Perforce Adds Synchronization Tool for Cross-Functional Teams

Perforce Software has added a graphical tool, dubbed Helix Sync, that enables individuals, such as artists, to take advantage of the version control capabilities provided by its software development life cycle (SDLC) platform.

Gerhard Krüger, cloud architect and product manager at Perforce, said that as DevOps workflows continue to evolve in the gaming and automotive industries, the need to manage artifacts such as drawings, for example, alongside software artifacts is becoming more pronounced among cross-functional teams.

Helix Sync gives those end users access to a desktop client that enables any individual to upload artifacts into a system by dragging and dropping them into the Perforce Helix Core SDLC platform.

Previously, end users that lacked coding skills would need to share files with developers via cloud services such as Dropbox. The Perforce approach removes the inherent friction development teams would otherwise encounter, while at the same time making sure the artifacts being shared are more secure, said Krüger. In addition, end users don’t have to be concerned about file size limitations imposed by file sharing services accessed via the cloud, noted Krüger.

It’s not clear how many organizations are looking to centralize digital asset management within the context of an application development process, but the fewer places that artifacts reside, the more productive IT teams tend to be. At a time when the number of application development projects within many organizations has accelerated, there’s a lot more interest in reducing the number of steps any developer has to monitor and track.

Diagrams and other types of artwork are not the only kinds of artifacts that are finding their way into software development processes. Data scientists are building massive artificial intelligence (AI) models that need to be incorporated into application development and deployment processes. The challenge organizations face is the individuals that create many of these types of artifacts lack the programming skills required to share them via version control platforms typically employed by developers.

With the launch of Helix Sync, IT teams should assume that, going forward, Perforce will be expanding its overall content management capabilities, Krüger added.

It’s not clear to what degree workflows will converge as application development continues to evolve. Organizations are starting to appreciate just how dependent they are on software. As that awareness increases, it’s only a matter of time before workflows start to converge around the software development process that are employed to drive multiple digital business transformation initiatives.

With more of the creators of those artifacts working remotely, the security of those software supply chains has also become more critical. Cybercriminals are becoming more adept at compromising the credentials end users create to access a cloud file service. Software development teams are more likely to employ more rigorous forms of authentication.

Arguably, there’s never been more artifacts to track during the history of application development than there are today. The thing that makes managing all those artifacts even more challenging is, just like every other piece of software, they are also being continuously updated in ways that aren’t easy to discern.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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