Choosing a version control system for your Tech Pubs department

I assume here that you have already identified a need for a version control system. Choosing one may be your next step.

First choice: Use whatever version control system your developers use.

  • Your department may have to pay for a license on the server software, but you will have advice and assistance readily available.
  • Some of your writers will use it for different tech pubs projects and get proficient at a tool that is crucial to your company’s developers.
  • You may be able to piggyback your server license on theirs.
  • The IT department that set up their server for version control already knows how to do that. When you get your own server, they will already know how to set it up.

Second choice: Git

  • This is one of the most popular open source version control systems.
    Even if your company does not use it, you should be able to find help and advice in your development team. Check that this is true at your company before you make a decision.
  • Like most version control systems, there are GUI tools for Git, so you are not restricted to command line access to your data. On Windows, TortoiseGit is good, easy to use, and free.
  • Several companies provide commercial servers for Git, including Atlassian. Atlassian’s BitBucket server is inexpensive, but full-featured and easy to use and administer.
    There are open source servers for Git.

Other considerations:

  • Pay extra, if necessary, to keep your data in a separate storage area from the developer’s data. This storage area is usually called a repository, which is abbreviated repo.
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