If you have ever collaborated with other people in a Software Development Process, you surely have experienced how painful it is to constantly transferring files, tracking all the activities, bugs and issues. Without and proper system in place it gets pretty messy in no time.
So here’s comes the Version Control Systems which allows people to collaborate and keep track of the entire revision history. A number of developers can work on a same code base without having to send files back and forth, each developer can revert to any version at any moment and they can perform a lot of disposal experimentation without the fear of code getting messy.
But there are several Version Control Solutions available in the market and one is better than other for one or more specific tasks. One size doesn’t fit all. So, to be development teams should choose a version control which suits their needs the best.
In this article we are going to discuss about different types of version control systems, what Version Control System solutions available in the market, and what makes each one of them different than others.
So, first let’s take a look at Types of Version Control Systems
Different types of Version Control Systems
Centralized version control
Centralized Version Control Systems have a single central copy of code base on the server, and every person working in the project have to pull a code from this central version. This type of VCS was industry standard before the development of Distributed Version Control. This system is also known as client-server repository model / client server architecture.
Distributed version control
In Distributed Version Control one does not have to rely on one central server. Instead one has a copy of entire repository locally. So in DVCS, developers work together on a code at the same time, can separate their tasks through local branches and finally can merge all branches easily as a piece of cake.
Top 6 Version Control Systems Available in the Market
Concurrent Versions System (CVS):
CVS or Concurrent Versions System is one of the oldest Open Source VCS. CVS is based on RCS files of version control and uses a server client architecture (Centralized Version Control).
This tool was first released in 1986 and has been the tool of choice of the industry for a very long time. Being there for such a long time the tool is pretty mature, bug free, well documented and well understood. But it is not as feature rich as the newer players in the market.
Apache Subversion or SVN is another Centralized Version Control System, which very popular among individual developers and the corporate world. For a decade SVN has seen incredible success and has been used by a number of larger projects like SourceForge, Apache, Python, Ruby etc.
Perforce Helix Core:
Helix core, formerly known as Perforce Helix is a commercial centralized Source Code Management System, which better at handling version control of large file than CVS and SVN. But it is bit expensive, yet not very friendly for non-liner development, where the next VCS come in to picture.
Git is one of best and the most popular VCS system in the present market.
Initially developed by Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux kernel, which took software development industry by storm.
The reason being it was the only VCS in the list which is Distributed Version Control in nature, where there is not one centralized code base but different local branches. And every local branch acts as a full-fledged repository with a complete revision history. This feature provides a strong support for non-linear development, which the previously mentioned VCS were not as supportive.
Git is very fast, efficient and extremely robust system, compatible with protocols like HTTP, FTP, ssh and is capable of efficiently handling small to large projects.
One downside to Git is, initially it has steep learning curve.
Like Git Mercurial is another open-source distributed version control system. It has been designed for larger projects, keeping high performance, scalability and decentralization in mind. It is a free and distributed source code management system with very simple and intuitive user interface.
Bazaar another famous VCS, which is unique in such a way that it provides both Centralized and Distributed Version Controls. It offers one of the most friendly user interface. It provides cross platform support, and is written in Python 2, Pyrex and C. Good for both small and large projects.
Here are the top Version Control Systems available on the market. But it your projects needs that dictates which will be the best VCS for you. But in most of the scenarios Git is often the best choice. In fact, now 70% of total repositories are on Git.
So, now you know about all the common Version Control Systems available, but you still need to host your project version files on a central repository to collaborate with hundreds and thousands of co-workers. GitShip, a Web Based Source Code Repository, which allows you to host Git based projects files and collaborate in a large project easily. In addition to all the standard VCS features, GitShip makes it even better with exceptionally brilliant features like Pull Requests, Issue Tracking, Analytics, Extra Security and so on.