DesignSync to Subversion

The IT department of our company love to change software in the name of cost cutting, but they often neglect real cost of switch over, the time cost of retraining everyone to learn the new software. Their book looks better in the expense of the engineers who have to take the burden of using the new software. Last year’s switch our back end tool from Synopsis to Cadence is an textbook case of costing millions for trying to save thousands.

When we first hear the switch over our revision control software from DesignSync to Subversion, we all complain about hassle we got from the IT department moving to open source just to save a few thousand dollars of license fee per year. Then I found out company that made DesignSync is acquired by another company, which is acquired by the third company. The parent company is in a totally different business and DesignSync is pretty much dead. DesignSync is not even listed on the parent company’s website. No one want to stay with a discontinued product line with no future road map. You don’t get any support and you have no idea when the company will shut the light and leave you sitting in the dark. Moving to a new software is inevitable, so it makes perfect sense moving to Subversion this time.

Subversion has a very different design philosophy than DesignSync. DesignSync is just a glorified CVS, which Subversion is developed by the CVS forks when they sick of the CVS code base. Subversion work flow suppose to be better than CVS, but we have to relearn some basics of revision control. I volunteered to test drive the training session for the past two days. The more I learn about Subversion, the more I like it over DesignSync. Once you grasp a few key concept of Subversion, using the tool is pretty easy. I just need some practice to get familiar with the commands and aware of their side effects.

I can foresee the transition won’t be easy. Either you get the key concepts or you don’t. If you don’t get it, you are hopelessly lost. And I can’t understand those concepts by just reading the online document. I finally get it after asking lots of questions back and forth, left and right in the class. The IT department plans to roll out Subversion only with online video-taped training. Good luck.

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