I am a software developer and entrepreneur. In 1997, I founded SourceGear, a software company which produces version control tools. I write occasionally on my blog at http://www.ericsink.com/. Version control tools have been an interest of mine for a very long time:
RCS was the first version control tool I used. When I was at Spyglass, we had a team of 50 or so developers across three platforms using RCS on a shared code base. Since RCS never had support for networking, people on Windows and Mac had to log in to the Sun workstation that hosted RCS, FTP their code changes up there, and then check them in from the Unix shell. It was an interesting experience just trying to get all that to work. We Mac developers ended up writing a tool that sat on top of RCS to help us cope—we created a Mac application that shelled into a different server and did RCS stuff for us. We called that thing Norad. Don’t ask me why we chose that name because I don’t remember.
At SourceGear, our first flagship product, SourceOffSite, was basically “Norad for SourceSafe”. SourceSafe was kind of a generation 1.5 VCS. It was created by One Tree Software, a company that was acquired by Microsoft in 1994. SourceSafe had multiple-file operations, but no networking. We created SourceOffSite partially because our own team needed remote access to our SourceSafe repository. We released it as a product in 1998 and it became rather popular.
And that brought us to our next endeavor, which was to build a version control system of our own. In 2003 we released Vault, a second generation tool designed specifically to be a replacement for SourceSafe. It provides SourceSafe users with a familiar experience and a seamless transition to a VCS with full support for networking, atomic commits, and other second generation niceties. Vault has been our flagship product for most of the last decade and has been very successful.
Our latest version control effort is a third generation tool called Veracity. Veracity is open source.