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A Leading Company Accelerates Development and Improves Collaboration with Visual Annotate for ClearCase

“I am using Visual Annotate daily to understand in which context the code was written. For every line of code it shows me who wrote it, in what version and associated issue, and what is its impact. This information accelerates my work and helps me to collaborate better with my colleagues.”

Gene Cook, Software Engineer


Mr. Cook works for a global company dedicated to providing entertainment and architectural lighting controls, rigging and hoists, dimming and power distribution systems, and theatrical and architectural lighting fixtures.

The Challenge

To provide its customers with cutting edge products, the company constantly updates its software with new features and bug fixes. When developers wanted to add or change existing code, they had no easy way to view who wrote each line of code, in which version and why.

Further, the R&D team uses the Serena TeamTrack bug tracking system, which stores information about bugs and how they were resolved. When fixing bugs, developers add the bug number in a ClearCase comment; yet seeing these comments with ClearCase is complicated and time consuming.

Thus, developers were unable to quickly understand the context in which existing code was written and what the impact of a change might be for the existing version or other versions based on it.

The Solution

Visual Annotate consolidates information from multiple ClearCase records and provides a single dashboard that identifies the original user who wrote each line of code and the original comments associated with it. In addition, it performs a change impact analysis to track all software version affected (labels or UCM baselines) by each specific line of code.

Visual Annotate for ClearCase

Figure 1: see meta-data for each code line: when it was inserted, by whom, where and why (comment)

Thanks to Visual Annotate, developers are now able to quickly understand the purpose and impact of each line of code and easily collaborate on version changes. Visual Annotate also provides a way to integrate their bug tracking system with ClearCase – since the bug number in TeamTrack is added as a comment to the line of code, and can be easily viewed in the Visual Annotate dashboard.

The ability to view the full information associated with each line has increased the productivity, quality and collaboration of the R&D team, and saves time and effort on a daily basis.