[p4] Evaluations of MS Visual Studio Team Suite?

Weintraub, David david.weintraub at bofasecurities.com
Tue Jul 11 07:13:03 PDT 2006

Here's a webpage that might be of interest:

Some of the major changes:

* True client/server setup. Users no longer talk directly to the
database. Instead, they talk to a server that talks to the database.
This allows for better security since users no longer have to have write
permission directly on the database.
* Use of changesets and atomic operations for checkins
* Folders are no longer versioned although the contents are
* No more shared source or pinning.
* Merge history is now stored. When you did merging in VSS, it was
always baseless and therefore pretty useless.
* Checking out a file doesn't automatically get the latest version of
the source.
* Users can no longer "destroy" source (although I suspect that the
administrator can)
* There is no keyword expansion. Period.
* CVS like Watchlists or Perforce like Reviews.
* Source is no longer locked to prevent multiple users changing the same

Pretty much looks like a similar feature set found in Perforce. You
still need to checkout source (like "p4 edit") in order to edit the
source although checking out the source doesn't prevent others from
doing a checkout. This is exactly the way it works in Perforce. In CVS
and Subversion, there is no checkout command. Users merely edit the code
they want to change. Of course, VSTS and Perforce use multiple
changelists (changesets in VSTS) and CVS and Subversion don't.

The complete lack of keyword expansion is interesting. Most newer
version control systems no longer have keyword expansion by default, but
allow you to specify if you do want it anyway. ClearCase appears to be
the exception to this. However, with newer version control systems, the
need for keyword expansion is pretty much non-existent.

Keyword expansion's main help is when the software is removed from the
version control system and compiled. Then, you can use the "what" or
"ident" command to figure out the version that was used to build the
code. However, it is pretty easy to write a build system that places a
version record inside the compiled code anyway. Besides, with new
packaging distribution systems (like MSI and RPM), the version
information is now stored on the machine itself.

Removal of folder versioning is quite interesting. One of the biggest
complaints with Perforce is that folders aren't versioned.

Another interesting thing is that you still don't have triggers. Of
course, Microsoft was never much for command line operations or simple
APIs that triggering requires. You can set "Check-in policies", but they
don't appear as flexible as triggers.

-----Original Message-----
From: perforce-user-bounces at perforce.com
[mailto:perforce-user-bounces at perforce.com] On Behalf Of Al Garay
Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2006 6:53 PM
To: perforce-user at perforce.com
Subject: [p4] Evaluations of MS Visual Studio Team Suite?


Has anyone had a chance to evaluate Microsoft's Visual Studio Team Suite
and done a comparison of their new source control system?

We are very happy with Perforce and our current build system tools.
However, Microsoft keeps bundling more and more integrated tools with
their MSDN subscription. Now, they're offering a special upgrade to
their Team Suite subscription which includes all their latest tools
including a new source control tool that is supposed to be similar to

Appreciate your response,

Al Garay
Senior Manager of Software Development Operations Captaris Inc. 
10885 NE 4th Street, Suite 400
Bellevue, WA  98004 | USA
Ph. 425.638.4147 | Fax 425.638.1223
AlGaray at Captaris.com | www.Captaris.com | NASDAQ: CAPA

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