Benefits of CodeResort
Hosting your project at CodeResort makes great sense, and provides numerous benefits to all common development and code maintenance projects.
Benefits of a great project workroom
By looking through the Tour, it should be obvious that the project environment and repository together offer great functionality for all project members. We summarise by listing (in no particular order) the "Top 10" benefits:
- Shared ::: One place to store everything. Either directly as source code, tickets or wiki documentation, or indirectly as attachments for those Word documents you absolutely need. Think about your current projects; is it easy to keep that documentation updated? Can you see how some business logic is translated into code? How about all those valuable discussions that (lacking a proper system) took place via e-mail - is it archived and available to other (new) members? Additionally, a system for sharing gives better common understanding between team members, and naturally helps focus and guide everyone’s effort.
- Linked ::: Any piece of information can be linked to. Everything can be related. Closing a task that is completed? Fine, link to a page for viewing the actual source changes in the repository. Refer to reports in wiki text, to milestones, tickets, and even source code down to a given line number in a given revision. Linking gives true meaning to sharing, as it allows building a context for all the information.
- Collaborate ::: Get all project members involved. Write specifications and documentation together. Discuss tasks and issues in the Ticket system. Review and sign-off approved work. Have common reports and milestones.
- Updated ::: Information is available in real-time from all aspects of the system. As soon as a developer commits a change in the source code, it is available in the timeline (web/RSS). Someone completed and closed an open issue? Everyone knows. Stop using various external lists and Excel sheets to keep track of status - and spending countless hours in team meetings just to try to update disconnected lists.
- Revisioned ::: Want to see what changes were made to the source? Easy. Same with any Wiki page, and also with tickets submitted or commented. Need to find an old version of a page? Source file? Again, easy. And compare any version to see the actual changes made.
- Track ::: Now; everything is shared, linked, and additionally exists in a large number of revisions. That is a great foundation for keeping track of status and past/future progress. Group issues and tasks according to priority, severity, version, and specify the component it is related to. Pick up tasks, and get assigned tasks for future work. Report on status, or plan work for individuals by assigning tasks to others. Group tasks in milestones for deliverables. Track everything in the context of its creation.
- Time Saving ::: Tried to introduce a new member to the project team? Spent hours hunting for a specification? Looking through e-mail inbox and folders trying to tie together all the pieces of information that explains why certain functionality works as it does? Or figuring out why it suddenly doesn't work anymore? Ever tried to reuse some piece of code or module that was coded a year ago? How about understanding 5 year old code written by team members that left a long time ago? A great project environment helps you find, learn and understand in shorter time. Most likely, much shorter.
- Improve Quality ::: Reviewing some of the benefits above, have you ever stopped to wonder what quality of total deliverables would be possible if various elements of "project infrastructure" supported the team members instead of getting in the way all the time? Quality with regards to a creative team is both a matter of science and art. It is both about doing the right things, and doing them right. The CodeResort project environment is a tool for creative teams - it does not write correct code for you, it does not help you decide on what functionality you should make or how it should be implemented. Nor does it guarantee happy end-users. CodeResort is about removing obstacles, and adding that little something ("je ne sais quoi" as they say in French) that likely make individuals and teams perform better over time.
- It is Usable ::: Any repository and project system is a tool. Such tools are usually created and implemented in organisations for a number of purposes - control, reporting, planning, quality measurements, storage and backup, and so on. That usually means either focused on "after the fact" events (history tracking), or high-level "at some point in the future" tasks. The project system available through CodeResort gets history tracking and future planning as a side-effect by being a great and usable tool for project members working in "current time".
- It is Flexible ::: The CodeResort repository and web based workspace can be set up to accommodate any kind of project - regardless of technology, methodology, coding and design practices. And, it can support any size of team (minimum 1 member :-). The flexibility also extends to the tools used by developers, and essentially involves; (a) Chose a software client of your preference for updating and committing local working copy of source to central server, and (b) basic information about writing and updating information "here, here and there" as appropriate.
=> CodeResort is focused on supporting the effort to create, operate and maintain source code projects.
Benefits of hosting at CodeResort.com
Choosing to host the project at CodeResort.com adds a number of further benefits that are not easily achieved by an in-house effort.
- Distributed Access ::: Is the project team composed of people in various physical locations not directly connected? Are project members regularly working both inside and outside the company? Maybe you as customer own the project, but have a number of external suppliers? Or, the other way around with a developing organisation with partners creating something to bring to the market? A hosted project will give everyone equal possibilities of accessing, creating and updating information and source code in the project.
- Infrastructure Savings ::: Setting up a repository and project environment in-house involves a number of investments, configurations and running operating costs for the server, network, firewall and daily backups. Ask your IT Operations department about the yearly cost for operating and maintaining a basic server in your company.
- Operational Savings (Time and Resources) ::: Any adventurous soul can recreate the project environment used by CodeResort using the same open source tools (Trac and Subversion with related modules). Chances are that it will work quite well after a few days of installation, configuration and adjusting. A great aspect of open source software. However, the open source community is based on one major assumption: That you are part of the community, and keep close track on all development and issues for all the components you use to run the system. Our project environment currently consists of some 10+ components often with monthly release cycles on average - and all new releases must be reviewed and tested before deployment, and no release can guarantee that it will work with your configuration. By hosting at CodeResort, you leave the job of researching, testing, configuring, deploying and operating to us.
- No License Fee ::: For an in-house project with limited time, resources or know-how, a much more sensible solution is to purchase a licensed, supported product from a major vendor. By using CodeResort, this license fee (and maintenance fee) is avoided.
- No Lock-In - Move projects in or out of CodeResort ::: Being open source means you can continue to use the project in-house after terminating your hosting at CodeResort. Or, if you for instance use Subversion as source code repository today, you can easily move the repository to CodeResort and continue to use it without changes. We understand that throughout the life of a project/system, needs might change. No problem.
- Administration ::: Even though the project is hosted and not in-house, we make sure you have the ability to manage all relevant aspects of your set up and configuration through an easy-to-use web interface available to project administrator(s). Both fine-grained permissions in the repository, and configuration and access permissions for the various aspects of the web based project workroom.
- Updated help pages, FAQ and HowTo documents ::: For any new feature, support issue or any relevant knowledge/best practice that we acquire, we make sure that the Help pages and documentation gets updated.
Worried about security? Don't like the idea of the source code "leaving the house"?
The hosted service at CodeResort.com offer tremendous value for money (see Hosting for prices). For anyone looking to move to a (new) integrated source code management system, CodeResort provides the features and benefits to make it well worth considering.
For some however, security might be an issue. The idea of company owned information being stored on an external server might be against "company policy", or in other ways be a concern for management - and often rightly so. In fact, security should always be an issue in a networked world.
For CodeResort, BV Network AS continually spends much effort to keep our systems as secure as possible:
- All access to the server goes through our very restricted firewall.
- Access to projects and repositories hosted on CodeResort is through authenticated SSL access (https) only.
- No access to any project resources for any users unless explicitly granted by project owner.
- No untrusted code is ever run on the servers.
- The operating system is running with the minimum feature set to keep complexity low.
- We use Apache web server as front-end, generally regarded to be very secure when properly configured.
Remember, also: Security risks can never be eliminated, they can only be managed and "minimised". Evaluating "more secure" versus "less secure" for different access models is also relative - we consider CodeResort to be infinitely more secure than shipping any bits of information by e-mail. Sending source code to an external party via email means that information might travel across dozens of servers through an insecure channel that can be intercepted by anyone with access to any one of the networks or servers along the way. Access to CodeResort via an encrypted communication channel (SSL) is a one-to-one communication that in common practice will not be compromised.
BV Network AS is considered a highly trusted company in the Norwegian IT industry. We work with most major IT companies and a large number of high-profile customers, and have close contact with hundreds of developers in Norway and Europe through our work with major software companies (see BV Network AS for more information).
By putting your trust in us, we certainly intend to do what we can to keep your valuable assets as secure as possible.