Git-Flow is a popular branching model for version control systems, designed to facilitate collaboration and streamline the software development process. This document aims to provide a simple and easy-to-understand explanation of Git-Flow, its key concepts, and how it can be used effectively.
In Git, branches are independent lines of development that allow multiple people to work on different features or bug fixes simultaneously. The main branches in Git-Flow are:
- Master branch: Represents the stable production-ready code. Only fully tested and approved changes are merged into this branch.
- Develop branch: Serves as the integration branch for ongoing development work. It contains the latest code changes that are in progress.
Feature branches are created from the develop branch and are used to develop new features or enhancements for your software. They are short-lived and isolated, allowing developers to work independently without affecting the main development branch. Once a feature is complete, it is merged back into the develop branch.
Release branches are created from the develop branch when you are preparing for a new release of your software. This branch allows you to stabilize the code by addressing any last-minute issues, performing final testing, and making necessary adjustments. Once the release is ready, it is merged into both the master and develop branches.
Hotfix branches are used to quickly address critical issues or bugs found in the production code. They are created from the master branch, allowing you to fix the problem without disrupting ongoing development in the develop branch. Once the hotfix is complete, it is merged into both the master and develop branches.
The typical workflow in Git-Flow follows these steps:
- Create a new feature branch from the develop branch for your specific task.
- Work on the feature branch, making incremental commits to track your progress.
- Once the feature is complete, merge the feature branch back into the develop branch.
- When preparing for a release, create a release branch from the develop branch.
- Perform necessary testing, bug fixes, and adjustments on the release branch.
- Merge the release branch into both the master and develop branches upon release.
- If critical issues arise in the production code, create a hotfix branch from the master branch.
- Apply the necessary fixes on the hotfix branch and merge it back into the master and develop branches.
- Repeat the process for future features, releases, and hotfixes.
Git-Flow provides a structured and systematic approach to managing branching and collaboration in Git repositories. By utilizing feature branches, release branches, and hotfix branches, developers can work concurrently, maintain a stable production codebase, and easily manage software releases. Understanding Git-Flow's core concepts can greatly improve development efficiency and collaboration within a team.