What is Version Control and What Are Its Benefits?

Any multinational company may face several problems like collaboration among employees, storing several versions of files being made, and data backing up. All these challenges are essential to be resolved for a company to be successful. This is when a Version Control System comes into the picture. In this tutorial, we shall learn the basics of that system along with its benefits.

The topics that we will be learning in this article are:

  • What is Version Control
  • Benefits of Version Control
  • Best Version Control Systems in the Market

Before we get into Version Control's details, let's first understand its relevance by taking an example under consideration.

Imagine there is a multinational company that has offices and employees all around the globe. No matter how big or small a company is, it indeed has some obstacles in its way. Some of the significant challenges faced by such companies are:

Challenges

Collaboration

There are so many people located at different places, there may be a need to communicate for a particular reason, or a set of people are working on the same project but from other regions. 

Storing Versions

The project is completed into several versions; in that situation, keeping all such commits in a single place is a considerable challenge.

Collaboration_Version_Control

Restoring Previous Versions

Sometimes, there is a need to go back to the earlier versions to find the bug's root cause.

Figure Out What Happened

It is critical to know what changes were made to the previous versions of the source code or where exactly the changes have been made in a file.

Backup

If the system or disk of the user breaks down and there is no backup, then all the efforts go in vain.

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Solution

Version Control to the rescue!

The Version Control System makes it possible for multinational companies to collaborate between its employees and help in having back-ups on the remote repository. The system will make it possible for developers to roll back to the previous commits and the source code's last version if needed.

Version_Control_System.

Now that you've seen an example for Version Control's applicability let's focus on its basics. To best grasp Version Control'sControl's basics, we must begin by understanding the basics of Version Control.

What Is Version Control?

As the name Version Control suggests, it is a system that records changes made to a file or a set of files. The system refers to the category of software tools that make it possible for the software team to look after the source code changes whenever needed. The system records all the made changes to a file so a specific version may be rolled if required in the future.

The responsibility of the Version control system is to keep all the team members on the same page. It makes sure that everyone on the team is working on the latest version of the file and, most importantly, makes sure that all these people can work simultaneously on the same project.

Let's try to understand the process with the help of this diagram:

There are 3 workstations or three different developers at three other locations, and there's one repository acting as a server. The work stations are using that repository either for the process of committing or updating the tasks. 

Version_Control.

There may be a large number of workstations using a single server repository. Each workstation will have its working copy, and all these workstations will be saving their source codes into a particular server repository. 

This makes it easy for any developer to access the task being done using the repository. If any specific developer's system breaks down, then the work won't stop, as there will be a copy of the source code in the central repository.

Next, let's understand the benefits of Version Control.

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Benefits of Version Control

Managing and Protecting the Source Code

The Version Control System helps manage the source code for the software team by keeping track of all the code modifications. It also protects the source code from any unintended human error and consequences.

Keeping Track of All the Modifications Made to the Code

The team working on the project continuously produces new source codes and keeps making amendments to the existing code. These changes are recorded for future references and can be used if ever needed in the future to discover the root cause of any particular problem.

Collaboration.

Comparing Earlier Versions of the Code

Since all the versions of the code are saved, this makes it possible for developers to go back at any time and compare the earlier versions of the code to help fix the mistake while reducing disruption to all team members.

Backup

Supports the Developers’ Workflow and Not any Rigid Way of Working

Any suitable Version Control software will not impose any particular way of working. The Version Control Systems are known to provide a smooth and continuous flow of changes made to the code and prevent developers from getting frustrated in this clumsy mechanism.

Finally, let's have a look at some of the best Version Control Systems in the market.

Best_VCS_in_the_market

Best_VCS_in_the_market1

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Conclusion

By now, you would have thoroughly understood the basics of Version Control and the benefits of Version Control. Now, you know why this system is so widely used and why small or big company opts for Version Control.

Do you have any queries that you’d like us to answer? Reach out to us in the comment section of this article and our experts look into them to provide answers as soon as possible.

About the Author

Ishan GabaIshan Gaba

Ishan Gaba is a Research Analyst at Simplilearn. He is proficient in Java Programming, Data Structures, and Project Management. Graduated in Information Technology, Ishan is also passionate about writing and traveling.

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