October 5, 2010

Video: Surround SCM Graphical Version History

Surround SCM
Surround SCM 2011 includes a cool new feature - Graphical Version History - that allows you to view a file's history graphically. It is especially useful when you want to see how a change has been propagated across branches. Watch the video for a tour of the functionality, read more for instructions to enable and use this new feature.


Enabling the menu option If you do not have the "Graphical Version History" option in your file's context menu, you should add it. While you can access this feature from the Activities menu, having it available from the context menu gives you quicker access to it. To add the menu option, go to "Tools" > "User Options".  Under "Source Tree" select "File Menu".

Configuring the File Context Menu

In the screenshot above, you can see that I have grouped the History, Annotate, and Graphical History menu items together.  This way all my commands that relate to a file's history are easily accessible:

After selecting Graphical History, I get a graphical representation of this file's history. You have the option to check the branches that you would like to be used here. As you can see in the following screenshot, I am focused on the history in two branches:

Features Highlights Here are some of the highlights of this feature: The Branches pane allows you to choose which branches to show versions.

From the context menu choose to show branches recursively.

The Details pane shows details of the currently selected version.

The Navigator pane allows you to focus on a date and branch range

A zoom tool makes it easy to view the entire history or zoom in for a close up look.

A context menu on each version allows you to get or view the historical version of the file.

Select any two versions and view their differences.

There is also a "Show Source Version" option in the menu. This option is only available if the selected version is the result of merging the file with another branch, and that branch is currently not visible. For example, you could have a version that was created by a promote event. In that case, the modification came from another branch and it currently may not be visible (if it is not checked). Selecting "Show Source Version" would automatically make that branch visible. There are also options to save the image and print it.