Tag Archive for 'Subversion support'

WANdisco Announces Outstanding Employee Award

Followers of this blog may already have noticed that, on top of our quarterly Social Captain, WANdisco is now nominating a Green Captain who will be responsible for the company’s recycling policy, carpool strategy, and ensuring that WANdisco is an all-round eco-friendly place to work. Now, we’re giving members of Team WANdisco another chance to grab some of the limelight, with our Outstanding Employee program. Winners of WANdisco’s Outstanding Employee program will each receive £150 in Amazon vouchers (which we’re sure you’ll agree, is far better than an engraved paperweight!)

We’re pleased to announce that our first ever Outstanding Employee is Gary Beardshaw. Gary is one of our Technical Support Engineers, helping us offer 24-by-7 worldwide support to all of our support customers. This has been a particularly hectic few months for all of our support engineers, and in this busy time we can’t fail to be impressed by Gary’s 2AM responses to customers when he’s not even scheduled to be at work!

“It’s never easy to single out one person in a group of so many superstars, and we all appreciate every effort that goes above and beyond,” said Ian Wild, WANdisco’s Director of Engineering.

Congratulations, Gary!

That Was the Year that Was – uberSVN & All That…

I suspect that I will always remember 2011 as the year when the curtain came down on one of the true greats – Steve Jobs. Great, not just in my world of Silicon Valley techies, but great for just about everyone else on the planet. Even though most of us never knew him we feel like we must have. We seem to use his stuff just about every day.

Apple’s success has had and will continue to have a massive impact on the design of computer systems and products. When we were thinking about uberSVN the very first thought we had was about the relationship between the product and the user. Ten years ago I don’t think that would have been the case. I guess you could call it ‘the pre-iPod days’ (the first iPod was released in October 2001 and was cast as “1,000 songs in your pocket”) before that, according to Jobs, music players were either “big and clunky or small and useless”.

Our customers told us that ‘old fashioned’ ALM was big-and-clunky; and they’re probably right! In many cases they were moving away from these ‘dinosaurs’ to a best-of-breed approach. Like Subversion for source control, JIRA, Redmine or Trac for defects & wiki, Review Board for peer code reviews, and so on.

When we launched uberSVN in April I talked about empowering users by giving them choice. Freedom to choose any combination of ALM tools that best fit the business requirements be it price or functionality, open source or closed source. How’s it doing? In short – amazingly well! To our delight it’s being used everywhere from Fortune 100 companies to the US Senate. I even got my 11 and 12 year-old children to install it on their MAC books – it took them only 5 minutes! Not sure how much use they get out of Subversion – but they did get double pocket money for their efforts! That really is the point of uberSVN. We have made an extremely powerful but complex product extremely easy to use and install by anyone and I think we succeeded in that regard.

We quickly followed-up with uberApps. Another ‘first of a kind’ product with an enterprise AppStore for software development tools. Now, with just a single click, it is possible to install a build & test product like Jenkins or even buy external QA resources from crowd-sourcing vendor uTest. This is another step in making ALM both usable and useful. Anyone, and I mean anyone can deploy these apps without special knowledge, experience or skills.

These products were developed in my hometown, Sheffield. It was our Christmas party there the other week and it really was astonishing to see how quickly we have grown. From a small office where we would “see what happens” we have grown to almost 40. There was a lot of laughing behind hands from my ‘friends’ from the south and lot’s of “ooop north” jibes. Well, in between wearing flat caps and racing whippets, the Sheffield team delivered an award-winning piece of software. uberSVN won 2 awards in the first year of its launch and we have seen almost 50,000 downloads.

Apache Subversion also continues to grow. Subversion is still the ‘King’ of source code management. More traditional Enterprises are turning away from old-fashioned / big-and-clunky ALM for Subversion. And SVN 1.7 (also released this year) has delivered a much-needed performance boost. Throughout the year I have been embroiled in various spats with the Giterons (Git fundamentalists who believe in the inerrancy of Linus) but only this month I have spoken to 3 or 4 companies that tried Git but had to pull it out due to various-and-sundry issues. Much more on that early in the new year, when we might just have a solution for those looking to use Git as more of a client to a central SVN server of record…

There was also some politics earlier in the year when one of our competitors used some pretty underhanded tactics to besmirch our good name. Unfortunately for them it worked quite well in our favor. We are, and always have been a big supporter of the ASF (we are even the only Subversion contributor to also be a sponsor). In fact, at the time of writing, we are in the process of proposing a new project for the ASF incubator. Again, lot’s more on that in the new year.

We also took some steps earlier in the year to solidify the Subversion community by acquiring SVNforum.org. I think we have done a pretty good job of updating the site software, Subversion Liveeradicating spam and generally making the site a useful, free resource for every SVN user. As part of our efforts for the SVN community we also hosted the first Subversion user conferences. Audiences in San Francisco, Boston and London attended “Subversion Live”. We are hosting Subversion Live again later in the year with a extended program.

So 2011 was a great year here at WANdisco but 2012 should be even better. We have several major product launches planned including a new (free) open source defect tracker / wiki, uberSVN Team, uberSVN Enterprise and a solution to the Git/SVN conundrum. In the words of ‘Potato Claus’ (the lead character in my kids’ favorite book from a few years ago) may I take this opportunity to wish everyone Happy Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Winter Solstice, and also local and regional winter holidays and celebrations.

Here’s a rather nice pictorial representation of 2011 from a WANdisco perspective (click to enlarge):

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About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

Can’t live without Subversion – even for a minute?

Can't Live without SVN - even for a minute?

Enterprise Subversion Webinar by WANdisco

The popularity of Apache Subversion (SVN) as a version control system has grown significantly in recent times and is widely recognized as the sole leader in Standalone Software Configuration Management (SCM). With more than five million users, an increasing share of the market and hundreds of major global companies deploying Subversion for their development needs it’s clear that many can’t live without Subversion – even for a minute!

Subversion maintains current and historical versions of files such as source code, web pages, and documentation, making it a highly compatible successor to various traditional SCM solutions. Subversion is open source (and therefore free), which suggests some of the reasons for its popularity but it also performs and scales in some of the most aggressive SCM environments on the planet where some of the traditional SCM products could not.

WANdisco supports the Subversion open source project in a number of tangible ways and one of those is through providing free training webinars. It’s important that users of SVN are maximising their skill set for their own benefit – and that of course strengthens the Subversion community in the process.

The suite of Subversion training courses provided by WANdisco caters for developers and administrators from many different sectors but our latest addition to the free webinar schedule is aimed at major firms that demand the very best from their SVN implementation.

Following the success of our Enterprise Hardened Subversion webinar, ‘Can’t live without Subversion – even for a minute’ will provide excellent content for users who demand that Subversion is always on and always accessible.

A featured case study from one of WANdisco’s valued Subversion customers will help participants learn why companies have become dependent on Subversion for mission critical applications and why they can’t afford to be down, even for a single minute!

The case study will highlight a very typical Subversion deployment: a technology company with around 100 developers started using Subversion as an ad hoc project implementation and it grew to become the company standard.  However, what they thought was a secure automated backup system actually failed and brought the entire system down, resulting in lost productivity of 100 idle developers for an entire day and project delays for an entire week lost before full functionality was restored.  That’s a lot of minutes – and dollars!!!  Could this happen to you?!

WANdisco’s Subversion Clustering provides an excellent solution and the webinar will explain how a three node cluster results in no single point of failure and extremely high availability. We will also tell you how implementation services were used to accelerate adoption with costs easily justified – the outlay being a fraction of the cost of real downtime.

If that wasn’t enough we will take you through a more detailed account of WANdisco’s Subversion Clustering, including replication, intelligent load balancing, flexible deployment options, extension with Multisite and implementation services.

If you can’t live without Subversion then make sure you register for this free webinar – and don’t waste a minute.

Click here to register for this webinar now.

Enterprise Software is Dead! Long Live Enterprise Software!

Just imagine if someone approached you with a ‘brand new idea’ for CRM software.  It would cost millions-of-dollars, install in 3-6 months and takes a team of consultants to do most of the work.  Of course you would laugh and rightly so after all it’s such a 2001 idea… How times change.

The idea sounds preposterous now because our expectations have changed.  I can get SalesForce.com up and running and the only real skill I need is to know how to enter a credit card number. Everyone is talking about the cloud and trying to cram the word “cloud” into their new company names as we all did with “.com” back in the heady days of 1998 when the dot com typhoon first hit us.  I think it’s very easy to get carried away, just as we did at the millennium, and throw rational business thinking out of the window.  Back then we forgot that you still actually needed to sell and fulfill orders just like any other business – that doesn’t change.  What does change is the relationship the consumer has with the retailer.  I can’t remember the last time that I purchased an airline ticket inside a travel agent’s office for example.

Let’s look at the reasons why enterprises are moving some software to the cloud. A recent IDC study found the top reason was easy-fast deployment.  The other reasons (see picture below) are associated with cost (less in house IT, pay for use, low monthly subscription) or getting latest functionality.  The converse of this is that traditional enterprise software is difficult and slow to deploy, expensive and complex to update.

I really don’t believe that cloud computing is as revolutionary as the industry would have us believe but what it is doing is changing our expectations in the way in which we consume applications.  Applications do not necessarily need to be in the cloud but they must:

  • Be easy to Install (in less than 15 minutes)
  • Have no special skills to get up and running
  • Be cost effective
  • Just work every time

When we designed uberSVN, we did so with these principles in mind.  That’s why we got tens-of-thousands of successful installs of the product in the first couple of months. So what’s next for uberSVN?  Well we believe that enterprise will take a leaf out of the consumer book.  Almost 3 years ago today Apple updated iTunes and in that update was an app store.  That changed the mobile device into a platform where, with just 1 click you can deploy sophisticated applications for just about everything you need and some things you probably don’t.  Again it’s successful because it’s incredibly easy, fast and cost effective.

Just imagine enterprise IT departments could do this with enterprise applications… enter uberApps.

uberSVN was launched in response to demand from enterprises to be empowered to choose ALM tools to meet their business goals be it price or functionality, open source or closed source.

The concept of an app store means that not only can users get incredibly easy automatic updates and simple (single click) installation but also incredibly fast and efficient discovery of applications.  In a software tools context imagine if you wanted a build engine, a wiki and defect tracker.  There is a plethora of open source, closed source, expensive and free products out there to go and research.   Who even knows if they are all going to work together?

uberApps solves that problem.  The applications are certified to work with the uberSVN platform – that means complete integration and testing by our QA team.  How do you know if it’s any good?  First off you can read reviews from other users and then you can try it out.  Installation is only a mouse click away and if you don’t like it or don’t need it then you can simply uninstall just like you do on an iPhone.

There is one critical difference with iPhone apps though.  There is clearly a balance between fast discovery of applications by users and empowerment to deploy them. uberApps models the process that enterprises use today where departments can request products from IT and then go through a standard approval process.  It’s pretty cool because it means that this is centralized rather than having to get a separate arrangement with dozens of different vendors.

uberApps may be groundbreaking but it’s simply modeling the new way that enterprises expect to consume software today. Which one would you choose –  An app store or a stereotypical software sales guy with his Porsche, golf clubs and Armani suit (all of which you’re eventually going to pay for)?

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About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

Hot news coming at OSCON 2011 & a bit of politics on the Subversion Dev list

At WANdisco we have been looking forward to OSCON 2011 for quite some time. Anyone who knows our company will know that we invest heavily in open source projects, in particular Apache Subversion, which is central to many of the enterprise services that we provide. Subversion (SVN) is used by a vast array of users for source code management, from individual innovators to multinational blue chip companies. But SVN is just one of countless potentially world-changing open source applications.

So it’s always invigorating to catch up with a broad spectrum of open source luminaries to share experiences, explore new ideas, draw inspiration and share mutual aspiration. This highlight of the open source calendar is being held from July 25-29 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

This year we are even more excited about OSCON because we have some big announcements of our own. We believe that these announcements in the coming days will dramatically change the landscape of how developer tools are purchased, deployed and used.

In late April we released our own freely available open ALM platform – uberSVN – which has transformed Subversion into an extensible platform, empowering software developers by enabling them to use a wider choice of toolsets, which can be combined to best fit specific business requirements.  The reviews, across the board, have been fantastic; I keep telling people that I have never been involved in such a successful launch.

Also incorporating social coding into Subversion for the first time, uberSVN has clocked up tens of thousands of installations in less than three months and rave reviews keep coming, usually highlighting the ease of installation and excellent usability that the platform provides.

Those attending OSCON 2011 have a great opportunity to win $2,500 by downloading uberSVN from a USB stick being handed out at the conference. We are pretty certain that you will be impressed with the platform whether you win the cash or not! Failing that you can grab one of our cool t-shirts or stickers.

uberSVN was a factor in WANdisco being included in the Red Herring Top 100 North America list and we have been working hard to ensure that the platform keeps up with the expectation of the massive SVN user community and, working on feedback from Subversion users we are now able to reveal some major new enhancements.

Software developers have been keen to find quicker and easier ways to deploy the tools they need and considerably reduce costs at the same time. And WANdisco has a solution…

Interested? We’ll be revealing full details very soon so keep your eyes peeled!

In addition to this major development we have a major partnership announcement looming large on the horizon too! As you would expect from WANdisco we will be hooking up with an organization regarded as the best at what they do. We pride ourselves on the quality, functionality and reliability of the services and products that we supply and we partner with companies who are held in the same regard by users of SVN. The announcement we have later in the week will also herald another significant leap forward for the capabilities of uberSVN!

We look forward to interacting with conference goers at OSCON and open source users around the world that are increasingly discovering the power that uberSVN delivers. Make sure you keep up with our upcoming announcements on this groundbreaking platform and its associated products including training, consulting services and support.

Finally, a bit of politics from the Subversion open source project.  As you may be aware we committed to improving branching & merging several months ago.  With Subversion 1.7 close to release we have been working for several weeks with Andy Singleton and his team at Assembla.  Andy has some interesting ideas that we have been exploring to “fix Subversion merge”.  Frankly the reaction of some and I mean some on the Subversion Dev list is, to put it mildly, disappointing.  If someone new appears with fresh ideas why should the first reaction be a passive-aggressive “no you can’t do that”.  It’s strange how the naysayers all derive from the same place as Harold Evans once famously said of journalism “it is simpler to sound off than it is to find out. It is more elegant to pontificate than it is to sweat.”  Well we are going to sweat!  We will not be derailed or distracted and our core Subversion guys like the idea so we are planning to build a prototype.  This is something we see as vital for Subversion users. Watch this space!

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About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

Q&A With BCW Magazine

Here’s an interview I gave with Business Computing World (http://www.businesscomputingworld.co.uk/qa-david-richard-wandisco/)

Can you position SCM and SCCM technologies as you see them in relation to ALM in the wider sense?

WANdisco’s heritage is in distributed computing—our technology enables active-active replication over a wide area network. The first application we implemented this with was Apache Subversion to create Subversion MultiSite (a distributed, highly available and scalable Subversion implementation).

Over the past couple of years we have become a very active participant on the Apache Subversion open source project and we are keen to ensure that Apache Subversion maintains its position as what we consider to be the world’s leading SCM tool.

Recently we announced uberSVN an open ALM platform for Subversion. The uberSVN platform is a very easy to use, easy to implement and easy to extend inside a distribution of Subversion. We see SCM as a core component of ALM—it’s where the source code files are stored. So transforming Subversion into a platform that enables you to choose best-of-breed ALM components is a very natural and evolutionary step for us. We don’t believe that any single vendor can provide a complete, best-of-breed ALM solution.

Why would a firm choose Subversion over traditional SCM solutions such as Perforce, Serena or even products from HP?

I guess a better question would be “Why do firms choose or replace traditional SCM solutions with Subversion?” I guess this is because Subversion is open source and hence free, but it performs and scales in some of the most aggressive SCM environments on the planet where some of the traditional SCM products could not. Subversion now has over five millions implementations—how many do the traditional SCM’s have? Not even a fraction of that and that means Subversion must perform and scale in a huge amount of environments.

It sounds like WANdisco’s core technology could be applied across multiple applications. Are you looking at other areas?

Indeed our replication technology is generic and can be applied to other areas. Relational databases is one area we are investigating in our labs right now. Maybe next year we will be in a position to announce something more concrete around database replication/shared-nothing database clustering.

Is WANdisco actively supporting the development of Subversion?

WANdisco is a huge supporter of the Apache Subversion open source project in a number of tangible ways. We have dedicated committers on staff that we pay to only develop Subversion, we are a sponsor of the Apache software foundation and we produce Subversion binary downloads and make them freely available on our website. There was some controversy last year but that was ‘rabble-rousing’ by one of our competitors. The end result is that Subversion development on the open source project is very active again. There is a lot of energy on the project right now and that is good for the wider community.

Are there any clear trends in the SCM space?

Subversion is continuing to gain adoption in the enterprise and government organisations. That’s probably not entirely surprising given that, in product lifecycle parlance, Subversion is in maturity. As I said earlier it continues to replace traditional SCM solutions. I would also say that Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server (TFS) is also gaining traction and is probably in the number two position. We don’t see enterprises moving their source code to the cloud yet. That may change but we have see some of the tooling move there—just not the source code.

What’s the uptake been like for uberSVN?

I’d say things are looking healthy, we have thousands of installs in just over a month and the feedback has been very good. I have never seen so many product installs and that is a good sign that the product is very easy to install. We worked very hard to get a product that could be installed in less than five minutes and we will never trade that off for anything.

Are there any big announcements scheduled for uberSVN?

In July we are planning a major new product feature that will enable customers to very easily install third party applications. It’s a really cool feature that will change the way ALM software is delivered behind the firewall. We also have some partner announcements around software build and quality tools.

Is GIT a threat to Subversion?

Funny, I was talking about this only today with an industry analyst and he has the same conclusion that we have. Git has its uses but probably not in the enterprise. OK please listen, I know that statement will upset a bunch of senior developers who think that GIT solves everything but it really doesn’t.

If you think about it GIT actually promotes anti-social software development; development in small, disconnected silos is not how software is developed in the real world. Most software is developed by teams whose members have a variety of skills who need to see what each other is doing and that’s the fundamental reason why GIT is not a threat to Subversion in the enterprise. It’s fine for the development of the Linux kernel but that model doesn’t work for most companies.

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About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

uberSVN: The Best is Yet to Come!

Since the launch a couple of weeks ago the growth of uberSVN has been nothing short of spectacular.  We’ve had thousands of downloads and successful installs.  Probably the only thing to raise our eyebrows a little is the amount of support tickets or to be more precise the lack of them!  I must admit (touch wood) that this is / was by far the best new product launch that I have ever been part of! The feedback (and unsolicited too) has been terrific.  Another well done to the uberSVN team!

It is very important that we don’t rest on our laurels and push forward with new features (such as LDAP integration) and enhancements (which is the posh way of saying bug fixes) and acting on user-feedback.  To that end, we met last week in Napa to sanity check the feature pipeline of uberSVN and our other products.  I think it’s safe to say that the best is yet to come!

We have some pretty big plans for the product.  Indeed the goal from the start was for uberSVN to be a living, expanding product guided by a large community of users.  One of the fundamental early features of uberSVN is the easy to use auto-update mechanism that allows us to offer these new features and functions to users very quickly.

Next week we’ve got a minor release coming out. Here’s what is planned:

  • LDAP Authentication – this has been requested by many users
  • Bug fixes including native language support, loading repos from large dump files.

The next major release will be in late June / early July and we will be announcing some pretty big news at OSCON.  Here’s a sneak-peak:

  • Integration with Subversion MultiSite
  • Scheduling back-up / import
  • Bundling some cool third party tools, pre-integrated with uberSVN.
  • Tool for adding / extending uberSVN.
  • A fully documented API for third party integration.
  • ???? You’ll just have to wait but we have a pretty big surprise up our sleeves!

Partnerships will have a big part to play in the uberSVN ecosystem. We have been working with several leading tools vendors for several months to include them in this new ecosystem and it’s something we are pretty excited about.  We will be opening this up to other vendors after July so if you’re interested in joining the uberSVN ecosystem, drop me a line.

I should also probably address some of the spam comments from our competition friends.  This is not an open source product. Why? Simple, it doesn’t need to be!  We are part of the Apache Subversion project and we believe that Subversion, as a stand-alone product, should continue to be the best SCM product on the planet.  We are going to ensure that uberSVN always uses the latest Subversion Binaries in an unmodified form (our uberSVN users will be able to automatically install the new release of Subversion, 1.6.17, due out next week). In fact we will always offer the open source subversion binaries on our website.  It’s important to us that we always offer users a choice.

It’s a Beta product.  Gmail was in Beta for 5 years. I was one of the early users and used it for banking, my kids’ school stuff and a whole bunch of things that I couldn’t really do without.  It didn’t mean that it didn’t work.  In fact Google only removed the Beta tag when they believed that “the beta tag just doesn’t fit for large enterprises that aren’t keen to run their business on software that sounds like it’s still in the trial phase.”  In this case we are looking to reach a ‘complete’ set of features – as I said earlier this product is going to get much bigger – in the words of old blue eyes “the best is yet to come!

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About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

How to Choose an Open Source (Subversion) Support Provider.

Open source support can be a lucrative business for software vendors.  It’s kind of necessary for large organizations that cannot implement any software without support.  But not all support is the same.  Some companies offer support that they have difficulty really fulfilling.  I have tried to come up with a checklist to help you decide which vendor you should choose.

1. Do they have full committers on the project?

In his book “Producing Open Source Software”, Karl Fogel discusses the critical role of committers on an open source project: “The project cannot rely on people’s own judgment; it must impose standards and grant commit access only to those who meet them.”  Take the inverse; suppose your support provider does not have committers.  Do they really understand the code?  Can they recognize a bug?  Can they even propose a code change to the community?

2. Do they have global scale?

Let’s say you have developers in N. America, Europe, India and China.  You will more than likely need 24×7 global, follow-the-sun support.  Easier said than done.  Some people solve this with low-cost support centers. But how much do they know about your open source product and do you know that your confidential data is safe?

3. What support systems do they have?

Can you dial a number and get someone on the line in your time-zone?  Can you have multiple internal people see and manage support tickets? Is there a knowledge base?   I even heard one story where a Subversion support organization wanted to use Skype to transfer a customers confidential Subversion files for analysis – now that’s a big red flag!

4. Do they care? Are they passionate about this stuff?

It goes without saying; but to provide great service then you really have to care.  Part of the goal of open source support is to provide direct feedback to make the open source product better.  Support providers that care are more than just an insurance policy they are doing it because they care about the future of the open source product they are supporting.

5. Don’t buy just an insurance policy.

Open source support providers love selling insurance only.  Why?  It’s easy.  You’re paying for something that you might use once in a blue moon and the margins on that are huge.  Really ask yourself if the provider could fix a corrupted repository or provide impartial advice on tuning your Subversion implementation for maximum performance?

6. Don’t be fooled into using their modified version of the OSS.

One of the big reasons to use open source software is to avoid vendor lock-in.  You should be careful to read what it says on the tin.  Subversion, for example, is licensed under the Apache License, which pretty much allows free use of the software for any purpose (distribute, modify, etc).  Other, modified versions of Subversion may be licensed under more stringent license terms as either a proprietary license or even GPLv3 which Steve Ballmer referred to as “”a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches”.

7. Does their business model conflict?

Why is the provider offering open source support?  To make money?  To create demand for other products or services?  Because the market needs them to?  Whatever the reason it should be a good one.  I hope it’s not just to make money J

8. Check out references?

In our space, Subversion Support, there are so many horror stories.  Support tickets unanswered for months (and even years),  inadequate support systems,  lack of knowledgeable staff,  using partners to fulfill contracts who have not received adequate training, lack of integration with open source committers.  Just like any enterprise purchase check out a couple of references.

9. Ask a few questions upfront, test them!

Some of our support customers have done this and I think it’s pretty clever.  They say, “Well if you’re better than company X then you should be able to answer this, because they couldn’t”.  And they provide a list of say 3,4 or 5 questions.  Maybe they could even be items that your current provider failed to answer adequately.  However you do it.  I would do it upfront.

10: Pick WANdisco for Subversion support 🙂

Look finding ten very different things is tough OK 🙂 and let’s face it I am biased. But the advice above is good. Before we had full time core developers on the Subversion project we could not offer Subversion support. If you just paid $100K for a new Ferrari would you get it serviced by a one-man-and-his-dog outfit operating out of their home? Would you trust a company that only used the cheapest of the cheapest resources thousands of miles away with inadequate systems and untrained staff? Would you trust a company that couldn’t answer a few softball questions you threw at them?

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About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

Shaking-up Subversion by Listening to the User Community and then Committing to do the Work.

Today we announced the radical step to overhaul the Subversion project by actually fixing and improving several areas that Subversion users have been crying out for.

I know that this will generate criticism from fans of distributed version control (GIT) because some of the issues we are going to tackle are the stick with which they beat Subversion. I am sure we will face cynicism from some factions of the Subversion project, but in some cases this is because of commercial interests that are dependent on the perception that they are the ones developing Subversion.

As the saying goes: you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

We are not doing this for direct commercial reasons. We are doing this to protect the future of Subversion. We are doing this because we care. We are doing this because we need to. We are doing this because it is the right thing to do.

I’m sure there are lots of questions. Here is a selection of those I have tried to answer:

What Does This Mean?  Are You Forking Subversion?

At this point, NO. We don’t believe that it is necessary. What we are doing is committing our resources to develop several features that both WANdisco and our user community believe are critical to both the long and short-term welfare of the Subversion project.

Hang on a Minute! Didn’t the Community Just Announce A Road Map?

Yes they did, but that’s pretty much all that happened (and that really pisses us off.) The commit logs (code committed by developers to the project) tell the real story. We are not happy with the volume, speed or participation on the project right now. Blogging, or answering questions on user lists are important, but so is writing source code. We also believe it’s unhelpful when certain unscrupulous committers decide to commit trivial changes in large files to simply get their stats up. That behavior has no place in any open source project; it’s a bad form and wastes everyone’s valuable time.

The requirements that we are committing to build, namely merging and branching, are not new.  Many of these have been in the mainstream and documented since 2007. I find it more than a little annoying that, given their importance to many Subversion users; these areas have not been tackled.

Yes, they are difficult. Yes, they will take time.  That is why a corporation needs to step up to the plate and commit to deliver.

What Does WANdisco Get From This?

We have a thriving business.  Almost all of our customers are Subversion users and, frankly, we’re biased. A bit like Henry Ford’s choice of car color, that’s how we see SCM: You can have any SCM so long as it’s Subversion. Do the math.  It is really simple: The more [happy] Subversion users – the more potential customers for WANdisco and, yes, then we make money.

Who Attended This Summit at the WANdisco Offices?

We invited in the region of 10 companies, representing the largest implementations in the world, some with up to 40,000 users. We selected the organizations based on a very significant vested interest and, due to their complexity; any problems or issues would be magnified exponentially. Of course, everyone had their own special requests that were very specific to their situation but there was also a common theme: branching and merging must improve.

I can’t name all those that attended but they are companies of similar standing to Intel and Juniper Networks.

I Would Like to Help, Can I?

Absolutely!

Hyrum Wright is managing this process he can be contacted at Hyrum.Wright(at)  WANdisco [dot] com. We will work with ANYONE.   In fact, we would prefer that this be a community effort. Time is of the essence. Let’s not waste time in endless debate.  Let’s act together.

Subversion is a Community. How is this Working with a Community?

Ultimately, the community will decide if this work will be accepted. When Google decided that httpv2 (awful name and description by the way) was a good idea they developed it and presented it to the community. It was not a fait accompli .  It made sense, so it was accepted. In this case, the requirements have been out there for several years. Subversion users have been tweeting, blogging and complaining about branching and merging. We held a summit to discuss what needed to be done with the Subversion users.  This was their number 1 requirement! We are doing this for the wider Subversion community.

Are You Guys Trying to Take Over The Subversion Project?

Subversion is an Apache project, ideally it should not be inside a corporation.

After This, Then What?

We are still calibrating the requirements, but one hypothesis may be to completely upgrade the backend of Subversion. This is definitely not the end – we still have lots more to do.

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About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

How to Cut Development Time in Half, Improve Build Performance by 500% and Eliminate Downtime

SSP, a leader in software applications for insurance and financial services, with developers in the UK, Australia and South Africa did it by implementing Subversion WAN Clustering (MultiSite) .  As soon as developers at one site commit changes they’re available everywhere at LAN-speed. SSP’s developers in the UK, Australia and South Africa checkout and commit changes to the same files simultaneously and have immediate access to each other’s work.  Merge conflicts and other problems that weren’t discovered for days or weeks until it was time to create a build, are caught and fixed when they happen.  The best talent for a project regardless of location can work together as one agile, virtual development team to get the job done faster.  The net result is that the time SSP has to spend on QA and rework has gone down so dramatically that development cycles have been cut in half.

Now that every developer has instant access to the latest changes regardless of where they came from, builds can be created and tested at each site in less than a day, instead of waiting up to 5 days for a central team to complete their development work and schedule in builds for other sites.

SSP has also been able to go 24-by-7 with no downtime because Subversion WAN Clustering has turned their distributed Subversion servers into mirrors of each other. When one server goes down for either a planned or unplanned outage, users failover to another site and keep working. When a server comes back online it recovers automatically, grabbing all of the changes that happened at other sites while it was offline.

Get SSP’s full story to learn more about how all of this was accomplished.

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About Jim Campigli