I have been quiet in March, due to my company acquiring new customers.
Writing blog posts about specialist topics such as SaaS requires a fair bit of regular reading, which was reduced to a minimum for me. So in lieu of that I am posting on an area which was quite a significant part of what I was doing in March, Release Management and Source Control.

Like many companies, I run a distributed team of developers, some in India and some in Chicago and myself here in the East Coast. Its a major challenge communication wise but very doable if you have the correct tools in place.

True to my previous blog posts, we use lots of virtual tools to enable that communication, but one area we have stuck to traditional methods is source control.
It was an old habit that remained with me throughout the years. We have the usual on site Source Server (running Subversion on Apache) which is only accessible from inside our office VPN with regular offsite backup storage. Now this works fine, but as with all server environments this requires regular server and security support. With customer deadlines, developers were up at all hours of the night, and our internal VPN was experiencing occasional outages. Our guys in Chicago were more than helpful in getting up in the middle of the night to resolve, but this got me thinking, why are we investing in an on premise source control environment while we are trying to persuade our customers to trust us with their valuable and confidential data? We of course use a market leader in enterprise hosting for our production application and database servers which is an environment totally independent and separated from our office network and VPN.

So right now I am looking at possible outsourcing scenarios.

Option 1: Configure your own source server but leverage the infrastructure of a Rackspace or an Opsource.

Option 2: Go fully Software as a Service with your source control.
One in particular I have been looking at is Dynamsoft. If you google hosted source control, they seem to dominate. They offer a variety of hosted options including a free version for up to 5 Mb of source code and packages for Enterprise and ISVs.

It may be hard to consider putting your source code into an external environment, old habits die hard. But the same rules apply to you as a SaaS client. Simply research the SaaS Source control vendors, understand how they protect your code, look at existing customers and be comfortable with backup processes and how you can maintain a copy of the code locally.

I think its worth looking at.

Mirror Post can be found on Troy’s Blog.


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