Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Servoy 4.0 Experience - Part 3

In this installment of my impressions of Servoy 4.0 Public Pre-Release, we'll have a look at the new Team Sharing capabilities.

In previous versions - doing team development was a bit arduous and could be slow over a WAN. Servoy used to have a "Multi-Developer Server" that would allow multiple developers to log into the same repository and then work on whatever they wanted.

Servoy would then "lock" the resource being used (form, method, relation, etc) and prevent anyone else from using it until you saved it. It would the broadcast that change to all the other connected developers - so that everyone had the "latest" changes.

In the 4.0 version - it's much more straight forward. Servoy now supports Team Sharing database repositories (without the broadcast stuff) - but it also supports both CVS and Subversion (SVN). These are standards-based, open source, commercial quality code management systems - that have been around for years.

You can either set them up on your own local machine, on a group server or even have them hosted as a service (most offer a free plan) over the Internet. Setting up Servoy to work with CVS or SVN is easy - just install the appropriate Eclipse plug-in (Help -> Software Updates -> Find and Install...), enter your CVS or SVN repository info - and you're off to the races.

Because Eclipse is file-based all the developers have all the objects on their own local file system. They can work on whatever they want, without being "locked out" of specific objects. Then, they can "synchronize" their stuff with what's in the repository (be it Servoy repository, CVS or SVN).

It will tell them the pending changes they have to put up to the server, what has been changed and is waiting to come down, and where there are conflicts (two people edited the same object with different settings).

In the case of a conflict, the developer can see his version and the version in the repository - with the changes highlighted in both copies. They can then adjust their code to remove conflicts - and "commit" their copy to the repository. Likewise, they can "Update" their copy at any point to pull down all the changed files "committed" by someone else.

This isn't at the solution level - but at the OBJECT level!

WOW. Totally cool!

Talk about being productive in a team environment! Hat's off to the Servoy engineers for making team sharing "for the rest of us."

If you want to download the public preview (or the currently shipping 3.5 version for that matter) - just go to They've also scheduled some live webinar events this week (and next) - but you gotta' register for them at their events page.

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