October 10, 2012

5 Key Questions for Auditing and Compliance: What Changes Were Made to Your IP?

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copyright paths(Third post in a five-part series on auditing and compliance)

Moving right along to the next question you need to be able to answer for auditing and compliance needs, let's talk about how to find out what changes were made to your IP.

One of the reasons to use version management in the first place is to see how things have changed, so of course answering this question is easy for Perforce. Commands like diff2, expressed graphically as Folder Diff, can show you anything added, changed, or removed between two points in time - even if the changes came in from Git repositories via Git Fusion.

In the Git context, that's really helpful if you're trying to correlate changes from across related components that might be stored in several Git repositories.  In Perforce you can see a single consistent record of change, even if a change came in from one Git repository and was merged to a location used in another Git repository.

Consider this example of a mobile app team working on an iOS and HTML5 version of an app.

perforce git fusion diagram

By using Git Fusion, I get a consistent change record for all the pieces of a product, even though the iOS and HTML5 pieces are developed in separate Git repositories.

I'll be posting more entries soon on how to answer two more interesting auditing and compliance questions: why was a change made, and was it authorized?

Read Part 2 of the series: Who Made Changes to Your IP?

To learn more about IP security and the America Invents act in read IP Security: Covering Your Bases in a Global Development Environment.