The basic workflow in a GIT environment is that programmers should code and send their code to a central repository. The problem arises when different programmers are working on different functionalities, and their deadlines are varied. It is not a must that the functionalities will take the same time intervals.
In the era of web technology, coding has evolved from incubators to online hubs which allow for remote coding. The size of applications has become increasingly difficult for a single person to code. Experts in various coding areas, therefore, converge on the virtual platform in order to contribute to the more massive code repository. The code segments in the repository are then compiled into a single code which then becomes an actual application. In order to effectively manage this process of building, testing and integrating program codes, developers need to be brought together on a collaborative platform with a predefined set of conditions to facilitate smooth communication between the developers.
A most common collaborative platform is the Git workflows. It brings together different programmers to work on projects of different sizes and complexity. The projects range from simple website design to building complex mainstream business applications. Workflows describe the flow of code between the programmers and a central repository. Different projects have different requirements and a different number of personnel who have to coordinate for the successful delivery of code segments. In order to achieve this, three workflows are dedicated to endurance successful collaboration between programmers. These are; Feature Branch, Master, and Gitflow.
The basic workflow in a GIT environment is that programmers should code and send their code to a central repository. The problem arises when different programmers are working on different functionalities, and their deadlines are varied. It is not a must that the functionalities will take the same time intervals. Therefore, a collaborative solution is needed to cater for the problem of increasing functionalities. Branch requires that for each new functionality, an independent track should be developed. A feature branch is an adjustment to the original branch where persons working on a project are assigned hierarchies based on the functionalities they are working on. These hierarchies do not infer that lower level programmers are less qualified. All persons have relatively the same expertise; the division is only based on the project’s functionalities.
The merging of branches is done using merge requests and push permissions. Once a developer finishes one functionality, he or she sends a merge request to the master, the master then determines if it is appropriate for the functionality to be merged to the mainstream program, if it is, the master gives push permission, and the developer can now send his or her functionality.
- Developers can work on their code independently without altering the main code base.
- The master is always fully deployable.
- Pull requests make it easy to comment on code segments.
- Handling tests is difficult.
The master is the most straightforward Git workflow. T is commonly used for small projects which require less than or two developers. The master is a single central repository where developers deliver their code. Instead of working independently on modules and functionalities, a developer clones the repository, that is, he produces a replica of the repository and works on the modules independently. He or she then delivers the code, and all adjustments are reflected in the final repository. Developers use the commit instruction to send their changes to the final repository. From this point, other developers can use the pull instruction to obtain some code from the central repository and use it in their work.
- Favors small projects.
- Easy and straightforward to use.
- Has limited functionality hence cannot facilitate collaborative development.
When projects become large, it also becomes difficult to manage their branches especially during unit and integration testing. As it stands, developers cannot conduct on the branches where they develop them. The reason for this is that, while one functionality may work independently, it is not known whether it will work after it is integrated with other functionalities. Testing, therefore, needs to be conducted at a higher level in order to solve this uncertainty. Gitflow attempts to solve the uncertainty.
Gitflow uses two parallel branches to manage the testing of code. These branches never intersect. These branches are the “master” and “develop” branches. Hierarchically, the master branch is always above the develop branch. The master presents a high-level version of the project that is already tested and can be released as a complete software. The developed branch merges all feature branches and manages how tests are conducted from different branches. Once everything has been fully set and tested, the developers merge it to the master as a complete version of the software in development.
- Improved interaction between branches.
- Easy to conduct unit and integration tests.
- Supports projects with a short release cycle effectively.
- Relatively complex compared to other workflows.