No matter what platforms are at the heart of your development efforts, source control will always be a necessity. Fortunately, StarBase has emerged with a source-control solution capable of handling workflow and collaboration issues for development teams and supporting Web-based and Windows clients.
StarTeam Enterprise Suite 4.2, beta, provides all the functionality typically found in software configuration management solutions but also includes excellent support for team collaboration, which can further enhance project management and increase programmer productivity. It offers tight integration with many development tools, including Microsoft Project 98, giving it a mark of distinction among its competitors. Project provides up-to-the-minute status reports on projects and workload.
A major component of StarTeam 4.2 is the VirtualTeam server, which now supports SMTP for e-mail notification based on definable event triggers. While not revolutionary, this functionality puts StarTeam on par with its competitors.
Other server enhancements include better support for multiplatform environments, with the ability to change end-of-line characters and case sensitivity for Unix-and Macintosh-native files.
StarTeam excels in its support for and integration with the source-code control interface often used with PowerBuilder or VisualBasic as well as third-party integrated development environments. StarBase provides and supports custom interfaces to Microsoft's Developer Studio, Symantec's VisualCafe, and Allaire's Cold Fusion.
If you're currently managing your software development projects without the aid of a comprehensive and reliable software configuration management solution, StarTeam Enterprise Suite has many appealing features. With its ease of use and excellent collaboration tool, this product leaves little to chance.
Tim Fielden (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center.
THE BOTTOM LINE: BETA
StarTeam Enterprise Suite 4.2, beta
Summary: StarTeam Enterprise Suite keeps development projects organized and on schedule and facilitates good team communication.
Business Case: This product can increase the productivity of a development team, resulting in fewer errors, less duplication of effort, and faster time to market.
+ Links with third-party development tools+ Integrates with Microsoft Project+ Excellent tutorials and help+ Strong collaboration featuresCons:
- Limited platform support
Cost: Server: $4,999; client: $1,299 per seatPlatform(s): Windows 95/98, Windows NT 4.0Shipping: January 2000StarBase Corp., Irvine, Calif.; (888) 782-7700 (toll-free); www.starbase.com