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Understanding Version Control in DevOps in a simple way

What is Version Control or Source Control?

Think about your files as a book. It has chapters, pages, beginning, middle, and end. Version Control or Source Control in DevOps helps you to make changes to that while maintaining the entire flow and working with the team.

A Version Control System (VCS) is a way to make changes to files without worrying about something that will get lost or things will fall out of the flow. Version Control also offers backup and history of any changes for any files line-by-line.

The success of the DevOps depends on the Source Control. Version Control or Source Control in DevOps helps to manage the changes done during development process in a project. It can be versions of code, documents, or even environment configuration.

What is Source Code Management?

Source Code Management or SCM is a Devops automation tool that maintains a track of versions (revisions) made to the program. Each version has a timestamp and the person who made the changes. These versions can be compared and merged. SCM is also known as Version Control.

Benefits of using Version Control (VCS)

  • Provides a complete history of every file, made by the individuals over the years. These changes include the creation, deletion, and edits to the files. History also displays the author, date, and notes of why the change was made. This will help to find the root cause of the problem in the future.
  • VC protects the source code from any accidental changes, human mistakes, and unintended circumstances. For any software project, the source code is the most important asset. Hence it is crucial to protect it. Because source code contains all the data and revision history related to a project.
  • The facility of Branching and Merging. A Branch in VCS will keep various streams of work independent from each other. At the same time it will also provide the facility to merge that work back together. There are many workflows to choose from. The team can choose the workflow depending on how to make use of branching and merging facility in the VCS.
  • Source Control or Version Control helps to understand the difference between various versions and also the purpose of making the changes.
  • Version Control is especially beneficial in case of large distributed teams, where developers work on multiple projects and its difficult to keep a track of changes and updates across teams.
  • Version Control ensures that Dev and Ops are in there in the source control. This is the beauty of DevOps. This makes it clear and transparent to everyone to see what is there in the source and each version of it.

Some Popular Version Control Tools in DevOps

There are many Version Control tools for DevOps available in the market. But here we have listed down some of the most popular Version Control tools used in DevOps which will make things easy for you and your team.

  1. GitHub: Git is an open-source Version Control System (VCS), it is completely free. Git is designed to work in small to large level projects. Git will help to merge and maintain the history of code changes. Github is the repository where all the source code is kept by Git users. GitHub offers local branching and multiple workflows. It is easy to learn and offers faster operation speed.
  2. GitLab: GitLab is an open-source Version Control System,written in Ruby and Golang. It comes with features like in integrated project, a project website, etc. One can automatically test and deliver the code using the Continuous Integration (CI) facility of GitLab. GitLab is repository management tool hosted on the free hosting service It is easy to use to link projects via GitLab API. It works with various OS like Windows, Linux, OSX, etc.
  3. BitBucket: BitBucket is a paid Version Control System. Its a part of the Atlassian’s software suite. It offers features like code branches, in-line commenting and discussions and pull requests. BitBucket is specifically developed for the professional teams. It not just enables users to code but also to manage and collaborate on GIT projects. It can be deployed on the local server as well as on the cloud.
  4. Perforce: Perforce is an open-source enterprise version control tool. Here, users connect to a shared file repository. Perforce applications are used to transfer files between the file repository and individual user workstations. It provides branching and merging, integrations, web-based repository management, and artifacts management. It delivers version control through its HelixCore. It is a security solutions that protects the most important parts of the project.
  5. Apache Subversion: Apache Subversion aka SVN is another popular open-source Version Control System (VCS). However, it also have an enterprise version. Initially created by CollabNet in 2000, SVN is now maintained as a project by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache Subversion supports locking of files so that users can be warned when many people try to edit the same file.Apache Subversion provides features like inventory management, security management, history tracking, workflow management etc. SVN supports empty directories and has a better windows support compared to Git.
  6. Mercurial: Mercurial aka Hg, is a distributed version-control tool for developers. It is a free tool that boasts of scalability and high performance for distributed teams. As compared to Git, developers find Mercurial easy to setup and use.Its mostly developed in Python.

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