Why version control and Plastic SCM

What's Plastic SCM?

Welcome to Plastic SCM!

We've created the most advanced version control system to date, and in the next few pages, we'll explain how to get the most out of it as quickly as possible.

As a busy developer you'll appreciate that we hit the key topics right on the head. That's the intent behind this guide. So first, let us tell you what Plastic SCM is about:

  • Plastic is a version control system: it versions files and directories and keeps track of branching and merging as you've never seen before. And even better? It does it in a graphical way.
  • Plastic is all about three key concepts:
    • Parallel development: Team members work on the same files, at the same time, making changes without interrupting each other. That's how modern teams work, and that's how you should be working. Plastic lets you work this way by isolating changes on branches and handling them in an agile way. Excellent branching coupled with better merging enables teams to work together and trust that their changes and code modifications are protected and preserved. You just make changes, Plastic takes care of the rest.
    • Distributed development: Plastic helps optimize the collaboration of distant teams. You can have Plastic SCM servers in different offices in different parts of the world, totally disconnected from each other during the major part of the day, and then exchanging branches back and forth in the off-hours to keep in sync. Teams don't have to depend on their internet connections (speed, reliability, and so on) since they can continue working independently. The same technology applies to individual developers working off-line. A small footprint Plastic server is installed on developers' computers. Only when they get online, or are back at the office, will they need to sync with the main server.
    • Marketing warning!!! These days, distributed development is a buzzword, so every SCM out there will say it works in a distributed way. The problem is that most of them claim this when all they mean is that they can work through the internet using a TCP connection. That's not distributed, that's centralized through the internet! Distributed means the ability to work offline and exchange branches back and forth.

    • Making it visual: Plastic SCM is able to perform very complex operations, but we try to do everything visually, with graphical representations and diagrams. Everything is just one simple click away. Hard core command-line users can always find their way through our command line, but the rest of us prefer a strong GUI capable of turning complicated, multi-dimensional actions into simple affairs. That's Plastic.