Rob Smyth

Thursday 2 October 2008

VisualSVN Visual Studio Subversion Integration

For 1-2 years I have been using AnkSVN to provide a level of subversion (SVN) integration with Visual Studio. But in the last few days I've been upgrading to Visual Studio 2008 and decided to give VisualSVN a go. Very pleased I did, it is very good.

I tend to use TortoiseSVN both at home and at work as my primary subversion tool. No matter how good any VS revision control can be I feel that Explorer integration will always be required as, after all, we are dealing with files. Also, TortoiseSVN's ability to be configured to require a bug ID (ala story ID) is essential in some work environments. So any VS subversion integration tool that integrates with TortoiseSVN is leveraging off TortoiseSVN's functionality that you would be using anyway. Big win.

Also, even after a few hours of use, VisualSVN provides many other very useful benefits:
  • Files moved in VS are shown in commit as "Add(+)" and history is maintained.
  • Tortoise options accessible via VisualSVN menu in Visual Studio.
  • File modified indicators visible in solution explorer as you would expect.
  • Modified files in VS status bar is very useful. I often want to know if a box has any changes and this little indicator gives me instant indication.
  • 'Show Changes' menu option within VS very useful.
  • Changed line are highlighted in VS editor pane. Impressively, still only shows changed lines on a moved file, that is no line changed if not edited before/after move.
  • VS tool bar buttons for commit, update, show changes.
  • Full synchronization with Tortoise actions outside of VS. e.g. Files added to subversion using TortoiseSVN outside of VS, without commit, show up in VS immediately.
I'm very impressed. This is a tool well worth its small cost. Perhaps not a killer app but cost obviously greater than performance gains. Very nice. Dunno why I didn't use it earlier.

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