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Interview

Perforce unveils “a single source of truth” collaboration platform

Coman Hamilton
Helix image via Shutterstock

With git management, a cloud service and a native Distributed Version Control System engine, Perforce’s latest offering wants to make version and git management simpler for startups and games developers.

This morning, the Californian development collaboration specialists Perforce announced a new SCM and content collaboration platform, Perforce Helix. Features include Distributed Version Control System (DVCS), Git management, IP threat detection and cloud service. The platform, which will be rolled out over the next weeks, aims to assist development teams in unifying product engineering, software development and industrial design into one “single source of truth”.

Perforce’s Mark Warren explained to JAXenter that the new offering is designed for startup and indie games developers, but that the product’s version and git management apply to all industries.

JAXenter: We hear Perforce has finished work on its cloud-based version management platform. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Mark Warren, Perforce: We’ve seen that there is a gap for startup companies that are looking for professional version management and collaboration tools that can handle a wide variety of different content types – video, graphics, designs etc. By providing a hosted versioning platform that can handle all the file types, all contributors can work on a single repository, encouraging collaboration.

The entire suit also includes tools for managing git repos and provide Intellectual Property threat detection (spotting if there are unusal behvaiours which could be theft of IP). This is known as Perforce Helix. It will be available free of charge, with some restrictions, as Helix Cloud Community Edition with paid for upgrade and on-premise options.

Can you maybe walk us through a potential use-case scenario?

Imagine developing software code for a product that also includes graphics – could be a computer game or mobile application. The software engineers might be using an IDE such as Visual Studio or Eclipse and the artists/designers are using Photoshop or Maya 3D. They can both store their assets in Helix and the DevOps or Release Managers can bring all those assets into their build and release systems.

We’re seeing a huge amount of activity in the area of hybrid environments. Why the sudden goldrush?

The technology and management tools are reaching a level of maturity that makes it easier to adopt. For example, containerisation tools like Docker make it easier to deploy preconfigured system images and vmware vCloud Air are built for hybrid cloud/on-premise. Hybrid helps solve security and privacy issues while allowing for flexible and affordable scalability and disaster recovery scenarios.

You’ve also developed an IP threat detection based on behavioural analytics – how does that work?

Helix Threat Detection uses an unique approach using behavioural analytics to learn what is normal behaviour and then highlighting potential risks such as individuals taking lots of files from the repository and not putting them back, accessing files from projects they don’t normally user or sharing files via USB memory or cloud storage.

Many factors are considered when evaluating the threat level. We’ve heard from several customers and there are frequent news stories about IP theft and leakage and businesses are starting to understand the value of their software IP and therefore paying a lot more attention to how that IP is being protected.

Author
Coman Hamilton
Coman was Editor of JAXenter.com at S&S Media Group. He has a master's degree in cultural studies and has written and edited content for numerous news, tech and culture websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies.

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