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Atlassian Revamps Bitbucket and Stash

Atlassian has been busy updating its two distributed version-control products this quarter. Both the cloud-based Bitbucket and the on-premise Stash distributed version-control systems (DVCS) have been polished and positioned to help teams to migrate their code development efforts to the Git repository.

Atlassian's cofounder and co-CEO Scott Farquhar makes some grand claims in line with his firm's new release and says that DVCS technologies represent a "once-in-a-decade revolution" for developers. "Today's rock star developers know that DVCS is a better way to build and manage source code, but scaling in the enterprise brings additional challenges," he said.

Three-Legged Developer Stool

Farquhar contends that teams building software share and track three things: ideas, activity, and code — and that Atlassian's product strategy focuses on this "three-legged stool" with the JIRA issue management software; the Confluence enterprise collaboration software; and Atlassian's own developer product line featuring Bitbucket and Stash.

NOTE: DVCS technologies like Git and Mercurial were created to help developers work on code using a peer-to-peer model whereby developers work on a complete copy of a codebase offline and synchronize changes both with each other and with a master copy simultaneously.

Atlassian says that today DVCS is quickly replacing centralized version-control systems such as Subversion. The firm claims that DVCS technology allows developers to work faster and more productively even when not connected to a network.

It has been a busy year for Atlassian; the firm acquired SourceTree over this past twelve months. This is a native Mac client for Git and Mercurial DVCS systems and the application itself is used by Bitbucket, Stash, and GitHub users to manage replicated code repositories. The same period also saw the Stash on-site Git repository management system launch for the enterprise.

Bitbucket features a complete overhaul to its user interface. The service also introduced in-line commenting across pull requests and change-sets, helping developers to review code and discuss changes they have made.

Stash's new release introduces two important improvements: Pull Requests and threaded commenting. Pull Requests are the modern way for developers working with distributed source to collaborate on code changes as a team, reviewing changes before those changes are "pulled" into the main codebase. Stash also added threaded commenting support for Pull Requests so developers can discuss code changes before and after they are committed.

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