Version Control with Eclipse

1. Importance of Version Control

Version control is a technology that has been essential for programmers for decades, and different technology is always emerging that makes version control even better. If you don’t already know why you should use version control in your Eclipse projects, maybe these reasons will convince you.

  • Version control facilitates collaboration

    Working together is not easy, but version control makes it so. Different programmer’s contributions can be tracked, changed, or even reverted.

  • Version control protects your work

    Losing valuable work means losing money, and version control is a natural way to back up source code. Your code and all its versions are all stored safely on the server.

  • Version control keeps things organized

    Without version control, code might end up being stored in a labyrinth of folders on some programmer’s computer. Version control stores everything in a centralized location, with a structure that all the contributors agree upon.

2. Solutions for Eclipse

Eclipse has some basic support for version control, which can be seen through the Team part of the right-click context menu, particularly when clicking on projects in the Package Explorer. By default, Eclipse supports the legacy version control system CVS, which can be seen through the Share Project dialog. A good add-on will follow these standards, and integrate into the Eclipse environment naturally.

This post will focus on the SourceAnywhere Hosted version control add-on for Eclipse, and focus on its usability as well as its performance speed. Focus will also be given to how it integrates into the Eclipse environment and its intuitiveness for programmers.

3. SourceAnywhere Hosted in Eclipse

1.  Usability

After installing the SourceAnywhere Hosted add-on through Eclipse’s Install New Software dialog, it is easy to set up a project with the Share Project dialog. After a project has been setup, files can be added to version control.

SourceAnywhere Hosted Eclipse

For users who aren’t familiar with version control, SourceAnywhere is very intuitive. It contains features to enforce proper use of version control. If a user checks-in a file and tries to edit it, SourceAnywhere will ask if the user wants to check it out first. This prevents desynchronization between the remote and local versions of files.

SourceAnywhere Hosted Eclipse Checkout

All the features of version control are available within Eclipse, and can be accessed through the SAW Hosted menu, or right-click context menu on files. A full history viewer is included along with the ability to add labels and change properties. The Eclipse add-on for SourceAnywhere Hosted is just as complete as the full application.

SourceAnywhere Hosted Eclipse Checkout

One of the things that makes a good version control solution is transparency; it should fit in nicely with everything so that the programmer hardly even notices they are using it. SourceAnywhere aims for strong integration with Eclipse, and intuitiveness to make it very easy to adapt to.

2.  Speed and Efficiency

The Eclipse add-on works just as efficiently as the full application. Check-ins and check-outs work smoothly, and all operations have progress bars that are useful when working with large files, depending on your connection speed.

SourceAnywhere Hosted Eclipse Checkin

One feature that sets SourceAnywhere Hosted apart is its caching technology. In a workplace, a SourceAnywhere Hosted Cache Server can be set up, acting as a buffer between users on the local network and the main servers. Every time a file is requested from the main servers, it is also stored on the local cache server, and subsequent requests no longer need to access the main server. The cache server is secure, easy to install and maintain, and allows files to be transferred at lightning-fast LAN speeds.

Dynamsoft’s hosted applications use servers located in a data center in Vancouver, Canada that are very well connected with the rest of the world. Even on the opposite side of the planet the response times are fast. Speed is important to ensure that using version control improves efficiency rather than impedes it.

3.  Conclusion

SourceAnywhere Hosted aims to combine usability and efficiency, and those philosophies were employed in the creation of the Eclipse add-on. Regardless of whether your development environment is Eclipse, Visual Studio, or something else, SourceAnywhere can be used to add efficiency and safety to your development cycle. The 30-day free trial is available to anyone, and can be downloaded from Dynamsoft’s website.