Product Reviews

StarTeam 5.2

StarTeam is the Win32 client piece of Starbase's Software Change and Configuration Management system. It plugs in using the usual SCC hooks, and so will run anywhere that (for example) Visual SourceSafe will. But while VSS is focused strictly on source code control, StarTeam extends SCCM to cover the software management process from requirements to releases.

StarTeam does this by presenting a rich environment for working on files and projects. To the left of the workspace, you get a treeview of the folders in your project. You can stash anything you like in a folder: source code, documentation, graphics, web sites. To the right, the screen is divided into two panels. The top panel holds a tabbed interface with tabs for files, change requests, requirements, tasks, topics, and audits. By switching back and forth between the tabs, you can move smoothly between the requirements for a product, the code to implement those requirements, bug reports, and a threaded discussion view. The lower panel shows details and version information for whatever you're currently working with.

Some of the nice features you'll find here are an excellent capacity to roll pack projects to previous "point in time" versions, autolinking of various objects and views, an open java/COM/.NET set of APIs that let you extend the product, and Java and Web clients for access from non-Windows platforms.

StarTeam and StarBase are also designed to integrate with many other products, including StarBase's own CaliberRM requirements-management product (which I looked at in the last issue of Developer Central), StarTeam Elite for workflow automation, Mercury Test Director for testing, and TogetherSoft for Java and UML-based development. And now that Borland is buying both StarBase and TogetherSoft, I think we can probably expect to see all of these products converge towards an even more unified set of development tools. The result will definitely be something to keep an eye on.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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