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HCLSoftware: Fueling the Digital+ Economy

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In case you missed it, our HCL VersionVault v3.0.1 release was just announced this May. Our customers love the unique capabilities of VersionVault that combine to create the world’s most flexible software configuration management (SCM) system.   

HCL VersionVault provides controlled access to soft assets, including code, requirements, design documents, models, schematics, test plans, and test results. User authentication and authoritative audit trails help your organization meet compliance requirements with minimal administrative hassle. 

VersionVault’s scalability, component management, security controls, process automation/enforcement mechanisms, and integrated build management are used every day to solve many of the most significant software (and hardware) development project challenges. 

The major focus for the new v3.0.1 release is on usability, DevOps toolchain integrations, performance, and ease of administration. Here are some of the exciting new product features! 

1. Automatic Hijack Mode

Many development projects depend on HCL VersionVault’s reserved checkouts to coordinate work and reduce the need to merge files. Some prefer to have an unfettered ability to modify version-controlled files without requiring up-front developer action to make the files writeable (i.e., checkout or hijack). 

The new v3.0.1 adds an auto-hijack mode to VersionVault views (currently, snapshot and Web views). Developers can now create snapshot or Web views with the new command line flag, “-ahi/jack”. An option to create views in auto-hijack mode is also available in the VersionVault Explorer but currently only for snapshot views.  

A view created with auto-hijack mode presents version-controlled files as writeable, as opposed to read-only.  Any modification to the file automatically hijacks the file without any explicit user action.  Files that are automatically hijacked are treated like explicitly hijacked files in earlier releases.  When developers are ready to check in their changes, they check out the file, merge changes from other users if necessary, and check in the results. Hijacked files may also be “unhijacked” which will restore them to their original form. 

If your team doesn’t benefit from the safeguards of reserved checkouts, the new auto-hijack mode may be a welcome enhancement if the team finds the potential for additional merges acceptable when checking in files. 

Note: The auto-hijack mode must be selected at the time the view is created, so be sure to select the mode you want from the front end.  

2. Jenkins Integration

Jenkins is a popular DevOps build automation tool.  While open-source integrations have been available for years, this new integration was created by the VersionVault development team and is officially supported by HCLSoftware.  

The integration supports both freestyle jobs and pipeline jobs in Jenkins.  Beyond the default, the VersionVault integration adds the ability to initiate builds by Webhooks invoked from VersionVault deliver completion triggers and by configuring a Jenkins job with the VersionVault plugin to poll for changes on a stream. 

Note: The integration allows Jenkins jobs to create and remove views as needed by the build.  Currently, only UCM with automatic and Web views is supported. 

3. Automatic Views in VersionVault Remote Client Offering

Automatic views provide advanced, WAN-friendly workspace management and enhanced security capabilities by utilizing VersionVault’s virtual file system, the MVFS (Multi-Version File System).  Prior to v3.0.1, automatic views could only be installed from the full VersionVault product offering using the IBM Installation Manager.   

Automatic views are now also included in the VersionVault Remote Client offering as an optionally installable feature.  This significantly eases the deployment of automatic views for WAN-only users who do not need the full product capabilities. 

4. Microsoft Windows Symbolic Link Support

On Microsoft Windows, VersionVault would load VOB symbolic links (symlinks) into snapshot view copy areas as copies of the target of the symlink (which could be an individual file or an entire directory hierarchy) instead of a symlinkRecent improvements in Windows symlinks allowed VersionVault V3.0.1 to add the option of loading VOB symlinks as Windows symlinksThe default behavior remains the same, but the new behavior may be chosen when creating snapshot views by using ‘-slink_mode use_slinks’ with the ‘cleartool mkview’ command. 

5. High-Performance Unicode File Management

VersionVault provides extensive version management of Unicode files in all 5 encodings (UTF-8, UTF-16LE, UTF-16BE, UTF-32LE, and UTF-32BE).  The UTF type managers in V3.0.1 deliver improved performance when handling UTF files.  This impacts checkin, checkout, diff, merge, annotate and cleartext construction (uncompressing a version when needed) operations. 

6. Semi-Live Reformat VOB

Historically, reformatting a VOB is sometimes necessary to adopt new VersionVault features requiring an updated VOB schema (this is not necessary for any v3.0.1 features).  Reformatting a VOB without updating the schema can also be used to reduce VOB database fragmentation and perform garbage collection. 

Reformatting a VOB used to require taking the VOB offline during the entire process, which for very large VOBs could be hours or even more than a day.  Semi-Live Reformat VOB is an enhancement that allows the VOB to continue to be used during the reformatting, and the VOB is only briefly offline at the beginning and end of the reformat process.   

This is an important feature for VersionVault administrators and makes it possible to reformat VOBs at almost any time without having to wait for a maintenance window. 

7. Platform Updates

Due to customer demand, Oracle Solaris SPARC was added back as a supported Core VersionVault platform. In addition, Oracle Solaris for x86 was changed to be a Core VersionVault platform. 

Core VersionVault platforms provide the essential features needed to continue product development using the platforms but exclude VersionVault components that require a Java Runtime Environment (JRE), such as Eclipse-based GUIs and the VersionVault Remote Client. 

Check it out for yourself

With access virtually anytime, anywhere, HCL VersionVault v3.0.1 gives you the freedom to work efficiently where and when you need to. Come see what it’s all about!

For more information, see the HCL VersionVault v3.0.1 release notes.Or contact us to start your own HCL VersionVault journey today!

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