How to Host the Software for Your Startup


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Programming in the large and programming in th...

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As a software company you need to allow a team of developers to work on your source code together and to backup that code; that’s called software control or revision control. You also need software tools to control who has access to the code and to release versions of your product.

Staying with my goal of creating a dirt cheap software startup, rather than looking at commercial software revision tools, there are several free tools available like CVS, SVN and GIT (If I’ve lost any of the non-techies here, don’t worry; you can get buried in the terminology when it gets to software; check with your developers about what their favorite tools are and go from there).

NOTE: A big lesson I’ve learned over my many years as a software developer, is never to underestimate the need to have a good software revision control system. It is also very important to make sure the revision control system is maintained properly either by a dedicated person or a service that provides customer support. Getting this right can have a significant impact on keeping your developers happy and productive.

Since I don’t want to host and manage the software revision control tools myself, I need to find a online service that would do that for me, preferably for free.

Since our code will be commercial, all of the free open source repositories such as SourceForge or Google Code aren’t options. It will be very important to control access to the code and not expose it to the public.

Googling for other options, I eventually found ProjectLocker, which gives you a free online repository for a team of 3 developers.  They provide support, backups and online tools for managing your source code.

I created a SVN project using ProjectLocker. I’ve got this hooked up to my favorite development tool, Eclipse and everything works fine.

I’ve got some friends who are interested in possibly joining the startup, so I’ll be asking them to test the tools with me so that we can move on to the other aspects of managing a software project.

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