In software development, Pull Requests and Merge Requests are commonly used mechanisms for managing changes to code repositories. While they serve a similar purpose, there are some key differences between the two.
What are Pull Requests?
A Pull Request is a feature of Git, a version control system used by many software development teams. It is a request made by a developer to merge changes they have made in their local branch to the main branch of the repository. The main branch is usually referred to as the "master" branch, although this can vary depending on the specific workflow being used.
Additionally, Pull Requests serve as a way to discuss the changes being made and provide feedback to the author. This helps to catch any bugs or issues before they become a part of the main codebase.
When a developer creates a Pull Request, they typically provide a summary of the changes made, as well as any relevant information about why the changes were made. Other developers on the team can then review the changes, ask questions, and provide feedback using the comments feature of the Pull Request. Once everyone is satisfied with the changes, the Pull Request can be merged into the main branch.
[Read more: Pull request Best Practices]
Let’s go over these examples:
Assume that you are working on a feature branch called "new-feature" and you want to merge it into the main branch, which is called "master". Here are the steps you can follow to create a Pull Request.
- Commit your changes to the feature branch.
What is a Merge Request?
Merge Requests are similar to Pull Requests in that they allow developers to propose changes to the main branch of a repository. However, Merge Requests are a feature of the GitLab platform, which is an alternative to GitHub. Like Pull Requests, Merge Requests allow developers to submit changes for review and feedback before they are merged into the main branch.
One key difference between Merge Requests and Pull Requests is the level of automation available. Merge Requests can be configured to require certain conditions to be met before they can be merged, such as passing automated tests or receiving a certain number of approvals from other developers. This helps to ensure that changes being made to the codebase are of high quality and will not introduce bugs or other issues.
Another difference between Merge Requests and Pull Requests is the terminology used. In GitLab, the main branch of a repository is typically referred to as the "default branch," whereas in Git it is commonly referred to as the "master" branch. Additionally, Merge Requests in GitLab are often used in conjunction with other features of the platform, such as Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines.
Assuming that you want to create a Merge Request for your changes.
[Read more: How to Master Merge Requests?]
Here are the steps you can follow:
- Create a new branch from the default branch:
In summary, Pull Requests and Merge Requests are both useful tools for managing changes to code repositories. While they serve a similar purpose, there are some key differences between the two, such as the level of automation available and the terminology used. Ultimately, the choice between using Pull Requests or Merge Requests will depend on the specific needs of the development team and the platform being used.
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