Documentation

gitHub

Team collaboration

The Workgroup Edition of Hackolade Studio introduced, starting with v6 and with the appropriate license key upgrade, native integration with Git repositories. Previously, an integration with Git was possible, but required either a separate Git desktop application, or the use of the Git command line interface.  Our Workgroup Edition makes it easy for users who are not so familiar with Git to leverage the tremendous power of this popular tool.

 

It was a design choice from the start to store Hackolade data, not only in JSON format, but also in a non-proprietary text based form.  This choice enables easy tracking, control, and versioning of model changes in Hackolade.

 

Hackolade has been promoting a GitOps approach for the lifecycle of data models stored in JSON files. Git technology provides the following benefits:

  • change tracking: a Git repository holds a complete record of every change to the text files it contains. It’s easy to look through a repository and see what was changed, when, and by whom.
  • peer review: changes aren’t typically pushed to the main branch of a Git repository. Instead, changes are pushed to a branch or fork, then a pull/merge request is created, and the changes are reviewed by someone other than their creator before they are approved and merged.
  • versioning: Git tags can be used to mark a specific commit as important. Upcoming versions can be prepared in feature branches.
  • easy rollbacks: if, for any reason, on decides changes made aren't desirable, it’s easy to roll back to an older tag or commit.
  • testing: many customers use Hackolade data models as part of a CI/CD pipeline. When testing new application versions, it is easy to include the corresponding feature branch.
  • build and deploy: while this may seem software-specific, such process can be leveraged to produce artifacts such as corresponding schemas, scripts, documentation, etc.

 

Even if you have little or no experience with Git, we made it very easy to use Git from inside Hackolade Studio, without compromise on the power of Git in more advanced situations. You just need to become familiar with the concepts below.

 

The Wokrgroup Edition fully integrates with Git workflows, including a powerful interactive screen to resolve conflicts and merge branches.  Read more information on our repository integration.

 

Using Git without the Workgroup Edition

If you don't have the Workgroup Edition, it is still possible to interact with Git, either with a separate Git desktop application, or with the use of the Git command line interface

 

Note: You may wish to view the how-to video on this subject.

 

To leverage Git in the context of Hackolade, it is suggested to follow these steps:

1. Sign up and setup a repository on Bitbucket, GitHub, GitLab or equivalent

2. Download a GUI client for Git:  SourceTree or any other equivalent client 

3. Clone your repository into a local directory in which you'll be keeping your Hackolade models

4. Use the combination of your Git client and Hackolade to manage the lifecycle of your models

  •  
    • your Git client to fetch, pull, branch, checkout
    • Hackolade to create and modify models
    • your Git client to commit and push, view differences
    • at this stage, merging and conflict resolutions would need to be performed (carefully) in a manual way... until a Workgroup edition of Hackolade is released.

 

Here are some basic Git principles and commands to be used in combination with Hackolade.  The commands are executed with a Git client (such as SourceTree), as Hackolade does not yet have a Git client integrated.

Git workflow

 

After initial cloning of the Remote repository for models, it is a good idea to change the user parameters to point the default path for models in Hackolade to the Local Git repository.

 

Before making any changes to a model, it is a good practice to perform a Pull (which in effect does a Fetch from the Remote repository, followed by a Merge.)   After making further changes locally in the model using Hackolade, don't forget to save your changes, then perform a Commit (and a description) and a Push so your changes are made available in the Remote repository.

 

Resolving conflicting changes can be a tedious process involving manual intervention.  It is therefore advised, if several users collaborate on the same models, to Pull the latest changes from the Remote repository prior to making new changes.  Then make sure to save changes, then Commit and Push to the Remote repository.

 

Sometimes, it may be a good idea, if working on the model for a new release, to Save As the current model to a new version by giving the model file a new name, for example by appending a version number at the end of the file name.

 

The Workgroup Edition, on the other hand, fully integrates with the Git workflow, and has a powerful interactive screen to resolve conflict and merge branches.