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Software Configuration and Management Using Visual SourceSafe and VS .NET : Page 4

Good software development is a combination of many things that are outside of just writing great code. Turning the art of software development into the science that makes for controllable, predictable, managed software projects makes your business more productive.


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Approaches to SCM within a Team Environment
You can choose from a couple of different models when you develop Web applications in a team environment. The first approach, non-isolated, lets every developer create and modify all files on a central server. Non-isolated development uses one IIS server on a centrally shared computer and all the files for your application reside within a virtual directory on that server. All developers will check out files from VSS and place those files onto the central IIS server. Each developer will then edit and debug those files on that central IIS server. The isolated approach to Web development lets each developer create a virtual directory within the IIS server running on their own development computer. The isolated approach makes each developer retrieve or check out files from the central VSS library and store the checked out files on their local machine. The developer will edit, debug, and test everything on their local machine, and once everything works, they check the file(s) back into the central location for other developers to retrieve.

Each of these two types of development has their pros and cons. Let's examine the advantages and the disadvantages of each of these different approaches. Advantages of Non-Isolated Development

  • Developers do not have to have IIS running on their local computer.
Disadvantages of Non-Isolated Development
  • All the source code is in one location, not spread out on different developer's computers. If you lose that one computer and have not checked the changes into Visual SourceSafe, you could potentially lose those changes.
  • It is very easy to inadvertently affect another developer.
  • When one developer runs an application with debugging, it locks the process so other developers cannot debug their application at the same time.
  • If two developers work on the same file, then the "last check-in" wins.
  • Offers limited source control capabilities.
  • If a developer modifies some code that causes the code not to work, nobody else will be able to run that part of the project.
Advantages of Isolated Development
  • You can both develop and debug the application without inadvertently interfering with other developers.
  • You can test out changes locally without affecting other developers.
  • It provides superior support for source-code control.
  • Developers can move the project to another machine and take it with them to show users without requiring a network connection.
Disadvantages of Isolated Development
  • Each developer must set up IIS on their local computer for developing Web applications.
  • Each developer must remember to check all their files back in prior to leaving for the evening to ensure that the files are backed up. This assumes the VSS library is part of a backup process (which it should be).
Which Model to Choose
We recommend the isolated model for development. Each user must have IIS on their machine, which in some organizations you may need to restrict, but it is by far the best model for the most flexible source code control.

Visual Studio .NET Settings for Isolated Development
Be sure you set the right options in Visual Studio .NET so you can use the isolated model. From within Visual Studio .NET, go to the Tools menu, choose Options, and click "File share" but do not choose the option for Front Page Extensions. You would choose FrontPage Extensions if you want to use a non-isolated approach with all files located on a central server.



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