PlasticSCM – an interesting ClearCase alternative

Yesterday I attended the Israeli launch of PlasticSCM. This is a Source Control Management tool which claims to provide the best branching as merging abilities, with rich GUI and CLI.
I must say that the demonstration was quite impressive, and I’m really intrigued to try the tool myself. They offer a free ‘small team’ edition (which seems to be a common practice these days, and a great one!).
Another thing I really liked is that they don’t have their own propriety database, instead they support a variety of free and commercial RDBMS software. Any ClearCase administrator could tell horror stories about weird data corruptions or backups gone bad…
Pablo, the co-founder of the company, was passionate about making developers realize that source control is useful, not a liability. He promotes the ‘branch per task’ methodology, which is an excellent approach to development – but difficult to effectively implement in most tools.
It is quite obvious that the tool’s developers were heavily influenced by ClearCase, I guess they’re initial motive was to build a “ClearCase done right”. But PlasticSCM is much more than that today.
While I can’t recommend a tool I haven’t tried myself, I definitely think that it should be at least considered a candidate for anyone looking for Version Control tool, either for new developments, or as replacement for existing tool.

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