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Automatic Merge: Ignore some of the branch specific file changes


We have multiple release branches with their own environmental properties.

Release 1 goes to Release 2 then goes to Release 3 and then to master.

Regarding environments and versioning we have certain files in each of these release branches which are specific to that branch.

For example I update my database properties or release versions in Release 1 and push in release 1 branch, this auto merges to Release 2. This actually creates a conflict as Release 2 has its own set of values for these properties.

Ideally I want to exclude these files from auto merges.

I would want to preserve release specific versions of certain files.

I don't believe .gitignore helps here since I want to update and track the changes to these files. I just want them to stay in a single branch.

Any help/points appreciated. Thanks in advance. 

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