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June 26, 2018

Why Is Version Control Important?

Version Control
DevOps

Version control is important, especially in today’s high-paced environment with strict timelines. The right version control solution can provide end-to-end traceability, improve collaboration, and fuel DevOps. This explains why the annual State of DevOps report by Puppet and DORA routinely lists version control as a critical practice to achieving DevOps. But version control does more than improve oversight, teamwork, and DevOps.

Six Reasons Why Version Control is Important in Software Development Projects

There are six reasons why version control is helping organizations develop and ship products faster and more reliably:

  • Single source of truth
  • Continuous Integration
  • Continuous Delivery
  • Developer collaboration
  • Connection in the development tool chain
  • Secure code and assets

Single Source of Truth

A version control system is more than a versioning tool for source code. It creates a single source of truth for all files. To improve build reproducibility and performance, version control solutions should version production artifacts, too. This ensures that everyone – from developers, testers, and operations – has the latest assets. In fact, DORA and Puppet link this functionality to immense performance gains. They found that version controlling production artifacts is a more effective predictor of performance than version controlling code.

Continuous Integration

Integrating the work of multiple contributors and terabytes of data is a central role of a version control solution. If you want to be regarded as a ‘High IT Performer,’ this needs to happen several times a day. But, not all version control solutions are alike. Some lack the speed and integration capabilities to make this happen. That’s why many organizations still have infrequent deployments and long change lead times.

However, version control solutions enable Continuous Integration (CI). One way is through high-performing servers and federated architecture. Another is through sparse branching methods that isolate developers’ work while eliminating needless revisions. Lastly, pre-commits workflows improve codebase integrity. When combined, these methods allow organizations to integrate and build on demand.

Continuous Delivery

Version control is a major contributor to regular and reliable deployments. According to the 2017 State of DevOps report, comprehensive use of version control positively affects Continuous Delivery (CD). Version control plays a central role because it coordinates the entire process. It houses the production-grade artifacts. It integrates with the testing and build engines. And it provides a central location for operations staff to quickly reproduce the production environment.

Supports Developer Collaboration

The best version control solutions foster flexible development. Code reviews and code browsing are essential. And workflows need to be tailored to the product being built. Beyond flexible workflows, version control unites multisite teams. Far-flung development centers can innovate at the speed and scale of their onsite counterparts. In turn, product iteration cycles and customer satisfaction increase.

Helix Core is the perfect example.  Its unique federated architecture includes multiple edge and replica servers. This way, you can ensure the most common operations – syncing, checking out, merging, resolving, and reverting files – are local instead of remote. It gives developers what they want. And it meets business requirements for security, compliance, traceability, and performance.

A Link in the Development Tool Chain

A versioning platform drives value throughout the development process because it integrates with the rest of the tool chain. A versioning system like Helix Core allows contributors to sync their work into the versioning system using the tools they like.

Whether it’s Visual Studio, Photoshop, MathWorks, or other popular IDEs, contributors can continue to use their tools of choice without sacrifices. This does more than improve collaboration. It promotes CD. According to this year’s State of DevOps report, “Teams that can decide which tools they use do better at Continuous Delivery.”

Secure Code and Artifacts

Ensuring your source code and artifacts are secure is crucial. Especially if you want to keep up with accelerated release cadences and multiple contributors. Version control solutions safeguard IP through extensive methods. From file permissions and audit logs to multi-factor authentication and secure replication, the best version control solutions provide robust security features. Complete traceability of code and artifact changes leads to quicker problem resolution and faster, more reliable releases.

Version Control: The Software Development Maestro

Sure, a version control system keeps an indelible history of the entire source code library and promotes developer collaboration. But its role is much larger – it’s purpose much greater. A versioning system is a key link within the software development tool chain. It orchestrates  cross-team collaboration and CI/CD. These outcomes make version control a major differentiator within the development pipeline. One that can improve business performance, employee morale, and customer satisfaction.

Free Version Control That Grows With You

Want a version control solution that improves collaboration, throughput, and deployments? A full version of Helix Core is free for up to 5 users and 20 workspaces. Start your hassle-free download.