7/31/08

Using VSS - Visual Source Safe

VSS : Visual Source Safe

The visual source safe should be used to host all the softcopy material of the project. Even though you do not use it as a configuration management tool, it’s use just as a storage device is also very advantageous for the project. Use of VSS allows you to revert back to the older versions of the files easily. Also as every body has it’s code at one place taking the backup becomes very easy.

Here are a few points to be remembered when using VSS:

1. From Tools menu options sub menu:

In local files tab: Compare files by: Content

Replace writable files: Ask

Set date/time on local files: Current

2. If the vss is used for storing the files developed on unix platforms, the files are in binary format. ( Refer UseVSSforUnix.doc)

Then in Tools->options->File Types

Extensions of those files should be written in Binary Files field.

e.g. Binary Files : *.cpp,*.h

This feature should be set by loging in as administrator with all other users logged off.

This will let VSS know that the files with above extensions are in binay format. But in case of binay files you can not use the diff utility of the VSS.

This is very important because if binary file is added to VSS, then the ctrl M characters get added to file with file getting converted to ASCII format.

3. To create a new folder in VSS, go to File menu and choose option Create Project…

4. Many a times the response time of the VSS is slow, and thus in a hurry we end up dragging some file or folder into another folder. In this case the VSS asks whether you wish to share it, thus you should read the messages from VSS carefully.

5. You can mention the refresh time of VSS from Tools->options menu. The VSS will then refresh automatically after that duration. Sometimes when you try to check out a document, you get a message of document already checked out. This is just because some one else checked out the document but the VSS is yet to be refreshed. In that case use F5 to refresh the VSS.

6. The files in VSS should be properly labelled, especially the code. Before making some major design changes, or integrating some module which is going to affect the overall working and off-course before the intermediate deliveries.

7. You can easily find out the checked out files form View->Serach>status search menu. (DO not forget to press ctrl+q to cancel the search ).


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