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Looking at forward and reverse integration

From: Fundamentals of Software Version Control

Video: Looking at forward and reverse integration

The last set of advanced features we're going to cover are called forward integration and reverse integration. These are a process that you use with branching and merging. Consider you might have a product, as we talked about before, but it has two separate features that can be worked on by two different developers independently. If these two different features interact, as your developers each work in their private branch, they may want to from time to time check their changes into the main branch so the other developer can get them, and they may also want to get changes from the main branch back into their private branch to continue working.

Looking at forward and reverse integration

The last set of advanced features we're going to cover are called forward integration and reverse integration. These are a process that you use with branching and merging. Consider you might have a product, as we talked about before, but it has two separate features that can be worked on by two different developers independently. If these two different features interact, as your developers each work in their private branch, they may want to from time to time check their changes into the main branch so the other developer can get them, and they may also want to get changes from the main branch back into their private branch to continue working.

So let's take a look and see how that works. So we start out with our main branch, and we create two separate branches, one for each developer, feature 1 branch, and feature 2 branch. Initially, they both contain the same set of information that's in the main branch, and now they begin to diverge individually. In the feature 1 branch, developer number one adds feature D and then decides because developer number 2 may need to be able to use feature D, they check it back into the main branch in a process that's called reverse integration. Now, the reason this is more than just a merge is that the first developer is going to continue to work in their feature 1 branch as opposed to moving back to the main branch.

Now, developer number two continues to work in their own private branch here in feature 2 branch and adds feature E. When they're done, they check that in, again, through another process called reverse integration. In order for developer 1 to continue to keep working in their private branch and yet still take advantage of the code for feature E, they go through a process called forward integration, which allows them to take changes from the main branch and put them back into their private branch. Now, this is slightly different than creating just a new branch.

Similarly, developer number 2 might do a forward integration back into their private branch in order to pick up feature D. In the end, when you get to the final point where the product is shipped, feature 2 branch, feature 1 branch, and the main branch all have exactly the same code, because they've all been integrated together through a series of reverse integrations and forward integrations. What's interesting about this is when you look at really, really large development projects, this is the way they work. For example, inside Microsoft, Windows is done this way, Visual Studio is done this way.

In Visual Studio there are teams of hundreds of developers. One team works on Visual Basic, one team works on Visual C#, one team works on the Editor, another team works on the XAML visual designer, and all of those teams work independently, going through numerous forward and reverse integrations over the course of creating a new version of Visual Studio, only to end up with all of the teams having their branches be equal to the final shipping product.

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This video is part of

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Fundamentals of Software Version Control

49 video lessons · 12432 viewers

Michael Lehman
Author

 
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  1. 2m 12s
    1. Welcome
      56s
    2. What you should know before taking this course
      23s
    3. Using the exercise files
      53s
  2. 25m 8s
    1. Overview of software version control
      2m 51s
    2. Understanding version control concepts
      5m 14s
    3. Demo one: Getting started
      11m 1s
    4. Demo two: Handling the "oops"
      6m 2s
  3. 11m 3s
    1. The history of version control
      3m 44s
    2. Terminology
      4m 27s
    3. Exploring centralized vs. distributed systems
      2m 52s
  4. 28m 42s
    1. Getting files in and out of a repository
      4m 38s
    2. Saving changes and tracking history
      2m 47s
    3. Reverting to a prior version
      1m 42s
    4. Creating tags and labels
      1m 5s
    5. Branching and merging
      4m 10s
    6. Exploring workflow integration and continuous builds
      2m 46s
    7. Using graphical user interface (GUI) tools
      2m 39s
    8. Integrating a version control system with an integrated development environment (IDE)
      2m 50s
    9. Examining shell integration
      3m 26s
    10. Looking at forward and reverse integration
      2m 39s
  5. 25m 59s
    1. Installation and setup
      3m 31s
    2. Creating a repository and a project
      5m 10s
    3. Working with check-in, checkout, and revert
      6m 12s
    4. Tagging
      1m 34s
    5. Branching and merging
      5m 32s
    6. Working with GUI clients and IDE integration
      4m 0s
  6. 16m 13s
    1. Installation and setup
      55s
    2. Working with check-in, checkout, and revert
      9m 34s
    3. Tagging
      1m 7s
    4. Branching and merging
      4m 37s
  7. 26m 41s
    1. Installation and setup
      3m 47s
    2. Creating a repository and a project
      6m 15s
    3. Working with check-in, checkout, and revert
      8m 31s
    4. Tracking history and tagging
      2m 15s
    5. Branching and merging
      5m 53s
  8. 19m 25s
    1. Installation and setup
      3m 1s
    2. Creating a repository and a project
      1m 6s
    3. Working with check-in, checkout, and revert
      6m 39s
    4. Tagging
      2m 13s
    5. Branching and merging
      3m 44s
    6. Working with GUI clients and IDE integration
      2m 42s
  9. 16m 54s
    1. Installation and setup
      1m 48s
    2. Creating a repository and a project
      59s
    3. Working with check-in, checkout, revert, and tracking history
      6m 9s
    4. Tagging
      1m 50s
    5. Branching and merging
      4m 29s
    6. Exploring GUI and shell integration
      1m 39s
  10. 3m 38s
    1. Selecting a software version control that is right for you
      2m 30s
    2. Next steps
      1m 8s

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