SourceAnywhere: A SQL Server-based version control software designed to be a replacement of Microsoft Visual SourceSafe (VSS). It is developed for both local and geographically distributed development teams.

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SourceAnywhere Standalone: Free Trial Download

Subversion (SVN): An open-source revision control system, which aims to be a compelling replacement for CVS.

Both SourceAnywhere and Subversion are great version control products. So which one is the right product for you?

SourceAnywhere is THE ONE for Experienced VSS Users.

If you are an experienced Visual SourceSafe user, SourceAnywhere is definitely the right choice. First, all your source code history can be easily imported to SourceAnywhere. Second, the resembling user interface makes developers’ learning curve almost zero.

Otherwise, it depends on which working mode you prefer. Typical working flow in SourceAnywhere is “(multi) check-out — edit — (merge) check-in”, while typical working flow in SubVersion is “edit local copy — (merge) commit to server”. In another word, with SourceAnywhere, when you edit a file, you know whether other people is also editing it. With SubVersion, you don’t know.

More detailed comparison follows. I will try to be unbiased in the comparison. Comments which disagree with me are well welcomed. :)

Where Subversion is better than SourceAnywhere

If any of the following situations apply to you, I recommend Subversion:

  • Command Line SubVersion Command Line is suitable for auto scripting. Although SourceAnywhere provides Command Line Client as well as Java GUI Client, SourceAnywhere’s main focus is for IDE integration on Windows platforms. If you are working on OS X, Subversion command line provides better flexibility.
  • Open Source Project SubVersion suites well for personal and open source projects. Subversion, released under an Apache-style license, is an open source system. People can get a version control system with no regard to cost.
  • Integration with Windows Explorer Subversion supports integration with Windows Explorer while SourceAnywhere does not.
  • Third Party SupportSVN is better supported among third party tools. For example, Hudson and Redmine.

Where SourceAnywhere is better than Subversion

If any of the following situations apply to you, I recommend SourceAnywhere Standalone:

  • Tech Support Dynamsoft provides phone, email, forum, and 16 hours per weekday online chatting support. For the difficult issues, an online meeting session will be scheduled. A developer from the R&D team is involved when necessary.And, all the tech support is free.
  • Microsoft Platform Support Dynamsoft is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. SourceAnywhere passed Optimized for Microsoft Visual Studio, Certified for Windows Vista, and Certified for Windows Server. SourceAnywhere offers better integration with Microsoft products than Subversion.
  • Security Powered with SSL Protocol, Sophisticated Password Policy, Database Encryption, IP & MAC Filter Rules and other security tactics, SourceAnywhere Hosted online source control is designed to be more secure than most in-house deployment.For more information about security features, please refer to the white paper: Secure Your Source Code.
  • Web development Besides of Dreamweaver integration and cross-platform access, SourceAnywhere offers a unique feature, Web Deployment through FTP. SourceAnywhere can automatically detect which files are changed, and only transfer the changed/added files.

Where SourceAnywhere and Subversion are different

  • User Interface SourceAnywhere has VSS style UI. There is virtually no learning curve for developers who know Visual SourceSafe already.
  • Server Setup and Maintenance SourceAnywhere Server requires Microsoft SQL Server (Express). For SVN, you need to set up either Apache2 or an “svnserve” server.
  • Distributed team Both Subversion and SourceAnywhere are designed for local and distributed team. SourceAnywhere takes a step further. Its cache server can greatly improve distributed team’s productivity.
  • Product integration SourceAnywhere comes with GUI client, command client, SDK, Eclipse plug-in, Visual Studio integration, Dreamweaver/flash integration, cross-platform client. All are in one product.

    Subversion comes only with core product. For IDE integration, cross-platform access and other tools integration, you need to deal with several independent sources.