Keep source code under control with this VSS replacement.
Microsoft Visual SourceSafe is the source code control system that people
love to hate. While many of us use it (hey, it comes for free with Visual
Studio!) it's certainly showing its age; the only new feature in the last
several versions has been a more stable database (well, more stable arrangement
of a bazillion tiny files on your hard drive, actually). Now SourceGear
(makers of the VSS remoting program SourceOffSite) are out with SourceGear
Vault, a drop-in replacement for VSS.
I think Vault is the source code control system that Microsoft might
have come up with, if they weren't apparently bored with the whole product
category. It stores your code repository in a SQL Server database which
(at least if you have the skills to set up a maintenance plan) does tend
to add a lot of security to the data. It comes with an implementation
of the relevant APIs so you can use it from any IDE that uses VSS. It
also includes server and client administration pieces that will look pretty
familiar to any VSS user. There's also an import facility that will move
all of your data and most of its history (Microsoft doesn't store everything)
to the new database, so you don't lose anything making the transition.
As an added bonus, my migrated SQL Server database was just about half
the size of the disk files that it replaced.
Vault was built in C#, so it should have some staying power. There's
also a Web Services API for talking to the Vault engine; implementing
custom clients should be a piece of cake. Vault implements most of the
familiar VSS features, and some of its implementations are more powerful.
For example, you can take advantage of the database underpinnings to slice
data out of history based on users or dates or a bunch of other things.
I worked with Vault on one of my projects for a while, and it didn't
give me any trouble. Provided you don't mind paying a little more (and
remember, you've got to license SQL Server somehow as well), it's a definite
step forward from VSS. You can download the server and client bits for
a 30-day trial from the SourceGear Web site.
Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.