December 12, 2014

Inception of a New DVCS

Version Control

inception of dvcs

Why create a new distributed version control system or DVCS? The development world already enjoys Bazaar, Mercurial (my personal favorite), and of course the 800-lb. gorilla in the DVCS room, Git. So why would Perforce set out to create a new DVCS in light of all those options? That’s probably the first question on some minds after the announcement at our MERGE 2014 conference in September. So this series of blog posts is written in the hope of making clear exactly why we’re building a new DVCS, what it will provide the market above and beyond existing products, and provide insight into the choices and challenges along the way.

The initial driving force turns out to be pretty simple. The Perforce platform provides enterprise-level versioning and other capabilities. And while all the aforementioned products are great—we like Git so much we built our own Git Fusion product around it, after all—none of them were truly built with the enterprise in mind. This is easy to see from the number of challenges DVCS adoption poses in enterprise environments.

And it isn’t hard to recognize the degree to which those challenges remain unaddressed in the seemingly never-ending tide of enterprise “solutions” for Git that keep popping up in the market. The unhappy truth is that existing DVCS systems, even when paired with a variety of companion products, leave much to be desired in terms of scalability, security of intellectual property, and so forth from an enterprise vantage point.

Perforce has long proven itself a market force in traditional, centralized version control systems by providing solutions that meet enterprise needs like no others. And we think this uniquely positions us to craft a new DVCS solution built with the enterprise in mind from day one. In short, with great VCS power comes great DVCS responsibility—or something like that (you know the line).

On a more serious note, future posts will discuss specific architectural decisions and technical features. For now, it's suffice to say that our DVCS solution is aimed at providing a true hybrid, incorporating all the best of both worlds. We hope you’ll be as pleased with the results as we are.