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RE: Clear Case vs Subversion

From: Janulewicz, Matthew <MJanulewicz_at_westernasset.com>
Date: 2005-06-08 18:20:58 CEST

First time, long time. Sorry for my greenness.

I worked with ClearCase for a few years a couple jobs ago, and the 'office integration' is basically as described by others: a ClearCase menu so you can check things in and out from Word or Excel. IMHO, rather useless. Folks will still need to know about back-end dealings with ClearCase which is not the easiest piece of software to learn. In trying to sell this point, they're not addressing the issue that folks who need to 'just' check in and out word docs are not going to be engineers and power users and it will take a lot of hand holding. It's hard enough to explain to Bob in accounting what source code is, much less training him to use it properly.

However, if you are a microsoft shop, their integration with Visual Studio is super-duper industrial strength and is rather impressive. ClearCase's integration with Rational/IBM's own tools is rather tight, too.

The main things to consider when possibly purchasing a ClearCase system are cost (it's very expensive, software and hardware) and the size of your team. In my opinion (and others) ClearCase does not scale down very well and is really only compelling when you get up to teams with hundreds of users total. The overhead and admin costs are too much to justify for smaller groups. Good tool for Motorola, bad tool for Joe's Basement Software Lab Inc.


-----Original Message-----
From: Georg Viehöver [mailto:viehoever@sigma-c.de]
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 8:48 AM
To: ebridges@eqbridges.com; Gabor Szabo
Cc: users@subversion.tigris.org
Subject: RE: Clear Case vs Subversion

I think these points are still valid. An additional property of ClearCase is that it support a certain development process (UCM) and integration with a bug tracker (ClearQuest) out of the box. It depends on your philosophy if you see process orientation as a pro or con...

As far as the integration is concerned: When working with ClearCase I found the word integration less useful than I thought. Fetching 2 different versions of a file and doing the comparison with the usual Word tools worked for me. I dont know if the tool mentioned in http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en;165496 in cooperation with svn_proxy would do the same trick as the ClearCase Word integration.



-----Original Message-----
From: Edward Q. Bridges [mailto:ebridges@eqbridges.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 3:50 PM
To: Gabor Szabo
Cc: users@subversion.tigris.org
Subject: Re: Clear Case vs Subversion

Mr. Rousseau,

A year ago (almost) you wrote the below detailed comparison of Clearcase vs. Subversion.

Here it is now almost a year later, and since you asked to be followed up with about how much you liked it, and since someone else on the subversion list is now asking about this comparison, and since I'm interested to hear, would you be so kind to provide a follow up with how successful your use was?

Thanks in advance!
Ed Bridges

cf. http://svn.haxx.se/users/archive-2004-08/0716.shtml
Subject: Re: ClearCase vs. Subversion
From: John Rousseau (JRousseau_at_novell.com)
Date: 2004-08-12 20:09:26 CEST

I've used ClearCase extensively for about 8 years, and I like it very much. I've only been using subversion for about 3 months. Here are my personal opinions, your mileage may vary. :-)

Really! My opinion only. No flames please.

ClearCase Pros:
- Industrial strength
- Excellent merge tools
- Good GUI on Windows
- Proven reliability
- Scales up well

ClearCase Cons:
- Heavyweight server and client
- Very steep learning curve for users
- All merges are server based
   - Means you can't merge or diff without having connectivity to the servers
   - Merges over high latency links are SLOW
- Very expensive
- Weak GUI on *nix platforms
- Server communication is RPC based (think lots of little packets) so anything
   over a high latency link is SLOW
- You need to do many things the ClearCase way, not your way
- Scales down terribly
- High administration burden

Subversion Pros:
- Open Source (lots of interest and integrations)
- Very lightweight server and client
- Quick learning curve for users (until you get to merging)
- Fast and efficient on the network
- Flexible architechture
- Scales down well (I don't yet know how well it scales up)
- Lots of IDE, editor and tool integrations
- Low administration burden

Subversion Cons:
- Open Source (developers work on what they want to)
- Immature technology
- Merge tracking is currently completely manual
- Weak support for checking out part of a repository

We've been using ClearCase for large-team development for years, but we now have a lot of remote developers and ClearCase sucks for remote users.
It also requires a lot of administration. We evaluated Perforce, CVS, subversion and BitKeeper earlier this year to see if we could find something that was better than ClearCase with the option of staying with ClearCase if need be. We chose subversion. Ask me in a year when our first big project using subversion ships if I'm still happy with it.

Devs: more than SQL support, merge tracking (which IS desperately needed) or any bell or whistle, you need to absolutely guarantee that people don't lose bits. With all the reports of repository corruption on this list (be it user error, act of God or bug), I don't sleep very well at night.
"Restore from backup" is not an acceptable answer.

Having said that, I'm quite happy with subversion so far.


On Thu, 12 Aug 2004 17:20:47 +1000, Barnett, Chris <Chris.Barnett_at_Yum.com> wrote:

> Hi list,
> I'm after a feature comparison between ClearCase and Subversion - can
> anyone help? I've googled and googled, but all I find is 1 line
> mentions of ClearCase in flame wars on SVN vs arch.
> TIA,
> Chris

John Rousseau                               JRousseau_at_novell.com
Novell, Inc.                              Phone: +1 781 464 8377
404 Wyman Street                            Fax: +1 781 464 8100
Waltham, MA 02451                          http://www.novell.com
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Received on Wed Jun 8 18:25:44 2005

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