September 11, 2013

Welcome to the Mainstream, GitHub

Version Control

Last week, GitHub announced capabilities for storing and diffing documents, with the intent to offer versioning capabilities to the non-developer audience.

Version everything, has been Perforce's mantra for quite some time. Brand names such as Salesforce.com, Samsung, Pixar and SAP (the list goes on) have been using Perforce to actively manage digital information beyond source code. That’s because version control is something every knowledge worker battles—whether they know it or not. Ask yourself, "Do you have any files with names containing V1, V2?"

However, version control is only part of the story. Effective collaboration requires efficient solutions for analyzing the differences between versions and gracefully merging those differences. It also requires a lightweight sharing workflow. Combining these elements with scalable version control is essential to success.

Whether you use a SaaS solution for sharing documents or an on-premise enterprise solution, the question ultimately is one of scale, reliability and friction. How can versioning be introduced into the workflow of non-developers? They simply don't think in terms of version control! How do you deliver a system that can store any file size without slowing down and falling apart or, worse yet, forcing you to create multiple silos of information?

Perforce was built to store large binary objects, and scale to petabytes of data. Unlike some of the other systems, there is no upper limit on the size of files. This makes Perforce particularly attractive for managing everything from code to designs, 3D models, animation art, audio, video, etc. as you evolve such files from one iteration to the next.

Perforce customers use version control to build software, games, movies, chips, devices, wearable technology and much, much more. Chances are you interact daily with a product built on Perforce.

Thanks to the digitization of design, prototyping and models are implemented in ones and zeros and are readily versioned. 3D printing will take this revolution further. Iterate and print! No matter what the final product, there are bound to be multiple revisions in the path from concept to delivery.

Kudos to GitHub for making progress in this direction. As the industry continues to innovate, we expect more version control and collaboration solutions to extend their capabilities in this direction. And we are excited to find still more ways to help our customers build the world's best products.