Stash: Behind-the-Firewall Git Source Management

Atlassian recently added another member to its developer tool family: a behind-the-firewall Git repository management solution designed for enterprise teams, called Stash. The Australian collaboration and development tool maker, best known for its JIRA bug tracker and its Confluence collaboration tool, announced the new offering last week, and it's available now.

According to Giancarlo Lionetti, Atlassian's group product marketing manager for dev tools, the company's customers have been demanding a behind-the-firewall solution for managing the Git repository, which has gained so much traction in recent years thanks to the popular GitHub code-hosting Web site.

"If you think of distributed version control, your developers may be working in different geographic locations, but you want one source of truth, one place your team can trust they will find that stable code or that stable build," Lionetti told ADTmag. "But they also want an easy place to develop and share that code with their teammates. That's two things Stash gives them: a central location for your source code, and an easy place to develop and share your Git source code."

Developers may love it, but enterprise adoption of Git has been slower, Lionetti admits, largely because administering a server for Git repositories for larger projects and larger teams is challenging. And yet, nearly 80 percent of Atlassian's customer base is behind the firewall and only 20 percent are on-demand and in the cloud.

"It makes sense that they would be interested in running Git for themselves," Lionetti said. "They want a product that they can have on their own server, that's behind the firewall, but all the GitHubs and BitBuckets are in the cloud. Stash delivers a central, secure solution to create and manage distributed repositories, on their own servers."

Git, of course, is the popular open source version control system originally developed by Linus Torvalds for the Linux kernel, and GitHub is the equally popular online hoster for projects using Git. Atlassian maintains its own hosting site, BitBucket, which allows developers to store both Git and Mercurial source code. Mercurial is another free, distributed source control management tool.

"When I came to Atlassian five years ago, we were talking about Git and Mercurial," Lionetti said. "Then GitHub put a face on Git, and now we're talking to enterprise teams. These tools are becoming mainstream. People like Git because it allows developers to branch off and work in isolation if they want to, and it supports easy integration of code into the larger project. The most common operations, like commits, happen on their local workstations instead of over the network, And Git just speeds up the development process among enterprise coders -- faster than [Apache] Subversion, so it's a top choice among open source and greenfield projects."

A 30-day evaluation version of the Stash tool is available for download here.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].