It was far from a mere willingness to experiment that initially led Werner Schauer to the beta version of versiondog. When the head of PLC Development at Knapp AG first encountered versiondog in 2009, the data management and version control software was still very much in its infancy. But, back then, there was not a lot of choice for the Graz-based intralogistics specialist. In fact, IT specialist Auvesy and its software versiondog still occupy a niche in the market to this day. Just a year later, it became clear to Schauer that the software was worth a try. "The Watchdog", as versiondog is affectionately known within the company, has been managing all projects and versions in the PLC department ever since. Whenever a change is made to a project, the Watchdog sounds the alarm. This is absolutely crucial when it comes to being sure of what exactly has been changed, as the company recently experienced with one of its German customers.
Schauer uses versiondog primarily for the versioning and archiving of customer projects. "Basically, complex logistics systems are developed for the customer and commissioned with a certain delivery state," Schauer explains. "versiondog compresses the versions and ensures that older versions do not get lost." In the past, archiving was a laborious task involving various combinations of numbers and letters. Now the intelligent data manager takes care of this automatically. As an interesting aside, versiondog only saves the changes, so the volume of data is kept to a reasonable level. "This is all particularly useful when customers also have access to the source code during a project," reveals Schauer. This was case with the aforementioned German company, for example, and the Watchdog allowed Knapp to carry out online/offline comparisons at all times. "Whenever the customer made changes, we always knew about it," says Schauer. The option to directly compare programs also means that versiondog can rescue data in no time at all. When components fail, the system enables controlled and reliable restoration without delay. The data either remains on-site on the company's own servers or in a cloud environment. At Knapp, the data is stored on internal servers that are backed up on a regular basis. "This means that only Knapp and the customer have access to the data," says Schauer.
At Knapp, versiondog now monitors some 1,429 projects with over 5,720 versions – and this is just with their initial licence. Schauer only decided to add a parallel server at the beginning of the year. Because they had reached the limit of available users, general job titles were also defined as users. Now, every worker has their own personalised access. Schauer is currently defining the roles for the company’s IT network. "Everyone can access all versions simply by using their Windows username and password," explains Schauer. The parallel server licence means that company locations in Leoben and Sweden will soon follow suit. Whether in Sweden or Austria, it does not matter to the Watchdog. He keeps an eye on everything and makes sure no data gets lost.