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Perforce, sometimes referred to as Perforce Software, is a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based developer of software used for application development, including version control software, web-based repository management, developer collaboration, application lifecycle management and Agile planning software. The software is sold under the Helix and Hansoft brand names.[2]

Perforce Software
IndustryVersion control software, application lifecycle management, Git repository management, developer collaboration tools and Agile planning software
HeadquartersMinneapolis, MN
Area served
Key people
Mark Ties, CEO
Janet Dryer, Chair of the Board
ProductsHelix Core, Helix TeamHub, Helix Swarm, Helix ALM suite, Helix QAC, Hansoft
OwnerClearlake Capital, Francisco Partners
Number of employees
250+ (2014)[1]

The company is equally owned by private equity firms Clearlake Capital and Francisco Partners.[3][4]



Perforce Software was founded in 1995 in Alameda, California by Christopher Seiwald, a software developer and computer science graduate from UC Berkeley.[5] Its first product was also called Perforce, and was a version control system allowing companies to collaborate on large software projects by keeping track of changes to both the source code and binary files.[5][6]

In June 2013, the company released Helix Swarm, a tool for developers working in different geographical areas to collaborate on code review.[7]

In June 2014, the company released a version of its Perforce versioning engine, by then known as P4D, which supported concurrency, the ability of a program to run multiple parts concurrently.[8]

In March 2015, the company renamed its product as Perforce Helix, which now supported distributed development support and included security features allowing suspicious usage tracking.[9] Helix's security capabilities included IP threat detection capabilities, co-developed with analytics vendor Interset.[10] In October, the company collaborated with GitLab to release GitSwarm, a software tool that combined GitHub's distributed workflow for developers with Perforce's single code repository.[11]

In February 2016, Seiwald sold the company to investment group Summit Partners, and Janet Dryer was named as new CEO.[12] The company headquarters was relocated to Minneapolis.[13] In November, Perforce announced the acquisition of Seapine Software, a provider of application lifecycle management (ALM) tools.[14] Seapine's TestTrack ALM software was rebranded as Helix ALM.[15]

In September 2017, the company acquired Uppsala, Sweden-based Hansoft, a developer of Agile planning software.[16] Also in September, Perforce announced it had acquired Finnish repository management services company Deveo.[17] Deveo's products were merged into Perforce's Helix TeamHub, its first solo venture for Git-based development teams.

In January 2018, Summit Partners sold Perforce to private equity firm Clearlake Capital.[3] In May, Perforce acquired UK-based Programming Research (PRQA), a static code analysis firm.[18] In June, the company announced that CEO Janet Dryer was moving to the role of Chair of the Board, and COO/CFO Mark Ties was taking the role of CEO.[19] In October, the company acquired mobile and web automation testing company Perfecto.[20]

In January 2019, Perforce announced the acquisition of Rogue Wave Software, a software company with a focus on development tools for high-performance computing.[21]

In April 2019, private equity firm Francisco Partners acquired 50% of Perforce, becoming an equal partner with Clearlake Capital.[4]


Perforce develops software used by software developers to manage code during the development process. The product line includes the following:

Helix CoreEdit

Helix Core
Initial release1995; 24 years ago (1995)
Stable release
2017.2[22] / October 24, 2017; 21 months ago (2017-10-24)
Operating systemAIX, FreeBSD, HP-UX, Linux, macOS, NetBSD, Solaris, Windows
TypeRevision control

Helix Core, formerly Perforce Helix, is the company's versioning control engine for large scale development environments.[23] The Helix Version Control System manages a central database and a master repository of file versions.

Helix Core clients fall into roughly five categories: Git, command, GUI, web, and plugin. The Perforce system can make part or all of its content available as Git repositories. Users of Git and of other clients can work with the same file content and history. Git commits are visible to users of other clients as Perforce changelists, and vice versa. Users submit changed files together in changelists, which are applied as atomic commits.

The server and client software are released as pre-built executables for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, and other operating systems.

Helix ALMEdit

Helix ALM
Initial releaseMarch 1996; 23 years ago (1996-03)
Stable release
2018.2.0 / June 13, 2018; 14 months ago (2018-06-13)
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
TypeBug tracking system, project management software

Helix ALM, formerly TestTrack, is a suite of tools used for application lifecycle management (ALM), allowing developers to manage all their product and system development phases with one product.[14][15] The software was originally developed by Seapine Software, which was acquired by Perforce and rebranded.[24] Helix ALM provides a centralized suite of capabilities for managing requirements, defects, issues and testing throughout the software development cycle.[25]

There are three components of the suite:[26]

  • Helix RM for requirements management
  • Helix IM for issue tracking and management
  • Helix TCM for test case management

Helix QACEdit

The company develops the Helix QAC static code analysis software tool for the C and C++ programming languages.[27]

Other productsEdit

  • Helix TeamHub is a code and artifact hosting and developer collaboration tool that supports development in Git environments, in addition to Apache Subversion and Mercurial.[28]
  • Helix Swarm is a development tool integrated with Helix Core, that allows geographically dispersed developers to coordinate their code review.[7]
  • Hansoft is software used to support agile software development.[16]


Perforce's customers are software developers at a wide variety of companies, including Netflix, SAP, Disney, Intuit and the NYSE.[1] The company is considered a leader in the gaming space, with 18 of the top 20 games developers including Ubisoft and Electronic Arts using Perforce version control.[29]


The company is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and as of November 2017, listed additional offices in Alameda, California; Mason, Ohio; Hallbergmoos, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; Sydney, Australia; Uppsala, Sweden; and Wokingham, England.[30]


  1. ^ a b "Perforce: The biggest little secret in DevOps". 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  2. ^ "Perforce acquires agile planning tools developer Hansoft". 2017-09-26. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  3. ^ a b "Clearlake Capital Buys Perforce Software". 2018-01-10. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  4. ^ a b "Francisco Partners, Clearlake link on Perforce deal". 2019-05-01. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  5. ^ a b "The Light Touch - How a Hands-off CEO Marshals the Forces and Customers". 2008-04-11. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  6. ^ "Perforce updates cross-platform interface for software versioning tool". 2008-03-10. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  7. ^ a b "Perforce Swarm, A Developer Platform To Compete With The Likes Of GitHub and Atlassian". 2013-06-12. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  8. ^ "Perforce introduces concurrency technology into versioning platform". 2014-06-11. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  9. ^ "Perforce goes fully distributed in source-code management". 2015-03-04. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  10. ^ "Using Log Data And Machine Learning To Weed Out The Bad Guys". 2015-03-27. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  11. ^ "New Perforce Tool Gives Developers What They Love And IT What It Needs". 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  12. ^ "Summit Partners acquires Alameda's Perforce Software". 2016-02-03. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  13. ^ "Face Time: Perforce Software CEO Janet Dryer". 2017-01-10. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  14. ^ a b "Perforce acquires ALM provider Seapine Software". 2016-11-17. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  15. ^ a b "Perforce puts Seapine Software acquisition to use with rebranded TestTrack ALM". 2017-05-30. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  16. ^ a b "Perforce acquires Agile planning tool provider Hansoft". 2017-09-26. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  17. ^ "Finnish Deveo snapped up by US company Perforce". 2017-09-15. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  18. ^ "Clearlake-backed Perforce Software acquires Programming Research". 2018-05-02. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  19. ^ "CEO Janet Dryer leads second company to Top Workplaces ranking". 2018-06-21. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  20. ^ "Perforce to acquire mobile and web testing provider Perfecto". 2018-10-08. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  21. ^ "Perforce expands DevOps portfolio with Rogue Wave acquisition". 2019-01-22. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  22. ^ "Software Release Index - Perforce".
  23. ^ "Massive Git: Perforce Helix4Git is Git at scale". 2017-05-29. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  24. ^ "Perforce puts Seapine Software acquisition to use with rebranded TestTrack ALM". Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  25. ^ Lockwood, Anthony (2014-03-19). "Editor's Pick: Product Development Management Suite Updated". Desktop Engineering.
  26. ^ "Seapine Puts the Pro in Productivity". SD Times. 2008-09-01. Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2018-01-12.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  27. ^ "Perforce Adds Slack Support to Helix ALM". 2018-10-27. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  28. ^ "Perforce Launches Helix TeamHub". 2017-09-12. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  29. ^ "The software game – Perforce's new Helix Platform". 2015-03-06. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  30. ^ "Contact us". Retrieved 2017-11-21.

External linksEdit