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Branching and Merging

Consider some challenges team members typically face when they work on a software project that is staffed by more than five or ten people:

  • The group has a few (or maybe several) different feature teams, each working on a set of functionality that is reasonably discrete. But each team also depends on functionality built by other teams. You need to isolate the risk of the changes introduced by the work done in each of these teams, and yet eventually, you need to merge all their efforts together into one product.

  • The test team needs a stable version of the code to test, and yet simultaneously, the developers need to continue moving forward with new features that will occasionally destabilize the product.

  • The software has two previous versions and one current version in progress. Even though most of the development effort is invested in the current version, the previous versions must still be supported with occasional releases of service packs, critical fixes and security patches, and other changes.

This section describes the branching and merging tools provided by Team Foundation version control to enable you to meet these and other challenges faced by groups of people who collaborate on a software project.

Branch Folders and Files

Explains the procedure used to create branches by using Team Foundation version control.

Branch Strategically

Your team can create and use branches in version control to optimize your application development strategy.

Merge Folders and Files

Explains the procedure used to merge branches by using Team Foundation version control.

View Where and When Changesets Have Been Merged

Explains how to view and work with actionable diagrams that illustrate where and when merges have occurred.

View the Branch Hierarchy of a Team Project

Explains how to view and work with an interactive diagram that illustrates the branch hierarchy of your team project.

Associate a File Type with a Merge Tool

Describes the steps used to specify the file type extensions associated with merging.

Comparing Folders and Files

Explains how to compare or diff files, folders, and shelvesets.

Resolving Folder Differences and File Conflicts

Lists topics about how to resolve merges, check in procedures, and get retrieve conflicts.

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