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The best tools for code source control

If you don't have complete control over your code, things can get pretty ugly fast. Here are some of the best source control tools on the market.
Jun 28, 2019 • 4 minute read
Updated on Jan 23, 2020 by Adam S.
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Version control is particularly important if you have multiple software developers on a project

Version control or source code control is essential to track the changes made to code. This is especially useful when problems pop up when there is more than one developer working on or changing source coding. Using version control allows developers to track back through the changes and revert to a previous version.
Source code management allows multiple developers working on a project to separate their work using branches that shows who makes what changes. You can view work history, use and manage code and revert to previous versions.
Software used to control versions saves changes in one place so if you make a mistake you can undo it or track back to find where another developer has made a mistake to resolve it.
There are many software version control tools available and you should choose the one that works best for you and your company.
Here are some of the best tools on the market.

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Git

Git takes a different approach than CVS or SVN and is a distributed version control system that is fast and efficient. It is open source software that is free and has an easy to use interface. 
Designed to operate on the Linus kernel, it does not have a central server so may not suit individual developers or small teams if using a non-repository computer. There are workarounds for this but it may slow you down.
Benefits of GIT include:
supports multiple workflows
has cheap local branching
convenient staging areas
data assurance
full history tree available when working offline
is a distributed, peer-to-peer model.

GitHub

GitHub was specifically built for developers to control code versions and is a web-based Git repository. It is open source software you can use in the cloud or on a private server, and improves team collaboration
It has Git’s functionality for source code management and distributed revision control but GitHub has a different set of features and functionalities.
GitHub benefits include:
built in code review tools
protected branches
track changes to code
task management
multiple workflows
local branching
mobile integration
feature requests
signed commits
access authentication and granular permissions using SAML/SSO an LDAP
limit access to only team members who need it
convenient staging areas
changes and new code have high visibility as they are highlighted to make it easy to compare versions side-by-side
wikis for hosting documentation for your repository, which makes it simple for other developers to access to contribute to the project. 

GitLab

GitLab “is a single application developed for the entire DevOps lifecycle from project planning and source code management up to CI/CD monitoring.” It has a lot of useful features such as a project website and you can use it either on the cloud or on your own server.
Benefits of GitLab include:
it reduces manual work
automatically links stages and silos when you make changes
audit management
sand continuous delivery
repository mirroring for access to repositories on a different server
unit testing
source code management
cycle analytics
code review for line-by-line evaluation
allows teams of developers to work together from remote locations
deploys more often for better-quality code that is more predictable and is easier to troubleshoot.

Beanstalk

Beanstalk is browser or cloud-based which makes it ideal for developers working remotely. It allows developers to write; review; commit; and deploy code using a web browser. You can also add files, edit and create branches.
It is customizable and has deployments in many environments so you can move code to individual or multiple servers at the same time.
Benefits of Beanstalk include:
it supports Git and SVN
built-in analytics
branch level permissions for teams and individual developers
uses two-level encryption for security
built-in integrations
uses releases to let team members know what changes are made and when
integrates with messaging platforms and email.

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Concurrent Versions Systems
Concurrent Versions Systems (CVS) is open source software first developed in 1986 and distributed under a GNU licence. It is one of the oldest, most mature source code management systems available. What sets CVS apart from other version control systems is its ability to run scripts when logging in. CVS run scripts allows developers working remotely to work as an integrated team and can also enforce site policies.
CVS benefits include:
keeps a snapshot of historical data
runs scripts
client server repository model
has cross-platform support
multiple developers can work on a project at the same time
a modules database that uses symbolic name mapping
teams can merge code changes
keep copies updated with an Update command
anonymous read access
delta compression for efficient storage
multiple branches.
Apache Subversion
Apache Subversion or SVN is an open source version control system originally created 20 years ago and distributed under an Apache licence. It is an alternative to CVS but remains compatible with it.
Benefits of SVN include:
history tracking
inventory management
workflow management
atomic operations to prevent database corruption
cheap local branching
access controls for users
security management
dedicated server approach
multiple team members can work on a project simultaneously
simple to use
a huge range of plug-ins for IDEs.

Bitbucket

Bitbucket is a code source management system for professional developers. You can deploy it on the cloud or a local server. Created by Atlassian you can use it free for up to five users so you can try before buying. It is a single platform for teams to plan, collaborate, test, and deploy code when working on a project.
Benefits of Bitbucket include:
integrated with Trello and Jira
streamlines writing, testing and deploying code through integrated built-in continuous delivery
unlimited free private repositories for teams with fewer than five members
fast feedback loops
pull requests
in-line commenting and discussions in code review
IP whitelisting
two-step verification for user access
access control for users
integrated CI/CD
permissions for branches.

Conclusion

These are among the best source control management systems for developers. But you have to choose the one that will work best for you. Consider use, purpose and affordability when making the best decision for your team.
 
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