What's New in Helix Core 2020.1?

SSO with Helix Authentication Service (HAS)

Simplify and standardize your authentication process with Helix Authentication Service (HAS). It enables you to integrate Helix Core (including clients and plugins), Helix ALM, and Surround SCM with your organization's Identity Provider (IdP). When used in conjunction with Helix Core, it requires the use of the Helix Authentication Extension.

HAS currently supports the OpenID Connect and SAML 2.0 authentication protocols. This service is internally certified with Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AAD), Okta, and Google Identity. 

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Protections Optimizations

The P4 Protections Table has been optimized to allow you to more easily manage permissions. If you have a complex network topology, you can now assign multiple IP filters to a single protects entry.

If you have federated architecture and have a large number of protections entries, the replication overhead has been reduced. This reduces overall network traffic and wait time for file access in certain scenarios. Also included in this release is the ability to check protections based on a particular host.

P4 Failover Enhancements

Monitor the status of a target server via the new p4 heartbeat command. This more proactively identifies conditions in which a manual p4 failover event should be considered. New triggers and extensions include:

  • heartbeat-missing
  • heartbeat-resumed
  • heartbeat-dead

New configurables are also available to tailor heartbeat monitoring to your needs. These include setting the desired interval time between heartbeat requests, defining the number of consecutive missed heartbeats to be declared dead, and more.

Stream Spec Permissions

You can set permissions for configuration changes just like files. Permission options on stream specs include read, open, and write. These permissions are also fully supported by P4Admin — the GUI for administrating Helix Core connections, depots, users, and groups.

Global Logging IDs

When working with structured logs, you can now correlate activity between two servers. Using the global logging ID, you can link activity on one server — for example an edge server —with activity on another server, like a commit. This makes it easier to troubleshoot issues across your topology.

What's New in Helix Core 2019.2?

Customize Stream Spec Definitions

Admins can now add additional fields to a stream spec and have custom field IDs automatically assigned. These fields can store additional metadata related to a stream, and convey information about your particular framework.

This is especially useful if you have implemented component based development (CBD) or IP re-use for your team/organization. As an added bonus, these custom fields will also be visible in P4V.  Check out the new p4 streamspec command for more information.

Independently Upgrade Your Servers

Keep your teams working during major version upgrades with improved upgrade performance. Now it is possible to achieve minimal downtime for end users when upgrading a federated installation of servers.

Update commit and edge servers separately without having to take all servers offline at the same time. This applies only when upgrading from 19.1 to 19.2 and beyond. It saves you time and ensures your teams remain productive.

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Structured Log Versioning

Now you can control when you want to move to an updated schema to take advantage of new improvements. With this release, structured logs have a formal, versioned schema that you can use and test before upgrading.

This decreases your risk of experiencing unanticipated “breaking changes” to existing internal processes or monitoring that is connected to structured logs.  This release also:

  • Enables easier integration with external log monitoring solutions.
  • Adds previously missing database statistics.

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Version Server Configurables

When a server config variable is changed, a versioned history will now be stored on the server. View the server configurables history with the new p4 configure history command.

This gives you better understand historical changes that have been made over time. And you can more easily troubleshoot issues that might happen due to changing server settings.

Verify Files More Quickly

Verify archived files easier with the new “-Z” flag for p4 verify which is built on top of db storage. It allows you to quickly search through your system without needing to look through lazy copied files.

Obliterate in One Step

Purge and archive in a single step with the new “-p” flag for p4 obliterate. Now you can remove versioned files and keep the metadata with just one command.

Find Orphaned, Archived Files

Scan archives to find files that were left over from failed submits or archive-skipping obliterates. Orphaned archive file detection utilizes db.storage, which was introduced in 2019.1.  Look for the new “-l” and “-d” flags for the p4 storage command.

What's New in Helix Core 2019.1?

Increase Performance for p4 obliterate

The p4 obliterate operation is now faster and less resource-intensive. Files are computed in a fraction of the time compared with previous versions. Dramatic improvements have been noted in benchmarking. Contact your account team to learn more.

Improve Productivity With p4 submit Option

A new option improves developer productivity for p4 submit. Admins can configure p4 submit to initially commit only meta-data from the edge server to the commit server. The actual file content transfer is scheduled in the background for reverse replication. Developers do not need to wait for the files to transfer. This option can be set as the default transfer method. Depending on the size of files, and frequency, the performance improvement can be dramatic.

Customize Workflows and Extend Product Functionality

​​​​​​Extensions are a new way for administrators to customize workflows and extend the functionality of the server. Triggers and extensions perform similar functions. Extensions are written in the Lua language, and are versioned and managed in their own central depot as self-contained bundles of code, metadata, and other assets. They have a closer integration with tools, and include a programmatic API. The extension code runtime is embedded within the server executable, so you no longer need to update external language systems on each of your servers.

NOTE: This functionality is currently unavailable for the Windows platform.

Gain Flexibility With Private Editing of Streams Spec

Perforce Streams gains new flexibility. Developers can privately edit stream specs, modifying only their own workspace without impacting other users or the project. Then code changes and/or stream spec changes can each be committed atomically.

Enhance Visibility for Git LFS Locking

​​​​​​​Helix Core 2019.1 supports Git LFS locks. Locks can be created and are visible using Git clients or the P4 commandline. Using Perforce clients, Git LFS locks are seen when you try to open the locked file. With Git clients, the lock is displayed during a commit.

What's New in Helix Core 2018.2?

Simpler Command to Execute Failover

The new P4 failover command simplifies the process of initiating failover from a master to a standby server. This command consolidates several discrete tasks into one command line with arguments, and enhances administrative control for planned and unplanned service interruptions. You can also designate an optional “mandatory” standby server to better prepare your failover strategy.

Support for SAML 2.0 Authentication

​​​​​​Integrate your 2018.2 Helix Core server and clients with Helix SAML to authenticate users via the command-line or client using popular solutions, such as Ping Identity, Okta, and others.

What's New in Helix Core 2018.1?

Failover Performance

The 2018.1 release provides reliable and consistent replication of standby servers in a disaster recovery (DR) setup. Failover to a standby server in a DR scenario is significantly faster due to multiple steps being removed from the process via automation and a new replication method. This improved operational efficiency will result in reduced time and cost to recover service from a failure.

Tightened Security

Admins can now hide the following sensitive server information from appearing within “p4 info”: server name, server address, server uptime, and server license IP address. For example, the license entry in “p4 info” will show “licensed” or “unlicensed.”

Improved Streams Usability

The 2018.1 release improves the usability of Streams by no longer requiring users to write long specs. Now, you can use wildcards to represent which folder and/or files are included in the path name of a Stream view.

What's New in Core 2017.2?

Speed Up Remote Operations Even More with WAN Accelerators

The 2017.2 release allows you to use WAN acceleration technologies. WAN acceleration can be a great enhancement that dramatically increases the likelihood that remote sites are in sync at all times with central servers in a Perforce federated architecture deployment because the replication is quicker — even with extremely large files.

Boost Stability and Performance

Parallel sync operations are one of several techniques Perforce employs to make Helix Core the fastest VCS server on the planet. We’ve improved server resilience under load to support a greater number of simultaneous requests.

What's New in Core 2017.1?

Faster File Transfers. Much Faster.

Transfer files over high latency networks up to 16 times faster than in 2016.2, even in federated deployments of Helix Core. See similar performance improvements for any communication between any server type — replicas, edge servers, commit servers, and proxies.

Support Git at Scale for Distributed Teams and CI

Helix Versioning Engine now supports Git at scale for distributed teams and multiple repos. Helix4Git speeds up builds by 40 to 80 percent and reduces storage by up to 18 percent with different mirroring options. For specifics, see Helix4Git.

Change Your File's Name or Location in a Single Command

Gone are the days when a “p4 move” command would require you to perform a “p4 edit” first. The 2017.1 release allows you to change the name or location of your files with a single command.

Identify and Sync Code Changes across Multiple DVCS Servers

Commands like “p4 files” and “p4 sync” now support using changelist identity so that it’s faster and easier to search, browse, and take actions on code changes that are shared across multiple Helix DVCS servers with different datasets.

Protect Your Servers from Outdated TLS Versions

Outdated cryptographic protocols compromise communications security over a computer network. This release enables greater flexibility to achieve tighter security by allowing admins to specify the minimum and maximum allowed TLS versions, preventing clients using other versions from connecting.

Filter and Search Remote Specs by Name

Find a remote specification of a central DVCS server faster so you can get up and running with something that works for you.


What's New in Core 2016.2?

Submit Build Artifacts from Partitioned Clients

We gave you read-only clients, and you wanted more. We listened. Now you can submit build artifacts from partitioned clients to Helix while keeping new workspaces light and easily disposable for all your DevOps needs.

Turn Back Without Destroying History

Everybody makes mistakes. Easily undo an entire change list in a single operation, while retaining audit trails for enhanced security and compliance. Helix forgives, but doesn’t forget.

Delegate Permissions

Expand your circle of trust and delegate permissions over a specific depot or path to a specific group or user so you don’t have to carry the weight of system administration on your shoulders.

What's New in Core 2016.1?

Increase Collaboration Efficiency Among Distributed Team Members

Speed up your DVCS collaboration workflow. Now you can work locally, propose a change, create a new shelf for it, and push it to a remote server for a quick review before submitting it to the mainline. It’s faster and takes up less space in storage.

Ditto Mapping for Greater Flexibility

Stop jumping through hoops to make workspace mapping comply with your needs. Ditto mapping grants programmers the freedom to work on blocks of complex code individually, working from shared libraries without months of build-failure frustration.

Customize Your P4 Aliases

Unleash your inner James Bond and give your most-used commands p4 aliases that make logical sense to you. Or, go into stealth mode and string several p4 commands together to trigger behind-the-scenes processes that simplify workflows.

Boost Automation with 'p4 reshelve'

Tool builders will love boosting automation in Helix with the p4 reshelve command.