Safety through version control

Jun 01, 2006
Cimcorp Headquarters

The version control used in Cimcorp’s software work guarantees safe and high-quality software for the customer. Version control is adapted for both the WCS warehouse management system and the robot control source codes.

Programming plays a big role in the success of projects at Cimcorp. Systematic and controlled programming, basic software that is standardized as much as possible and special customer-specific functions together guaranteed the quality of the software.

Cimcorp uses the CVS version control software as their version control tool. CVS enables several programmers to participate simultaneously in the development of source codes for the same application. CVS also saves the source code development history and thus allows you to return to any given stage.

”In my opinion, one of the biggest advantages of version control is that several people can be developing the same application at the same time. Everyone then has access to the latest versions of the program at all times,” explains Janne Tiuttu, product design manager.

CVS updates source codes in what is termed the repository, which the programmer is never able to touch directly. A working copy may be taken for making modifications. If the changes are approved, they can also be saved in the repository. This feature is used at Cimcorp for developing and controlling standard software.

”The improvements gained through software development are give careful consideration before being approved and are only then saved in the standard software. When we begin a new project, the software designer uses the latest version of the standard software. If a new version of the standard program is created during the project, its implementation can be decided on a case-by-case basis. If it is decided to utilize the updated source codes, CVS makes it easy to implement them.”

In addition to the standard software, customer-specific program sections are required in the project. These sections may give rise to improvements or new features, which can be considered for inclusion in the standard software.

Version control is an important part of quality assurance in software work. If for instance an error is found in the source codes which causes problems, it is corrected and updated in the standard software. Updating to the systems at the customer’s facility can be made quickly by means of remote access.

In summary Tiuttu says, ”Thanks to version control the amount of tested software is huge, because the source codes are controlled so well. This creates safety for the customer.”

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