October 14, 2015

GitSwarm + Helix: Unity through Diversity

Git at Scale

The number one question I get when introducing GitSwarm is: Why? Why shouldn’t I just use GitLab or GitHub? The answer is because GitSwarm, as the newest component of Perforce Helix, provides capabilities beyond those of other Git management solutions.

Developers know and often love Git, and keeping developers happy is critical to their productivity and personnel retention. GitSwarm makes it trivially simple to create new projects, clone, fork, and collaborate through a simple merge-request workflow. GitSwarm is based on GitLab, so it brings all of that great functionality to the table in an immediately and comfortably familiar way, no re-training required.

But developers are only one piece of the overall puzzle, and this is particularly so in the enterprise. Developers are one early stop on the product pipeline along with artists, designers, animators, writers, and other content creators. Those other disciplines don’t enjoy the same broad familiarity with Git and may not need (or even want) the kind of branching, merging, and rebasing power it provides.

Quite the contrary, those other disciplines often work with larger, digital assets that often cannot be merged like source code. They may need the ability to lock files exclusively when being edited; and they typically prefer a simpler interface to get one file at a time and check it back in only when ready. These and other such users can choose from a variety of other Helix clients yet work alongside developers on the same projects.

All this is possible through the bidirectional mirroring offered between GitSwarm and the Helix Versioning Engine. Each contributor can work with their diversity of assets yet have them seamlessly stored, versioned, and protected within a unified back end. Only with GitSwarm and the rest of Helix is it possible to carve off Git-sized slices of a huge Helix-sized monorepo, a reliable “single source of truth”.

But of course that’s still only the upstream portion of the product pipeline. Further downstream we find DevOps, quality assurance, verification and validation, pre-production, production, and so forth. These stakeholders have needs that are quite different from those of content contributors, often focused on automating code flow, testing, installation, easy administration, etc. 

The Helix Versioning Engine scales and replicates content with clustering and high availability options for reliable, global 24/7 operations. This meets the ever-increasing demands of continuous delivery and brings all stakeholders together. Management, legal, auditing, and other such stakeholders will appreciate the total-security focus of the Helix Versioning Engine, providing not only finely-grained access control and complete auditing trails, but advanced threat detection to detect, assess, and report risk before any content walks out the door.

In short, as the newest component of Helix, GitSwarm makes developers happier than ever before while unifying them with other contributors and supplying the kind of tools necessary to make Git work in the enterprise. GitSwarm lets you work locally and scale globally like no other Git management solution, bringing unity to the diversity of stakeholders and content in modern product development. Try it for yourself today and see how GitSwarm can work for you.