eSvn is a GUI front end to subversion (SVN), a version control system developed by the Tigris community of Open Source developers. For those who are familiar with Concurrent Versions System (CVS), subversion is CVS without the wrinkles, complexity and inefficiency of CVS. Since eSvn is a front end application it relies on having subversion installed.
The main purpose of subversion is to be a file server that provides revision control services for a given tree of folders and the files they contain. Users can work in two ways with the file system, they can:
access files directly over the network, or
checkout a copy of the files to their local machine
Both methods enable users with the right permissions to perform common operations such as create, modify, delete, copy, move. The difference between a normal file server and a subversion server is that a subversion server tracks and logs all changes to the repository and keeps copies thereof. The advantage of this is that multiple users can have simultaneous access to the file system. Each user can make changes and commit them back without overriding each other work. All users can identify the most up-to-date version of a file and access older versions If required.
A subversion server is therefore suited to managing files that are frequently changed and developed over time by a group of users. The server acts as the main focal point of the user effort and is therefore a collaborative environment. Everything that is done to the files must be saved back to the subversion server in order to be made available to all the other members of the group.