Harness Source Code Manager (SCM)

In this article, we go over Source Code Managers (SCMs), why they're important, what we use them for in DevOps, and how Harness leverages GitHub and Bitbucket to make life easier for devs everywhere.

This post discusses Source Code Management (SCM) in DevOps and how Harness helps you with it. 

What Is SCM?

SCM lets you facilitate a team to coordinate people and things so that they can conduct accurate changes from idea/conception to production and retirement. Moreover, all of this is done without any confusion in the process. SCM will make sure that you know exactly what you have not only when it’s in production, but also while you’re developing it. SCM will provide a team with all of the safety nets that they may need.

This is the core software developer’s daily workflow. Therefore, it’s an important component of any DevOps Pipeline. All code changes that developers make to the code base are tracked in SCM.

Why SCM in DevOps?

DevOps is a collection of processes that shorten the time between committing a system change and putting it into normal production while still maintaining high quality.

Archiving and sharing work outcomes is an important aspect of open source and DevOps culture. SCM guarantees that all team members are aware of changes to the source code and related files. This is also important for coordinating concurrent development on various features, as well as integrating them for software releases. Furthermore, SCM is often used to handle configuration files in addition to source code.

No project can be (successfully) conducted without SCM. Therefore, this is the first part that must be in place before starting on your CI/CD Pipeline.

All of the DevOps Pipeline pieces must interact with the SCM systems. SCM maintains a record of versions (revisions) made to the program. Each version has a timestamp and a marker for the person who made the changes. These versions can also be compared and merged. 

When the CI server is ready to build the code, it interacts with the SCM to obtain a copy of the code. SCM can also be used to automate other processes. Therefore, when a code update must be built, the SCM server alerts the CI server.

Tips For SCM

Having a system is one thing, but managing it effectively is another.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Select the appropriate system.
  2. Save a copy of your code to the system.
  3. Pull the latest version of the code.
  4. Frequently commit code (and make notes).
  5. Use branches to operate in parallel.

It's critical to select the correct system – which is why it's the first best practice.

That being said, most people assume that the SCM tool would solve all of the SCM difficulties or fulfill the project's SCM requirements on its own. To clarify – it’s not the tool itself that solves the problem, rather the application of the tool. How you apply the SCM tool to your development environment is called the usage model, or SCM process. You can appropriately address your SCM problems in part because of this model.

SCM tools are essential, as they make or break the effort put in by multiple developers. Moreover, they coordinate parallel work on similar features and integrate these to make the final product. In addition to the actual source code, it also manages the configuration files. Application deployment can be facilitated when the cloud services configuration is under version control.

How Does Harness Help?

A Harness SCM contains your personal account information for a Git provider such as GitHub or BitBucket. You can add one SCM to your account for each provider.

When you have Harness Git Experience enabled for a Project, Harness uses your SCM account information to identify the commits that you make to and from Harness. An SCM helps when auditing who is making changes to a Project and its Pipeline, Connectors, etc.

Harness makes things easy for you and your team by letting you quickly clone or duplicate a Harness Entity in the Git repo. Then you can have the cloned Entity show up in the Harness platform. In this section, we will look at the options that Harness has within SCM. Alongside going through the tools themselves, we will also investigate the advantages that they offer. But let’s dive in and go through the tools and their advantages:

GitHub:

Most developers are familiar with GitHub, but it frustrates many who are unclear of what exactly it’s intended for. GitHub is an awesome SCM tool that helps teams collaborate to resolve problems with the code changes that they bring into the existing code.

GitHub remains one of the top DevOps tools for easy collaboration. It allows developers to make rapid iterations to the code, notifications of which are sent instantaneously to other team members. In the case of any error or fallout, immediate rollbacks can be conducted on the previous version within seconds. This is thanks to the branched history of changes that are stored contiguously within the tool. They move ideas forward while learning from each other the whole way. GitHub is an amazing SCM tool that is also the best place to share code.

SCM - GitHub

Key GitHub Features

  • Makes it easy to contribute to your open-source projects.
  • Tracks changes in your code across versions.
  • Enables folder creation via the Web Interface.
  • Automates from code to cloud.
  • Remains the largest host of source code in the world.

Bitbucket:

Similar to GitHub, BitBucket also helps manage project code throughout the software development cycle. Although GitHub still ranks as the top repository, people are shifting to BitBucket due to its reduced costs, as well as its private repository (a feature only available in the paid variant of GitHub). The core functionality of BitBucket resembles that of GitHub, but features such as easy integration with Jira and Trello, as well as inbuilt CI/CD functionality, tend to give this tool by Atlassian an edge.

SCM - Bitbucket

Key BitBucket features

  • Provides a distributed control system that allows easy collaboration between the users, and enables massive scaling.
  • Provides unlimited private and public repositories.
  • Provides granular permissions. Therefore its Workflow feature is quite secure.
  • Provides a provision to integrate with the leading business application, such as Bamboo, JIRA, and HipChat. This also helps users work efficiently and productively.

Conclusion

The cornerstone of excellent DevOps is the concurrent development of several features and their integration for software releases. You can utilize Harness Git Experience to automate builds, testing, and deployment by accessing source code and configuration files that have been placed under version control.

Want to learn more about how Harness can help you with this? Look into the Harness SCM and Harness Git Experience.

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