Chris Birmele has written a small but useful essay on branching and merging as one of the aspects of proper Software Configuration Management.
He lists the following benefits of good SCM practices:
- it safeguards your intellectual property– the software assets!
- it helps improve communication among team members;
- it provides a way to establish clear responsibilities and accountability;
- it provides traceability and reproducibility;
- it facilitates reusability of software assets;
- it provides consistency, reliability and integrity of software assets;
Chris also briefly describes common branching strategies and provides a short list of branching and merging anti-patterns.
Read the “Branching & Merging Primer” article (7 pages, in Microsoft Word format).