Tools for Your Software Development Teams - Concurrent Versions System (CVS)

Do you plan to outsource your software development? Do you have a comprehensive technical grasp on your client's requirements? Do you have a single development team or multiple teams? The answers to these questions determine what you need to establish.

One of the first things you should establish is some kind of change management and version control tracking for project artifacts and tasks. Change management helps keep projects under control by allowing individual developers take on a project from multiple angles without bumping heads. Without version control and configuration management your projects could turn into mass chaos and confusion easily.

Which tool is right for your development projects?

Several tools exist but selecting the right one is key. Even if you don't have a programming and development background the following comparison can help you make an informed decision. It is also recommended you consult with your technical lead to ensure the solution you wish to select will fit into your infrastructure or if it will require a standalone server.

Version control software tools such as SVN and Git are designed from the bottom up to enable teams to collaborate on projects electronically. Version control provides a central organized, logical repository that enables updates, notation, and merging.

You have options in selecting which version control framework will fit your needs. Often developers and management may quarrel over which framework is best. When selecting a version control you need to remember that some of the benefits may be subjective to your developer's opinion. You should also consider the capabilities and speed at which the tool can provide results in.

Concurrent Versions System (CVS)

CVS was released about thirty years ago and has proven to be widely used by open source and private industry software developers. CVS was released under a GNU license which utilizes a method that enables users to “check out” and “check in” the code they are working with which will track changes once it is checked in. If you are familiar with Microsoft SharePoint you understand the concept of the version control history and check in/out process.

Initially CVS would manage conflicts between programmers by only enabling the most recent version of the code to be updated and massaged. So basically this was a first come first serve tool where the last programmer to touch the code had to make sure they made their changes before anyone else came in to mess with it.

CVS has evolved so that it can now manage branched out projects so the software developers can work within multiple projects with unique features and all conflicts can be resolved later. The server operates on a system similar to Unix that operates on multiple operating systems. This is one of the more advanced version control systems available since it has matured to much over time to meet the needs and demands of various projects.

In the next part of this post we will examine Subversion, Git and Murcurial. Selecting the right tool for your software development is essential to ensure you minimize clutter, confusion, and chaos among your software development team. The selection process should be highly considered and researched to see what best fits your software development projects.