Understanding the version control tools from the core

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version control tools

Imagine a developer writing code for an application. He must consider various variables such as testing, defining data types, performing dry runs, and undertaking several code revisions throughout the development process. He performs all these tasks only to find out that the previously written code was better than what he has just written. Rolling back to the previous version isn’t an easy task to perform.

This is where the version control system and version control tools come in handy. So what is version control? What are version control tools? How do they help the DevOps team? And, what are the things developers must keep in mind while selecting the version control tools for their business? Let’s dive deep into these questions and get a clear understanding of version control systems and version control tools.

What is version control?

A version control system, or a version control tool or version history, is used to store and track the developer’s changes over time. As the development environments have accelerated, version control systems are designed to help the software development teams to work faster. These systems are handy for the DevOps team as they help them reduce the development time and enhance the quality of successful deployments.

For almost every software project, the source code is the crown jewel. It is a precious asset whose value is highly protected. For most DevOps engineers, the source code is a repository of invaluable knowledge and understanding about the problem domain that developers collected and refined through careful efforts. A version control system protects source code from casual and catastrophic degradation due to human error or malicious attacks.

Factors to keep in mind while selecting version control tools

Factors to keep in mind while selecting version control tools

We now know what version control systems or version control tools are. But, what are certain things that an organization must keep in mind when selecting optimal version control tools for its developers? Let’s look at some of these critical factors:

The team

Switching or implementing a version control tool to the development environment primarily strengthens teamwork. Whether onsite or remote, the version control tools are designed to empower the teams to coordinate with one another while working independently. To meet the team’s specific needs, the businesses must ensure a particular number of developers using the systems. The organization must also be aware of technical expertise. To improve productivity with versioning control tools, organizations must ensure that everyone is equipped to make changes without technical interventions. Opting for a system that is easy to use for all teammates can reduce the back-and-forth of the projects for changes.

File types

As the software development industry expands, so does the customer’s expectation. The clients consistently expect better products, bug-free launches, post-launch updates, and stellar support. For developers, the stakes are high, and they will get even higher. The growing complexities of software development mean working on and managing more intricate projects with a broader matrix of files with greater types and sizes. To establish smooth workflow and rapid mergers, organizations must select a version control tool to handle their projects at scale.

Easy setups and maintenance

This factor extends the very first point listed above, the team. Does the development team have the time, expertise, and bandwidth to implement and maintain a new version control system? How swiftly can they make the implementation? Will there be ongoing support once the project is up and running? Let’s not forget, an easy setup means a faster setup. This means a timely launch can give the development team a longer runway to adapt and start working efficiently. So, if the technical aspects of the version control tool are a concern, organizations must evaluate the customer success rate for the packages it is considering.

The timing

Implementing a version control tool involves a rigorous adaptation process. Typically, the timing of the implementation of a version control tool can reduce its impact on the current project and speed up the adoption of new systems. It is optimal for the developers to implement the version control tool either at the start of the project or during the analysis phase. After all, this change can completely overhaul an organization’s existing workflows and tools.

The budget

Version control tools are ranked among some of the most affordable DevOps tools. The actual cost lies in the implementation of these versioning control tools. With this in mind, the organizations must evaluate a system for its benefits and how it can help them save money in other ways. It is also crucial for the organizations to choose a version control tool accessible by the whole team, irrespective of their technical background.

Advantages of using version control tools

We now have a better understanding of the definition and requirements for the version control tools. But, why should a business invest in these tools? What advantages can it get from such tools? Let’s figure out the advantages of version control tools for organizations:

Traceability

When the development developers work on the latest draft of the project, it is always beneficial to have access to the history of the changes made in the project. It helps the developers to understand the purpose of the datasets and other lines of code implemented in the projects. The traceability feature of version control tools also allows the developers to seamlessly make changes that will flow as per the long-term agenda of the projects.

Merging and branching

The version control tools in DevOps allow the team members to work on the same project concurrently but independent of each other without hampering the contribution of other collaborators. Moreover, they can merge the version of the project into the mainframe without impacting the overall functioning of the project. Each team member works on a separate stream of change called a branch.

Identity

Version control tools enable the development team to analyze the changes since the original version was first prepared. It brings clarity to the development team of the software. The tools ensure that different versions of the projects are distinguishable from each other. So, it is easy to identify the latest version.

Improved efficiency

The version control tools enable the efficient and seamless progression of the project from the development phase to the deployment phase and finally to the release phase. The tools help the developers simplify the complex process and thus create a better scope for automation and consistency in the entire project. The version control tools also help the software developers to roll back to previous versions depending upon the functionalities that need to be delivered to the end-user.

Conclusion

Version control tools are designed to ensure the updates are delivered seamlessly from the production environment to end-users. These tools allow the DevOps developers to ensure the project’s progression is smooth and hassle-free. Business heads must identify their requirements to understand which version control tool is better for the business. They can select a paid tool or go for open source version control tools available in the market today. However, identifying the types of version control tools suitable for their business typically depends on the company’s nature. So if you are looking forward to implementing version control tools, connect with us.

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author
Nikhil Acharya
AUTHOR

Nikhil Acharya works as a Content Writer with OpenXcell. He holds an experience of 6 years in content and has been associated with technology-oriented content since the beginning of his career. Nikhil likes to read and write blogs on topics related to data analytics, cloud, and application modernization.

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