[tip] Use WinMerge for compare / merge in StarTeam

We use StarTeam for source control at my work. I'm not a huge StarTeam fan, and I think the compare / merge portion is pretty much unusable. Fortunately, you can pick your own alternative merge and compare utilities. I like WinMerge . Here's how to set it up:

1. Tools / Options / File tab.
2. Check "Merge utility" and "Comparison utility" checkboxes.
3. Browse to WinMergeU.exe
4. Enter the following for merge utility options: /dl "StarTeam Version" /dr "Your Changes" $branchtip $usertip $resultfile
5. Enter the following for comparison utility options: /dl "StarTeam or Older Version" /dr "Your Changes or Newer Version" $file1 $file2

WinMerge command line info: http://winmerge.sourceforge.net/2.2/manual/commandline.html
Araxis Merge integration info for various source control systems: http://www.araxis.com/merge/scm_integration.html

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  • Been using StarTeam since last summer, I also frequently use WinMerge.

    A colleague today told me about the Alternative Applications options in StarTeam and a google lead me to your page.

    Wish I knew about this option before now! Thanks a lot for the excellent tip.

  • Thanx a lot for the tip on WinMerge with ST.


  • Here's a possible improvement to your tip, which allows saving changes to the compared files.

    merge utility options:
    /dl $file1 /dr $file2 $branchtip $usertip $resultfile

    comparison utility options:
    /dl $file1 /dr $file2 $file1 $file2

    Thanks a lot,

  • Thanks, this worked well for me.

    "Then why use it at all?

    Monday, January 19, 2009 10:39 AM by Bertrand Russell"

    Because most development teams have paid a hefty price to use it even if they have decided afer the fact that they don't like it. Or perhaps your team lead or the haed of your department was the one who instilled it as the tool of choice. Furthermore if there are users who are external to the dev team who use it to track CR's, manage specifications, reporting...etc. It would look pretty bad if this expensive tool was abandoned and replaced with something like say SVN.

    Would you like to be the guy who reported to management as to why the company spent $xxxx.xx for StarTeam and why it wasn't being used?

  • Does anyone have a list of $variables that can be used in the call to the alternate application? For instance, when I am comparing two revisions of the same file and I use this:

    /dl $file1 /dr $file2 $file1 $file2

    Winmerge opens up with the specific temp file names as the title of each file revision. Starteam seems to generate these file names sequentially for each time the compare utility is called, so you end up getting File1.i and File2.i on the first call to winmerge, then you can compare the exact same files a second time and it will show up as File3.i and File4.i.

    What I would really like is to be able to pass in the Branch Revision/Dot Notation number for the files being compared so that I can actually tell what files are being compared while I'm in Winmerge.

    This used to work fine in previous versions of starteam, but starteam 2008 seems to have changed the way that it generates the temporary files for comparison so that the file names are now meaningless.

    Thanks for any help.

  • doug - I too would like this info...

  • Variables $title1 and $title2 return the actual filename and it's version. So for file comparison you could do like:

    /dl $title1 /dr $title2 $file1 $file2

    It worked in StarTeam 2006, not sure about other versions.

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