object in the GUI tool.
  • Replication for Distributed Development Improvements:
  • GUI Replication: Implemented all replication options in the GUI. There is an extended branch menu with all replication options.
  • Replication process is cancellable.
  • Now you can browse remote repositories. This is useful for some replication scenarios.
  • Server profiles. A server profile system has is now available. You can define several server connections and use them to specify a source and destination for the replication.
  • Implemented a mechanism to filter out unwanted files and folders from the private items view with a list of patterns (wildcards are allowed).
  • Added before-checkout and before-checkin triggers on client side.
  • Disabled autoscalling in mono distribution for a correct visualization on non-windows platforms.
  • Implemented a configuration file named "writable.conf" to keep files as non-readonly on update and checkin operations.
  • Added help links on GUI views. They are linked to web documentation

What’s new in Plastic SCM V2.5.x?

  • New: Smart Branches system: This system allows users to implement any working pattern, as the new branches "remember" their starting point, whenever a user switches to a branch he does not have to set its base.
  • New: Attributes system which allows users to include additional information to any system object.
  • New: Triggers system, which allows the execution of user commands for tasks such as enforcing branch creation policies or creating formatting rules. “After” and “before” event triggers automatically initiate actions when the following events occur:
    • A workspace is created
    • A workspace selector is set
    • Items are added
    • Check in or check out operations are done
    • An attribute is created
    • A branch is created
    • A label is created
    • A repository is created
    • A workspace is updated
  • New on Plastic SCM extensions:
    • “Task on changeset” mode supported on Plastic SCM extensions
    • Extensions enhancement working on Visual Studio, allowing the check in comments added on VS to be seen on the task associated on the task tracking tool.
    • Trac Extension: SSPI and SSL connections supported.
    • Bugzilla Extension: A Plastic SCM branch cannot be created if the Bugzilla extension is active and no task has been previously created in Bugzilla.
    • DevTrac integration improved: tasks are linked from the branch explorer, not only from the branch view.
  • New: Revert links on the 3D tree are now shown in red, different from the green merge links.
  • New: Smart branch system documentation included on the user manual.
  • New: “Differences” option on Changed Item´s View.
  • New: The GUI merge dialogue allows selecting both source and destination contributors.
  • New: Automatic “switch to branch” from the GUI, the selector only modifies the branches selected
  • New: When switching the workspace to a branch, the GUI displays a message to confirm the operation.
  • New: The items view is displayed by default
  • New: “Find” button on the differences and merge options included.
  • New: Attribute control, allowing changing its value, apply changes or deleting the attribute
  • New: Branch explorer enhancement: its buttons can be used before the whole branch explorer is loaded.
  • New: cm shelve and cm cat commands implemented
  • New: CVS importer enhancement
  • New: Installer enhancement
  • New: Eclipse integration enhancement.
  • New: Improved performance on add operation, “check in” and “check out” operations when executed in blocks

What's New in Plastic SCM 2.0?

  • Distributed System: As distributed environments are becoming a must for software development, coordinating the efforts of development teams is one of the biggest challenges faced by today’s companies. Depending on each organization needs and their structure, the most suitable SCM working pattern will be chosen. Plastic SCM now supports both centralized and distributed work, including the traditional distributed method, multi-site and off-line. Having a server at each location will solve the problem of slow or unreliable internet connection between sites. The method used on the following figure resembles a traditional distributed method implemented with master/slave based products: both servers have an exact replica of branch /main and the new code generated will be in one server at the time and they will, periodically, replicate their work on the other server. You can find more information at the “Distributed Guide” from the Evals&Downloads section.
  • Multi-serve Support: The possibility that Plastic SCM introduces of having multiple servers at the same time provides an important performance increase and higher configuration flexibility. A Plastic SCM server manages two different concepts: repositories and workspaces. A repository is a database where all the versioned objects are stored. A workspace is an area in the developer’s disk where a copy of a project stored in a repository is downloaded so that the developer can work with it locally. In the default configuration a Plastic Server manages both repositories and workspaces, but the system is flexible enough to allow different layouts. Different repository and workspace servers can be configured to cooperate enhancing overall system performance, reducing network usage, distributing storage and balancing CPU load. You can find more information on this feature if you have a look at chapter 6 on the Admin Guide, both on the Evals&Downloads section.
  • Code Review Tool: The code review system eases performing code reviews. Whether you're doing formal inspections or just informal walkthroughs, this new Plastic feature will help you. We all know even an informal walkthrough or just reviewing you colleague's code can make a huge different in defect removal and hence in final's product quality. Users are normally so reluctant to run such reviews because of the lack of the proper tools:This new integrated capability will make its own contribution to spread a best practice like code reviewing.
  • Statistics Tool: Plastic SCM statistics tool shows the daily changes made by users on each item; this information can be also retrieved from the query system but the statistic menu offers graphically displayed results, so you can learn about your company’s development with just a glance! The application shows the changes that each of the systems users have done and which items have been changed, which allows you to see which are the most active users or which items carry a higher workload. And furthermore, the application is interactive; whenever a user is selected his workload is divided into as many parts as items that the user has changed. And on the item’s side the changes done by that particular user on each of the items is highlighted, showing the items on which the user invests more or less time. The same interaction can be observed on the item’s side: when an item is selected, it is divided into as many parts as users who have modified it and on the users graphic the changes done on that item will be highlighted.
  •  Subversion importer: Plastic SCM previous versions already included an importer for VSS and CVS repositories. It has now been extended for Subversion. You can have a look at how to use the importer at the “Importers Guide” in the Evals&Downloads section.

Plastic SCM 2.0 Enhancements:

  • GUI
  • Query System
  • Eclipse Integration
  • Branch Explorer
  • Linux Support

What's New Plastic SCM V1.5?

  • Query System:The new Plastic SCM release introduces the new query system. The query system is the mechanism provided by Plastic to search data inside the different repositories in a customizable way. Using the query system it is possible to track which changes have been made on a given time frame, who is the owner, which branches are involved and even which labels. The Plastic SCM query system allows users to create advanced reports to highlight system usage, project statistics, detect usage patterns or simply monitor changes. All through a simplified and familiar SQL-like interface, and XML result sets.
  • Improved Security System: The Plastic SCM security system has been present since the first official release, and the new 1.5 version introduces new enhancements to ease the enforcement of development policies. The new capabilities allow the definition of customized access rights to directory trees (and still being able to customize the repository and branch hierarchy) greatly simplifying the security management. A new type of special user is introduced, the owner, allowing administrators and SCM managers to set special permissions to the objects’ creators. Now defining multi-group strategies will be much easier, being able to define whether belonging to several groups should turn out into a less or more restricted behaviour. Setting up the SCM security both to prevent unwanted access or to enforced policies, is just a click away with Plastic SCM.
  • Branch explorer: The branch explorer is one of the most anticipated features in the new Plastic SCM release. Now developers will be able to visualize the whole project evolution using this new capability, which is a new step ahead, together with the 3D version tree, in SCM data representation. The branch explorer opens a new world of possibilities for the upcoming Plastic SCM releases and will be tuned and extended taking into account customers’ feedback. The branch explorer will play a key role in the near Plastic SCM future, providing a simplified and powerful interface to control the whole development process.
  • Merge system improvements: The merge system has been greatly improved for release 1.5. The Plastic SCM merge support was already one of the most powerful merge system available, implementing features like merge tracking, true rename (required for refactoring support) and an optimized contributor calculation. During the last months the development team has worked in merge performance and implementing an even better renaming support.
  • SQL Server support: Plastic SCM is a new generation system and hence uses a RDBMS as data backend, which can be configured by the user. The first Plastic SCM official release only implemented Firebird (http://www.firebirdsql.org) as data backend, which is a strong and fast open source database. Plastic SCM will continue including Firebird as recommended database but SQL Server (2005 and higher) support has been introduced to adapt to customers’ current IT options.
  • PowerBuilder integration: Plastic SCM implements a SCC compatible plugin which provides full Visual Studio integration. A number of IDE are compatible with SCC and the 1.5 release has been specifically tuned to include PowerBuilder as one of the supported platforms.
  • CruiseControl support: Build tools like CruiseControl are a perfect companion for version control systems like Plastic. The release 1.5 is integrated with CruiseControl 2.7, allowing users to automate build and release tasks both with .NET and Java.
  • JDeveloper plugin: The Plastic 1.5 release introduces the new JDeveloper plugin. Now both JDeveloper and Eclipse developers can benefit from a full featured integration which will boost their productivity working together with Plastic.