by May 11, 2002 0 comments

If you’re a software-development house, then the software projects you do for your clients are your main asset. This has to be managed properly in order to handle timely product releases and updates. This is where a concept called SCM comes into the picture. No, this particular acronym doesn’t stand for the oft repeated supply-chain management as you might think. Instead, it stands for Source-configuration management, which is meant to streamline the software development process in an organization.

SpectrumSCM is an SCM software, which can either streamline your existing software development lifecycle, or help you define a new one. Some of the things it can do are version and process control, release management, branching and issue tracking. Being Java-based, it can be run on any OS supporting the JVM. Plus, it can run as a standalone product, in client/server mode, or using a Web browser. 

When you create a new software project, you can assign roles for all your team members in it

Price: Standalone: 
Rs 36,000; Client/Server: 
Rs 72,000 for server; Rs 36,000 per seat up to 10 users; Rs 19,200 per seat for 200+ users 
Meant for:
 Software development companies
Features: Java-based for platform portability; issue tracking support; search tabs for locating information; online reporting; release management, version tracking.
Pros: Strict control over project files.
Cons: No keyword search in the help file
Contact: Tata Infotech Limited,
 Tel: 022-8291261.

Installation is quite simple, and it comes with a tutorial to help you get started quickly. The help file of the software user interface could have been made better, as it didn’t even let us do a keyword search. Using the software is pretty easy, if you know the concepts of Source-configuration management. It lets you keep a close tab on all your projects, making it easier to manage. You can do everything right from defining a new project, to creating its life cycle with the various phases, adding users to the project team, to assigning them rights. All changes in the project are done by creating and assigning change requests, wherein you can modify a file’s source code only if you’ve got the permission to do so. Once the coding is done for a particular file, it can be progressed to the next phase in the lifecycle. It also takes care of creating versions of the files, to help you track their progress. All change requests are notified to the administrator, Project manager by e-mail. Plus, it also lets you do software release management, and create reports to keep a tab on who’s doing what.

The Bottom Line This SCM package is quite useful for software development houses, as it lets them keep strict vigilance over everything about their project, right from its creation, to the files, and the entire project life cycle.

Anil Chopra at PCQ Labs

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