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Source Control Management

August 5, 2009

Source control management is the multiple version of same source code. It¬タルs mostly in software development to manage the source code that may be worked by a team of people. Each time the changes made in particular source code may be identified by a different version number. A simple form of source control management, for example initially a source code has version number as 1 means when the first change is made it is incremented to 2 and so on.

As software is designed, developed, deployed its extremely various version of code required for the developers to work simultaneously on updates. For the purpose of locating and fixing bugs it¬タルs necessary to have different versions of code to identify the bug and to resolve it. It may also be necessary to develop two versions of the code concurrently, for instance, where one version has bugs fixed, but no new features, while the other version is where new features are worked on.

Another use for source control is to track changes to configuration files. This gives system administrators another way to easily track changes to configuration files and a way to roll back to earlier versions should the need arise.

Source management models:

In earlier days a centralized model is used for the SCM, where all the resources maintained in a shared server. If two developers try access the same file at the same time without any managing access the developers may end in overwriting each others work. So to avoid that the following two source management models are used

1. File Locking.
2. Version Merging.

File Locking:

In this method the concurrent assessing is avoided by locking the file. So only one developer has write access at a particular point of time. Once a developer checkout the code only he can write into file no other has write access until he commit the updated version.

Merits:

It can provide some protection against difficult merge conflicts when a user is making radical changes to many sections of a large file (or group of files).
Drawbacks:

If the files are left exclusively locked for too long, other developers can be tempted to simply bypass the revision control software and change the files locally anyway. That can lead to more serious problems

Version Merging:

Most version control systems allow multiple developers to be editing the same file at the same time. The system provides facilities to merge changes into the central repository, so the changes from the first developer are preserved when the other developers check in.

Integration:

Some of the more advanced SCM tools offer many other facilities, allowing deeper integration with other tools and software. Plug-in¬タルs are often available for IDEs such as IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse and Visual Studio. NetBeans IDE comes with integrated version control support.

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