Benefits of Streamlining Developer Workflows with Version Control
Version control, also referred to as source control, is an essential practice in software development that involves tracking and managing changes made to software code.
In recent years, as Agile methodologies have introduced shorter software iteration cycles, version control has become indispensable for DevOps teams. To effectively handle the rapid and numerous code changes that occur within each iteration, specialised software known as version control systems (VCS) are utilised.
Employing version control systems strategically has proven to accelerate software development, enhance productivity, and lead to shorter development timeframes and increased successful deployments.
In this article, we will explore the benefits of using version control systems and highlight the top 5 VCS tools that facilitate collaboration among developers.
Benefits of Using Version Control Systems
Version control systems, offer numerous advantages for developers and development teams.
These benefits include:
- Code Versioning and History Tracking: Version control allows developers to track changes made to the codebase over time. It provides a comprehensive history of modifications (a repository) and enables easy rollback to previous versions if a problem is detected before moving on with a project.
- Concurrent Development and Collaboration: Version control systems enable multiple developers to work on the same codebase simultaneously, ensuring smooth collaboration and minimising conflicts.
- Branching and Parallel Development: With version control, developers can create branches to work on specific features or bug fixes without affecting the main codebase. This allows for parallel development and easy merging of changes.
- Traceability and Forensics: With the above to benefits in mind, good version control software tracks code changes and who made those changes, when and why. Enabling traceability means that teams can connect code changes it to project management tools and bug tracking software. Commit messages allow for different contributors to understand how and why sections were introduced.
- Code Integrity and Quality Control: Version control helps maintain code integrity by enforcing code review processes, ensuring that changes are thoroughly reviewed before being merged into the main branch.
- Facilitates Continuous Integration and Deployment: Version control systems integrate seamlessly with CI/CD pipelines, automating build, testing, and deployment processes, leading to faster and more reliable software releases.
Top 5 Version Control Tools
The version control systems industry was valued at $613.85 million in 2022 and is expected to reach $943.71 million by 2028.
We headed to G2 to find out what are the top 5 ranked version control tools on the market:
Git is a highly robust and widely used version control system developed by Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux. It is known for its distributed nature and exceptional performance. With Git, you can track changes in any file efficiently. It offers a comprehensive range of features, making it a versatile tool for managing projects of any size. Notable companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft rely on Git due to its straightforward workflow and its ability to handle diverse development projects effectively.
AWS CodeCommit is a managed version control system that hosts private Git repositories securely in AWS settings. It seamlessly integrates with other Amazon Web Services (AWS) products, making it a convenient choice for existing AWS users. CodeCommit also provides access to useful plugins from AWS partners, enhancing the development process. With CodeCommit, you can eliminate the concerns of maintaining and scaling your source control system, allowing you to focus on your programming tasks.
Azure DevOps offers a range of services that can be tailored to enhance your workflow. One of these services is Azure DevOps Server, formerly known as Team Foundation Server (TFS). Azure DevOps Server encompasses various software development technologies, including access controls, bug tracking, build automation, change management, collaboration, continuous integration, and version control. It provides a comprehensive source code management program with flexible capabilities to meet your specific needs.
Plastic SCM is a powerful version control system that empowers software development teams to manage their source code effectively. With Plastic SCM, teams can collaborate seamlessly and track code changes throughout the development process. It offers a wide range of features, including branching, merging, code reviews, and distributed development. Plastic SCM provides flexibility by allowing users to choose between a hosted solution or managing their own deployment. It offers a scalable and secure platform that helps teams streamline their development workflow and deliver high-quality software efficiently.
Helix Core, developed by Perforce Software Inc., is a robust and networked client-server revision control tool. It supports multiple operating systems, including OS X, Windows, and Unix-like platforms, making it versatile for various setups. Helix Core serves as the central and accurate source for development, facilitating the tracking and management of changes to source code and other data. It is especially beneficial for large-scale development projects and helps streamline the development of complex products. The Streams feature allows easy branching and merging of configuration changes, enhancing the overall development process.
In conclusion, version control systems play a crucial role in software development, offering a range of benefits such as code versioning, concurrent development, branching, traceability, code integrity, and seamless integration with CI/CD pipelines. The top 5 version control tools in the market include Git, AWS CodeCommit, Azure DevOps Server, Plastic SCM, and Helix Core. These tools provide robust features, scalability, and flexibility to meet the diverse needs of development teams. By adopting version control systems and leveraging the advantages they offer, organisations can enhance collaboration, productivity, and the overall software development process.