Perforce Merge 2013 Impressions

I’ve attended the Perforce Merge 2013 conference in Tel Aviv.

I am not a Perforce user, and I only know the basic principles behind it, but still I was interested to hear about their concept of ALM and their approach to implementing it.

The keynote theme was ‘Continuous Everything’ (Perforce’s  take on the ‘continuous delivery’ trend). Superb presentation by Simon West, talking about how their new products and new server features enable better versioning, better collaboration, and better control.

The keynote was followed by presentations and demonstrations (by both Simon West and John Palmer) of Perforce’s new suite of products: Insight, Swarm, and Commons. I quickly recognized the similarities to Atlassian’s products: Fisheye, Crucible and Confluence, respectively. Of course, there are differences, but the concepts are pretty close. Someone from the crowd even asked them if they are aiming for developing an Issue Tracking system to tie it all together, like Atlassian JIRA. They politely declined, but hinted that it may happen if their customers would want that.

I was especially impressed with Insight. While still in beta stage, this product provides a lot of useful information about development metrics, such as a project’s Stability Index (computed according to amount and frequent of code changes as well as number of jobs created and resolved). It also supports plug-ins, both for the display (graphs etc.) and the metrics to collect. Since it is database-driven product, under open-source license, I wonder if theoretically it can be used for reporting on other Version Control systems.

All in all if was a very interesting conference. If it comes again to Israel next year, I highly recommend attending it for anyone who is interested in ALM, not just for Perforce users and admins.


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