Micro Focus

SPTS Technologies
Success Story

SPTS Technologies eliminates parallel development complexity, improves quality, and speeds release preparation.

“The task of managing the merge of new features or patches from one branch to another is greatly simplified."

RICHARD PRESCOTT
Software Development Technical Lead

At a Glance

Industry

Software/Programming Services

Location

United Kingdom

Results

  • Increased change traceability and visibility
  • Eliminated time and cost of daily development operations
  • Reduced release preparation time and improved software quality

Overview

SPTS develops and maintains a suite of sophisticated software for a central PC-based Windows architecture, communicating through multiple controllers to its products.

Richard Prescott, Software Development Technical Lead, had been a long time user of PVCS. Since the mid-2000s, he’s recognized an increasing need for issue & defect management, and an increasingly urgent need for better parallel and concurrent development support, and greater insight and visibility into each development change, to significantly improve the efficiency of development operations.

Challenge

As SPTS’s business grew, so too did the software development to support its product line, from largely linear development to significant parallel and concurrent development. With more variants and more customers, development began to struggle with managing the complexity of multiple branches and tracking the various changes on, across and between branches became increasingly time consuming and error prone.

With SPTS applications involving up to 10,000 or more files, coordinating and tracking development changes across multiple branches became more and more complex, with detrimental impact to the quality and timeliness of release delivery. Developers spent increasing time on tracking and coordinating its changes across branches and experiencing slower response time of common development operations such as applying a code label or fetching the correct branch content into a workspace.

SPTS set about seeking an alternative solution that would accommodate the complexity and improve the efficiency and quality of development releases. In addition to modern development practices, SPTS sought a solution that provided granular traceability and visibility into both individual development changes and changes to the branch itself. Eliminating the complexity, while simplifying development tasks and activities, was a key driver, as was the ability to preserve the entire history from PVCS to minimize any impact to ongoing development and maintenance of existing application releases, ensuring development could be as productive as possible, as quickly as possible.

Solution

With the release of Dimensions CM 14 imminent, SPTS’s implementation team recognized the value of waiting a few weeks to experience its innovative new features, such as full support for change sets, the virtual change graph, a best-in-class merge tool, and an integrated collaborative peer review.

Prior to implementation of Micro Focus Dimensions CM, tracking of each development change and the content of each change was extremely inefficient. Common development and merge operations were increasingly time consuming and error prone, with major challenges identifying which lines of code had changed between branches. Communication and collaboration among team members became insufficient, leading to significant human intervention in remediation activities and poor performance.

With Dimensions CM 14 installed and populated from PVCS through an automated migration utility preserving full history, SPTS development teams were quickly up and running, maintaining existing application releases and enhancing or developing new application releases.

Results

With a visual and interactive timeline of development changes, SPTS now has real-time insight and visibility into branches, streams, stream dependencies and the status and quality of each development change on each stream.

With the new collaborative development environment, SPTS has now eliminated unnecessary complexity of parallel and concurrent development and simplified daily development tasks and activities.

Software quality is now much improved, and with change traceability, there is greater insight into each change and the content of each change, resulting in significantly speeding up merges and the creation of release baselines.

With the successful deployment of Dimensions CM, SPTS now plans to migrate its Subversion development teams to Dimensions CM, enabling them to centralize the SCM function, providing broader insight and visibility across all application code lines and improving developer productivity and performance.