Often, and ideally, version control, bug tracking and other dev tools are chosen in a grassroots manner. Programmers find the tools they want / need / like, and become unpaid evangelists, or vigilante marketers, or whatever phrasing would read best on a T-shirt. I was always one of those guys, going back to promoting RCS as the go-to tool for the Xenix environment at my first summer internship.

Now I’m paid to help those people – if I’m doing my job, they’re the target audience for most anything I do. Sometimes, that’s lobbying to push the features they want higher on the priority list (often because I want them, too). And sometimes, it’s being asked for “a little ammo” by someone who wants his team to move to Vault. But his manager knows Subversion is free, and doesn’t see why Vault would be such a better fit for their team that they’d spend money on it.

So for that guy, and the other guy asking for the same thing a day or two later, we’ve posted a “Vault vs Subversion” white paper. It’s short (so your manager will be willing to read it), mostly non-technical (ditto), and focuses on the reasons a Windows-based shop will often find Vault an easier, better, cheaper-in-the-long-run fit. It might also convince a fully-Linux-based shop, using an IDE we don’t support, standardized on MySQL as the sole database platform, that Vault is not the best fit for them. Either way, time saved, questions cleared.

Expect “Vault vs VSS” and “Vault vs CVS” papers in the future, when I can figure out how to expand them beyond “well, duh”.