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How to Use Branching to Isolate External Dependencies

- J.D. Meier, Jason Taylor, Alex Mackman, Prashant Bansode

Use an External branch to improve the integration and stabilization of breaking changes caused by external dependencies.

The following is an example of what your branch structure might look like after you have created an External branch:
  • External – External branch
    • Source
  • Main – Integration branch
    • Source
    • Other Asset Folders

Keep the following recommendations in mind when working with an External branch:
  • When to branch – When you have external dependencies that might cause breaking changes in your project. If your dependencies are making interface changes or substantial logic changes that will impact your code, create an External branch to isolate these changes.
  • When not to branch – When your external dependencies are stable or you are confident they will not introduce breaking changes.
  • Permissions in branch – Read/write for developers responsible for external dependency integration, read-only for everyone else.
  • Build frequency on branch – Builds are performed on-demand.
  • Testing focus in branch – Integration testing.

You should use the External branch as an isolated location to test changes in external dependencies before you integrate them into the Main branch. This can be useful to isolate the development team from breaking changes caused by external dependencies such as headers and libraries.

Additional Resources

Last edited Jul 31, 2007 at 2:45 PM by prashantbansode, version 10

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