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Isolate a Single Developer Using Workspaces Rather Than Branches

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

To isolate your work from the rest of your team, use an additional workspace and do not create a new branch. Use your primary workspace to contain references to the files and folders being worked on by the rest of the team (that is, containing the shared source) and create a second workspace to maintain the files and folders that you want to isolate. You might want to isolate these files in order to evolve specific files in parallel with work that is happening elsewhere. For instance, this can be used to work on risky pending changes, or experimental changes. By using a second workspace, you reduce additional branch and merge complexity.

To create a secondary workspace
  1. In Source Control Explorer, click the Workspace drop-down list and then click Workspaces.
  2. In the Manage Workspaces dialog box, click Add.
  3. In the Add Workspace dialog box, enter a new workspace name such as MyIsolatedWork and provide a comment to serve as a future reminder about the purpose of the workspace.
  4. In the Working folders list, set the workplace status to Active, identify the source control folder to be included in the workspace (this can be the team project root folder or any subfolder), and specify a local folder path on your own computer to contain the files from the workspace.
  5. Click OK and then click Close to create the isolated workspace.

To retrieve the latest set of source to begin work in your isolated workspace
  1. In Source Control Explorer, make sure that your isolated workspace name is selected in the Workspace drop-down list.
  2. Select your team project root folder (or a subfolder if you only need part of the source tree), right-click, and then click Get Latest Version.
This copies the folder structure and latest file set from the source control server to the local directory on your computer that you mapped to the new workspace.

Additional Resources

Last edited Jul 26, 2007 at 11:32 AM by prashantbansode, version 5


RichardBerg Apr 11, 2007 at 1:41 PM 
IMO, the fact that we need to make this recommendation indicates that branching is too hard. Private branches are a useful pattern in SCM systems that treat them as 1st-class citizens.