Sourcecontrol with Subversion

Play this article

I needed a source control tool to use at client sites. This would then enable them to keep the code I write for them, in a safe place, and if something were to happen to me or they use different consultants, that they can access the code locally. Of course I would keep my own copy…just in case.

So, i had a look around the internet, read a few articles, a very nice and detailed one was written by Eric Sink, not so much an article than an entire book on source control.
In this online book Eric mentions a few SCM tools :

  • Vault
  • SourceSafe
  • Subversion
  • CVS
  • Perforce
  • Bitkeeper
  • Arch

Now all of the above, with the exception of Subversion, CVS and Arch, are commercial products. I did not want to burden my clients with extra costs for a SCM tool, so I decided on using Subversion. I’ve read a few things about Subversion before and it sounded like it could be a very nice tool to use.

Before you can start to use Subversion, you need the following:

First, install the Apache HTTP Server on a dedicated "Source Control" server. The installation is fairly straight forward. Make sure however that if the SC server does not have a registered DNS name, you specify it’s IP address in the Apache config file’s ServerName part.
Second, it’s time to setup Subversion. Found a great tutorial from Tin Pham, on how to do it. Just a note, Tin specifies that you start the Subversion Installer, but with the Subversion Win32 binaries download, there is no setup! Don’t worry too much about it you can use the executables in the Subversion bin folder.
I’ve added the Subversion bin folder to my system path to make setting up the Subversion Repository easier. If you’re not sure how to add a folder to your system path, check out this article.

Right, after you’ve followed Tin’s tutorial, you should be all set. Now, start the Tortoise SVN installer. After the installation finishes you’ll notice a new option in the Windows Explorer context menu, that looks something like this:

After playing around with Tortoise SVN, you get the hang of it fairly quickly. Still not sure, how the check-out and version control happens with Subversion but will do some more investigation. So far I’m rather impressed with it, still can’t believe the installation was that painless….

Well, that all from me,’till next time. -P