PLC programming using TwinCAT 3 tutorial – part 13

Dear existing & future PLC software developers, I have published part 13 of my free PLC programming using TwinCAT 3 tutorial.

Proper version control is traditionally not done in the world of automation, which is a big shame. The question should not be whether version control should be used or not. The question should instead be what version control system should be used. In this part we will get an introduction to version control in general, and Git in particular. We will start with an introduction to some basic concepts of version control and then show you how you can put your automation projects under version control using Git, using free and open-source tools that are traditionally used in the software industry. You’ll learn how to do proper 100% free and Git-based version control using TwinCAT 3! Let’s start demanding more from our automation vendors and demand that the tooling for version control should be included by default, and get out of the dark ages!

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  1. Harry Mulder

    Well done Jakob, on another excellent video.

    Everything is very well worked through and clear explanations given throughout. I particularly like the coloured icons showing git status in the file manager, once TortoiseGit is installed – it’s worth to installing TortoiseGit just for these icons!

    At almost an hour, I understand the video is very long and it would’ve been difficult to cover anything more. However, it would have been ideal if the four icons at the extreme right bottom corner of XAE were mentioned. For example, the easiest way to add source control to a project is with a single click on “Add to Source Control”; which also loads a decent .gitignore file. Other features like commits, pushes, changes, branches, etc are then all available from these icons, and each will change the display in the Team Explorer window.

    One point about costs for things like version control. Beckhoff, as you know, is still family owed (by Hans), whereas most of our competitors are Publicly Listed Companies (PLCs!). But being a PLC means you need to keep shareholders happy at all times, which is why they’re looking to squeeze as much money as they can out of users. I guess that’s one advantage of dealing with a family-owned company!

    • All good points Harry, thank you! I think a full series of videos on version control would be interesting. Maybe something for you or another of my viewers to create?

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