ionForge Announces Image Difference Tool - Breakthrough In Source Control and Asset Management

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ionForge Company, a leading provider of next-generation software configuration management tools, announced a major advancement in Evolution, their source control and asset management solution. Evolution’s new Image Difference tool allows developers to detect even small changes in an image when they compare two versions. By allowing development teams, including graphic artists, developers, and project managers, to track changes in images through the life of a project, Evolution's Image Difference tool will help ensure that projects are completed accurately as well as on time and on budget.

ionForge Company, a leading provider of next-generation software configuration management tools, announced a major advancement in Evolution, their source control and asset management solution. Evolution’s new Image Difference tool allows developers to detect even small changes in an image when they compare two versions. By allowing development teams, including graphic artists, developers, and project managers, to track changes in images through the life of a project, Evolution's Image Difference tool will help ensure that projects are completed accurately as well as on time and on budget.

Evolution supports image comparison for all common image file formats, including BitMaP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, PCX, PNM, and TIF files. Evolution can compare images across different file formats.

Outdated image comparison tools provide little more than side by side images, which require digital artists to spend time picking out changes, or a rudimentary overlay which shows coarse variations. The ionForge team has applied the same revolutionary thinking they brought to the digital asset management field to image management. Evolution's Image Difference tool gives users unprecedented power and flexibility to identify subtle changes in images, even those that would be time consuming for an experienced graphic artist to detect. The new Image Difference tool provides metrics that show the degree of change between images, and visual filters with threshold adjustment that let you highlight the nature of changes and adjust the acceptable level of differences.

“We see this as a major advancement in source control and asset management,” noted Lucas Heneks, Lead Developer of Entertainment and Game Tools for ionForge. “Visual image comparison is going to dramatically improve the development cycle of game and entertainment projects. “

Complementing the Image Difference tool, Evolution is specifically designed to handle large media files, which are commonplace in gaming and entertainment development projects. Easy to install and use, Evolution can scale to meet the needs any development project.

“Evolution’s latest features allow us to optimize and refine not only our code, but our art assets as well,” said Drew Clark, Project Lead of Reactor Interactive. “By letting us see physically see the difference between levels of image compression, we’ve been able to reduce load times, and texture memory without sacrificing visible quality in our higher-resolution textures.”

Individual developers wishing to try Evolution’s Image Difference tool can do so for themselves by downloading a free single license of Evolution from ionForge at:

http://www.ionforge.com/?ir=idiff

This free single license is a perpetual license; it never expires and is fully supported. The free single license starts as a 10 user license for evaluation, then transitions into a single user perpetual license.

Evolution Features

FAST Remote Access

Evolution remote access works right out-of-the-box, just type in the IP address and port of the server and log in! No VPN to configure, no complicated set up or proxy, or third party software such as IIS required. Evolution works over TCP/IP, with automatic encryption and compression to make sure that it's secure and fast, even over dialup.

Productions

Evolution allows you to create super-projects called Productions that are modular groupings of files that can be versioned as a unit. Use Productions as snapshots and manipulate your changesets before committing them to the system. Productions dramatically simplify file and project management, allowing you to control groups of files with simple one-click operations.

Deferred locks

In exclusive checkout environments, Evolution provides a managed queue so lock assignment and notifications occur automatically. No more waiting, the current lock owner receives a friendly "Hurry up" message when another user enters the queue, and the new owner receives a notification when they've been assigned the lock.

IDE Integration Perform your day-to-day tasks without leaving your development environment. Evolution supports the MS SCC API, used by the entire Microsoft family of Integrated Development Environments, including Visual Studio .NET. Artists in your team can also control their assets without ever leaving their familiar environment with Photoshop integration.

Highly Customizable

Evolution includes a scriptable command line as well as a soon to be released automation API, allowing you to better integrate Evolution with dedicated build automation and deployment tools. Use Evolution as the keystone tool in your development pipeline to control and monitor your code, but you are free to use the other tools you already have to perform auxiliary duties. The fully supported automation API will be available in May 2005.

Evolution also includes advanced Source Control Management features such as:

•    Real Time Multicast Updating - Metadata changes are shown instantly

•    Snapshot Architecture: Manage immutable code states as components

•    Reflections, Clones, Shards - Advanced branch types for automatic code propagation and simple merging

•    Easy to learn / easy to use intuitive interface

•    Import from other source control solutions

•    Advanced branching models - Flexible support for any development process

•    Customizable Promotion Ladders - Customize Evolution to fit specific internal promotion processes

•    Event triggers - Automate human procedures and manual scripts in build processes

•    Special features reduce merge conflicts

•    Database agnostic - Supports ANY ODBC datasource

•    Uses enterprise level security

•    Automated deployment through event triggers

•    Identify project flaws through design deconstruction

•    Complete change reports (exportable to HTML)

•    Access code from anywhere using encrypted TCP/IP

•    Obliteration feature – removes code without harming history

•    Works in Progress - Privately commits changes for only a single developer.

•    Define work boundaries

•    Insulate each component owner and let them handle the specifics of their Production and promote it up your promotion ladder accordingly

http://www.ionforge.com/products/evolution/

Evolution User Testimonials

"Evolution is a great source control solution for the independent developer."

Drew Sikora

Blade Edge Software

Lincroft, NJ

The Evolution Story

(http://www.ionforge.com/products/evolution/)

Evolution was born out of our own team's real-life frustrations with the limitations of existing source control solutions, spanning from free products to outrageously priced software.

As a veteran developer himself, Nick Ni knows first hand the frustration of team software developing without proper processes. Data corruption, file collisions, and accurate project analysis are just some of the challenges that both managers and developers face when developing without a Source Control Management tool. Source Control Management is a central tool that allows developers to accurately control their source code, while allowing management to ensure project benchmarks are achieved on time.

Fueled by their frustration with existing Source Control Management solutions, Ni and his team of developers created Evolution, a robust Source Control Management tool that addresses many of the issues developers face today. Realizing that the goals of project managers often conflict with the processes of developers, Ni and his team built Evolution with advanced features that harmonize the efforts of these disparate groups.

http://www.ionforge.com/products/evolution/

As our own customers, ionForge developed Evolution as the solution all of our team members would want and need to use.

•    Our developers needed convenient features to make their everyday tasks faster and easier, as well as the ability to abide by corporate policy without being bogged down by the burdens of tedious duties.

•    Our build engineers complained about the difficulties of creating scheduled daily builds.

•    Our project managers and architects needed more sophisticated mechanisms to represent the complexities of designing and managing a project from conception to gold and beyond.

The answer to all these woes lay in source control.

In our research, we realized the crux of the issue was that source control was still viewed as nothing more than a method of backup. It was time for source control to evolve beyond this basic idea of a simple repository.

ABOUT ionForge (http://www.ionforge.com)

Founded in 2001, ionForge is committed to providing innovative solutions for the common problems encountered by software development teams.

Based in Orange County, California – ionForge is focused on providing their clients with

•    An immediate return on investment.

•    Minimal transitional costs.

•    Long-term value.

ionForge is committed to delivering solutions that solve problems immediately, require no downtime and have little learning curve, and provide obvious value in both the medium and long term.

Mission Statement

ionForge's mission is to increase the productivity of software development teams worldwide by providing solutions to the real problems they face both on a day-to-day basis and in the long term. Through innovative technology, creative thinking, and exceptional customer service, ionForge will solve the complex issues of large enterprises at a cost that teams of any size can afford.

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Nick Ni
ionForge
702-580-4066
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