Why Now is the Time to Move to Subversion or Git

A recent Forrester survey revealed that 17% of enterprise software developers are still using Visual Source Safe (VSS) or CVS. It’s a bit of a puzzle why these two antiquated systems are still hanging on, but I think I understand a bit of the reason.

SCM is like plumbing from a certain perspective. It’s a vital piece of infrastructure and once you’ve used it you don’t ever want to go without. But as long as it’s working well, you also don’t see a real reason to upgrade it very often. It’s only when things break that you realize how important those pipes are.

Fair enough: if your company made an investment in CVS or Visual Source Safe (VSS) 10 years ago, you need a solid reason to upgrade. SCM systems don’t wear out like physical assets, and moving to a new system can be complex.

But I think now is the time to make the move for these three reasons:

  • EOL. VSS has reached end of life.

  • No updates. Neither VSS nor CVS is receiving updates anymore. You’re missing out on features like atomic commits and strong branching which are considered essential for productive software development.

  • Lack of tooling. Compatible software development tooling – IDEs, build systems, code review tools, deployment pipelines – is increasingly difficult to find for VSS and CVS.

Given that replacing an SCM system may only happen every 5-10 years, it’s worth considering where you want to make your investment. Here are three reasons I think Subversion and Git should be at the top of your future-proof list.

  • Open source. Subversion and Git are actively developed, have a robust user community with widespread adoption, and immunize you from vendor lock-in.

  • Best of breed. Subversion and Git have all the modern features you need. Subversion in particular handles large data sets very well, while Git is known for powerful local development workflows.

  • Stable and proven. Subversion has been widely adopted over the past 10 years and is used by some of the largest companies in the world. It is rock solid stable and has many enterprise features. Git is newer but now enjoys wide community and vendor support.

Whatever your choice, WANdisco is ready to help. We have certified binaries, support and training, and products for enterprise-grade uptime and security.  Let’s start the conversation!

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