Like just about every company these days, your employees probably have countless Word documents and other programs open throughout the day. Any one file is most likely opened and edited a number of times before the final version is ever presented. If this sounds familiar, you may have already had issues with files getting changed in ways that were incorrect. As a result, you may have forever lost the version you wanted or at least had to invest a lot of time into fixing things. This is where version control software could have come to your aid.
In simplest terms, version control is a type of software that automatically records any changes made to a file. While this is similar to hitting “save” when working with a word document, the major difference is that version control saves for each edition of the file and lets you decide which one you wish to return to should that ever become necessary.
Version controls can be used for all types of files too, not just the word document variety. You can use them to save code you’re working on, a graphic design, layout or image and much more.
Not only can you revert back to earlier editions with version controls, it’s also quite easy to compare editions as well, so you can get an idea for how a project has progressed or maybe even where things went wrong.
Obviously, version controls work as automatic backups as well. The major difference, as we just covered, is that it doesn’t save over previous versions.
More than likely, your company would benefit greatly from version controls. This is just as true for those running enterprise companies with thousands of employees as it is for people who are self-employed freelancers. In the latter case, graphic designers, writers, animators, and programmers would make life much easier on themselves if they had version controls saving their work along the way.
However, with larger companies, there’s a much greater chance that some well-meaning individual will derail a project at some point before saving a file. Unless other people had prior versions saved on their own devices, this will obviously create a problem.
Like we mentioned earlier, version controls also work like backup software, with the added advantage that they will save each version of a file. Any company that doesn’t already have this backup software helping them should definitely consider version control software instead.
Prior to version control software being invented, many people simply copied files into a directory (ideally, a time-stamped version). Then they just saved into different directories as more versions became available. Some of your employees may be doing this right now, which could lead you to believe that version control software isn’t necessary.
Unfortunately, this method opens you up for errors that version controls weren’t eventually created to prevent. It’s easy to copy over files, for example, or forget the directory you’re working in.
Version control software has too many benefits to ignore. When you consider how affordable it is (many popular titles are free), there’s no reason why your company shouldn’t be implementing it. That being said, for the best possible version, look for titles that include the below features.
Your version control of choice won’t be any good if it doesn’t support the source codes your company uses. This would probably include some combination of Windows, Mac OS X, Ubuntu and GNU/Linux. However, be sure to confirm which ones you use before you find out the hard way that the version controls you’ve been relying on haven’t been working as you had hoped.
As you may have already figured out, version controls need to save your files somewhere and this means a server is generally going to be necessary. You should look for a version control that will save your files over distributed servers, though, as centralized options leave you vulnerable. The main issue is that if your central server goes down for some reason, it could be a long time before you could do any work on your files with an assurance that version control was saving copies.
One great thing about version controls is that this software allows numerous users to make changes to the same document, with versions being saved along the way. What happens, though, if you make changes to a file offline, then upload it after someone else has made changes to the same file? As long as you pick software with intelligent controls, the software will actually meld the two intelligently.
With version controls, you get the benefits of backup software and more. Never worry about projects being subjected to unnecessary human error with each new version archived for your convenience.
The Cloudswave Awards is a seasonal ranking of the Top 10 business applications across several categories.
This ranking is based on the cloudswave score, the weighted average score that captures the essence of multiple critic reviews into one number.
Enter your email and press continue to start downloading.
The white paper has been sent to your email. You can also download it right now from this URL: Detailed comparison of the 10 best Version Control software