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Using code repositories when working in a team

Category: Programming Date: Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Many times when we work in a team we need to share code with other members of the team. Also, many times it happens that more than one team member is changing the code in the same file, and when he / she is done changing the code it has to be merged with the code changes made by the other team members. In such situations it becomes extremely important that the team uses some code repository to manage its code. The purpose of using a code repository is to keep the code in a central place so that all the team members can get their copy of the code from the repository and after they make their changes they can save the code back into the same repository.

When working with a code repository we have to perform the following operations very frequently.

  1. Get latest - The get latest operation is performed when we want to get the latest copy of the code from the repository. It is important that each team member should perform the get latest operation after any of the team members submit their code to the repository.
  2. Check out - The checkout operation is performed when a team members wants to make changes to the code file. The checkout operation tells the code repository that some person is making changes to the file. Multiple team members can checkout the same file and work on it.
  3. Check in - When the programmer finishes making changes to the code file, he / she has to submit the file back to the code repository. This operation is known as check in operation. After the check in operation is successfully performed by the team members, his / her changes gets added to the repository. After this when other members of the team do a get latest operation they will get the changes which were submitted to the code repository.
  4. Undo pending changes - Many times it happens that a programmer will checkout the file and start making changes to it and later will want to undo the changes made to the file. For this he / she can perform the undo pending changes operation. With this operation all the changes made to the file are deleted so that the programmer does not accidentally submits his changes to the repository.
  5. View history - Many times a team member might need to see all the changes made to a given file by other members in the team. For this he / she can perform a view history operation on a file. This operation will show all the changes made to the file along with the name of the person who made the changes and the time when the changes were made.
  6. Get specific version - The get latest operation brings the latest code to the programmers computer. When using a code repository we also have the option for getting the specific version of the file. For this we can perform the get specific version operation. In this operation the programmer has a choice to look at the history of changes made to the file and get the version which he / she wants.
  7. Conflict resolution - When more than one programmers makes a change to the same file, their code might get into conflict with the code written by the other programmer. When this happens the programmers have to sit together and resolve the conflict. Mostly the code repository will try to resolve the conflict automatically, but if it is not able to do so then the programmers will have to resolve the conflict manually.

The above mentioned operations are the most frequently performed operations when using code repositories. Programmers have a choice to select from the following code repositories to work with

  1. Github - http://github.com
  2. Bitbucket - http://bitbucket.com
  3. Team Foundation Server (TFS) - https://www.visualstudio.com/team-services/
  4. Subversion (SVN) - https://subversion.apache.org/
  5. CVS - http://www.nongnu.org/cvs/

Almost all of these repositories can be used with popular IDE’s like Visual Studio, Eclipse, NetBeans etc.

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