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The advantages of task-driven development

 

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a large number of development teams moving away from file-based version control tools. This is no surprise, as new tools on the market started to support the concept of changesets and atomic commits.

Why grouping changes makes sense

So instead of checking in every single file, developers were now able to group their changes in changesets. This gives teams a much better project history, as each changeset reflects a task. Also, changesets are applied to the repository database atomically, i.e. completely or not at all, thus protecting database integrity.

Distributed version control systems and, of course, PureCM also allow developers to create, checkpoint or rollback changesets without needing a connection to a central server. But task-driven development doesn’t stop there. You’d want to link your changeset to its original change request or defect in your issue tracking tool.

Easy: add the issue reference as a comment, or link it to your changeset using a 3rd party plugin. But what if you’re working on parallel versions, where changesets get merged across project branches? Do you still know to what versions your change has been applied to? Or how do you track your changes when implementing code reuse across projects?

How to keep track when working with parallel versions?

Typically, only your original changeset will be linked to the original issue, but it quickly becomes a manual and cumbersome process to find out into which releases, say, a particular bug fix has finally made it. This is where PureCM’s end-to-end focus on task-driven development comes in, providing a full picture with on a simple mouse click.

Watch the short 3 minute demo to learn how you can get full transparency between project branches and even when sharing components across multiple projects. Ah yes, here’s the link: http://www.purecm.com/file_downloader.php?type=video&download_id=8

I hope you like it!


 

SDC, Part 6: Working on a small work item: tasks

In this part of the SDC series we are focusing on a developers day to day life. Last time Lee looked at developer workspaces, now we are going to look at how tasks interact with and manage those workspaces.

My Tasks

We already introduced the concept of a task in my last blog looking from a managers point of view. To a developer a task represents  a small chunk of work that has been assigned to them to complete. These can be easily viewed from the 'My Tasks' area.

As you can see the tasks in this view are broken down into three sections; 'Working', 'Assigned' and 'Group'. These divide the tasks between those that have been linked to a workspace and those which have not. Each section is sorted by priority to help you complete the most important tasks first.

To link a task to a workspace select start button. This will launch a dialog to let you select your workspace. By default it will highlight a workspace connected to the same version as the task. You can always chose to switch an old workspace by selecting it. If no workspaces exist it will launch the new workspace dialog and automatically select the correct version.

Group Assigned Tasks

These are tasks that have been assigned to multiple users using a group. This does not mean that they all work on the same task together, instead it provides a good way for managers to put tasks into a pool for a team to complete (This can be great for end of release bug fixes). As soon as a developer starts work on a task he removes it from the pool and assigns it to himself.

What does Complete do?

For both assigned and group tasks you get the option to complete it. This is designed for when the task is completed without any changes to the server. These cases can include testing tasks or simply tasks that have been completed already.

Working Offline

If you ever need to work while being disconnected from the PureCM server you will be happy to know that tasks assigned to you are stored locally for you to continue working.

Inside your workspace

Each task linked to a workspace acts as a changeset. You can work on multiple tasks at once as different changesets by simply starting work on multiple tasks.

Sometimes you may have no choice but to implement two tasks as one changeset. In this case PureCM allows you to submit the changeset with both tasks assigned to it. From the submit dialog you need to switch to the 'Tasks' tab and select all of the tasks you intend to submit.

 

When you know which workspace you are working in and want to select the next task without changing your view, select the 'Current Tasks' node and choose the 'Work on Task' item. This provides you with a way to select the task you want to work on or even create a new task inside the correct version.

 

In Summary

  • You can complete a task without submitting a change from the My Tasks view.
  • Tasks can be assigned to a group to allow any developer from the team to work on it.
  • Tasks assigned to you are stored for offline work.
  • You can link multiple tasks to a changeset by selecting them in the submit dialog.
  • You can create new tasks from inside your workspace using the work on task dialog.

The next blog will look at larger work items that are too big to handle with a single task.