LineSight, Inc. develops and hosts database-intensive web applications that enable their clients to brand, promote, market and sell their products and services using the Internet. LineSight specializes in business to consumer and business to business solutions for the hospitality and retail industries, and has been instrumental in generating more than $30 million in revenue for their customers.Visit LineSight at www.linesight.com
The development team at LineSight was growing and, as a result, needed a better management system for their web development projects. They knew from the outset that their budget was limited and that they didn't want the traditional server-based version control system. However, they still required a robust solution with off-site development support.
When LineSight started their evaluation process, they quickly narrowed their search down to Code Co-op because it was the only version control system that supported off-site development without requiring a server. LineSight was especially keen on its distributed nature and the fact that they could easily synchronize their projects from any location using email. Dave Kopecek, President of LineSight, Inc., thought that Code Co-op was a fantastic idea. "We were small at the time and did not have the hardware resources to commit to a centralized versioning system yet we still wanted to be able to work offsite. Code Co-op did this."
LineSight determined that Code Co-op was the version control solution they needed. They found that not only could they synchronize from any location; they could also access their project quickly since their project was stored on each of their workstations.
Working from any location was important for LineSight because their developers are often on the road. "We use Code Co-op during working sessions at our client's offices in other cities," says Kopecek. "The on-line systems we develop for our clients often need to be integrated with their existing infrastructure or legacy systems. Code Co-op enables us to sit down with our client's IT staff when developing and testing solutions for integration issues."
Having their entire project with them allows them to work wherever they wish. They can look up history or check-out and modify a file on the fly. Once the changes are made, they synch up with their project members over email. This leaves development uninterrupted wherever they are. It is also not uncommon for Dave to take a break from the office and take his development to his favorite coffee shop. Wherever LineSight's developers are - on the road, at home, in the coffee shop - anyplace they can connect to email they can be connected to the projects, to each other and to the web server.
LineSight deploys time-critical promotions, press releases, and other content quite often while the customer is on the phone. This makes quick access to project files essential. Code Co-op makes project access quick because the project is 'live' on the developer's computer. They simply check-out the appropriate files from their computer, make the necessary changes, and check them in. There is no interim step to "get" files. Once the files are checked in, the changes are routed by Code Co-op to all project members including their web server for immediate publication. The expediency of implementing changes saves LineSight and their customer time and money.
The development path is never predictable. Because of this, LineSight appreciates the flexibility Code Co-op provides by enabling them to access every change to their project and files. Every check-in they perform creates a version of the project or file which can be viewed, branched or restored at anytime. This functionality helps LineSight in a couple different ways.
First, this functionality gives them the confidence to develop without the concern of losing or compromising code. "With Code Co-op, we can develop without the fear of breaking something because we can always roll back the changes. This helps us focus our energy on development and not on code management," said John Jones, director of communications with LineSight.
Second, LineSight occasionally needs to roll back their projects or selected files to a previous state because the customer requirements changed. Code Co-op allows any change made to be undone at any time. This functionality has saved LineSight unnecessary heartache on many occasions. "We had a client change their mind about the details of an online promotion that involved a ton of creative changes along with complicated qualification, discounting, and tracking procedures a few days after the promotion went live. We were able to use Code Co-op to roll back the site to an earlier version in just a few minutes without missing a file," says Kopecek.
One of LineSight's favorite features of Code Coop is the ability to set up observer accounts on live web servers - both in the office and externally. "We're using observer accounts to deploy code to live servers off-site," says Kopecek. "Rather than go through the process of uploading files through an FTP connection, we can set up an observer account on the live server and advance that account to the version of the project code that we want to be live. That makes updates far faster and easier, for one thing, but it also makes sure all necessary updated files are not forgotten in the upload, and gives us the ability to roll the project back to a previous version if we encounter problems with the updated code. That's convenient when we're working on a site that is housed on one of our own servers, but it has become essential for our work on projects that are housed on remote servers."
Code Co-op has helped Linesight improve their response time to customers, free up headspace for development, and provide flexibility to work from anywhere at anytime. "We wouldn't develop without it," says Kopecek.
Linesight's experience is a typical example demonstrating how Code Co-op, a compact and affordable version control system, can provide high performance, team connectivity and advanced features typical of the more expensive version control systems. Still, Code Co-op goes beyond other version control systems by letting you, the developers, configure the system to suit the needs of your team, not the needs of the server.