Concurrent Versioning Systems

by Jon Schlackl

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This article from The Mender (Issue 9),
Metamend's Web Site Optimization and Marketing Newsletter.


You run a software development team, are thinking about starting a development team or are a member of one. You already know how difficult it can be to maintain an adequate level of communication and updates between developers. You would also know that poor communication can lead to mass confusion and the last thing any team needs is confusion.

One way to avoid version conflicts and assure everyone is up-to-date is to use Concurrent Versioning System (CVS) software. CVS software provides a centralized repository for all your source code. Each developer must "check-out" the source code files as required. All changes are mapped by the CVS software and are updated each time source code is "checked-in". This system of "check-out" and "check-in" protects against version conflicts as each file is marked "READ-ONLY" upon "check-out" - this means no other developer can modify this source code and update the repository until the original developer updates his/her changes in the repository.

Another highly valuable feature of CVS is the ability to revert to earlier versions where you may want to make certain modifications or re-enable certain features of your software. Although you may think your team is too small to bother with CVS, I suggest not. Any development team can benefit from using CVS software as a tool. Moreover as you expand and take on larger projects you will can simply add new projects to the CVS server enabling you to manage multiple teams simultaneously. CVS software is a powerful development management tool that provides security, efficiency and most importantly an open line of communication between all members of the development team. Try it out.

Other articles from this issue:
- The Mobile Net - The Next Big Thing
- Business Development - Is B2B Here to Stay?
- Relevant Graphics

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