September 6, 2011

The 2011.1 Beta Release Is Here


2011.1 Beta

The beta release of Perforce 2011.1 is ready now. Understanding a little bit of the Perforce vision will help you understand why this release is such a big deal for the Perforce community.

At the 2011 Perforce User Conference, Christopher Seiwald, the founder of Perforce, laid out his vision for Version Everything. Perforce wants to make the power of version control available for any size team, working anywhere in the world, on any type of digital asset.

What is the power of version control? Version control may sound mundane, but I think version control is the foundation that lets all kinds of digital asset development move forward quickly. If I can count on being able to recall the entire history of my work, I'm much more likely to forge ahead in new and untested directions. If I can see how the work evolved over time, I can better understand it and where it needs to go in the future. And if I can coordinate and manage the contributions of a large team spread across the globe, I can get the most out of that team without worrying about them stepping on each others' feet.

In other words, version control adds extra dimensions to the way I manage my work. A few years ago, during a ClearCase training class, the instructor said that version control adds another dimension (time) to a file system. That was a great way to explain the basics of how to use version control for software development, but in reality Perforce adds a lot more than just a time machine system for my files. And as our customers have shown us, Perforce is already used in ways that we didn't plan for, for much more than just source code.

So getting back to this beta, the 2011.1 release takes us a few more steps down the road to Version Everything. Streams provide a framework for understanding and managing concurrent work, supported by some significant overhauls in the Perforce integration engine room. A lot of common tasks are simplified or made faster. We've added more ways to integrate Perforce into other tools. And we're not forgetting the need to keep everything running quickly and smoothly. User management and other administration tasks are much improved, while the Perforce server receives another round of speed boosts. Finally, Perforce replication sees some fine tuning, laying more foundation for Perforce's federated architecture.

There's a lot more coming on the path to Version Everything in the next few months. But for now, enjoy everything that the 2011.1 release has to offer. As a daily user of Perforce who still gets the chance to do some hacking, I can say that there are some great new toys now!