Migrating off ClearCase – initial thoughts

I spent the last week watching some ClearCase migration webinars and talking to some vendors. My first conclusion is: everyone – even IBM – want you to migrate from ClearCase, and will gladly explain why. Then, they will explain why you should choose their tool over the others. And lastly, they will happily do it for you since apparently they all have vast experience in migrating customers from ClearCase.

Although, I must say, a couple of the ‘smaller’ vendors did say that we should focus on mapping our processes first, then choose a tool which can accommodate this process. This is actually a major paradigm shift: from a file-based development to a process-based development.

So maybe that’s what we’ll do next: try to map the development process. In our case it would be the branching & labeling strategies, which are slightly different between the various development teams here. I expect that, once the process it laid out, we can devise the relevant use-cases, which will help to compose a list of requirements, and test scenarios.

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Migrating off ClearCase

It finally happens…

After using ClearCase for 17 years, we came to a conclusion that we must migrate to a different tool.

The reason: cost. The licensing and support are simply way too expensive compared to other tools on the market. Consider the fact that a single ClearCase license costs about $4500, which is about 6 times the cost other commercial products charge. Roughly the same rate applies on annual support costs. Not to mention the free alternatives such as the well-versed Subversion or the rising star Git.

So… where to start? there are three major aspects to consider:

1. Which Version Control tool to choose?

2. What is the best data migration strategy?

3. What is the best approach for switching the developers  and the development environment to the new tool (builds, utilities etc.)?

We will probably have to hire some expert consultant for this project. But I still need to do my own research, so I’d at least know what questions to ask when the time comes.