May 30, 2017

Introducing Helix Swarm 2017.1

Developer Collaboration
Helix Swarm 2017.1

At Perforce, we’re going through some exciting changes. Not only did we just ribbon-cut our brand new website (please check it out) but we’re bringing a long list of exciting new features to each and every one of our development solutions.

One such solution is Helix Swarm 2017.1, our code collaboration and code review tool for the enterprise. And the Perforce team is thrilled to announce it is available for download right now. The latest release of Swarm represents a lot of hard work and close attention to the needs of our customers.

What does that mean for Swarm? It means Helix users upgrading to the latest Swarm release will have access to an enhanced collaboration product for streamlined content review and notification processes.

A Better Dashboard for Reviews

Development and design managers know the importance of fine-tuned review workflows. The longer a review waits, the greater the chance contributors are being slowed down and delayed. Or, worse still, a stagnant review brings development processes to a grinding halt — typically when a review obstruction rears its ugly head. Out of sight, out of mind.

That’s the beauty of Swarm’s new Action Item dashboards — pre-filtered, customized lists of reviews, compiled for each user to act on after login. These “Reviews to Act On” are any and all reviews that need action from a specific user. It could be a review blocking others, or it could be a high priority item, but Swarm makes sure users see it when they need to. Swarm even helps organize priority reviews in environments with thousands of review actions.

Screenshot Products Swarm Body1 Dashboard

Notifications Designed for You

If you were born in the last half-century and currently have a pulse, chances are you’ve experienced the frustration of a group text. The broad swath message that is initially pertinent but soon goes off the rails as other contributors add to the thread. What starts as a text to coordinate dinner reservations suddenly turns into a deluge of opinions on the latest episode of "The Walking Dead." Wouldn’t it be better if you could curate exactly the notifications that matter to you?   

Well, Swarm can’t help with group texts, but it has been specifically updated with new features to eliminate your inbox noise with notification preferences. Each Swarm user has the flexibility and control over what kind of email notifications they prefer to receive. This helps reduce the onslaught of irrelevant/non-contextual emails users may be attached to. And Swarm also adjusts to comply with organizational policy or admin guidance, allowing global notification rules to be set to satisfy audit and accountability standards.

Less noise. More harmony with Helix Swarm.

Screenshot Products Swarm Body2 Notifications

Smart Email Filters

Swarm won’t tolerate an inbox loaded with opaque emails, subject-lined with “Hey!” You’re too busy for that nonsense. Swarm’s Smart Email filters enable users to receive emails from Swarm with specific headers, relevant to their project teams and their work. 

This allows users to better organize & filter specific kinds of notifications from their preferred email client, such as Outlook. Some examples on how Smart Email can be used:

  • Group all email notifications for a batch of comments, so that any new comments in that thread
  • Filter emails by notifications from specific projects (X-SWARM-Project: prj-public): e.g. move all emails that originated from a review in Swarm for project "prj-public" into the "prj-public" folder.
  • Filter emails by the review actions: e.g. move all notifications about a review getting approved into the "Approved" folder.

Markdown Format in Comments

If you’ve read this far, I’m sure I don’t have to explain Markdown to you. But as a new feature within Swarm, it’s only fair to tell you that the markup language used to style text on the web is now built into Swarm.

Users can make their comments stand out, with easy control over text rendered bold or italic, added screenshots, code blocks, or bulleted lists for clarity. Markdown support in Swarm comments provides clear and structured comments so reviewers have a better understanding of the feedback they received.

Also, Swarm can help projects stand out, too, as README.MD files are automatically rendered in the projects overview page. This helps project owners provide relevant information about their projects with a simple README.MD file update in the root of your MAIN branch. And since it’s in Helix, it will be versioned too.

Screenshot Products Swarm Body3 Collaboration

And There’s More…

There’s so much more that Swarm 2017.1 has to offer, including:

-Automatic changelists cleaning

-Review ownership changes

-Added support for PHP7 in P4PHP and Swarm

We’re proud of the additions because we know from our customers’ feedback that these features will go a long way to improving code review productivity and ease.

To learn more, visit our Helix Swarm page. Or join us for a live demo. Still have questions? Contact Us and we’ll be happy to chat!


Kuntal Das,

Principal Product Manager, Perforce Software.