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Helix ALM CVS Integration

Article ID: 534  |  Last updated: 17 Jul, 2017

Helix ALM supports integration with CVS. See Third-Party Integrations for supported versions.


  • The following information also applies to TestTrack 2016.1 and earlier. TestTrack was renamed to Helix ALM starting with version 2017.1.
  • CVS support is deprecated and will be discontinued in a future release. Consider using a different source control application.

This article includes information about how the integration works, creating a working directory and checking out files, setting up the integration, performing CVS actions, and troubleshooting.

How the integration works

The integration executes commands to the CVS.exe program. CVS.exe must be run globally because Helix ALM cannot determine where the program is located. To run CVS.exe globally, either set up a path to CVS.exe in your autoexec file or make sure the path to CVS.exe is included in the Window PATH variable.

The CVS log command is used to determine what files are located in the CVSROOT. This functionality can be tested from the DOS prompt.

The syntax depends on the authentication scheme being used by CVS. For example:


C:\>CVS -d :pserver:JoeS@unixbox:/usr/cvsroot log

C:\>CVS -d :pserver:JoeS@winbox:/c:/cvsroot log


C:\>CVS -d :local:c:/cvsroot log

Files must be checked into CVS for the log command to return information. Following is an example using the local authentication scheme.

C:\>CVS -d :local:c:/cvsroot import directory manufacturer tag

C:\>CVS -d :local:c:/cvsroot checkout directory

C:\>CVS -d :local:c:/cvsroot log

If the log command returns data about each checked in file, you are ready to use the integration.

Creating a working directory and checking out files

Before the integration can be set up, you must create a working directory and check out files from CVS to it. See the CVS help for information.

Setting up the integration

Helix ALM

See the Helix ALM help for information about configuring the integration.

TestTrack 2016.1 and earlier

  1. In TestTrack, choose Tools > Source Control Integration. The Source Control Integration dialog box opens with the Provider category selected.
  2. Select CVS from the Available providers list and click Make Current. CVS is displayed in the Current field.
  3. Select the Connection category.
  4. Enter the Project working path to the directory on your computer that contains the source files.
  5. Enter the Repository connection string. This string includes the authentication scheme, including username and computer if you use pserver, and CVSROOT path used to run the log command. This is the same connection string used in the DOS test, when running the CVS log command.
  6. Enter a CVS Password if CVSROOT requires authentication for access. If pserver is used, TestTrack first executes a login command using the password to authenticate the connection. TestTrack runs the CVS log command to retrieve file information after the connection is authenticated.
  7. Click Validate Connection. TestTrack validates the connection to CVS. If an error occurs, check the information you entered for the project working path, the repository connection string, and the password. Make sure you checked out files to the specified working path.
  8. Select the Project Options category.
  9. Enter any Default check in comments. You can use field codes to automatically add issue-related information to check in comments.
  10. Select the Project Paths category.
  11. Expand the project tree, select the directories, and click Add. If you select the root directory, the user can access everything in the database. If you have a large database, and users require access to the entire database, you may want to select both root as a project path and the most commonly used directories. To limit the files that a user can access, select specific directories.
  12. Click OK to save the changes.

Performing CVS actions

You can access the following CVS actions on the Source Files tab when editing Helix ALM items:

  • Attach File—Attaches CVS files to the item.
  • Detach—Removes attached CVS files from the item.
  • Check Out—Retrieves a writable copy of the file to the working directory.
  • Commit—Submits changes to the CVS server. The version created by this commit is displayed in the Fixed Revision column on the item Source Files tab. Only available if the file has been modified and the changes have been saved.
  • View Local Copy—Displays the contents of the file in the working directory.
  • History—Displays the entire history of the file from CVS.


Note: Products that extend CVS, such as CVSNT, may interfere with the integration.

Cannot perform CVS actions

You cannot perform CVS actions after closing and restarting Helix ALM. Sharing violations may occur with files in the TEMP directory. This occurs when CVS is locked up and has write locks on two temporary output files Helix ALM needs. To resolve this issue:

  1. Close Helix ALM.
  2. Start the Windows Task Manager and end all instances of CVS (cvs.exe) to free the temporary output files.
  3. Restart Helix ALM.

CVS not in the Available Providers list in TestTrack 2016.1 or earlier

TestTrack cannot locate CVS as an installed source control provider based on the following registry key:

  • 64-bit Windows—HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\SoureCodeControlProvider\InstalledSCCProviders
  • 32-bit Windows—HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\SourceCodeControlProvider\InstalledSCCProviders

Reinstall CVS to update the registry.

Article ID: 534  |   Last updated: 17 Jul, 2017

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