When to use Team Exploere vs. SvnBridge

May 3, 2008 at 12:30 AM
So I am newly exploring the use of TFS for my team. I just inherited a project that is currently being versioned using SVN. Aside from the fact that am looking for a good solution to import the SVN repository into TFS, I was also wondering when one would use SvnBridge over team explorer. Team explorer is free and directly integrates with all of the features of TFS, right? My team is currently using TortoiseSVN so I guess the familiarity with the tool would be beneficial. But wouldn't it be better to switch over to Team Explorer if at all possible?

Thanks for your help.
May 3, 2008 at 8:43 PM
I think a lot of it comes down to preference. Some people really like TortoiseSVN and some people really like Team Explorer.

The people that prefer Team Explorer like that it gives full access to all TFS features and has great Visual Studio integration. The people that prefer TortoiseSVN like it's support for edit-merge-commit and good offline capabilities.

The nice thing about running TFS and the availability of SvnBridge is that you can choose to use either one based on what you prefer.
May 5, 2008 at 3:49 PM
Let me see if I can field that question.
TFS is an integrated solution, which include source control, work item tracking, release management, and a bunch of other features that are of less importance to me in a developer role, but are useful for the project managers and the business at large. Reports and data mining are the two things that come to mind, and there are many other benefits.
SVN, however, focuses on solving just one problem, source control.

TFS has been designed primarily for connected environment, inside the company's LAN, always connected, server is always available.
SVN has been designed primarily for disconnected scenarios, on the internet, and only occasionally connected.

SvnBridge allows you to make use of the SVN model while using TFS.
From the developer perspective, is means access to all the tooling that made SVN one of the most popular source control systems.
Be it TortoiseSVN, Visual SVN, Svn Stat, Subversive, etc.

From the business perspective, you get the integration, reporting and data mining features.
From the developer perspective, you get the benefits of using SVN, which has a wide range of very developer friendly tools.

As for your particular issue. If you feel that you will get significant value from TFS, you can purchase that and use SvnBridge to keep the developer experience the same. If you are purchasing TFS for the source control features alone, I would say it is not providing major value beyond what SVN already has to offer.
May 5, 2008 at 7:26 PM
Thanks for all of the great information. So it looks like the real question for me is why I should move the team from TortoiseSNV to team Explorer. In other words, what real benefits does team explorer add, especially since team explorer allows you to bypass any rules placed by TFS for submitting code anyway (or so I have read)?

I think I have read that one advantage is that Team Explorer allows you to associate work items with any code you submit. That would be nice. But it would seem that SNVBridge could be modified to parse the SVN comments to look for keywords (such as associated work items) to pass to TFS. being new to this, however, I may not know what I am talking about.

In short, I have had a hard time finding any other advantages of using team Explorer over TortoiseSVN (or similar) (other than for TFS administration). Maybe its because I really haven't found a comprehensive list of what other benefits/integration Team Explorer provides for version control. Anyone want to add to the list any thing that Team Explorer can do that an SVN client can't (using SVNBridge of course)?

Thanks again for all of your comments.
May 5, 2008 at 11:57 PM
Daneil,
SvnBridge can already associate checkins with work items.
See http://www.codeplex.com/SvnBridge/Wiki/View.aspx?title=Work%20Items%20Integration&referringTitle=Home for details
May 6, 2008 at 1:03 AM
This is great...


Ayende wrote:
Daneil,
SvnBridge can already associate checkins with work items.
See http://www.codeplex.com/SvnBridge/Wiki/View.aspx?title=Work%20Items%20Integration&referringTitle=Home for details


So I ask again, for my developers what benefit is there to using team explorer? If they can associate their code to work items with Tortoise, what is there left that they would need Team Explorer to accomplish. I assume most anything else they might need to do (create work items, assign work items, etc.) could be done through the web pages. Maybe team explorer offers a nice interface for displaying a users assigned work items. But can't that also be viewed in a web page?

Like I said before my team is already used to SVN. But I also want to make sure I am using TFS to its fullest potential. Being new to this, I still am not 100% sure of all of TFS 2008's features. However, I want to make sure I get it set up right from the beginning.

Thanks again. the comments up to this point have all been extremely useful.
May 6, 2008 at 2:26 AM
Daniel,
My personal preference is to have the IDE and the SCM separate.
I am not sure what Team Explorer would buy your developers, I know that I very rarely have the need or inclination to use it.