Clearcase is an enterprise tool, but unfortunately, it does not compare to well with the better tools in the market.

Major benefits are:

  • Vendor support (IBM)
  • Scales well to high number of users
  • Integrates with ClearQuest and other tools
  • OS support

Major drawbacks are:

  • No atomic commits (*)
  • Silly approach to file locking
  • Bad file metadata handling
  • Is not fit for certain development methodologies (**)
  • Disturbing drive mapping for views
  • Operations on huge projects are time consuming in UI and cumbersome on command-line
  • No good support for rename, move, filename case change

*: Clearcase made an attempt to work with labels and feature lists via their UCM model. This model is flawed however and presents serious stability issues when a lot of parallel development is going on. The conflict resolution on huge projects make the administration of the repository a huge burden.

**: When applying chaos development, when working with 2 phase commit, when working with remote teams, when working with business users that decide on feature lists per release, … you are left in the cold. Only perfect planning, small changes on existing projects work reasonably well. Unfortunately, perfect planning is only possible in a perfect world. Refactoring in clearcase is a hell.

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