Top Version Control Software: Which One Is the Best?
A version control system prevents a project from falling apart when a lot of people work on it. Programmers, managers, copywriters can work together on the same project and introduce changes, without turning it into a total mess.
There are a couple of popular version control systems. In this post, we are going to analyze 3 of them and see whether they are right for your project.
Popular version control systems
Git is a version control system that is flexible and easy to use. It provides options not only to software developers but also to content writers who want to edit and track changes in their documents. Git can be used by professors to upload and distribute lectures and course materials. Overall, it can be applied to many other areas that require managing the history of changes of a text document.
Each user has their local repository, where they can create and edit documents. This data can be shared with other users. If it is a company or a team working on a project, there is often a central repository that all the developers use for synchronization.
All project participants write their part of code and freely download updates from the central repository. When the necessary work by every developer has been completed and debugged, the owner of the central repository confirms the correctness and relevance of the work done and upload the changes to the central repository.
The presence of local repositories also significantly increases the reliability of data storage, since if one of the repositories fails, data can be easily restored from other repositories.
Work on versions of the project in Git can be carried out in several branches, which can then easily be fully or partially combined, destroyed, rolled back, and grow into more and more new branches of the project.
Here are the advantages of Git that make it a popular choice:
- Uses SHA1 hash algorithm for data validation.
- Convenient for branching projects and merging branches.
- Local repositories allow version control. However, merging changes to the central branch is possible only for versions approved by the central authority.
- Fast and convenient.
- Has a graphic interface but is managed through a standard set of commands.
- Widespread and accessible.
Git software is used by the vast majority of companies all around the world.
What is the difference between GitLab and GitHub?
Many people confuse GitHub and GitLab. However, these are two different software systems with different functionality.
- GitHub is a platform where developers can store their projects. It is based on Git and allows version control. It also lets you to report issues, manage tasks and improve your code with a set of provided tools.
- GitLab lets you manage your Git repositories. It is integrated with JIRA, CI Runners, and release management software. Read more about GitHub Vs GitLab here.
Now let us talk about other version control tools that you can also use for your corporate task management.
Mercurial is a distributed version control system for project management on Linux. It is focused on being able to work fast with large repositories. Mercurial is currently adapted for Windows, Mac OS, and Unix.The revisions happen through the SHA1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1).
Just like in Git, the possibility of creating project branches with their subsequent merging is supported. For interaction between clients, the HTTP, HTTPS, or SSH protocols are used.
- Fast data processing.
- Cross-platform support.
- Ability to work simultaneously on several project branches.
- Easy to handle.
- Repositories can be converted to other version support systems, such as CVS, Git, Bazaar, etc.
All in all, Mercurial is a user-friendly tool with the ability to export repositories to other version control systems.
Bazaar runs on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows operating systems. Bazaar is a bit different from the two software systems mentioned before. Git and Mercurial were created mostly for developers. They have extended functionality and powerful version control systems. They concentrate on maximum efficiency, which is extremely helpful when working on large projects with huge numbers of files. However, they might be complicated to use for a regular non tech-savvy user. In the meanwhile, Bazaar concentrates on a convenient and user-friendly interface.
Bazaar provides a convenient, simple, and intuitive interface for interacting with the program. If you have never worked with version control software before, then you should start by using this program. Later on, you can use this version control system to work with repositories of other version control systems, such as Git.
It’s nice that great attention is paid to working with project branches (creating, merging branches, etc.). It is very important when developing major projects. This feature allows for improvements and experiments without the risks of losing the main version of software or document.
- Cross-platform support.
- Convenient and intuitive interface.
- Simple work with project branches.
- Ability to export/import repositories.
- Great documentation.
- Convenient graphical interface.
- Extreme flexibility – adapts to the needs of a particular user.
Summing up, Bazaar is a convenient version control system with a nice interface. It is suited for users who don’t know how to use the command line. Many additional options and extensions will allow you to customize the program to your needs and feel at easy using it.
There are some other solutions that you can check out if you are looking for a perfect version control system: Beanstalk, Apache Subversion, PerForce, CVS, and so on. They are all very similar to each other and provide opportunities for not only version control management but also issue tracking, security management, inventory control and so on. However, the most classical solution used by the majority of both small and large companies is Git products. In this post, we have covered some of the most popular systems. You can choose the one you like and use it in your business for convenient documentation management and version control.