What is best in source control / Document control
May 21, 2015 6:58 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a replacement source control system. We use Plastic SCM at the moment to do document control (which includes, but isn't limited to code), but the terms for plastic are changing soon, so it'll be too expensive for us. Can you recommend a (ideally like for like) replacement that can handle large binaries?
posted by Just this guy, y'know to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Git can handle large binaries. The downside is that it doesn't really do diffs between versions, but the upside is that it's free (or not very expensive if you use GitHub).
posted by neushoorn at 8:06 AM on May 21, 2015

Dissenting voice here, git doesn't really handle binaries well. It does an okay job as long as they aren't too big, and there are additions (git annex) to make things work better, but binaries aren't really its thing. Git (and mercurial) pulls in the entire version history onto your machine. That's fine for text documents which are small and compress/diff easily, but doesn't work well for binary files that change a lot (binary files that don't change much are a different matter) because the repo can get huge and no-one likes that.

Unfortunately it looks like all the systems suck in different ways. SVN seems to do an okay job. Diffs and merges are pretty much out of the question (but that's a hard problem to solve in general, so it's not alone there).
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 8:53 AM on May 21, 2015

Response by poster: Some additional things to add:
It needs to be private, because it will contain (amongst other things) commercially sensitive data and closed source and stuff which we are working on but don't own.

Extra points for Jira integration.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:59 AM on May 21, 2015

We use subversion for version control, and it does ok with medium-sized design assets like Adobe files and a few videos, but generally for large items like documents we use an unlimited storage corporate Box account. That probably doesn't fit your needs though.

Also we use a different svn repo for the web designer's source files so all the other devs don't have to deal with getting or storing all those big files.
posted by freecellwizard at 9:21 AM on May 21, 2015

Best answer: Perforce has a free tier, and also perpetual licenses, and a bunch of different options for how they handling pricing. I'm not sure of the details and whether any of their pricing models would work for your specific situation, but it's the best commercial SCM I've ever worked with. It's definitely the one that comes up as the gold standard whenever people discuss binary versioning.

However, depending on the particulars of your situation and budget, this might be an unsolveable problem or one where you have to take a downgrade. Binary versioning is hard and all the free/open source solutions for it suck very badly. If you really need it and need it done remotely well, you're going to have to pay for it.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:23 AM on May 21, 2015 [3 favorites]

Source control and large binaries don't really go together all that well. Right now in my shop we use git- either Stash(which of course works really well with JIRA since it is an Atlassian product) or Github- for source control of actual code. Large binaries go into a different tool specifically for large binaries called Artifactory. Then we glue the artifacts and the code together at build time with Jenkins.

However, we don't really use documents, per se. I'm not familiar with tools for managing large binary documents like a photoshop document or an indesign layout.
posted by rockindata at 10:51 AM on May 21, 2015

Best answer: Perforce is definitely the enterprise solution SCM for large binaries. My former employer dealt with hundreds of repos that included large binaries that were versioned, and P4 was what was used. Others dev-favored SCM's like git, etc just can't compete on this. A quick Google shows P4 is supported by Atlassian FishEye, which then is integrated in Jira.
posted by cgg at 9:34 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

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