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Visual Source Safe


Namespace: SoftwareEng
Microsoft's source code control system, distributed alone or bundled in Visual Studio.
Has anyone heard what support the VFP team will add for VSS2005? After listening to a webcast and reading about the new version, it looks like VFP may be left out once again! (Dramatic flare added intentionally to induce passionate responses in the hopes MS will hear our cry for help!) - William Fields
Microsoft Visual Source Safe is a version control system for team development of software applications. Version control systems track and store changes to a file so developers can review a file's history, return to earlier versions of a file, and develop programs concurrently. Microsoft Visual Source Safe does this using reverse delta technology and stores only the changes to a file, not each complete version of the file itself. Unlike other version control systems, Visual Source Safe is project-oriented.
- source MSDN
Hot fix that significantly improves Visual Source Safe performance. Q228927 Offsite link to http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q228927
Visual Source Safe best practices: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnvss/html/vssbest.asp

Gotchas
If you do decide to use VSS interactively, beware of the following behavior: In VFP 6 (or at least in early versions, not sure if it still happens) VSS sometimes "loses" track of whether a file has been changed IF you keep VSS open while editing a VCX or SCX in VFP. What we have seen on a couple of occasions is that, after check-in, the timestamp in VSS has not changed, and a GET LATEST will not include the modified code.

If you close VSS after checking out your files, modify them, close VFP, and then reopen VSS to check them in, you will be safe. -- Zahid Ali

Good Practice: It is recommended in the Administrator's Guide that the ANALYZE utility be run at least once a week. If you are depending on Visual Source Safe to protect your code archives, this is essential! Visual Source Safe is a client-file server application, similar to Visual FoxPro in that your client application is writing directly to the Visual Source Safe store - there is no process running on the server. An errant client application, or a burp on the network, can corrupt Visual Source Safe's somewhat arcane storage structure. Use the ANALYZE utility to detect these problems and correct them before too much damage is done -- Ted Roche

And because developers tend to forget running necessary tools (when was the last time you made a complete backup of your hard drive?), best is to put ANALYZE into the task scheduler of Windows. You need one entry for every database you have. With ANALYZE /? you can get all the command line options. -- Christof Wollenhaupt

Excellent point! Here's a link to a (older,June 2004)whitepaper I wrote that describes how to schedule the maintance, analyze the results against the last time it was run, and email the results to the administrator, all automatically. Updated version here-- Ted Roche

Tutorials:
SourceSafe / VSS How To by Kevin Gao

Integration: Visual Source Safe Integration -- droyad

Add-on tools:
Dynamsoft SourceAnywhere for VSS
SourceAnywhere for VSS is a VSS remote access solution. As an add-on tool of Source Safe, it provides fast, reliable and secure remote access for users of Source Safe 6.0 and Source Safe 2005.

So when analyze tells you file "aaaaaaa" was corrupted, how can you translate that back to an actual source object name? Would want to inspect it before/after Analyze fixes it. -- AlexLuyando

You'd read my paper above, or EssentialSourceSafe, starting at page 172. -- Ted Roche

How to get it:
VSS comes with Visual Studio Enterprise Edition, which is included in Microsoft Developers Network Universal subscription.
Category Source Code Control, Category Configuration Management, Category Project Management, Category Development Tools, Category Visual Studio
( Topic last updated: 2008.09.16 10:14:46 PM )