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JUL-AUG 2019

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INTECH JULY/AUGUST 2019 31 tion to monitor who changed what, where, when, and why, helping to more accurately pinpoint the source of error when any problems arise. When re quired, version control can also help to quickly find and restore a previous, error-free version. A detailed comparison of the online version (running on the device) and the offline version (running on the server) makes it possible to dis - play the results of a comparison graphically, so that personnel are not forced to fly blind when it comes to operating a device. Version control versus backup The terms "version control" and "backup" are not synonymous. They are two distinct tools that have the greatest benefit—with regard to organizing data with clarity and traceability— when both are used together. Users often mix up the backup of a device with the backup of project files. In this discus- SYSTEM INTEGRATION sion, we define "backup" as "extracting the software running on devices." "Version" means "saving project data in centralized data storage with user management." On their own, neither centralized data back - ups nor version control are enough to ensure 100 percent certainty, safety, and security. It is only possible to reliably determine if the latest released version on the server is the same as the online version if regular automatic backups have been carried out. With regular backups, it is possible to compare the software version run- ning on a device with the last version checked into the server. This, in turn, allows changes to be detected and analyzed. Conversely, it does not make sense to auto- mate the process of creating versions using the data taken from a backup. This is because not all backups are the same. Depending on the device type, a subsequent use of the backup FAST FORWARD l Software maintenance tasks can be automated and help transform maintenance from corrective to predictive. l Version control and backups are different, so it is important to incorporate both processes. l When choosing a data management system, consider the type of data backups being produced.

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