I’m not a big fan of Source Code Management integration with Visual Studio. I don’t know, maybe VSS soured me years ago. When using Vault in the past I installed the Visual Studio integration tools once and uninstalled them a few days later. While using Subversion almost exclusively over the last three years I’ve been more than happy using TortoiseSVN in an explorer window. The separation of SCM and programming IDE has been refreshing and actually lends itself well to the way Subversion works by default, not requiring a checkout or lock when editing a file.
A few months ago, however, I won a license for VisualSVN at the Indy Code Camp. The license sat on a table beside my desk for about a month before I finally decided to give it a spin. I have to admit that I’m growing fond of it. I still don’t run updates and commits inside VS using VisualSVN (even though it just defaults to TortoiseSVN), but I really like the visual indicators that it provides. Showing me which files I’ve added or modified with the yellow icon greatly reduces any chance of me forgetting files when I make a commit. Or it helps me quickly find any files that I may have forgotten to commit.
The other cool thing is that when I add any new files to a project via Visual Studio, VisualSVN automatically adds the file to SVN. I don’t have to remember to browse to the file in Windows Explorer, right click the file, choose TortoiseSVN and then click Add. That may not seem like much of a time saver, but I always forget to manually add the files until after I’ve done commit (and maybe broken the build).
Even it you don’t like mixing your chocolate and peanut butter, um… I mean SCM tools with your IDE, you may like some of the features that VisualSVN provides. Give it a try, they offer a 30-day trial and the licenses start at $49 per seat.
Okay, that probably came off sounding like a commercial for VisualSVN. I am in no way affilated with the product or company and I stand to make no money from a couple more licenses being sold. I simply like the product and I thought I’d pass on my experiences with it. Besides, “if I can change and you can change, we all can change!” :)