Best Code Repository Software in 2018

A code repository is where snippets and patches of source code for software programs are archived in an organized way. Codes stored in a code repository can be retrieved easily in the future. You’ll find different code repository hosts for open source software projects, single developers and multi developer projects. Products in this category often support release management, version control, mailing lists, bug tracking, and wiki-based documentation. Some code repository software products require users to state the reasons for every commit. The software sends you email notifications when someone updates your repositories.  Read the full software guide...


Code Repository Software Guide

What is Code Repository Software?

A source code repository, or simply code repository, is essentially a file archive and web hosting facility where programmers, software developers, and designers store large amounts of source code for the software and/or web pages for safekeeping.

These source codes are kept in repositories that can be either public or private. They are commonly used by open-source software developers for individual or team development projects, as well as to handle various program versions.

Code repositories facilitate developers with their projects by allowing them to submit patches of code in an efficient and more organized manner. More often than not, source code repository software services and websites support bug tracking, mailing lists, version control, wiki-based documentation, and release management.

Professionals and individuals that write code and develop software systems will be able to retain their copyright when their work is posted to any of these code repositories or hosting facilities, which includes the non-gnu section of GNU Savannah and also comes with the exception of contributors to copyrighted programs like Free Software Foundation or FSF.

But, it is still important to read and understand the facility’s policies and terms of use before posting or grabbing any software to and from the repository and using it for your project.


Types of Code Repository Software

In a software development process, once your program leaves the confines of your system or machine, there are generally four key components you will need for a more successful development of your creation: a well-optimized website, a fully active mailing list, a good issue tracker, and a secure code repository.

Even though most of the infrastructure required by a software development project may already be available on the company’s in-house systems, there is a wide range of tools and services that can facilitate development teams in their efforts to maintain and publish a well built and successful software.

There are a few different types of code repository solutions available. There is one referred to as a hosted service—source code facilities hosted by a reputable service provider, which is known as an institutional repository—that are typically run and managed by the organization with their own version-control services. Otherwise, there is also the type of code repository with an infrastructure designed and managed by the company itself.

Hosted Services

Hosted services are a common solution for software developers working with collaborators and committers on complex projects, especially when those collaborators are spread across multiple institutions.

Some of these public hosted services and code repositories are actually quite popular in the industry, which includes GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket, Launchpad, SourceForge, Savannah, and Assembla. However, not all of these solutions offer exactly the same services. GitHub offers a strong environment for software developers as a developer-focused service. BitBucket is a service hosted by Atlassian, a service provider known for its collaborative solutions, which include Confluence and JIRA.

GitLab, on the other hand, is a web-based Git repository manager that comes with wiki and issue tracking functionalities. The service also offers a local repository that can be installed within the institution or organization’s infrastructure.

SourceForge is one of the oldest and most established hosted platforms for software development projects and source code repositories. The service provider offers the majority of features and capabilities one would expect from a repository.

Launchpad is hosted by Canonical and it caters to several well-known users like Ubuntu and MySQL. The service comes with feature and specifications tracking as well as Soyuz release management.

Assembla is a popular hosted service provider among smaller teams and organizations. It offers extensive project management facilities as well as software development services. Savannah caters to the majority of GNU software and a few non-GNU solutions. The platform focuses on hosting free software development projects.

Institutional Code Repositories

Despite the availability of a multitude of hosted services and web-based code repositories, there are still a number of companies and organizations out there that run their own version-control services, mailing list managers, and services.

More often than not, this type of code repository or software development service is a lot more efficient if the developers and committers assigned to the project are based at the organization hosting the service. However, institutional repositories are also capable of handling a handful of external collaborators.

Managing and Running Your Own Infrastructure

So, there’s the hosted service, the institutional repository, and then there’s the self-run revision-control system like SVN, CVS, or Git. There are also solutions available that allow organizations to run their own software repository using packages like Trac, GitLab, Savane (which powers SourceForge as well as Savannah), LibreSource, GForge, and Codendi.

This type of code repository solution requires serious commitment, time, and effort to set up and maintain the workflow and development process. However, the payoff is it gives development teams and companies the most control over their projects and repository, especially when it comes to customization.


How to Choose Code Repository Software

There are several factors one has to consider when choosing a code repository software solution for their project. One of these factors is the functionality. The system has to provide a few key features to facilitate the entire process, including a good version control system, bug or issue tracker, a reliable web server for project or software pages, software package hosting and publishing capabilities, wikis, forums support, and project release management, among others.

Another aspect teams should take into account when in the market for source code repositories is the ease of use and the simplicity of potential future upgrades for additional functionality. It’s not just about how easy it is to use, but how easy is it to upgrade as well. Development teams should also consider their preferred version control system, i.e. SVN, CVS, Mercurial, Git, and so on.

Do you want your code publicly available or would you prefer it to be private and accessible only to your collaborators? Are all your code committers locally based? What about integration? Does the source code facility support integration with other third-party systems? These are just a few important questions any software development team has to ask when choosing code repositories and services.


Benefits of Code Repository Software

Source code repositories, regardless of whether they are hosted, institutional, or self-managed services, are meant to make the software development process a lot more efficient, especially when it comes to team workflows and collaborations.

The market is filled with different source code facilities and services, offering a wide range of functionalities and features that are designed to address the varying needs of software companies and organizations. No matter what type of software system or application a company is trying to develop, having a reliable and secure facility or repository to develop, share, and store source codes is crucial to the success of any software development process. Each type of code repository has its own advantages and disadvantages, so pick the right one that suits the needs and preferences of your software development team.


Common Features of Code Repository

API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Dashboard Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Data Visualization Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
File Sharing Share files with colleagues, customers or other stakeholders for easier access across platforms, collaboration and/or version control.
File Transfer Transfer large files to colleagues, customers or other stakeholders. This is often used for files too large to transfer via email and other conventional transmission methods.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.

Latest User Reviews of Code Repository

GitHub
Mark Jameson, Freelance Graphic Designer - Self-employed
"Great resource to master"

It is a great repository of free and private code, you can fork an revision any proje...

GitHub
Ashley Smyth, Senior Software Development Engineer - Information Builders
"Excellent product with opportunity to inte..."

GitHub is one of the most popular software development software. Through this softwar...

devZing
Alistair Mills, Project Manager - STFC
"Devzing is useful, reliable and good value..."

It is useful, reliable and good value for money. I have been using it for six years ...

devZing
Rachel Signor, Digital Content Management - The Company Store
"Great product to use"

This product has been very useful over the last few years. The ease of the service h...