VSS / SourceSafe Tutorial

Welcome to my SourceSafe Tutorial. If you have any comments regarding this VSS tutorial, feel free to send me an email. In addition, I highly recommend you to use SourceAnywhere, which is designed as the best VSS replacement – How to migrate from VSS to SourceAnywhere Standalone.

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Navigation Links:
Chapter 0: SourceSafe / VSS How To Series Introduction
Chapter 1: SourceSafe / VSS Basics
Chapter 2: SourceSafe / VSS Operations
Chapter 3: Integrating SourceSafe with other IDEs
Chapter 4: SourceSafe / VSS administration
Chapter 5: Microsoft Source Code Control Interface (MSSCCI)
Chapter 6: SourceSafe / VSS automation (SDK)
Chapter 7: How Tos

Chapter 0: SourceSafe / VSS How To Series Introduction

SourceSafe / VSS is a version control tool used by many Windows developers. Before I started to work on SourceAnywhere for VSS… (more…)


Chapter 1: SourceSafe / VSS Basics

Microsoft Visual SourceSafe, also called ‘VSS’, is a file-system-based source control tool from Microsoft… (more…)

As a member of Visual Studio product family, VSS is very popular among Windows developers. An IDC August 2004 ALM market report indicates… (more…)

In a nutshell, you can use VSS to keep your files, including the previous versions, in a central repository/database. Although VSS… (more…)

VSS database/repository is the central place where all files, history, project structures, permission and user information are stored… (more…)

Add is the start point of all VSS file operations. Before you can do Get, Check In, Check Out or other operations, the file… (more…)

The following screenshots shows the typical interface of SourceSafe / VSS… (more…)


Chapter 2: SourceSafe / VSS Operations

A working folder is the specified corresponding folders on a user’s local computer used to store files when working with VSS projects… (more…)

A file must be added in a VSS database first before you can do check in, check out and other operations. To add one or more files, you can… (more…)

The Get Latest Version command retrieves the latest or the pinned version of the files to our local disk. For pinned files… (more…)

If we are checking out files (not a project), the Recursive and Build Tree options are not available. In VSS / SourceSafe 2005, we can check out… (more…)

VSS supports two modes of work, Lock-Modify-Unlock and Copy-Modify-Merge. Lock-Modify-Unlock is the default style… (more…)

File Diff is one of the important features that we use with a version control system. File Diff compares two files and shows the differences… (more…)

File merge is the foundation of parallel development. Different team members can work on the same file at the same time and… (more…)

Project Difference compares two versions of a project and displays the comparison results. We can use it to see the differences… (more…)

Share enables files to be shared among multiple projects. It creates share links among these projects, so that… (more…)

As we talked about in our last post Share, share is only a small function in VSS. It should be combined with Branch to play a greater role… (more…)

Cloak is a useful little function in Visual SourceSafe. It allows us to specify the projects to be ignored during recursive operations such as… (more…)

Visual SourceSafe allows you to define a label for a file or project version. A label is a short and concise description given for purposes of identification… (more…)

Pin is a small but sometimes helpful feature in Visual SourceSafe (VSS). VSS defines Pin as a marker that designates a specific version of a file… (more…)

Show History is one of the most important features in SourceSafe. My personal feeling is that being able to go back to… (more…)


Chapter 3: Integrating SourceSafe with other IDEs

Visual SourceSafe can be integrated into Visual Studio to source control solution files, project files and application configuration files…(more…)

If you previously used SourceSafe to source control your Visual Studio projects and then find a better source control tool, you may need to… (more…)

SourceSafe can be integrated into Visual C++ 6.0 to source control VC projects and files. To integrate SourceSafe with VC 6.0, we can… (more…)

SourceSafe can be integrated into Visual Basic 6.0 to source control the VB forms, modules, class modules, etc. To integrate SourceSafe with VB 6.0… (more…)

With Access Source Code Control add-in, Visual SourceSafe can be integrated into MS Access to source control Access queries, forms, reports, macros… (more…)

In previous article, I wrote about how to integrate SourceSafe with Access 2007. This time, I will write about integrating SourceSafe with Access 2003… (more…)

Visual SourceSafe can be integrated with SQL Server Management Studio 2008 to facilitate team activities and enable parallel development… (more…)

The Visual SourceSafe integration with SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 2005 is virtually identical to SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 2008… (more…)

Visual SourceSafe can be integrated into Dreamweaver to source control projects and files… (more…)

Visual SourceSafe can be integrated into Flash (Professional edition only) to source control projects. To use source control functions, we should… (more…)

PowerBuilder was a popular tool for database front end development. I used PowerBuilder 6 about 10 years ago to develop a MIS application… (more…)


Chapter 4: SourceSafe / VSS administration

SourceSafe provides an Archive utility, with which we can periodically backup our VSS Database or projects and transport files/projects…(more…)

Visual SourceSafe (VSS) users are based on VSS databases. When a VSS database is created, there will be two default users added to the database…(more…)

SourceSafe provides a tool, Visual SourceSafe Administrator, to manage the permission of the VSS users. However, designed for trusted environment…(more…)


Chapter 5: Microsoft Source Code Control Interface (MSSCCI)

MSSCCI stands for Microsoft Source Code Control Interface. The latest version of MSSCCI is 1.3…(more…)

MSSCCI uses registry to organize multiple SCC providers. There are 3 elements in the registry…(more…)

Dynamsoft provides a tool called SCC Provider Manager with its SourceAnywhere product family…(more…)


Chapter 6: SourceSafe / VSS automation (SDK)


Chapter 7: How Tos

SQL Server stored procedures can be added to Visual SourceSafe (VSS) for version control by using the source control feature in Visual Studio .NET 2003…(more…)


SourceAnywhere - the SQL Server-based SourceSafe Replacement The SQL Server-based Source Control Software Designed to be a SourceSafe Replacement SourceAnywhere for VSS - the Fastest SourceSafe Remote Access Tool Recommended by Microsoft The Fastest SourceSafe Remote Access Tool Recommeded by Microsoft
  • Hemal

    Hello Kevin,
    I am a begineer for VSS,I have one problem with VSS,i have an ELT packages in production server,I copied and placed at Development server,to create my data,but when i changed some thing in dev. packages,it will change my production packages atomatically, so could you plese tell me how to disable my VSS on development’s packages?
    Please suggest any solutions.


  • Vijin

    Hi Kevin,

    My team has a weird problem with Visual Source Safe 2005. VSS is integrated with VS2003. Our development environment is VDI (Virtual Desktop Interface), every time we loggin to a different instance of the VDI. Problem is that if we have checked-out a file on one instance and logged off from VDI. Next time when we log-in (we login to new instance of VDI) and open VS2003 we see that check-out file as “Checkout exclusively by someone else or at another place.” and can not check-out the file. Working directory is at the same place, user is same but not sure why it does not recognize and makes that file available as checked-out already. Looking at the file in VSS it shows the “check out folder” location prefixed with earlier server name. Is there any setting which can solve this issue.

    Sr. .Net Developer

  • amal abo hamida

    I need solution for my problem witch is invalid password when i want to add my project
    to safety resource in a saving operation

  • http://nil ketan trivedi

    Do i require to purchase Visual Studio if application developed in Visual studio by third party

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  • Vishnu

    Very informative article…

  • Allen


    Great content and easy to follow guidance. I have been looking (in vain) for any reference regarding VSS (v2005) and Control-M scheduler. Is there such material available?



  • Asdaq Amin

    I am using VSS 6.0d. Is it possible to Install VSS on Window 7 machine.