Question: How is TFS Version Control different than VSS?

- J.D. Meier, Jason Taylor, Alex Mackman, Prashant Bansode

Answer

Microsoft Visual SourceSafe is targeted at individual developers and small teams, while TFS version control is designed for professional developers and very large teams with up to 2,500 users per server. Other major improvements introduced with TFS version control include deep integration with Visual Studio 2005 as well as distributed team support enabling efficient file access over WANs. The major differences between the two systems include the following:
  • Code churn – Visual SourceSafe has no features that support code churn metrics. TFS version control gives you code churn metrics for every file that you check into the data warehouse, and you can slice the data in any way that you want.
  • Checkout – Visual SourceSafe always gets the latest file or the pinned file from the database and overwrites your local version. TFS version control makes your workspace version of the file writable, but does not overwrite your version with a version from the database.
  • File locking – Visual SourceSafe automatically applies an exclusive lock to a file when you check it out. By default, TFS version control allows multiple developers to check out a file concurrently. When conflicts do occur, they usually can be automatically resolved.
  • Branching – Visual SourceSafe uses a pin-and-share branching method. Pinning is not supported in TFS version control, which instead uses path-space branching. This makes it easier to maintain old versions of your software, because it facilitates merging changes from one branch to another or making changes in two branches at once.
  • Sharing – TFS version control does not support sharing. The migration of a shared file results in copying the file to the destination folder.
  • Workflow integration – Visual SourceSafe is a stand-alone version-control system. TFS version control is integrated with work item tracking and TFS reporting.

Additional Resources

Last edited Jul 19, 2007 at 12:01 AM by jtaylorsi, version 8

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