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Light Workspace

With the 2009-1 release of PureCM, comes the option of “Light Workspaces”.. The main purpose of Light workspaces was to enable workspace rebasing (see previous blog ‘Towards Rebasing’ October 2008). Currently, each ‘Full’ workspace has a workspace database that contains revision, checkout and file information about the workspace. This is obviously useful information to have, but makes workspaces large and time consuming to recreate. To enable rebasing, we needed to minimise the size of the workspace database. This has been achieved, to the extent that the new workspaces are some 2% of their original size! 

Are Light Workspaces for me?

So now that we have lighter workspaces, what are the benefits and when would you choose to stick with a full workspace? 

The obvious advantage of a light workspace is local disc space – a fraction of the size is required – so recreating a workspace takes a lot less time. Being able to rebase a workspace means you can very quickly switch to a different stream and begin work on it. This is particularly useful when working with many branches, i.e. branch per task patterns.

If you work in an environment that allows a connection to the server most of the time then Light workspaces are ideal as file history can be obtained easily via the repository database on the server. If, however, you work disconnected from the server for a large amount of time, and also require file history then a ‘full’ workspace is still the best option for you. The ability to create local revisions when offline is an advantage of PureCM, as it allows for checkpointing/rollbacks.

Alternatively you could use a light workspace for day to day operation, and also retain a full workspace for retrieving the history of files. This is possible as PureCM allows multiple workspaces, even from the same branch.

How to create a Light Workspace?

When creating a workspace, there is a new option on the creation dialog ‘Store file revisions in the workspace database’ – Uncheck this to create a light workspace. Once the workspace is created, you cannot change this option.

How to rebase a Workspace 

Right click your workspace and choose 'Rebase Workspace'.

The process of rebasing a workspace  uses the same dialog (as the workspace properties) but allows the user to select a different stream. Workspaces can only be rebased if nothing is currently ‘checked out for edit’ in the workspace. Whenever rebasing occurs, the new rebased workspace will automatically become a light workspace.