Revision Control

What Does Revision Control Mean?

An important aspect in software configuration management, revision control is the management of modifications done to software applications, sites, documents or any set of information.


Revision control is provided in most software tools and word processors. As revision control is capable of reverting a modification done to its earlier state, it allows users to identify and correct errors and provide security to the data and information.

Techopedia Explains Revision Control

In a collaborative and distributed development, revision control systems are considered as essential components. In revision control, changes done are noted using an identifier, which is usually a number or alphabet code.

Revision control can be classified into two categories, namely centralized and decentralized ones. In centralized revision control, the repository of files is maintained at one location, probably a server and access are provided whenever needed to the clients for making the relevant changes. In distributed revision control mechanism, each user is provided with their replica of the entire repository.

Benefits provided by revision control are:

  • Record keeping is possible through revision control. The actions and users can be tracked through same.
  • Performance analysis can be achieved through revision control.
  • In case of issues, the earlier state can be retrieved and reverted to using revision control. Accidental recovery is a big advantage in case of revision control.
  • Branching and merging is possible through revision control.CollAboration between different projects is better and more streamlined.
  • The tag system used in revision control can help in categorizing the different versions, such as alpha version, beta version etc. This comes handy in software application developments.
  • Disk space can be conserved with help of revision control systems.

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Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.