Yes, there are many powerful PureCM plugins into Visual Studio, Eclipse or other tools with SCC interface; even more so with the latest 2009-2 release. But if you want to access PureCM’s full feature set or work with the same interface across platforms, the GUI client is the place to be.
This is why I’ll shed some light on the PureCM GUI, starting with this introduction about its default views. However, I plan to do more than one blog on the topic, so if you’d like to read about a specific GUI issue, just let me know.
So what can you see in each of the PureCM views? Which view do I want to use as an administrator, development manager or developer? Let’s start this GUI introduction based on the PureCM Standard edition to cover the three default views available to any PureCM user.
The PureCM Administration view is the most encompassing view, listing all your server connections, available repositories and workspaces. This is the only view where you can also perform administrative tasks such as creating repositories and managing users, permissions or licenses.
You’ll have to select the repository you want to work with, say the “Apps” repository (click this button or use CTRL+R), which will set the context for the following views. The Repository view will then let you browse the repository's project streams and create branches or snapshots on the server side. Development managers can also access the project audit trail, see current checkouts, compare streams/folders and perform merges between streams (there's an online demo on how to organise your repository).
The Workspaces view lists all local workspaces based on any project stream present in the selected repository; in our example the workspaces for Project 1 Development and Project 2 Development. Release managers would see workspaces to pull the latest project version to their build machines, e.g. to perform continuous integration.
You can perform basic workspace operations from this view, but its main purpose it to give you quick access to the one you want to work with. This actually brings us to the final view.
Project level workspace view
This is the view most developers will spend 90% of their time working against a specific code line. To get there, simply select the workspace you want to work with. The PureCM GUI then automatically drills down to the workspace content, showing its files and folders, as well as grouping your changes into changesets.
The workspace is a private sandbox to work on a specific project. Here, you can checkout files, access file history and submit finished changes. You can get specific file revisions or synchronise your workspace to a particular point in time, e.g. to hunt down bugs. But you’ll also see who else is working on a file and what changes they have submitted to the server, so you can update your workspace to get the latest project status. There's also an online demo about the workspace features.
If you're in a hurry, you can also access a specific workspace via the combo box in the top right corner of the PureCM GUI at any times. Simple.
I hope that I’ve been able to show you that each view facilitates work for a specific user group. If you’re and administrator ...well, you know where. If you’re a development manager looking after branching and merging, creating build and release snapshots, or setting up new projects from scratch, the Repository view is yours. And as a developer, select a workspace from the Workspaces list and get a focused view on the specific project you want to work on.
But is the Administration view the same for administrators and developers? Or is there a way to customise available actions, visible repositories and ongoing changes? Yes, there is – and that’s what I’ll cover with my next blog.