Integrating Ketura with Araxis Merge and SCM (Version Control) Systems

Ketura integrates with both Araxis Merge (Standard and Professional), as well as Software Configuration Management (SCM) systems that perform version control.

Araxis Merge is a file comparison/merging and synchronization application from Araxis. SCM systems keep track of multiple file revisions, enabling a full history of modifications to a set of documents, source code or other files to be kept. Integrating Ketura with Merge and an SCM system gives you a complete and powerful system for managing projects and their related files.

Araxis Ketura currently integrates with the following SCM systems:

Ketura can monitor multiple SCM systems simultaneously, even if they are of different types. This capability can be useful if you are transitioning from one type of SCM system to another.

To tell Ketura to monitor an SCM system:
  • Visit the global System tab > Manage System Settings link > SCMs tab.
  • Click the tab’s Explain link for further instructions (also available under the SCMs heading in the help for the System Settings Page).

How the integration works

Ketura automatically associates newly checked-in change sets (e.g. a Perforce changelist or a Subversion repository revision) with individual Ketura issues and milestones.

Ketura will associate a set of changes with a particular issue if the description in the SCM system contains the issue’s id (e.g. ‘I1234’) as a distinct word. For example, the following three descriptions would all associate a set of changes with the related issues:

I1234: A change set description.These changes address issues I1234 and I5678.Fixed problem with the colours (I1234).A single change set can be associated with multiple issues – simply mention more than one issue id in the change set description.

Benefits of integration with SCM systems

Relevant change sets are visible from the Activity tab of any issues with which they are associated, and also from the Activity tab of any milestones containing the relevant issues. There, you can see in one place not only all the changes checked in to the SCM system for the issue or milestone, but also the work undertaken (and its cost) by each user who has logged time on the relevant issue tasks. This is tremendously helpful for keeping a handle on exactly what work is going on for the milestones and issues that you are managing.

Being able to see all of the changes for an entire milestone is particularly useful if you are using a specific milestone to manage the release of a software product or, indeed, anything else under version control. You can look at all of the changes made to reach each milestone in a single place, giving you a project-oriented perspective of the changes in your SCM system. You can even filter the changelist and work information on issue and milestone Activity tabs by date range, enabling you to, for example, see all of the changes made for a particular issue or milestone in the past week.

Information shown for each change

For each change set, Ketura shows each file that has been added, modified or deleted from the SCM system. If an SCM web server (e.g. Perforce’s P4Web or Subversion ViewVC) is available, Ketura links each change set and file to the appropriate information page, effectively integrating the detailed information available from the SCM web server with Ketura.

Benefits of integration with Araxis Merge

Ketura also offers an Araxis Merge link alongside each each file within each change set. If you have Araxis Merge installed and running on your computer, you can use this link to cause Merge to open and compare the relevant files, accessing them directly from the SCM repository. A benefit of using Araxis Merge is that this avoids certain limitations that might apply to the SCM system’s web access to the repository. For example, P4Web does not highlight changes within lines when comparing files; neither can it show the differences between binary files. Araxis Merge, in contrast, offers syntax highlighting of certain file types, highlighting of changes within lines, comparison of images, and is even able to extract and compare the text content of several popular file formats, including Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, etc.

Araxis Ketura and Araxis Merge therefore work together to provide a powerful tool for reviewing checked-in changes to many different types of documents and files.

Further operational information

This section gives further background information on how the Ketura/SCM integration operates.

Update frequency

Ketura checks each SCM system that it is monitoring at least every 15 minutes. It can therefore take up to 15 minutes from a change being checked into an SCM system for it to be listed in the Activity tab of any issue or milestone to which it is related.

You can check the current synchronization status on the SCMs tab of the System Settings page.

Modifications to old change sets

The current version of Ketura only monitors new sets of changes checked in to the SCM systems. If the change set description of an older change set is modified retroactively, Ketura will not therefore automatically reflect this change. This can be addressed by a Ketura administrator, who can force Ketura to resynchronize completely with its SCM systems. Since this is a manual step, it is usually preferable to try to avoid retroactive modifications to change set descriptions.

Information For very large SCM repositories, a full resynchronization might take some time to complete. Ketura is fully operational while the resynchronization is being performed, but incomplete change set information will be available for issues and milestones until the resynchronization is finished.

To force Ketura to re-process old change sets:
  • Visit the global System tab > Manage System Settings link > SCMs tab.
  • Click the Resynchronize All button. Ketura will then resynchronize itself completely with the SCM systems it is monitoring.