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How Source Control Systems work ?

This article explains how the Source Control systems work.

A Source Control System is a software used to track file changes. Below are the steps required to use Source Control Systems:

1. Install a source control server software in one of the secure servers in your office.
2. Create a new database in the source control server. This database will keep all files for your project.
3. Create users in source control for each member in your team.
4. Install source control client software in each member's machines.
5. Connect the client software to the server software.
6. Start using the source control system by adding files to the server using the client software.

Typically, you will create one source control database for each project in your company. In small companies, each team may install a source control server and create a source control database for their team. But in large organizations, there will be one dedicated, secure server computer in which the source control server is installed. No team members/managers will have access to this system. Only the networking department will access this machine. They will create a separate source control database for each project in the company and create users for that team.

Source Control systems provide a user interface very similar to the windows explorer. You can create folders and add files. The folder structure should be same the folder structure in your project. You will create the same set of folders and add files to the corresponding folders.

When any person create a new file in the project, he will add it to the Source Control System in the correspoding to folder. From that point onwards, the file is "controlled" by source control system. If anybody want to change the file (including the person who created the file), he has to "checkout" the file from Source control. You will learn more about the Checkin and Checkout process in coming chapters.

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