SVNBridge instead of Team Explorer

Feb 9, 2010 at 12:28 PM


Why would anyone use TortoiseSVN + SVNBridge instead of Team Explorer? Team Explorer contains work items, alerts, documents and many other things...




Feb 9, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Team Explorer does not allow you to check-in versioned files.  The reason people use SvnBridge is to check in and out versioned files from VSTS without using Visual Studio.

When it comes to managing the work load, documents, and other things you can use either Team Explorer, Visual Studio, or a number of other programs.

Feb 9, 2010 at 7:46 PM

What is a versioned file?

Feb 9, 2010 at 9:25 PM

The very core of source control.  If you need to brush up on source control you might try the SvnBook.

Oct 7, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Team explorer allows FULL access to TFS, including checking in and out versioned files. so long as the user has the rights to do so.  I worked for 4 years on a development team where the documentation team and management used Team explorer to check out and modify some of our website pages and documentation.  They never once had an issue accessing any version controlled file.



Feb 10, 2011 at 6:07 PM
Edited Feb 10, 2011 at 6:11 PM

The reasons to use TortoiseSVN + SVNBridge instead of Team Explorer are too many to number, but here are some:

  1. Integration with other IDEs (not everybody works in VisualStudio you know, and to get the plugin for Eclipse you have to pay an extra license,  OTOH the best SVN client (TortoiseSVN) is free)
  2. Integration with other platforms (There is no plugin for XCode in Mac for example)
  3. Integration with DVCS (TFS has no DVCS features, but Mercurial, Git and Bazaar can integrate with SVN, so if there were a way to make TFS act like SVN...)
  4. TeamExplorer is extremely limited in its "server side" management features there is no way to rearrange your project without having to download it first, if SVNBridge reaches the goal of being a fully featured SVN server, that would mean that it would be possible to use TortoiseSVN to create branches, or copy or move or rename stuff in the server without the need to have a local workspace.
  5. TeamExplorer is not as intuitive as having the version control integrated with the Windows Explorer Shell (as the Tortoise familly of tools (for SVN, for GIT, for Mercurial, for Bazaar, etc). So, if you want to work without having an .SLN file, directly with the files, without needing to open the Visual Studio Shell, Tortorise gives you a much friendlier user experience
  6. TeamExplorer has a very limited and cumbersome way to detect if a file has changed: it can easily tell tell you if you checkout it, but it is way more complicated to know if it actually was modified, specially if the program that modified it was not visual studio, on the other hand detecting changed files in TortoiseSVN is very easy: You just look at them, if the have the icon overlay for "changed file" you know they have changed.
Feb 17, 2011 at 10:07 PM

I have been using tortoiseSvn for several years and before that cvs, and source safe. TortoiseSvn enables a user to view through explorer all of the details of their work. I want to do a feature by feature comparison but dont have the time to do right now, to do the full comparison would require mapping the functionality of the functions in tortoiseSvns context menu and contrasting that with all the places you have to go in vs 2010 to find the things team explorer has hooked in that provide the same functionallity (this would include tfs power tools also). However I can give you a case in point. Using tortoiseSvn when I edit a file in vs and save it, it will show up in explorer as changed, and I see the list of files that I have changed by selecting  "Check for modifications". Further in the dialog that displays I can view the change history of any of the files and do a diff against any other version all in one place. Contrast that with team explorer or the tfs power tools this functionallity does not exist as a simple do something then follow to the next view presented and do something. I can view pending changes but I cannot right click and select the change history. I can compare and select a version to diff against but if I want to see the comments of that changesets to get some context I have to go elsewhere. In vs if I change a file to do auto check out I need two things: auto checkout on edit is set and the vs option "Allow editing is of read only file, warn on save" must be unchecked. This behavior took time to figure out but I did find it with a bing search
I edited a file and saved and got the overwrite dialog and selected overwrite and went on working. The next day I wanted to view my pending changes the files shown in the list did not look right, so I had to stumble around trying to remember the file. I finally did find the file and wanted to revert the changes. I did the undo but that was not good enough I had to make sure both the check boxes were checked in order to do perform the undo. In tortoise this is a simple revert and requires no knowledge of checkboxes. When I wanted to compare the files I tried to right click in vs on the file tab and in the file there was no compare option. So I opened team explorer and selected source control then naivgated to the file and right clicked to do the compare (Remember I had selected overwrite so the file did not show up in Pending Changes). The file had been overwritten so a dialog said I had to select a specific version to compare to. Again there are special conditions to getting something done. In tortoiseSvn I could just do the compare, and I did not have to worry about the state of the file.
I hope this does not sound to rambling but the idea I am trying to convey in tortoiseSvn the functionality is grouped in one place for the things that I do. In team explorer through vs it is in different places, and does not follow in a logical chain (disjointed useage). I used source safe years ago and when ms let it lag I moved on and used svn and tortoiseSvn. I have not had to do that much with svn beacuse tortoiseSvn supplied all that I needed and it does a fantastic job. So svn might have hoops to jump through but tortoiseSvn eliminates those and I dont have to know about them. Liken that to tfs, I dont know if tfs is good or bad it is something we have to use but with all of the hoops that I have to jump through to get things done using team explorer or tfs power tools my impression of tfs is not good. Please look at tortoiseSvn and map what it does through explorer and through vs. This is not a commentary on the tfs team, if the UI to use something is good it covers up the backend and all is well, but if the UI is bad it makes the backend look bad also (whether it is or not).

I apologize if this is rambling but what I am trying to convey is that there are of number of users of tortoiseSvn and comparing that to team explorer and asking why is a no brainer.


Mar 7, 2011 at 4:45 PM

I recently found out that TFS Power Tools have Windows Shell Extenstion feature (since 2008):

You can checkout/lock files, etc from Windows Explorer after you set up workspace in Team Explorer.