Chapter 6. Controlling and Automating Activity

Now that you’ve seen the nuts and bolts of how Perforce works, it’s time to look at ways to control and automate what it does. This chapter focuses on aspects of control and automation, starting with a look at controlling depot and file access , including access to files in other Perforce domains. It describes using the depot to store specs as versioned files and restoring specs from saved versions. It describes setting up automatic change notification, and demonstrates how users can monitor depot activity. It offers tips on using Perforce in scripts, explains how scripts can mine for data efficiently, and touches on using triggers to invoke scripts. Lastly, it surveys the behind-the-scenes Perforce client programs with an eye to bringing even the most reluctant developers into the SCM fold.

Depot and File Access

We don’t intend for this book to cover Perforce system administration, but there is one place where system administration overlaps with what this book is about, and that is where it concerns access to depots and depot files. Only Perforce superusers can create depots and control file access. We’ll assume that you’re a superuser.


In a brand-new Perforce installation, every user is a superuser until one of them runs protect. The first user to run protect becomes the one and only superuser, and only he or she can change other users’ access to files. This is not as limiting as it sounds; the first superuser can also make ...

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