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How to: Create and Maintain Shadow Folders

Visual Studio 2005

A shadow folder is an optional centralized directory on the Visual SourceSafe server that contains copies of the most recently checked-in files for a specific project. Every time the users of the shadowed project check in new files, the files are automatically copied to the shadow folder.

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It is recommended to create your shadow folder on a different share from the Visual SourceSafe database so that users with read-only sharing permissions for the shadow folder do not have permissions for the share that contains the database. You are also recommended to create a shadow folder for a specific Visual SourceSafe project only, not for the root project ($/), to confine shadow folder users to just that one project.

As the database administrator, you will most often use a shadow folder in a team environment to:

  • Allow users to view, but not modify, files. These users have not been granted access to the Visual SourceSafe database. For example, you might use a shadow folder if you want members of a test team to be able to view source code to assist with the testing process.

  • Prevent each user's working folder from containing a local compilable copy of a software development project. To make sure that every user has the most recent version of files, it might be desirable for all users to compile source code out of the shadow folder, instead of in personal working folders. In this case, shadow folders are frequently used in conjunction with the Remove local copy after Add or Check In option in the SourceSafe Options dialog box, Local Files tab.

Creating a Shadow Folder

To create a shadow folder:

  1. In Visual SourceSafe Administrator, on the Tools menu, click Options.

  2. In the SourceSafe Options dialog box, click the Shadow Folders tab.

  3. Specify the shadow folder in the Set shadow folder to box. If you want to protect the shadow folder, you should create it on a different share from the database.

  4. Make the other settings on the Shadow Folders tab as required for your team.

  5. Click OK to save your settings.

  6. When you create a shadow folder for a Visual SourceSafe project, the sharing permissions for the contained folders are not inherited by the shadow folder. You must create sharing permissions specifically for the shadow folder as described in How to: Set Share Permissions for a Database.

  7. Inform the team members of the shadow folder's location and instruct them in its use.

Updating a Shadow Folder

Visual SourceSafe does not track changes to projects contained in a shadow folder. For example, if you have a shadowed project $/A that contains two subprojects $/A/1 and $/A/2, and you rename $/A/2 to $/A/B, the name change is not noted by the database. Use the following procedure occasionally to manually track any project-level changes to the shadow folder.

To update the shadow folder:

  1. In Visual SourceSafe Explorer, select the shadow folder.

  2. On the Tools menu, click Show Differences.

  3. In the Project Difference dialog box, select the project to compare with the shadow folder and click OK.

  4. In the merge window, click Reconcile All.

  5. Click OK.

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