What is version control system?

What is version control system?

Version control is a component of software configuration management (SCM) that can help keep track of the changes done to the files at any point of time and manage the changes in terms of versions.

All the changes done are stored as versions or snapshot in the repository.


Version control can be thought of as a system or tool that is useful for an organization or project manager in organization keep tracks of file changes in terms of versions. Overall system or tool that helps us with all these activities is known as Version Control System (VCS)


Version control is also known as revision control or source control.

version control system


Types of version control systems are:

  1. Centralized version control system
  2. Distributed version control system

Learn difference between Centralized VCS and Distributed VCS here.


Example of Centralized version control system

  • SVN

Example of Distributed version control system

  • GIT,
  • Mercurial

Advantages of version control system

Given below are the advantages of version control system:

  • VCS helps keep track of all the file (code) changes starting from oldest to latest one. 
  • VCS helps track who made changes and to which files in which version or versions.
  • VCS allows the developers to revert back their changes at any time in case of issues.
  • VCS like GIT also allows the concept of local and remote repositories to enhance productivity and eliminate single point of failure.
  • VCS helps coordinate development and testing work among multiple teams simultaneously. Suppose developers have completed coding version v1.0 so testing team can take this version and test the code whereas developers can start their coding on v1.1. In case testing team reports any bug, few developers can take code from v1.0 and fix those bugs. Later when v1.1 coding is completed it can be merged to v1.0 using VCS tools.

Disadvantages of version control system

Disadvantages of version control system are:

  • VCS are systems so are victim to certain failures. For example, centralized VCS suffers from single point of failure because if central server fails then accessing (check in and check out process) of files would be disturbed. 


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Rohanjit Kumar
Technology geek, loves to write and share knowledge with the world. Having 9+ years of IT experience. B.Tech in Computer Science & Engineering
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