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Stash Code On Stash: Git Repository Management

Atlassian's developer tools family has been extended with a new centralized solution to manage Git repositories behind the firewall. Stash is billed as an answer for developer shops that find hosting an internal source control server and maintaining access to repositories too onerous a process.

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As Git swells in popularity, this open-source version-control system has been lauded for its ability to allow developers to branch off and work in isolation, but still execute later integration of code into the larger project.

Atlassian claims that Git can speed up development time compared to centralized version-control systems like Subversion, by virtue of the fact that most common operations (like commits) happen on local workstations instead of over the network.

But, and it's potentially a pretty big but, adopting Git brings the challenges of administering a server for Git repositories — and for enterprise teams, Atlassian asserts that Git adoption is slower because of the IT administration challenges for larger projects and larger teams.

The company's Giancarlo Lionetti blogs, "Git is all about creating new repositories, sharing that code with your team, and rolling it all together into a cohesive project. As your projects grow, so does the number of contributors and stakeholders, the number of repos, and the number of active branches. With all of these moving parts, product teams need a central place for their code base, and a plan to keep it organized as it expands. Stash delivers a central, secure solution to create and manage distributed repositories, on your own servers."

Stash's central technical proposition rests on two pillars:

  1. Developers can trust that they will find the latest official version of a project. Plus, Stash keeps track of all issues associated with commits — users can see all issues associated with a commit, or use the Source tab on JIRA issues for an aggregate view of all the code changes that are related to a specific JIRA issue.
  2. Managers can trust that users' access to code is appropriate for their role, and assigned with minimal administrative overhead. Stash comes with Atlassian's plugin framework plus a full, open REST API for customized integrations.

Atlassian also points out that software application development projects often involve more than one Git repository. This being so, Stash organizes repositories by Project — making it, in theory, easier for teams to find and contribute to code used by that project.

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