For our needs, StarTeam provides a good balance between documenting the need for a change (a Change Request, for either a defect or an enhancement) and providing source control. Rules can be set that require comments for every check-in as well as linking each check-in to a Change Request, which help us ensure the quality of what is checked in and provides a trail for every check-in.
There are several things that I dislike, although I've only seen a couple of competing products that work as well as StarTeam does for us.
1. The product focus since being acquired by MicroFocus has changed away from being a product that benefits us. There were promises made by Borland when the acquisition was announced that were not kept by MicroFocus.
2. StarTeam is very expensive. For a small team, it is difficult to advocate using StarTeam when there are so many alternatives available that a either open source or have a much lower cost. As mentioned before, those products can't do everything that StarTeam can.
3. Only the most expensive edition, which we don't have, allows for customizations (such as the data stored, values for built-in fields, and user workflow).
4. In order to add additional user licenses when using an older version, we were forced to upgrade to the newest version. Even worse, we were using StarTeam Personal Edition at the time, which had been dropped and was no longer available. What started as a $1,500 solution became a $12,000 burden.
5. To compete with open source products, MicroFocus very briefly released a "free" StarTeam Express that had 10 user licenses. Since we had paid for 8 user licenses, I asked our MicroFocus contact if they would give us two additional user licenses at no cost. They declined to do so, so I switched to the StarTeam Express edition. StarTeam Express disappeared soon after its release.
At this point, we're not going to spend more money on StarTeam. We've started considering alternatives, the most likely being Team Foundation Server.
Unless you're a Java shop and have a lot of money to spend, look for alternatives. And I hate to say that, because I really like StarTeam as a product. But I'm very disappointed in the management and focus of the product since MicroFocus acquired it.
Tracking change requests and source code changes.
Having a full history of change requests and source code changes.
Backing up our source code repository, including the complete history since we started using StarTeam 11 years ago.