August 14, 2014

Do You Know Where Your IP is Today?

Traceability
Version Control

As part of Consulting interactions with our worldwide customers, we get to see some very interesting use-cases and deployment scenarios. While Perforce provides the versioning backbone for hundreds of thousands of developers around the world, it is striking how businesses use Perforce for storing pretty much all of their digital assets. So here’s a thought: Perforce is a repository of your intellectual property. It may perhaps sound pretty obvious, but probably worth a mention since we usually think of Perforce for versioning more than anything else. Here are some examples:

  • Patent documents, design documents, business plans, spreadhseets -- all stored and tracked in Perforce, using easy-to-use Perforce interface for MS Office
  • Integrated circuit designs stored in Perforce using tools such as ICManage
  • Artwork, videos, sound bites – they all live in Perforce
  • Your Source code
  • Database schemas
  • …and I am pretty sure I am missing a few other types of artifacts.

When you want to store your digital assets in a repository, you want to make sure that it can handle the data volume, provide access control measures, be highly available, enable collaboration in a distributed workplace, and provide traceability and auditing capabilities to satisfy any applicable trade regulations. Perforce provides all of those capabilities.

Different types of digital assets correspond to different types of consumers: developers, technical writers, artists, lawyers, hardware engineers, etc. Perforce provides a variety of tools and third-party integrations suitable for a wide variety of audience. Perforce even provides a platform for developing custom interfaces – have a look at Piper as an example of a simplified interface for creating and managing design documents.

As part of our best-practices advice to our customers, we promote the notion of “version everything”: if it is your intellectual property, Perforce is a good place for it to reside in. Think of Perforce as your IP repository with a wide variety of interfaces for creation and consumption of your IP.