January 4, 2010

Setting Up Surround SCM: Five Tips for Maximum Efficiency

Surround SCM
Surround SCM provides complete control over software configuration management processes. With its advanced feature set, including support for parallel development, automation capabilities, and extensive IDE integrations, setting up Surround SCM for your environment may seem like an overwhelming task. The following tips can help you set up Surround SCM to ensure maximum efficiency in your development organization.
  1. Develop a branching strategy and code line policy before you deploy Surround SCM. Instead of focusing on the short-term, make sure your branching strategy takes building, maintaining, and capturing milestone configurations into account.
  2. If necessary, restructure the application source code and IDE project/solution settings to make it easy to work within Surround SCM. This could include such things as exclusively using relative file path references in project/solution files or defining how files are shared between projects and directories. (A file sharing strategy should also be determined early).
  3. Take advantage of Surround SCM's automation capabilities and configure triggers and email notifications. Email notifications can automatically notify team members about important file changes such as notifying a team lead when files are checked in to a specific branch. Pre- and post-event triggers can be used for notifications, validation, custom text entry, logging, and synchronization.
  4. Set server and user options in Surround SCM. For example, consider allowing multiple users to check out files, or don't require check outs at all, to aid in parallel development. Or, customize the context menu items available for files, branches, and repositories to make sure the actions you use the most are easily accessible.
  5. Maximize knowledge sharing by integrating Surround SCM with TestTrack Pro, Seapine's defect tracking tool. This two-way, seamless integration provides a complete change management solution by tracking what changed and why. You can link changed source files with defects, and users can access source files from Surround SCM or TestTrack Pro.
Keep these tips in mind as you set up Surround SCM. Taking the time to understand your development organization's needs and configuring Surround SCM to meet those needs is a key component in ensuring maximum efficiency.