Findings from CollabNet Subversion Industry Survey

The results are in. As the founder of the Subversion open source project, CollabNet conducted its annual Subversion survey.  We asked, and over 1,300 Subversion developers and administrators responded.  Thank you for all the many responses, comments and suggestions!

As promised, we summarized the key findings in a summary document. Here, I’d also like to share some of the many individual responses we received. While anonymized, they’re so good, we could not have made them up.

1. Subversion rocks!

Perhaps no surprise to anybody, but we were glad to hear it nevertheless: Developers love Subversion. Some of the responses:

  • “Subversion rocks! Thank you guys.”
  • “Subversion has worked well for us, and developers like it a lot.”
  • “I love Subversion; I am stuck using ClearCase on my current project and can’t wait to get away from it!”
  • “SVN is a wonderful product. Without which I would be difficult to imagine the scale of development/collaboration we are doing right now.”

2. Subversion is used for more than code.

The growth in repository sizes (with 38% managing over 1GB of data tells us that Subversion is used for far more than ‘just’ code management:

  • “I love Subversion. I commit most of my Visual Studio solution files, including referenced DLLs and output DLLs and EXEs.”
  • “We need a document management system. I would think SVN would make a great foundation for such an application.”

3. Subversion sometimes sits alongside Git.

It was interesting to see also the co-existence with Git. In fact, 28% of Subversion shops told us that Git also is being deployed in parallel. In general, there was a strong preference for Subversion’s enterprise features, but also praise for Git:

  • “SVN needs to work on its merge support particularly with marking unchanged files as merged.”
  • “Greatly prefer SVN over CVS, which was our sole SCM tool until about a year ago. Wish we had switched to Git instead of SVN, however, since our team is geographically distributed (India/US) and since our SVN server sometimes goes down (infrastructure issue, not software).”

4. Subversion Edge rocks, too!

When asked about Subversion Edge, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive:

  • “Subversion Edge is one great product. Before it came along I had to string everything together manually.”
  • “I just recently started using SVN. I am so glad I found Subversion Edge. I think its and great product and hope you continue.” [LS: No worries, we will!]
  • “Really its very good to work with Subversion Edge, and support from CollabNet is very good. Instant response and lots of learning from Collabnet.”
  • “SVN Edge is awesome – much better than VisualSVN server.”
  • “CollabNet Subversion Edge is a very good to use !! And I always use Collabnet Eclipse client !! We plan to we plan to migrate from VisualSVN to CollabNet Subversion.”
  • “What I can tell you for sure is that Subversion Edge rocks!”

For 70%, Subversion Edge is as good as it gets. We also wanted to hear what can be improved. Enterprise-grade feature (which are standard with TeamForge already today) were the most requested features:

  • Hybrid SCM (Subversion and Git) management
  • Path-based permissions management
  • Advanced role-based access control

5. Subversion and Cloud backup is on fire.

A full 55% welcomes the online cloud backup options for on-premises Subversion, as introduced recently with Subversion Edge CloudBackup. For the remaining 45%, the prime reason not to adopt cloud storage was “IT policy”.

  • “Subversion Edge is the best SCM I used, the Best. I like the backup in the cloud and that we can make various backups jobs (a loved feature).”

With that, we also want to make good on our promise to give away an Amazon Kindle Fire. The lucky winner will hear from us in the next couple of days.  Congratulations!

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