Full Video Transcript

Hey there, I'm Jase Lindgren, a solutions engineer at Perforce, and I'm gonna take you through all of the basics that you need to know to get started as a user. So this is not about being an admin, this is just if you wanna do basic user stuff. So you've just started at a company that uses Perforce and you're like, how the heck do I use this? You're in the right place. 

So to start off, I want to get through a few high level concepts here. The first, is just that the tool is actually called Helix Core. A lot of people call it Perforce. When Perforce started decades ago, that was their only product and so it was just Perforce. 

But now we have a variety of different DevOps products, so Helix Core is the version control software. So if you ever hear those two terms and you're confused about it, just know that they usually mean the same thing for most people. But Perforce is the company, and Helix Core is the software that does version control. Second thing is that Helix Core is a centralized version control system. 

So what that means is that you have a server running somewhere. There also could be multiple networked servers, but that's where the actual source of truth is. So that's what actually stores the entire history of everything that anyone has ever done to these files that are being stored in version control in Helix Core. When you work on them, you're not working on them directly on the server. 

Instead, you are syncing those files locally to your local computer where you can make changes to them, and then you submit those changes back to the server. So just to kind of clarify that, you're not actually changing the files right there on the server. You are actually syncing them to your local machine, making changes and then submitting those back or getting other people's changes that they've submitted to that centralized server. So in order to connect to your server, you're going to have to use a Helix Core client, and for most people that's going to be P4V. 

If I go to perforce.com/downloads, you can see there's a whole lot of things. And I could go here to say Helix Core clients, plugins and integrations, and then I'll find the Helix Visual Client or P4V, or I could also just type it in the search here and find it really quickly. So P4 is Perforce. 

Basically, just think of it that way. P4 is Perforce. So most things are gonna be P4, something that have to do with version control. So in this case, the V stands for the visual client. 

And if you click on this, you can then download it from here. This is free to download. Just go here, choose your operating system, Windows, Linux, or MacOS. So for example, if I choose Windows that fills in automatically, and you can choose either of these, it doesn't matter. 

Click that, install it. When you install it, you will be asked for the address of your server and also your default username. If you don't have that already, don't worry, you can enter it later. But if you do, you can enter the IP address or the domain of the server along with its port. 

But let me show you that, assuming that you didn't set that up right when you installed. So when I first run P4V, I get presented with this screen to open a connection, and I see I have three blanks here, server, user, and workspace. So my server, this is going to be the address that your admin gave you for connecting to your server. It's usually going to start with "ssl:", and then either an IP address like this, if you were connecting to your local host and then another colon and then a port, which is usually 1666, although that may be different. 

So in my case, I'm going to connect to this demo server that I have. You will not be able to connect to this one because you don't have a user on it. And then under user, I'm gonna type the username that I was assigned. So in this case I'm going to say jlindgren cause that's my username. 

And then workspace, I'm going leave blank. When I hit okay here, I will be presented with a dialogue asking if I want to trust that connection, which will, you'll only be asked the first time. I wasn't asked that right now because I've already done it. 

And then you would also be prompted for your password. So in my case, I'm already logged in. By default, passwords need to be reentered every 12 hours. So I just did this a little bit ago so I don't have to enter my password again. 

Now that you're connected, you are presented with this interface here for P4V. Once we're connected here in P4V, let me just give you a quick overview of the different sections of this window. So up along the top we have some convenient buttons for common actions, especially these ones over here on the left side that are all grayed out currently. And then we have the middle section that has one panel on the left, which has a tab called Depot and a tab called workspace. 

And then over on the right we have some more tabs that you can see right here. I have files pending, submitted. You might have some different ones open by default. You can close them like this, or you can open more by clicking this little plus button here and opening up some different tabs. 

Or if you've managed to close all of these, you can get them back by going up to view, and you can also find the tabs up here. So you'll notice that these ones all go along here, and the left side is always just depot and workspace. And then finally down at the bottom we have a log. I like to have it open because every action that happens in here gets logged and it helps me notice if there's strange things that I should be worried about. 

But if this stresses you out, you can also just close it. And again, you can always get back to that by going up to view and log. And then you can get back. And as we do things and go around and look at stuff like, for example, if I click here, you'll see that some commands ran in order for it to show me what files are in here. 

And I can show you here. This is on MacOS. Basically the same principle. You can open up tabs here, close them. 

You have those same two on the left, the logs on the bottom, buttons across the top. Your menu is just in a slightly different place here. But otherwise, everything's going to be pretty consistent between the two. And with all of this, if you ever need help, up at the top here, there is a little help menu. 

There's this P4V help, which you can also get to with F1, and this will open up your web browser to the user guide for this. So if there's anything you forget or want some help, you can see there's a ton of information in here about much more advanced stuff than we're gonna get to in this, and most of which you probably won't need on a day-to-day basis, but it is great to know that that is there. I hope that you found this quick tour of the basic concepts of Helix Core, as well as a quick tour of the layout of P4V to be helpful. And please stay tuned for the next video where I'm going to talk about setting up a workspace and sinking files so that you can actually make changes to them. 

See you next time.

Course - Getting Started with Helix Core - For Collaborators