Friday, 2 December 2011

Start Software becomes Subversive!

I mentioned Subversion in my blog about the most recent Microsoft Access User Group.  Our latest (and greatest, he says) developer Ricky introduced the idea of using Subversion to us and the presentation at the Access User Group convinced me that it was worth a try.

What is Subversion?  It is a version control and revision system - something which helps with the process of developing software by enabling unlimited versions to be stored and shared among developers.  We have a semi-automatic process in place already (something that is regularly audited by the ISO9001 and AccredIT assessors) but there is no doubt that it is sometimes time-consuming and occasionally prone to human error.

Subversion is a considerable step from our home-grown process and automates many of the complex arrangements that we were handling manually.  We spend a great deal of time and care ensuring that we never "go backwards" with our software, overwriting changes previously deployed to sites.  We also have to spend hours each month double-checking that all versions are correct and as per our control systems.

Now that we have deployed Subversion, much of this manual activity will disappear, but - more importantly - it will mean that we will be to be much more flexible, even more responsive, and significantly more productive as a team.

I feel that someone has just switched on a light in a room that was slightly dim!  Or perhaps that was just me....

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