Setting up a source control system in C#.NET

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Setting up a source control system
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Figure 2.1 Most common source control systems involve a centralized server and a bunch of clients reading from and writing to the source control repository.
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push their work onto it and regularly pull the work of others out to a local construction site. Source control systems, also called version or revision control systems, are programs that let you manage changes in files. More important, source control systems hold the files containing the source code for your software. But generally, it doesn t matter what kind of files are managed: documents or binary files are also welcome. As shown in figure 2.1, source control clients are able to read from and write to a revision control repository. In this chapter, you ll learn why a source control system is essential not only for the CI process, but also in the day-to-day life of the developer. You ll choose a suitable tool for your needs, taking into consideration a number of attributes. Subversion (SVN) and Team Foundation Server (TFS) source control will prove to be the source control systems to choose from. We ll look at the VisualSVN Server as a suitable Subversion package for the Windows platform. You ll learn how to use TortoiseSVN, a great SVN Windows client. And last but not least, you ll prepare and dispatch to source control the sample project introduced in chapter 1. After that, you ll learn how to do the same with TFS source control. But first, why do you need a source control system in your CI environment
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Choosing the right source control system for you
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Let s imagine a CI process without a source control system. It could be a one-person shop where everything happens on a single machine. That s fine, but as soon as you start to work on a team, you ll run into problems. There must be one single place where developers commit their work and the CI process pulls it to integrate. It may be a single folder on network share where developers manually copy their new features; the CI process periodically checks the folder for
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Choosing the right source control system for you
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changes and integrates the code when something new is detected. That approach will probably work too. But why do it the hard way Why not make a full-blown system to do the job Many great source control systems are available. Many of them are free and free in this field doesn t mean an inferior product. They re feature rich and wellestablished. Installation is easy, and the list of benefits is huge. Let s examine them quickly before you decide what source control system to use.
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Benefits of source control system s
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With a source control system, you have a full development history of everything you ve committed always. Have you ever wished you had the version from last Friday where everything worked correctly, and not the mess you created on Monday when you were tired after a long and eventful weekend Of course, you didn t think about making a secure copy on Friday. And now you have to look for a nasty bug, and you don t have working code to compare. With a source control system, that s not a problem. You always have a full history of everything you ve done. You can pull the version from Friday (assuming, of course, that you didn t forget to commit!). You can pull and check every version from the time you set up your source control system. If you can pull every historical version that exists in your repository, nothing prevents you from reverting the changes you made to the current version. For example, the bad code you wrote after an eventful weekend can be replaced with a working copy in a minute. Most source control systems let you lock a file one way or another. Think about a situation in which you want to have a file just for you. You don t want anyone changing something while you work on this particular-new-very-important feature. With some source control systems, you can explicitly lock the file you re working on: no one can edit the file, but everyone can still pull it and compile with it. Some systems only let you mark the file as locked: others aren t prevented from editing other files, but no one can check out a file someone else locked. Either way, you can have the file available to only you. Source control systems let you label revisions if you want. Assume you re releasing a new version. The revision number is 4711. Do you have to remember it, in case you have to fix a bug in this particular version when it s in production with a customer No: you can label this revision by giving it a meaningful name and marking it so it will be easy to find and work with. If needed, you can take the labeled version, fork it, and set a separate CI process for it. Let s say you ve found a bug in a labeled production version. You ve fixed the bug in this version, but it also resides in the main version. That means you ll have to implement the fix there, too. But you don t have to do this manually. In most cases, you can merge the changes you ve made in the labeled version with the main version using only source control system features.
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