Subversion basics: using check out (update), check in (commit)
In order to benefit from the features of Subversion, a project has to implement its workflow. Luckily, coding with Subversion isn’t hard at all.
When we cover Subversion basics, we start off with checking out and checking in. These are two vital parts which make collaborating through Subversion easy and efficient.
Check out (update)
Every developer on the team can perform a ‘check out’ of the code. By checking out, a developer can simply get a copy of the latest code in the repository.
The repository, and thus your project’s code, is safely hosted on our servers. The check out will provide the developer with the latest version of the code base on their own machine.
This code will become the working copy for the developer where he/she can locally make changes.
Every time the developer performs an ‘update’, also known as a check out, they get the latest version of the code base.
Check in (commit)
When a developer has made changes to the code, those changes are not yet in the repository, but remain on his/her own computer (working copy) until they are ‘checked in’.
By checking in these changes (or committing them) the developer adds their changes to the repository.
The changes are now part of the code base (repository). Once other developers run an update on their local machines, they will receive these changes.
How do these updates and commits translate into a workflow for developers?
Updating and committing are two separate commands which are tightly connected. In order to keep the code base up to date, as well as the working copy, it is important to resolve issues and perform updates often.
In order to give you an idea of a simple working cycle, have a look at the Basic Work Cycle section of the SVN book.