Product Features

Five Reasons to Use Git-Based Source Control for PLCs

Published on
December 14, 2021

Git is a distributed version control system that’s used by millions of software developers around the world.Now, Copia is bringing the benefits of Git directly to automation professionals with a Git-based version control solution, making it easy to track and manage changes to programmable logic controller (PLC) source code. That’s not all. Copia makes getting started easy and file sharing seamless. Plus, your organization can optimize workflows built around your existing tools. If you’re unfamiliar with Git and want to know how Copia can make your job easier, check out these five major benefits below.

1. Visibility

As an automation professional, you don’t have to settle for the source code your PLC vendor provided. Yet it’s tough to track and manage changes when you’re looking at proprietary binary code instead of text in C, C+, Java, or Perl. How can you quickly spot differences between versions of a file? With Copia, a special transition layer makes it easy to pinpoint changes. 

2. Traceability

Whether your team is halfway around the world or just down the hall, Copia lets you instantly see who changed the code – and when and why they made these changes. That’s a plus for busy development managers, but it’s also a time-saver for any PLC programmer. Plus, Copia’s traceability means you can review any historical version of a file and revert when needed.  

3. Accessibility

Have you ever needed to look at a file but found that another developer had it locked, or that the latest version was unavailable? Copia lets you view a file without opening it. You can use your browser or the desktop app – whichever you prefer. You can even work off-line if internet access is unavailable and then merge any changes that you make later on.   

4. Productivity

With its branch structure, Git lets multiple developers work on the same file at the same time. If you like the changes in one branch, you can easily merge those changes into another branch. Development managers can also make sure that changes are reviewed before they are saved. In addition, Copia renders Ladder Logic and Structured Text. This Git-based solution also adds structure to workflows and lets you use your existing tools but with more efficient processes. 

5. Ease-of-Use

Finally, Copia is a lot easier than using an archive folder. Let’s say your current process involves Google Drive. Everyone must remember to copy all of their files at the end of the workday, but that doesn’t always happen when developers are busy. Plus, some of your co-workers may not name files properly or move them correctly. Copia standardizes file-naming conventions and captures everything automatically.