Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Source repository hosting: Why do it yourself?

My last post was about a little open source monorail project I've been playing with. One of the cool things I discovered while looking for somewhere to put it was google code project hosting. I really like subversion which is one of the two options for source control on google code, the other being CVS. With the tortoise svn client which integrates with windows explorer, handling source is a really nice experience.


All this made me think that source code hosting might make sense for commercial projects too. Most people no longer host their web servers, so why host your source repository? Of course you've got to trust your hosting company if you're asking them to look after the company's crown jewels, but imagine the savings and lack of hassle. Quite a few projects I've worked on have had 'issues' with Source Safe and often there's quite an overhead to manage the source repository itself. Now that's probably got something to do with the fact that Source Safe is a crap product. But why do something you don't have to? I don't have any recommendations for subversion hosting companies, but there seem to be plenty out there. It's something I'm certainly going to look into next time I'm responsible for putting in place a source control strategy.


Dave Verwer said...

Hi Mike

This is exactly the decision I made when I started my company about 18 months ago and I have never looked back.

I use CVSDude (who also do SVN, of course) and their service has been outstanding while I have been with them.

As you say, your source code is arguably your companies greatest asset. Why trust anyone but an expert with it.


Mike Hadlow said...

Hi Dave,

I'd heard about CVSDude, I'm going to check them out for my next project.

It really does make sense. Why concentrate on anything other than your core competancy? A customer of mine was telling me how they outsource all of their testing and how effective that had been.


C. G. Brown said...

Also take a look at us over at ProjectLocker ( We offer secure Subversion and Trac hosting starting at $2.50 a month, and pride ourselves on providing a great customer experience.

I completely agree that outsourcing non-core functions to experts is the way to go. Most software companies aren't in the business of managing code repositories; they're in the business of writing great software. Firms like us and our competition are all trying to help them do just that (though of course we believe we're the best).

Catherine Sea said...

Also, you can take a look at SCM Anywhere Hosted.

Eric Veal said...

Hi. Great topic. I'm definitely interested in this. I'd like to build a team and great software products and don't want to have to care about the infrastructure required. I know it will cost me but this seems like the way to manage the expense responsibly. My search for a supplier is underway!