The greatest version control and revision control tools on the market will be covered in this article.
SCM (Source Code Management) tools or RCS (Revision Control System) are other names for version control software (VCS).
Version control is a means to maintain track of code changes so that, in the event that something goes wrong, we can compare various versions of the code and go back as far as we’d want. Where several developers are regularly working on or altering the source code, it is absolutely necessary.
The Top 15 Version Control Tools
Version control systems represent a multi-billion dollar market that is expected to grow to $716.1 million by 2023. 15 tools stand out in this vast industry. As follows:
- Perforce Helix Core
- IBM Rational ClearCase
- Revision Control System
- Visual SourceSafe(VSS)
- CA Harvest Software Change Manager
One of the best version control programs now on the market is called Git.
- Significant support for non-linear development is offered.
- Model of a distributed repository.
- Compatible with current protocols and systems including HTTP, FTP, and ssh.
- Able to handle small- to large-scale projects with efficiency.
- Historical verification using cryptography.
- Programmable merging techniques.
- Framework-based design.
- Periodic packing of specified objects.
- Garbage builds up until it is collected.
- Incredibly quick and effective performance.
- Tracking code changes is really simple and easy.
- Sturdy and easily maintainable.
- Offers the excellent git bash command-line tool.
- Additionally provides a GIT GUI where you can easily re-scan, modify the status of the project, sign off, commit, and push the code with only a few clicks.
- Understanding a complex and larger history log is challenging.
- does not allow the preservation of timestamps and keyword expansion.
Another widely used revision control system is this one. For a long time, CVS was the preferred tool.
- Model for a client-server repository.
- The same project might be worked on concurrently by several developers.
- Only when an edit conflict arises will CVS client require user intervention to maintain the working copy of the file current.
- keeps a record of the project’s past.
- anonymous access to read.
- To keep local copies up to date, use the ‘Update’ command.
- can support several project branches.
- Symbolic links are excluded to prevent security risks.
- use delta compression for effective storage.
- Fantastic platform support.
- A robust and feature-rich command-line client enables strong scripting.
- helpful assistance from the large CVS community
- Enables efficient source code repository web browsing
- It’s a fairly well-established, well-understood tool.
- fits the open-source community’s collaborative character perfectly.
- There is no source code repository integrity checks.
- Supports neither atomic check-outs nor commits.
- Poor distributed source control support.
- Does not support merging tracking or signed revisions.
The widely used CVS program that we just covered is intended to be replaced with Apache Subversion, sometimes known as SVN.
- Model for a client-server repository. SVK does, however, allow for distributed branches in SVN.
- Directory versions exist.
- Operations like moving, deleting, copying, and renaming are also versioned.
- allows for atomic commits.
- signed links with versions.
- versioned metadata in free form.
- Binary diff storage that uses less space.
- Branching is a low-cost process that is independent of file size.
- Merge tracking, complete MIME support, path-based authorization, file locking, and solo server operation are further features.
- benefits from having quality GUI tools like TortoiseSVN.
- supports directories that are empty.
- provide stronger Windows support than Git.
- easy to administrate and set up.
- Easily integrates with Windows, top IDEs, and Agile tools.
- does not keep track of when files were modified.
- does not handle filename normalization correctly.
- not compatible with signed revisions.
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A distributed revision-control program called Mercurial was created in Python with software engineers in mind. It supports Windows, macOS, and Unix-like operating systems.
- high scalability and performance.
a high level of branching and merging.
- collaborative development that is entirely distributed.
- robustly handles both binary and plain text files.
- features a built-in web interface.
- swift and potent
- simple to learn
- portability and lightness.
- Simple conceptually
- Python must be used for all add-ons.
- Checkouts in parts are not permitted.
- When combined with extra extensions, it might be very difficult.
Distributed revision control tool Monotone is created in C++. It supports all major operating systems, including Unix, Linux, BSD, Mac OS X, and Windows.
- supports localization and internationalization well.
- integrity is prioritized over performance.
- created with distributed processes in mind.
- tracks file revisions and authentications using cryptographic primitives.
- project imports from CVS.
- utilizes netsync, a very effective and reliable proprietary protocol.
- virtually little upkeep is necessary
- adequate documentation
- simple to learn
- portable style
- Excellent results when branching and merging
- Secure GUI
- Performance difficulties were noticed for a few operations, the initial pull being the most obvious.
- From behind the proxy, it is impossible to commit or checkout (this is due to a non-HTTP protocol).
Bazaar is a client-server distributed repository model-based version control application. It is written in Python 2, Pyrex, and C and offers cross-platform OS support.
- Like SVN or CVS, it has commands.
- You are able to work with or without a central server thanks to it.
- offers free hosting through the websites Sourceforge and Launchpad.
- supports the full Unicode character set for file names.
- Bazaar supports directories tracking quite effectively (Git and Mercurial do not have this feature).
- The plugin system is rather simple to utilize.
- high speed and storage effectiveness.
- does not permit partial cloning or checkout.
- not preserving timestamps in any way.
Microsoft’s TFS, or team foundation server, is a version control system. It has a proprietary license and is built on a client-server, distributed repository concept. Through Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), it offers support for the Windows, cross-platform operating system.
- includes source code management, project management, reporting, automated builds, testing, release management, and requirement management in its support for the complete application lifecycle.
- enhances the capabilities of DevOps.
- can serve as the backend for a number of IDEs.
- Available in two separate formats (online (also known as VSTS) and on-premises).
- simple to administer. strong interaction with other Microsoft programs and recognizable user interfaces.
- permits team builds, continuous integration, and integration of unit tests.
- Excellent support for operations like merging and branching.
- Create your own check-in rules to help your source control system build a steady and reliable codebase.
- clashes while merging frequently.
- There must always be a connection to the central repository.
- pull, check-in, and branching processes are all quite sluggish.
Cost: Free for the first five users in VSTS or for open source projects through codeplex.com; otherwise, purchased and licensed through an MSDN subscription or direct purchase.
The client licenses are almost the same price as the server license, which costs about $500.
Microsoft offers VSTS (Visual Studio Team Services), a distributed version control system built on a client-server repository approach. Cross-platform support and the Merge or Lock concurrency mechanism are both used.
- C# and C++ programming languages
- Method for storing changesets.
- Size of the changed files and trees.
- Supported network protocols include SSH and SOAP via HTTP or HTTPS.
- Through build hosting in Microsoft Azure, VSTS provides elastic build capabilities.
- DevOps enables
- In the cloud, VSTS offers all the features that are present in TFS.
- practically every programming language is supported.
- Sense-Based User Interface
- Upgrades are installed automatically.
- access to Git
- No modifications may be signed.
- Large teams are not well-suited for the “work” section.
- No, the software is proprietary and not open source. However, a free trial version is offered.
- Free for a maximum of 5 users. $10 per user each month. offers a large number of both free and paid extensions.
Perforce Software Inc. created the client-server and distributed revision control technology known as Helix Core. Platforms similar to Unix, Windows, and OS X are supported. This technology is primarily used in expansive development settings.
- keeps track of the file versions in a central database and master repository.
- supports all sizes and file formats.
- file-level asset administration.
- keeps a single source of reality.
- versatile branching
- DevOps capable
- accessible to Git
- Quick as a flash
- incredibly scalable
- Simple to follow the change list.
- Code changes are fairly simple to spot thanks to diff tools.
- works properly with the plugin when used with Visual Studio.
- Multiple workspace management is pretty challenging.
- Multiple workspace management is quite easy with Perforce Streams. Users only see pertinent data, and it increases traceability.
- If modifications are spread across several change-lists, rollbacks can be challenging.
- provides the option to cancel a submitted changelist (in P4V), and users can do this by simply right-clicking a specific changelist.
No, it’s proprietary software; it’s not open source. However, a 30-day free trial edition is offered.
Cost: Up to 5 users and 20 workspaces are now always free with Helix Core.
A client-server repository approach based on a software configuration management tool is called ClearCase by IBM Rational. Numerous operating systems are supported, including Solaris, AIX, Windows, z/OS (limited client), HP-UX, Linux, and Linux on z Systems.
- supports the UCM and the base ClearCase models.
- Unified Change Management, or UCM, provides a pre-built paradigm.
- Basic infrastructure is provided by Base ClearCase.
- ability to handle a high number of files, massive binary files, and large repository sizes.
- permits labeling, versioning, and branching of directories.
- plain UI
- utilizes Visual Studio integration.
- simultaneous development is handled.
- Contrary to the local workstation approach of other version control applications, ClearCase Views make it easy to switch between projects and configurations.
- Sluggish recursive actions.
- Evil Twin Problem: Instead of versioning the same file, two files with the same name are placed to the location.
- No cutting-edge API
- No, it is not open source; it is a proprietary tool. However, a free trial version is offered.
- Each floating license costs $4600 and is automatically held for a minimum of 30 minutes for each user until being manually surrendered.
The Thien-Thi Nguyen-created Revision Control System (RCS) is based on the local repository paradigm and is compatible with Unix-like platforms. RCS was originally made available in 1982, making it a fairly old tool. It is a prototype of the version control system (VCS).
- was originally designed for programs, but it’s also useful for frequently updated text documents and configuration files.
- RCS can be viewed as a collection of Unix commands that enables different users to create and maintain documents or computer code.
- allows for document modification, committal of changes, and document merging.
- Revisions should be kept in a tree structure.
- easy UI
- Simple to work with
- The saving of revisions is independent of the central repository thanks to the local repository paradigm.
- Version history is editable; less secure.
- Only one user can work on the same file at once.
A revision control tool based on the shared folder repository model is called VSS from Microsoft. Only Windows OS is supported.
It is designed for modest software development initiatives.
- creates an electronic library of files.
- with the ability to manage any file type in its database.
- Very user-friendly UI.
- Compared to other SCM systems, it enables the construction of a single user system with fewer setups.
- Simple backup procedure.
- lacks a number of crucial aspects of a multi-user system.
- One of the biggest issues with this program is database corruption.
Price: paid. Each license, or single license, that includes an MSDN subscription costs close to $500.
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It’s a revision control tool that CA Technologies offers. It supports a wide range of operating systems, including Mac OS X, Z-Linux, Linux, AIX, and Solaris.
- “Change package” changes are made. Change management and version control are both supported by Harvest.
- has a lifecycle that is already planned, from testing to production.
- completely individualized project environments. Project in Harvest is the same as “complete control framework.”
- No, this utility has a proprietary EULA license, so it is not open source. However, a risk-free trial is offered.
- tracking the passage of an application from development to production environments is highly helpful. This tool’s lifecycle feature is its best feature.
- deployment with safety in mind.
- Scalable and steady.
- be more user-friendly if possible.
- Merging functionality might be enhanced.
- Polar code review requests are difficult to manage.
Cost: The vendor has not provided a price.
Serena Software created the client-server repository model-based version control solution known as PVCS (short for Polytron Version Control System). Platforms similar to Unix and Windows are supported. It offers source code file version management. It’s primary audience is tiny development teams.
- uses locking as a method of concurrency control.
- Has a distinct merge command but no built-in merge feature in Opera.tor.
- multi-user environment is supported.
- Simple to use and learn
- independent of platforms, manages file versions.
- readily integrates with the Eclipse and Microsoft Visual Studio.NET IDEs.
- Its GUI contains a few oddities.
- No, the software is proprietary and not open source.
Cost: The vendor has not provided a price.
The Darcs team created the distributed version control system known as darcs (Darcs Advanced Revision Control System), which uses the merge concurrency model. This Haskell-coded utility works with the Unix, Linux, BSD, Apple macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems.
- able to pick which modifications from other repositories to accept.
- communicates via SSH, HTTP, email, or an atypically interactive interface with both local and remote repositories.
- the idea of linearly ordered patches is used.
- Compared to other programs like git and SVN, has fewer and more interactive commands.
- offers a direct mail send system.
- performance problems with procedures involving merging.
- It takes a while to install.
This is a cost-free utility.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Version Control System (VCS)?
Software solutions referred to as "version control systems" assist in tracking changes made to files by keeping track of changes made to the source code.
How does GitHub operate and what is it?
A platform where you can exchange code, contribute to open source projects, or even automate your workflow with tools like GitHub Actions and Packages, GitHub is the home for all developers.
How similar are Git and GitHub?
Version control systems (VCS) include Git. Git repositories can be hosted on GitHub, where teams can collaborate on them.
What causes merge conflicts?
Users can merge commits from two separate branches when using a version control system like GIT to work on projects. Unless there are competing sets of changes (i.e., the commits update the same line of code differently), files are automatically merged. When your version control system is unable to automatically reconcile discrepancies in code between two commits, a merge conflict is an occurrence.
We spoke about the top version control programs in this article. As we’ve seen, each instrument has unique defining qualities, advantages, and disadvantages. Some of them were paid tools, while others were open source. Some work well with the small business model, while others work well with big business.
Therefore, after analyzing the benefits and cons of each instrument, you must select the one that best suits your needs. I advise you to first try out any paid tools’ free trial versions before making a purchase.
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