Software code and version control systems
A version control system records changes carried out to a file, or a set of files over time, and helps you to recall specific versions of the code later on when you need it. If you're a developer or a web designer and want to keep track of each and every version of your code developed for a particular feature, a Version Control System "VCS" allows you to:
Revert the code files back to their previous state
Recall and revert the entire project back to its previous state
Compare code changes over specific durations of time
Find who last modified a piece of code that might be causing an issue or a problem
Who introduced a particular issue and when
…and much more.
It’s important to know why version control systems are necessary.
1. Importance of code repository
For developers, the source code making up the software project is the main area of concern. Teams often put in great efforts to organize and store the code in a proper manner so it can be used again for further development. For software development teams the code repository – a database where the code, including all changes carried out on it – forms the single source of invaluable knowledge and the centre of all activity.
2. Why the code needs to be changed from time to time?
Product features and software functionality need to be updated as and when market conditions change and end users provide new feedback. Teams have to work upon features already developed and offer extra functionality so the product can remain competitive in the market. Thus new versions of existing code have to be developed by the team from time to time.
3. Version control systems
For developers and the team, it can be difficult to maintain and keep track of different versions of the code. Moreover, developers may require to compare today’s version of the code with yesterday’s version, or a version developed last year. Version control systems help the team to keep track of various versions developed over time. Such systems also log information as to what code was developed, who developed it, and when the changes were carried out. This helps to compare the performance of different versions and also know when bugs were introduced and fixed in the code. One of the major benefits of a VCS is that if some mistake occurs during coding due to some reason, developers have an option to turn back the clock and easily compare earlier code versions and fix the mistakes so disruption occurring to other team members can be minimized.
What is Git?
Git is the most popular and widely used version control system today. Originally developed as an open source project in 2005 by the creator of Linux operating system, it is a matured and actively maintained environment. A huge number of developers rely upon Git version controlling to develop several types of commercial and non-commercial projects. Git based developers are well thought of and considered as valuable resources.
What are the advantages of Git?
Git performs very strongly and reliably when compared to other version control systems. New code changes can be easily commited, version branches can be effortlessly compared and merged, and code can also be optimized to perform better. Algorithms used in developing Git take the full advantage of the deep knowledge stored within, with regards to the attributes used to create real source code file trees, how files are modified over time and what kind of file access patters are used to recall code files as and when needed by developers. Git primarily focus upon the file content itself rather than file names while determining the storage and file version history. Object formats of Git repository files use several combinations of delta encoding and compression techniques to store metadata objects and directory contents.
Git is designed specially to maintain the integrity of source code. File contents as well as the relationship between file and directories, tags, commits, versions etc. are secured cryptographically using an algorithm called SHA1 which protects the code and change history against accidental as well as malicious damage. You can be sure to have an authentic content history for your soruce code with Git.
A key design objective of Git is the kind of flexibility it offers to support several kinds of nonlinear development workflows and its efficiency in handling both small scale and large scale projects as well as protocols. It is uniquely designed to support tagging and branching operations and store each and every activity carried out by the user as an integral part of "change" history. Not all VCSs support this feature.
4. Wide acceptance
Git offers the type of performance, functionality, security and flexibility that most developers and teams need to develop their projects. When compared to other VCS Git is most widely accepted system owing to its universally accepted usability and performance standards.
5. Quality open source project
Git is a widely supported open source project with over ten years of operational history. People maintaining the project are very well matured and possess a long term vision to meet the long term needs of users by releasing staged upgrades at regular intervals of time to improve functionality as well as usability. Quality of open source software made available on Git is heavily scrutinized a countless number of times and businesses today depend heavily on Git code quality.
Why use Git in your organization?
If your business depends heavily upon IT and software processes, or you're a software development entity, Git radically changes the way how your team will create and deliver work to you. Various processes including designing, development, product management, marketing, customer support can be easily handled and maintained using Git in your organization.
1. Feature Branch Workflow
Git has powerful branching capabilities. To start work, developers have to first create a unique branch. Each branch functions in an isolated environment while changes are carried out in the codebase. This ensures that the master branch always supports production-quality code. Therefore, besides being more reliable it's also much easier to edit code in a Git branch rather than editing it directly using an external editor.
2. Distributed Development
Since Git is a distributed VCS it offers a local repository to each developer with its own history of commits. Therefore, you don't require a network connection to create commits, inspect previous file versions, or check differences between two or more commits. Also, it’s much easier to scale the team. With Git, users can be easily added or removed as and when required. Other team members can continue working using their local repositories and are not dependent upon whether a new branch is added or an older one closed.
3. Pull Requests
A developer calls a pull request to ask another developer to merge one of his/her branches into the other's repository. Besides making it a lot easier for project leaders to monitor and track code changes, "pulling" also facilitates other developers to discuss their work before integrating the code with the codebase. Moreover, if a developer can't continue work owing to some hard technical problem, he/she can initiate a pull request to seek help from the rest of the team.
Git is very popular, widely used, and accepted as standard version control system by the vast majority within the developer's community. It's much easier to leverage 3rd-party libraries and encourage other developers to fork your open source code using Git. The sheer number of Git users make it easy to resolve issues and seek outside help using online forums.
GitLab integration by QuickScrum
QuickScrum tool offers Git repository integration for quicker and streamlined software development. Using the tool Gitlab feature you can get complete control over your project repositories. Also enable version control system (VCS) for tracking code changes. Create, delete and merge pull requests. Check request status and associate one or more repositories with a project. Harness GitLab’s powerful features to create free unlimited private projects, use built-in Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment features, export projects, reduce “Idea to Production” time, and do a lot more!