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Version Control

Imagine that you come to work bright and early and decide to redesign your company website’s homepage. Two hours later, the fellow down the hall comes to work and— without talking to you—he also decides to redesign the home page. You finish first and upload your redesigned homepage to the web server and go to lunch. Later that day he finishes and uploads his redesigned home page to the web server. Your home page is now gone. This is what can happen without version control.

Server-Based Version Control

Dreamweaver 4 added support for source and version control systems such as Microsoft Visual SourceSafe (VSS) and WebDAV-enabled software—two large, complex pieces of administrative software that are installed on web servers to control workflow. These applications act like librarians sitting on the server. Any time a team member wants to work on a particular file, she must “check it out” from the server, like checking a book out from the library. After a book is checked out, it still exists on the server, but no other team members are allowed to access it until the original member has checked it back in. Just like a human librarian would, the server software keeps track of who has checked files out and when, so team members and managers can watch the workflow progress by monitoring which files are being accessed.


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