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Gitflow is a git workflow for software development teams.

How Gitflow Works

Instead of having a single master branch, there are instead two branches, the master branch and the develop branch.

The master branch records the history of the project and the develop branch serves as an integration branch for new features.

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Release Branches

Once a release is due, usually at the end of a sprint when a shippable increment has been produced.

A release branch is forked off of develop.

This release branch marks the next release cycle so no new features are to be added after this point.

Bug fixes, documentation and other release tasks are allowed.

Once the release branch is ready to ship, it is merged into master and tagged with a version number.

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Benefits Of Release Branches

There are several benefits of using a dedicated release branch.

It allows for part of the team to polish off and finalise the release whilst the rest of the team continues with the adding features and bug fixes on the develop branch.

In addition it also creates well-defined phases of development, e.g. we are releasing version 2.0.

Hotfix Branches

Hotfix branches are used to quickly patch issues in production releases.

Hotfix branches are forked off of the master branch and are the only branches that should be forked off of master.

Once the fix is complete it should be merged into both master and develop

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Benefits Of Hotfix Branches

The benefits of having dedicated hotfix branches is the the team can fix production bugs quickly without disrupting the rest of the development flow.

Bugfix Branches

Bugfix branches are exactly the same as features branches except they are for fixing bugs.

Branches Naming Convention

The gitflow workflow specifies 5 types of branches:

  • Master
  • Develop
  • Feature
  • Release
  • Hotfix

This means that if there is more than one developer working on a features, then they are both going to be working on feature branches.

So how should these feature branches be named?

The best way is to name branches as follows:


For example if a developer is working on an authentication feature, they would name the branch:




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Further Reading

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