Best Version Control Systems

Version control systems, also known as revision control or source control systems, are used to track changes to software development projects, and allow team members to change and collaborate on the same files. Version control systems allow developers to work simultaneously on code and isolate their own work through what are known as branches. Branches keep code changes protected from the changes in other branches, but they can be merged together if and when the developer is ready. Version control systems allow developers to automatically track their work, see a history of all changes, and revert to previous versions of a project when needed. All code changes and branches are kept in a repository (often referred to as the “repo”).

Version control systems are used by software development teams to streamline the development process, manage code for multiple projects, and maintain a history of code changes. When choosing a version control system, users often need a version control hosting solution to host their master repository where developers commit their code changes. Developers often use version control clients to manage the functionality of their version control systems through a graphical user interface (GUI). Version control systems integrate with a variety of software development tools, including IDE, build automation, and PaaS providers.

To qualify for inclusion in the Version Control System category, a product must:

  • Provide a mechanism for developers to keep track of code changes
  • Allow developers to see a history of changes
  • Allow developers to work on the same code files at the same time
  • Allow developers to isolate their code through branching
  • Merge code from different branches on command
  • Show developers conflicts on code merges and allow developers to resolve them
  • Allow developers to revert their changes to a previous state

Version Control Systems Grid® Overview

The best Version Control Systems products are determined by customer satisfaction (based on user reviews) and scale (based on market share, vendor size, and social impact) and placed into four categories on the Grid®:
  • Products in the Leader quadrant are rated highly by G2 Crowd users and have substantial Market Presence scores. Leaders include: Microsoft Team Foundation Server, Git, Helix VCS, and Subversion
  • High Performers are highly rated by their users, but have not yet achieved the market share and scale of the Leaders. High Performers include: Mercurial
  • Contenders have significant Market Presence and resources, but have received below average user Satisfaction ratings or have not yet received a sufficient number of reviews to validate the solution.
  • Niche solutions do not have the Market Presence of the Leaders. They may have been rated positively on customer Satisfaction, but have not yet received enough reviews to validate them. Niche products include: Rational ClearCase
G2 Crowd Grid® for Version Control Systems
Leaders
High Performers
Contenders
Niche
Microsoft team foundation server
Git
Helix vcs
Mercurial
Rational clearcase
Subversion
Market Presence
Satisfaction
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