11 Source Code Management Tools for Version Control

11 Source Code Management Tools for Version Control-feature image
July 18, 2023 12 Min read

Summary: Source code management tools help developers revert the changes made to an application’s source code as they save all the code versions in a repository. What are the tools that you can use for this purpose? Learn about them in the article below!

When multiple developers work together on a source code, keeping track of all the modifications becomes difficult. Further, as development projects start growing, project collaboration also becomes difficult as each developer works on the individual aspect of a file. This might result in overlapping and difficulties in managing different file versions.

However, with source code management tools, you can create source code repositories, track their modifications, test and deploy codes, fix bugs in the software, etc. Repositories created through these tools make it easier to track changes made by each developer and highlight any emerging conflict. Therefore, reducing the chances of code overwriting.

Leveraging these tools can help you in managing source code in multiple ways. Get more insights on their usage in the article below.

Why Use Source Code Management Tools?

SCM source code management software can help you in maintaining the track of all the changes made to the source code of an application. Further, you can also use them for:

  • Helping team members to work on different application aspects in real-time
  • Identifying any changes made to a source code
  • Undoing changes made to the application
  • Maintaining a detailed history of the project from build up till production
  • Making it easier to find any bugs during the project production stage.
  • Updating stakeholders about all the changes to the application development project.

List of 11 Best Source Code Management Tools and Software

There are several source code version control tools available that can help you with generating code repositories, creating files versions, branching and merging codes, and so on. Here are some of the top tools you can consider for this purpose.

  1. GitHub

GitHub source control management

GitHub is a source code management tool for controlling and managing different versions of source code. It can be used for generating and hosting codes, collaborating and reviewing application codes, merging changes to the code through pull requests, etc.

This source code management software can also be used for restricting access to code branches and allowing only specific developers to work on a code branch.

Features of GitHub

  • Automates tasks related to CI and CD
  • Creates unlimited public and private code repositories
  • Automates coding tasks related to testing and deploying codes
  • Publishes websites directly from software with GitHub pages
  • Secures the source codes while writing
  • Identifies the vulnerabilities in the custom code through static analysis

Pros and Cons of GitHub

  • With it, you can manage several projects at the granular level
  • You can host your own software package or use them as dependencies for multiple projects
  • Reviewing multiple pull requests with GitHub is very time consuming

Open Source: Yes

GitHub’s Price: Paid plan starts from INR 300.22/month/ user | Best Github Alternatives.

  1. Git

Git is a free and distributed open-source management software designed to manage both small- and large-scale projects.

It offers features like distributed versioning, non-linear repositories development, cross-platform operations, cheap local files branching, files branching and merging.

Further, with its staging area feature, you can delete and make changes to the commits easily.

Git Features

  • Generates repositories in a non-linear development
  • Easily handles big scale projects
  • Creates role-based codelines
  • Supports reviewing and formatting of commits
  • Offers cryptographic authentication of version history
  • Supports disposable experimentation of files branches

Pros and Cons of Git

  • With it, you can create feature-based workflows to easily work on specific sections of a website
  • Git creates multiple copies of a file that is saved in the central server
  • The software does not support timestamp preservation
  • Users find it difficult to handle large databases with Git

Open Source: Yes

Price of Git: Free source code version control system

  1. GitLab

GitLab scm source code management

GitLab is a code repository and software development solution for generating and deploying source codes. This DevSecOps platform helps in managing your entire software delivery cycle starting from generating and testing codes to fully deploying the application in different environments.

With this platform, you get features like quality management, code testing, pipeline composition, artifacts builder, in-built container registry, etc.

GitLab Features

  • Tracks and manages the development project throughout the delivery cycle
  • Offers multiple branching tools to view and manage the source code data
  • Provides CI capabilities, static analysis, security testing, etc., for code verification.
  • Offers package management for managing applications and their dependencies.
  • Offers Static Application Security Testing for delivering secured applications

Pros and Cons of GitLab

  • It offers zero-touch continuous delivery to automatically deploy applications in different environments
  • Compliance management feature ensures that development projects meet the specific industry requirement
  • Many users find it difficult to use its CI variables management feature
  • Users have reported that the software sometimes shows errors while building the application codes

Open Source: Yes

Price of GitLab: Free plan available | Paid plan starts from INR 1,962.95/month/user

  1. Bazaar

Bazaar is a source code management tool which is based on distributed and client-server repository structure. With it, you can easily track project history, collaborate with others in real-time, and save changes to the source code even in the offline mode.

It also includes features for creating code repositories, branching codes, storing codes information, etc.

Features of Bazaar

  • Supports code reviewing
  • Tracks the project history in real-time
  • Offers free software hosting services via integration with Launchpad and Sourceforge
  • Tracks renamed files in the repository
  • Supports codes merging

Pros and Cons of Bazaar

  • It supports different workflows for managing source code changes
  • With it, you can also merge the code changes from two different parent code versions
  • It does not support the timestamp preservation functionality

Open Source: Yes

Price of Bazaar: Free to use

Suggested Read: List of Best Code Review Tools for Developers

  1. CVS

CVS is a popular version control software that can be used for maintaining the sources files history and related documents. This tool can be used for managing different versions of source code development.

Further, all members can work individually on different code versions and upload the changes to a centralized server.

CVS’s Features

  • Offers unreserved checkouts to let developers work on the same version of files
  • It comes with database modules for mapping names to the elements of files and directories.
  • Offers vendor branches to import the file’s versions from different teams
  • Comes with symbolic links for avoiding the security risks of files
  • Offers ‘Update’ command for keeping the local copies of code versions up to date.

Pros and Cons of CVS

  • It maintains a snapshot of all the projects
  • With it, you can run scripts to initiate CVS operations and implement the policies
  • It does not have the features like atomic check-outs or commits
  • Its distributed source control function is not very effective

Open Source: Yes

Price of CVS: Free to use

  1. Mercurial

Mercurial is a free source code management software designed for maintaining big codebases and the entire code history. The software can be used for managing source code repository, creating and tagging files versions, removing files versions, merging and updating changes.

Features of Mercurial

  • Offers advanced codes branching and merging
  • Efficiently manages plain text and binary document files
  • Every file version contains the entire project history
  • Supports different types of workflows
  • Enables bug fixing even in the older versions

Pros and Cons of Mercurial

  • You can work on different features of the software by creating multiple versions of a file
  • It enables you to send changes made to a source code version to other members through email
  • Partial checkout of a source code file is difficult

Open Source: Yes

Mercurial’s Price: It is a free source code version control system

  1. Apache Subversion (SVN)

Apache Subversion is a free and open-source software to track and manage changes made to any file, folder, or repositories. It is generally used for recovering data and tracking the history of changes made to a particular file.

Some common features of this software are metadata versioning, APIs for binding programming languages, symbolic links versioning, and so on.

Apache Subversion (SVN)’s Features

  • Automatically versions all the data directories
  • Locks the file to prevent any unauthorized access
  • Comes with atomic commits
  • Supports branching and tagging of files
  • Enables users to track all the changes already merged into the files
  • Creates symbolic links to access the files

Pros and Cons of Apache Subversion (SVN)

  • It can be integrated with various IDE (Integrated Development Environment) software for developing applications
  • With it, you can effectively manage all the binary files at one place
  • It does not show the time of modifications to a file

Open Source: Yes

Price of Apache Subversion (SVN): Free to use

  1. Monotone

Monotone is a free source code version control system. It comes with a single-file transactional version store along with a peer-to-peer synchronization protocol for distributing tasks.

With it, you can create code branches, perform third party code testing, review codes, and also generate applications for both national and international customer bases.

Monotone’s Features

  • Stores several versions of files easily
  • Enables you to transmit file changes between team members
  • Merges changes made by other members in a single file
  • Offers code branching to merge different code versions of a file
  • Supports different types of storages for storing data
  • Offers cryptographic version naming

Pros and Cons of Monotone

  • It lets you import CSV files
  • With it, you can also rename codes repositories
  • Users have witnessed performance issues related to certain operations

Open Source: Yes

Price of Monotone: It is a free source control management tool

  1. Bitbucket Server

Bitbucket Server

Bitbucket Server is a repository management software to test, deploy, maintain, and track codes. With it, you can automate workflows for code production, get visibility into code builds, manage code deployments, get insights on code testing, etc. It also offers merge checks for making changes to a specific code branch.

Features of Bitbucket Server

  • Automatically tests and deploys software via CI and CD pipeline
  • Generates unlimited private repositories for projects
  • Supports applications deployment in 50 environments
  • Reviews codes before deployment
  • Automatically scans the codes for security through Snyk integration

Pros and Cons of Bitbucket Server

  • Comes with 3500 build minutes to test and deploy codes
  • You can also integrate it with Jira software for code branching
  • Users’ permissions management module is difficult to use

Open Source: No

Bitbucket Server’s Price: No free plan available | Paid plan starts from INR 245.28/user/month for cloud hosting

  1. Team Foundation Server (TFS)

Team Foundation Server (TFS)

Team Foundation Server is a suite of software development tools that you can use for sharing, building and deploying the source code.

It comes with integrated software delivery tools to ship software directly. With this source control management system, you can detect code bugs, create coding pipelines, generate reports for code testing, etc.

Features of Team Foundation Server

  • Builds, tests, and deploys codes via CI and CD pipelines
  • Offers agile tools for managing tasks
  • Offers repositories for managing files codes and pull requests
  • Enhances the code quality via exploratory and planned testing tools
  • Enables you to host and share software packages with other members
  • Integrates with the current IDE for improved collaboration.

Pros and Cons of Team Foundation Server

  • With it, you get 1000+ extensions to integrate with other software such as Slack, Sentry, Docker, etc.
  • It offers customized check-in policies for easy implementation of codebase in the source control
  • It’s slow in code branching operations
  • Sends notifications for any task that is about to get close

Open Source: No

Price of Team Foundation Server: Offers $200 credit for 30 days. After that, charges are applicable based on the services you use.

  1. Revision Control System

Revision Control System helps in automating the tasks related to creating, managing, retrieving, and removing files versions. With it, users can easily make changes to the existing file version through file branching and merging.

RCS follows the local repository model. Therefore, saving of different file revisions is independent of the centralized repository.

Features of Revision Control System

  • Creates and manages multiple files versions
  • Stores files’ revisions in a tree like structure
  • Enables users to commit changes to a file
  • Supports merging of different documents
  • Supports storing the reverse differences of a file

Pros and Cons of Revision Control System

  • It can be used for managing files revisions for different documents like graphics, text files, source code, etc.
  • With it, you can also retrieve the previous versions of a given file
  • Only a single user can work on file at one time
  • The solution is less secure as the files versions can be edited at any time

Open Source: Yes

Price of Revision Control System: Free source code management tool

Suggested Read: Best Low Code No Code Platforms for Startup

Compare 5 Top Source Code Management Tools & System

ToolPricingFree TrialBest Features
GitHubINR 300.22/month/ user45 days– CI and CD tasks automation
– Public and private code repositories creation
– Static analysis for vulnerabilities identifications
GitFreeFree– Creates role-based codelines
– Supports reviewing and formatting of commits
– Supports non-linear development of repositories
BazaarFreeFree– Supports code reviewing
– Supports codes merging
– Tracks the project history in real-time
CVSFreeFree– Offers unreserved checkouts to work on same file
– Supports vendor branches for importing versions from different teams
– Local copies of repositories update
Bitbucket ServerINR 245.28/user/month30 days– Tests and deploys software via CI & CD pipelines
– Unlimited private repositories creation
– Codes reviewing before deployment


Source code management tools have made it easier for developers to maintain a repository of all the changes made to a source code. By visiting these repositories, they can always track changes and revert the file to its previous versions whenever they want to.


  1. Which is a source code management tool?

    A source code management tool helps users to maintain a track of all changes made to an application’s source code. Further, it can also be used for testing and deploying codes.

  2. Why are source code management tools necessary?

    Source control management software provides a detailed history of code development. Thus, making it easier for developers to track any changes or modifications made to a source code.

  3. Why is source code important?

    The source code is an important element to help developers build and deploy websites and applications. It also acts as code algorithms that can be shared with other developers to work on a particular section of an application.

  4. What is source code used for?

    The major usage of source code is that it helps developers modify any aspect or feature of the software to meet specific business requirements.

  5. How many types of source code are there?

    There are several source codes available including Interpreted source code, Compiled source code, Software feature source code, Software program source code, Computer source code, etc.

  6. Which are popular source code management tools?

    You can choose from multiple software available for managing all the versions of a source code. Some of the most popular source code management tools that you can consider are Git, Bitbucket Server, Monotone, Apache Subversion (SVN), GitLab, and many more.

  7. What is a source code commit?

    Source code commits are a kind of operation that sends all the changes made to a source code to the centralized repository. Therefore, making these latest changes a part of the head revision of the source code repository.

Written by Varsha

Varsha is an experienced content writer at Techjockey. She has been writing since 2021 and has covered several industries in her writing like fashion, technology, automobile, interior design, etc. Over the span of 1 year, she has written 100+ blogs focusing on security, finance, accounts, inventory, human resources,... Read more

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