Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why every developer should use source control

Most organizations nowadays already have a source control system in-place within the organization.  If you are a startup organization, you may or may not have decided upon a source control solution for your organization. 

Of course, for the Microsoft world, most developers using Visual Studio will want to adopt Microsoft Team Foundation Server.  There are numerous other alternatives as well including Sourcegear Vault Professional/Standard as well as Subversion and numerous others.

However, one point I would like to make is that you if you are a developer doing solo development projects, do you still need source control!  Absolutely!

Source control is one of those items that should be in every developer's toolbox.  Working without version control is simply too tedious (making backups of every single file change) and far too prone to error.

In the past, many developers would have opted out of using a source control system or would have used a source control system such as Visual SourceSafe.  But, as most Microsoft developers know, Microsoft Visual SourceSafe is pretty much a dead product which has been supplanted by Team Foundation Server

With the latest release of Team Foundation Server, developers can now install a completely running instance on their Windows 7/8 workstations.  However, installing Team Foundation Server is a lengthy and time consuming process (even with Team Foundation Server Express).  Most developers who want to get up and running with source control will usually want a source control system which integrates with Visual Studio, is easy to set up and takes a minimal amount of time to install.

Well, fortunately, there are several free alternatives.  My personal favorite is Sourcegear Vault.  It is free for a single user, easy to install, integrates with Visual Studio seamlessly and uses a SQL Server database for storage.

Sourcegear Vault can be downloaded from here:

Microsoft is also now offering Team Foundation Server Cloud Hosting for FREE.  You can sign up for TFS Preview here: 

If you are a fan of Subversion, there is also a free version of Subversion that integrates with Visual Studio available from CollabNet called AnkhSVN:

This can be downloaded from here:

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