Getting Started with Source Code Management (SCM) for Small Teams

    • official history. Good for backups, accountability and security

    • Security: Native subdirectory-level user access restrictions

    • Branches are easy and stored centrally

    • Gentlest learning curve for newbies, and operations like branching become quite intuitive as you progress

    • Ability to lock files, ensuring that others don’t work on the same binary files assets like documents and media files simultaneously

    • Widest adoption among developers

    • History of changes can’t be modified


    • Working offline means you can’t commit changes to the centralized repository until you have Internet connection, although this does not prevent developers from working on their local copies

    • Generally slower than Git, since most operations need to synchronize with the central server, especially when merging large branches

    • Possible to revise history and preserve only successes, not failur

Built for development of the Linux operating system, Git is a distributed version control system that has an emphasis on being fast. Git projects lack a central repository; rather, every working directory is a full-fledged repository of its own, and is not dependent on network access or a central server. Git is convenient if you want to code offline or have many developers collaborating independently on a single branch, which is why Git is favored in many open source projects.


    • Decentralized model means many operations are faster and makes offline work more practical

    • More merge options, which are generally faster than Subversion

    • Branching is easier and faster

    • Comes with many tools like ‘bisect’ that can partly automate the process of finding where a bug was introduced


    • The local copy model means you need to be more careful of backing up your own workstations

    • The large set of commands can be esoteric and present a steeper learning curve

    • There is no file locking, which can cause issues with binary files

    • History can be changed, and being able to edit past commits might not leave the strong paper-trail you’d prefer

About the Author Guy Marion is former CEO of, now VP & General Manager of the Codesion Cloud Services Business Unit at CollabNet Inc. CollabNet provides hosted SCM and developer tools for distributed workgroups and enterprises – try it free for 30 days.

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