AccuRev Review

The stream structure is highly flexible but it needs work to improve performance relative to distributed SCM.

What is most valuable?

The automatic merging provided by AccuRev's unique stream inheritance model allows us to rapidly integrate in a multi-stream process model. AccuRev's change packages(Issues) let us promote by business request rather than try and remember all the changes we made for a business request. The flexible stream structure allows us to adapt to any SDLC we have in-house or want to experiment with.

How has it helped my organization?

AccuRev's stream structure is highly flexible and allows us to model any SDLC we need to. AccuRev Issues allows us to promote changes by business defined request instead of trying to remember what files and versions of files changed for a business request. This allows high visibility of what changes are in a given agile iteration and at what stage they are in the SDLC.

What needs improvement?

Because AccuRev is a centralized SCM, Microfocus will always need to work to improve performance relative to distributed SCM. A one to one match is not possible but they do allow integration with Git for those who prefer a distributed model.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

None. Administration is by far the easiest of the many SCM systems I have worked with.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

None. Minor bugs have been encountered but they never left me with a feeling that we had a stability problem with AccuRev.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

None so far. We have had three years of use after migrating from ClearCase UCM. We have migrated all developments into their own AccuRev depots on a single server with no degradation in performance.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Excellent. Our original pre-sales technical contact is now in a different position within the sales organization, but is still willing to field questions, and get the right resources involved to speed up the delivery of customer service. They also involve customers in sprint-reviews to provide input on upcoming major enhancements.

Technical Support:

Excellent. The staff is very knowledgeable and willing to answer seemingly mundane questions quickly. They are also willing to involve deeper development resources quickly for more complicated questions.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used ClearCase UCM before moving to AccuRev. We were tired of spending hundreds of man-hours a year working around limitations in ClearCase UCM. Our search for a new SCM system started with a very wide berth, and included both centralized and distributed systems. AccuRev was proven to be the best for our needs after an extensive evaluation.

How was the initial setup?

AccuRev is extremely easy to install, administer and maintain. The most complicated step in our transition from ClearCase was in transferring baselines and work-in-progress from all our development streams. We worked closely with AccuRev on a plan and they came on site to monitor the cross-over.

What about the implementation team?

A member of the AccuRev technical support staff came on-site during the cross-over weekend. We had planned and practiced the cross-over process with this person before he arrived. He monitored, advised and provided training to staff as the last step of our cross-over and he had a deep knowledge of the product. With lots of practice ahead of time, it meant he was mostly bored during his time with us.

What was our ROI?

In our internal purchasing process we estimated the savings in man-hours per iteration would be eight hours per 13 development teams per month. We have easily achieved this, and additionally, we moved from three ClearCase Admins to one and a half AccuRev Admins.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Of course there are acquisition costs associated with licensing. We also allocated a Windows VM internally, not a bug chunk of iron. We chose the most flexible licenses and spent a fair amount of time testing our cross-over plan in close cooperation with AccuRev tech support. The actual cross-over took one and a half days.

The day-to-day costs are minimal from an administrators perspective as we coach developers on the best way to achieve what they want to do.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did an extensive evaluation based on internal functional and performance criteria. We looked at distributed and centralized SCM systems to replace our usage of ClearCase SCM. We evaluated:

  • Git
  • Mercurial
  • SVN
  • Perforce
  • PlasticSCM
  • AccuRev.

What other advice do I have?

Get over the different nomenclature AccuRev uses as it really isn't a big deal. AccuRev has a very unique value proposition based on three features, in my opinion:

  1. Flexible stream structure allows you to model any SDLC
  2. Stream Inheritance allows complex stream structures to integrate rapidly like they are all on "trunk"
  3. Built-in change packages through AccuRev Issues let developers and business owners promote by business request, not a collection of changes you hope match the business request

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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