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Untitled Document While many IT organizations and IT managers are focused on the latest trends such as Web services and creating service oriented architectures, it's more important than ever to remember the fundamentals such as putting solid source code management capabilities in place. This is especially important as organizations move to more rapid and more iterative development cycles.

As everyone knows, software development has moved to center stage in the business arena, as organizations drive the business with applications and business processes that put them ahead of the competition. Controlling the process of bringing the end product into production-whether it is a new software-based process for closing home loan applications faster, or an entire software product that will be sold to other businesses-is critical to the success of most businesses today.

Making sure that bugs aren't introduced, or modules are not inadvertently changed is part of why source code control or source code management (SCM) is the key to managing software assets most efficiently, accurately and safely. Since SCM tools in general have been in use for more than three decades, they are relatively mature. However, the same tools that were available back in the 1980s to help control and manage a software development project are no longer adequate for today's complex development environments.

At the same time, both the need for better SCM and more agile SCM has increased. Over the years, many organizations have invested in high-end SCM solutions that provide solid source code management capabilities and deliver solid benefits. These solutions have traditionally worked well for large organizations and large projects. Yet these same solutions frequently require a good amount of resource allocation and training and tend not to work as well for smaller projects or individual development groups.

For these types of requirements, many companies have turned to free and open source SCM tools, such as CVS or newer versions like Subversion. Such solutions are frequently good choices for straight-forward basic SCM requirements or projects with limited developers, branches or versions. However, when the projects start to grow beyond the scope of the initial plans, they begin to outgrow the open source solutions.


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