1 year ago

White paper - Version control and backups

  • Text
  • Maintenance
  • Software
  • Departments
  • Devices
  • Backups
  • Allows
  • Auvesy
  • Industrial
  • Versions
  • Versiondog

Section 1: What is

Section 1: What is version control? Version control: a leaf taken out of software engineering ... The term version control originated from software engineering. Software developers use it to meet their goals, safeguard and optimise their work, and to make the process of developing more flexible. Version control is slowly winning acceptance across industrial automation. This is in part due to increasing costs and time constraints placed on maintenance departments, who already have a very important job in keeping production environments running optimally (so as to minimise downtime and recovery time). Maintenance departments are fully aware of the challenges they face. Changes made to devices can lead to errors, which in turn can lead to downtime or defective products. For this reason, it is necessary to monitor, track, safeguard and compare changes made to projects and to device program logic. The need for these processes is further reinforced by the fact that the number of different processors, devices, data, and possible sources of error also continues to grow. ...brought into the world of automation! How often have you asked whether the software version running on the device is the same as the latest released version on the server? Only with the right kind of data management system—giving you more certainty, safety and security—is it possible to answer this question. One important aspect of data management is version control. Version control refers to a system in which the changes made to a file or to a number of files are logged over time. It helps to centrally manage upload, download and compare processes. This in turn enables you to monitor who changed what, where, when and why, helping you to more accurately pinpoint the source of error should any problems arise. When required, version control can also help you to quickly find and restore a previous, error-free version. A detail comparison of the online version (running on the device) and the offline version (on the server) makes it possible to display the results of a comparison graphically, so that personnel are not forced to fly blind when it comes to operating that device. 2

The differences between version control and backup It is important to note that the terms version control and backup are not synonymous. They are two distinct tools that have the greatest benefit—with regard to organising data with clarity and traceability—when both are used together. On their own, neither centralised data backups nor version control are enough to ensure 100% certainty, safety, and security. It is only possible to reliably determine if the latest released version on the server is the same as the online version if regular automatic backups have been carried out. If regular backups have been carried out it is possible to compare the software version running on a device with the last version checked in to the server. This in turn allows for changes to be detected and analysed. Conversely, it does not make sense to automate the process of creating versions using the data taken from a backup. This is because not all backups are the same. In order to carry out fast disaster recovery, a restorable backup taken from the previous, error-free version is required. This means that all symbols and comments also need to be included. It is therefore imperative—when choosing a data management system—to take into account the type of the data backups. When it comes to maintaining high-quality data management and enabling the greatest possible production capacity, restorable backups need to be available at all times. 3

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