SourceSafe 2005 over the Internet

The 2005 version of Visual SourceSafe is capable of connections over the Internet. Very handy if you, like myself, have the need to access your code repository while on the move.

To use this yourself, you should first configure your code repository server and web server for VSS Internet access. Read all about how to do that here (recommended) or here and here. If you are a bold man, you can setup Internet Access manually as explained by the VSS documentation here.

With that out of the way Visual Studio 2005 can connect to the repository. It is not possible to use the Visual SourceSafe client application for this. Simply open a solution or project and select SourceSafe (Internet) on the left.

In the picture above I have configured Internet access for a single VSS database. Adding one is easy using the wizard.

Browse through the VSS database like a file-system. There is even a part of the tree to the VSS database from the Desktop (see picture below on the right). You can open a solution or project this way, but remember that you may need to change the destination folder. Right-click on the item to get a mini-context menu that allows changing where all source-code will be downloaded to.

There are some limitations to what you can do using the Internet enabled SSC provider:

  • Database open
  • Database add
  • Check-in,
  • Checkout
  • Get

The list of things that you cannot do is not too bad, if you do your simple everyday code control operations:

  • Rename (although you can rename your items in Visual Studio 2005 without any problems)
  • Delete
  • Get by time or by label
  • History
  • Labeling
  • Share/branch functions.

I recommend using an SSL connection for your database. If you decide otherwise make sure that you set the appropriate option in Visual Studio (Tools, Options, Source Control, Plug-in Settings, Advanced).

Well, to be honest, VSS over the Internet isn’t all goodness, but it gets the job done. The good thing is that you can enable Internet access for existing databases. If you are inside your intranet, you switch to the boosted LAN version of the regular MSSCCI provider and access the same database over the UNC share.

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