Introducing Subversion Edge

June 17, 2010 Mark Phippard

Today I am pleased to be able to take the covers off an exciting new product we have been working on at CollabNet for a while now — CollabNet Subversion Edge.

I see Subversion Edge as the premier Subversion server distribution available today. It includes a complete stack of CollabNet-certified binaries for Apache, Subversion and ViewVC and adds a simple to use browser-based graphical user interface for managing these pieces. Subversion Edge provides all of the binaries needed to run a Subversion server and we do the qualification work necessary to make sure these pieces work together and properly for your operating system. This binary certification process is something we have been doing for several years now under the name “CollabNet Subversion”. Subversion Edge takes this to the next level by also providing a UI for configuring and managing all of those pieces from your web browser. We really took inspiration for this product from Hudson, the popular continuous integration tool. One of the best parts of Hudson is how simple it is to install and get started. You can just download a single file and run a command to start the Hudson server, then everything else is done from your web browser.

Subversion Edge has done the same thing for Subversion. The Linux installation process, as an example, is to download a single .tar.gz file and unpack it to whatever folder you choose. You then run a single command and you have a running web-based interface from which you can do the rest of your configuration tasks. You do not need root access to the server to do this, and once the web interface is started you do not even need physical access to the server again. Not even to install updates and new releases! The process is the same on Windows, except it is packaged as a standard Windows installer that sets up and starts a Windows service. As alluded to earlier, Subversion Edge allows you to receive notifications of application updates from within the web UI, and just as importantly, you can also install those updates from the web UI. This includes updates to the Apache and Subversion native binaries, as well as to the new Subversion Edge web application. Subversion Edge will properly stop and restart the servers as needed as part of this update process.

Subversion Edge provides built in UI and support for configuring Apache to use LDAP and SSL, two very common Apache server features that users want to use, in addition to excellent log management capabilities. All log files are rotated daily and you can configure the number of days to keep log files as well as view all log files from the web UI. A common problem with inexperienced server administrators is to not deal with the ever-growing log files that are created by server applications. With Subversion Edge, this problem is solved.

Subversion Edge also configures and activates the little-known Subversion operational logging feature. This feature creates a separate log file for all of your high-level Subversion operations (checkout, diff, status, commit etc.), which can be useful for monitoring Subversion usage in your organization.

These are just a sampling of the great features you will find in Subversion Edge. There are many more features in the product and more to come over time. We really considered the powerful built-in updates as the initial release defining feature, as it enables us to deliver a steady stream of new features, as well as the regular stream of Subversion and Apache new releases and updates as they become available.

I know you are probably checking the limit on your corporate credit card right now, but put it away. Subversion Edge is not only free for unlimited usage, but it is also available as open-source under the GNU Affero General Public License v3 (AGPLv3). We are in flight on the Subversion Edge 1.1 GA release and therefore we are still in the process of transitioning the project from our internal CollabNet TeamForge instance to the public instance on openCollabNet. The project home page for Subversion Edge is available now on openCollabNet. It contains the source code snapshot for the 1.0 release as well as a Wiki with information on the product. We will be turning on the tracker and other TeamForge features soon as we complete the move of the project and update the build infrastructure to remove internal network dependencies.

This is an exciting product that should make the lives of Subversion users a lot easier. I hope you will try the product and share your experience with us as well as join the openCollabNet community where you can help drive the roadmap and future for this product as well as Subversion itself.

 

* Apache, Apache Subversion and the Subversion logo are trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation. Subversion® is a registered trademark of the Apache Software Foundation.

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