Version control is something that software teams have been using for many years. But depending on your industry, you might be relatively new to the concept. Once considered a tool only for software development, version control is now used for hardware and software product development.

Whether your team is working on an ecommerce website, a multiplayer game, software for a self-driving car, or building semiconductor devices –– virtually any technology product or project can benefit from using the right version control system.

Version control allows you to manage changes over time. You can track revisions of your projects assets such as source code, graphics, movies, audio, digital design files from an EDA system, or any other type of digital asset.

Version control helps teams build products better, and get them to market faster. Let's review some of the capabilities.  

 

Concurrent Development

The basic benefit of version control is that people can work on the same set of files without worrying that they are duplicating effort or overwriting other team members’ work.

As projects have become more complex, the need has emerged to manage multiple versions of not just of individual source code files, but of entire products. For example, let say you're deploying a set of high-end internet connected security cameras. Over the product lifecycle, you may use ten different types of cameras, each with a different chip. As a result, each will have different software. Today's version control system can help you manage multiple versions of your code to manage the specific functionality of each camera's chip and OS.

When you need to deploy a critical security patch to prevent bad guys from hijacking those cameras. The right version control system lets you instantly see which code is impacted, make the changes, and deploy a fix.

 

Automation

As products have become more complex, the need to automate tasks such as testing and deployment has become a requirement. For software, continuous integration with automated builds and code reviews are a standard operating procedure. For hardware, such as semiconductors, automation can include testing with FPGAs and integration with simulation verification and synthesis systems. This means your version control system is the center of the IP universe. And the right version control system can handle millions of automated transactions per day with millions of files.

 

Team Collaboration

Companies operate where the talent lives. This means you might have design and development centers in Minneapolis, in Seattle, in Toronto, and in Shanghai.

And when deadlines loom, you might need to add engineers in Paris and possibly even in Taipei.

Providing global access to your team members in all your facilities is important. Having a single source of truth –– with appropriately secured identity and access management –– is critical for your success. The ability to facilitate reuse of IPs and software is one of the most valuable benefits of using the right version control system.

 

Immutable History

There are a lot of great reasons to track who, what, when, and why changes are being made to software and hardware designs. Version control has the ability to capture detailed information and give you access to such history forever. If GRC and regulatory needs are in the picture –– such as for automotive, aerospace, medical device and semiconductor, among other industries –– the right version control system can provide data to satisfy those needs.

The most expensive asset you have is your product development team. You can't have them idled because they've lost access to the code.

 

With the right version control system, you can have a replica of your enterprise –– your single source of truth –– operating in another location. If something happens, you can immediately make a replica of the master for uninterrupted availability.

If you work in automotive, aerospace, financial services, game development, medical device or semiconductor, Helix Core from Perforce is the right VCS for you.

 

Course - Getting Started with Helix VCS - Users