Review: Visual SourceSafe 2005 Software Configuration Management in Practice
 
Published: 25 Apr 2007
Abstract
In this review Steven Swafford provides his candid point of view of how this book relates to the age old problem of configuration management with Visual SourceSafe.
by Steven Swafford
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Introduction

Changes are inevitable in any software development project. Software configuration management provides a discipline for identifying items to be managed, controlling changes, maintaining integrity and traceability of the components that are required to develop the final software product throughout its life cycle. This can prove to be a task in itself and at times present a variety of decisions that not only impact software developers, but management as well. Configuration management is an integral part of the software development process and supports the management and the control of the project at any point in time.

The main objective of software configuration management is to manage the change process and track changes to ensure that the configuration of the software product is accurately known at any given time.

Keeping track of your progress and history for applications you develop can be a daunting task, even for a small project. This is where this book can prove to be an invaluable resource for anyone who is new or has some experience with Microsoft Visual SourceSafe. Software configuration management can help you or your team and all projects must implement a configuration management process which best suits their needs.

About the book

This book is broken down into seven easy to read content which provides real world examples for both the beginner and intermediate VSS administrators and users.

Chapter 1: Controlling the Evolution of Software Products

Chapter 2: The SourceSafe 2005 Architecture

Chapter 3: Creating a Service-Oriented Application

Chapter 4: Adding Solutions to the SourceSafe Database

Chapter 5: Developing Solutions under Source Control

Chapter 6: Working from Remote Locations

Chapter 7: Managing the Software Development Lifecycle

If you are a visual (hands-on) person such as myself, each topic the author discusses includes a number of screenshots that allow you to walk through the process of configuration management from start to finish.

The author has accurately addressed the configuration management process in chapter one. This chapter is the foundation of Visual SourceSafe administrators alike. This chapter walks you through establishing connections to Visual SourceSafe, adding project files, viewing file and project versions and histories and much more. Once you have completed this chapter you will be armed with the knowledge of how to work efficiently with a Visual SourceSafe database.

A key feature of Visual SourceSafe 2005 is the ease of working with Visual Studio 2005. Chapter five is very detailed on this topic and really leaves no stone unturned. One key issue that I have seen over the years is the merge function. This can easily get some developers into trouble if they are not familiar with this process. The author once again is dead on and even provides a few very useful tips that we all should commit to memory.

The core content of the book in my opinion resides in chapter seven. As we all know, when a software product begins development the process cycle more often than not progresses into new versions of the product. The key points that all Visual SorceSafe administrators should be aware of and understand are:

Milestones

Builds

Testing

Releasing

Parallel Product development

In my experience milestones and parallel product development can become confusing and present a variety of risk if you are not familiar with these topics. However, chapter seven is a must read (even two or three times) if that is what it takes to understand its content.

Conclusion

In summary I would hope that this review of "Visual SourceSafe 2005 Software Configuration Management in Pratice" demonstrated the necessary importance of configuration management and alleviated any concerns you may have had about Visual Source Safe 2005. There are numerous tips throughout this book that I was not aware of that makes every day task working with Visual SorceSafe even simpler.

The rating I assigned to this book is 4 out of 5 stars. Why only 4 stars? Simple, nothing is perfect, but this book comes very close and will be beneficial to many individuals desiring to learn more about configuration management with Visual SourceSafe.

Title

Visual SourceSafe 2005 Software Configuration Management in Practice

Author

Alexandru Serban

Publisher

Packt Publishing

Edition

First, Feburary 2007

Pages

386

Price

US $49.99

Rating

****

Related URL

http://www.packtpub.com/visual-sourcesafe-2005/book

 



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