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The Perforce SCM Tool

Perforce is a very interesting player in the SCM tools market. It provides some high end features such as branching and merging and yet at a low end price.

There is a lot of very good information on the Perforce web site. The following are a few guidelines to help you find information:





We recommend downloading and printing out the PDF versions of all of the manuals.

The User Guide is good for a structured review of the product including some nicely worked examples to give you a flavour of how to use the tool - recommended.

The System Administrators Guide is also excellent though not required reading for everyone.

The p4 Command Reference is a list of every p4 command and the various options that they take. Very good to remind you about what the options mean and to look for relevant commands. In addition there are sections at the back of the manual with environment variable definitions, how to specify file revisions and the different file types.



Technical Notes


These are well worth a read and at least printing out the list of them to have to hand for easy reference - amazing how many questions they answer.

I prefer the complete index of all notes - its easy to tell from the titles how relevant they are, rather than the standard (search) interface.



White Papers


Some good background reading here. The High Level Best Practices includes some great stuff on branching.

The Web Content Management with Perforce has some very interesting ideas.





Useful stuff contributed by several people:

FAQ for beginning Perforce users

FAQ for Perforce system administrators

FAQ about using Perforce with build scripts

Of particular interest is the The Branching Papers FAQ. This contains some excellent explanations of what goes on under the covers and also gives recommendations for branching strategies. It answers some interesting questions.



The Mailing List


This is a very useful resource. The archives are searchable. Everyone on the list is very helpful and questions posted here will be responded to very quickly. Well worth the subscription.

The archive is also available.



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