Borland (UK) Ltd


Merant Dimensions Specialist

Borland is a major vendor in the world change and configuration management market with their powerful StarTeam product; it is a direct rival to Serena ChangeMan Dimensions with considerable functionality in common. Borland had identified a major services client who wished to migrate from Dimensions to StarTeam but required that all item revision and change history, change requests, baselines, releases, object relationships etc. also be migrated: not merely a simple snapshot taken at a point in time. Dimensions does not offer any such export facility. In total 10,000 user licences were at stake worldwide, with 150 projects scheduled for immediate migration.

Immediately following the initial requirements gathering, our services were engaged directly by Borland to complete a feasibility study and subsequently design and develop a tool for Exporting all of the object history and object relationships directly from Dimensions’ 200 table 7,000 column Oracle 9i relational database, via direct SQL queries and without any need for a Dimensions license, and to place it in a temporary “Intermediate Repository” running on SQL Server 2000. We also designed the schema for the Intermediate Repository, which itself contained 15 tables and 200 columns of inter-related data. Our system design then included a Translate tool which modified the Dimensions workflow etc. to suit the StarTeam target repository, before writing the data into a second Intermediate Repository; in this way the end user was given two opportunities to verify the data being migrated prior to its import into their live StarTeam repository. Both utilities generated a comprehensive and detailed log file as they ran, highlighting any warnings and errors; this both assisted the data migration and ensured a comprehensive audit trail throughout.

At Borland’s strategic request, the utilities were written using Delphi. We had no previous experience of this tool but taught ourselves as we progressed with the development. This succeeded because of the very structured approach taken throughout the design and development lifecycle.

The import from the Intermediate Repository to StarTeam was written by another independent consultancy, this time based in Amman, Jordan. We worked with this consultancy on Borland’s site in UK for 5 days, after which both consultancys worked from their own home-offices maintaining contact through telephone and email, only meeting again when it became necessary to carry out integration testing prior to release to Borland’s client. The migration utility was run directly by the staff of Borland’s end client, and we spent 3 days in their US offices following the initial deployment, before then providing a further 5 weeks of remote support from our own UK home-based office.


Merant PVCS Dimensions 7.2, Oracle 9i, SQL Server 2000, Delphi, SQL.

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