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Requirements for Installing Visual SourceSafe

Visual Studio 2005

You should prepare for installation of Visual SourceSafe by familiarizing yourself with the requirements and considerations in this topic. As described in How Visual SourceSafe Works, your team can choose to use Visual SourceSafe by way of plug-ins in Visual Studio, or another compatible third-party application. For the computers on which you want to use the plug-ins, you must install the third-party program, as well as Visual SourceSafe.

Licensing

You will need individual Visual SourceSafe licenses for each computer on which to install or use the product. For example, if you have 100 people using a Visual SourceSafe database, you must purchase 100 Visual SourceSafe licenses to avoid violating copyright law. If your users will install Visual SourceSafe on their client computers, you must provide a CD key from one of your licensed boxes to each user. You can reuse the same CD key for everyone doing an installation, but you are still required to have an individual license for every user.

Windows Permissions

You must have Windows administrator permissions for the computer on which you are installing Visual SourceSafe to register the program in Windows. If you are the database administrator, you also require administrator permissions to use Visual SourceSafe on the server machine. Users of client machines do not need administrator permissions to use Visual SourceSafe after installation.

Server Machine Requirements

Your Visual SourceSafe server contains Visual SourceSafe software, along with the services required by source control packages to run in third-party programs, for example, the SourceSafe plug-ins for Visual Studio. Generally the server also contains the databases for your team. The server hosts the databases on a drive that is accessible to all Visual SourceSafe clients. If you want to use the server machine as a workstation, you can also install Visual SourceSafe client software.

The minimum recommended system specification for a Visual SourceSafe server is documented in the Visual SourceSafe Readme file. However, in anything but the smallest team environments, you will want a more powerful system, closer to the recommended specification for a Visual Studio developer workstation.

Remember that the amount of time taken to perform routine Visual SourceSafe database administration tasks is greatly affected by the processor speed and amount of available RAM. You should also aim for a hard disk capacity approximately twice the size of your Visual SourceSafe database.

The following table lists specifications for the Visual SourceSafe server.

Platform

PC

Operating System

Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0 with SP6 or later, Windows Server 2003.

NoteNote

If you intend to configure your server to support the SourceSafe Web Service, you should use a Windows Server version. You can use Windows XP as a personal (one-user) SourceSafe Web Service, but if more than one user tries to access the SourceSafe Web service configured on a Windows XP computer, you can reach the inbound connections limit in Windows XP. For more information, search for the KB article "Inbound connections limit in Windows XP" in the MSDN Library.

File System Configuration

NTFS

Communication Protocol

TCP/IP, server authentication certificate; necessary for use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

File Server

Any Windows-compatible file server, for example, Windows NT, Novell, Banyan

Maximum Database Size

4-6 GB

Maximum File Size

2 GB

Available Disk Space

141 MB or higher for server

59–72 MB for client (optional)

57–59 MB for MSDN

Additional 43–59 MB for Internet Explorer

Processor

233 MHz or faster processor; 300 MHz Pentium or faster processor recommended

Memory

96 MB for Windows NT 4.0 4.0 (128 MB recommended)

128 MB for Windows 2000 and Windows XP

128 MB minimum (256 MB recommended) for Windows Server 2003

Drive

CD-ROM or DVD-ROM

Display

VGA or higher resolution (Super VGA recommended)

Software

Visual SourceSafe server and client software (Visual SourceSafe Administrator required)

Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 or later

MSDN Library (optional for development environment)

Internet Explorer 4.01 SP1 or later

Windows Access Permissions

Administrator

Visual SourceSafe Access Permissions

Administrator

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Requirements

Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 Server

Internet Explorer 4.01 SP1 or later

MS Certificate Services to allow creation of server certificates (optional)

You should consider installing fault-tolerant storage on the server machine, in the form of Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) configuration, or equivalent. RAID minimizes data loss resulting from hard disk access problems. With RAID, part of the physical storage capacity contains redundant information about the data stored on the disks. You can regenerate the data using this redundant information if one of the disks or the access path to it fails, or if a sector on the disk cannot be read.

RAID Level 1 is appropriate for the operating system and logs. Install RAID Level 5 or RAID 0+1 for data such as your Visual SourceSafe database. For information about how to make your server more reliable, see the following resources:

  • http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/howitworks/management/relavail.asp

  • http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/techresources/deployment/ntserver/highavail1.asp

Client Machine Requirements

A Visual SourceSafe client machine is a workstation that accesses Visual SourceSafe databases, either on the same machine or on a remote machine that provides database access for all clients. For a developer environment, a Visual Studio developer workstation or equivalent is suggested for the client machine. It is necessary if you want to use the Visual SourceSafe plug-ins in Visual Studio or another third party.

The following table lists specifications for a Visual SourceSafe client machine that is not hosting a database.

Platform

PC

Operating System

Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000

File System Configuration

NTFS

Communication Protocol

TCP/IP; necessary for use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Available Disk Space

141 MB or higher for server

59–72 MB for client (optional)

57–59 MB for MSDN

Additional 43–59 MB for Internet Explorer

Processor

486DX/66 MHz or faster processor; 300 MHz Pentium or faster processor recommended

Memory

128 MB minimum

Drive

CD-ROM or DVD-ROM

Display

VGA or higher resolution (Super VGA recommended)

Software

Visual SourceSafe client software

Visual Studio 6.0 and later (required only to run Visual SourceSafe plug-ins); no express versions of Visual Studio are compatible

MSDN Library (optional for development environment)

Windows Access Permissions

Administrator

Visual SourceSafe Access Permissions

User or administrator

Separate Database Requirements

You can host Visual SourceSafe databases on a computer that is remote to both the server and client machines. The separate database machine has the same requirements as the Visual SourceSafe server machine described in "Server Machine Requirements." For more information, see How to: Set Up Database Access via Visual SourceSafe (Internet) Plug-In.

Build Server Requirements

If using Visual SourceSafe in a development environment, for example, with Visual Studio, you can set up a build server to allow management of dependencies. The build server hosts the build script to generate specific versions of your system. It also maintains a set of shared folders representing the most recent build operation, and previous versions organized by build number.

Folder structure for maintaining Visual Studio solutions, projects, and source files should be consistent in build server and developer workstations. See the Visual Studio Help system for details of build server requirements.

Backup Server Requirements

A backup server is used to maintain a backup of the Visual SourceSafe database, either as storage or in for redundancy with the server computer. You should back up your Visual SourceSafe databases on a regular basis. The following table lists specifications for a backup server.

Platform

PC

Operating System

Windows 2000 Professional with Windows 2000 Server

Windows XP Professional

File System Configuration

NTFS

Processor

486DX/66 MHz or faster processor; 300 MHz Pentium or faster processor recommended

Pentium II-class processor, 450 MHz for build server; recommended Pentium III-class, 600 MHz

Memory

96 MB for Windows 2000 Professional (128 MB recommended)

192 MB Windows 2000 Server (256 MB recommended)

160 MB for Windows XP Professional (192 MB recommended)

Drive

CD-ROM or DVD-ROM

Display

800x600, 256 colors; recommended high-color 16-bit

Software

If the server is simply providing storage, it needs only the software necessary to store the backup. However, if you use the backup server for redundancy with the server computer, this server must have the same software configuration as the Visual SourceSafe server machine.

Windows Access Permissions

Administrator

Visual SourceSafe Access Permissions

Administrator

Virtual Private Network (VPN) Server Requirements

If developers in your environment will need access to corporate services, you should create a VPN server running the Windows 2000 operating system and Routing and Remote Access services. Alternatively, you can deploy Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server, the VSS Internet Plug-in, or third-party solutions.

Web Server Requirements

Your environment needs a Web server if developers have XML Web services under development. This type of server is also required if your site hosts Web applications, for example, to support integration, system testing, and user testing. A Web server runs on the Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003 operating system. It must also run IIS 5.0 or later. For Web server details, see the Visual Studio Help.

Corporate Security Requirements

Visual SourceSafe can be used in a variety of team environments. For any type of team, you need to consider the following before installing the product:

  • Existing corporate standards for user accounts and workstation builds

  • Corporate security policies

  • Corporate domain mechanisms

  • Use of a VPN connection to the corporate network to use services such as e-mail and the intranet

  • Whether you want the ability to access the database remotely by using the Visual SourceSafe Internet plug-in.

If you are installing Visual SourceSafe in a development environment, keep in mind that developers need more privileges on their workstations. Among other things, they must be able to install updates or operating system service packs, manage IIS locally for application testing and fine-tuning, and debug Web applications.

In defining a development environment, you will need to:

  • Decide whether to put the development team in a standalone domain or in the corporate domain. If you decide on a separate domain, you need to decide if you want trust relationships or not.

  • Decide on a standalone domain with no trust relationships for maximum security since corporate users are not able to access the development environment. Note that a separate network supports isolation when team members are doing load testing for capacity planning, and related tasks. This type of environment requires a VPN.

  • Decide on a standalone domain with trust relationships if you want a convenient environment that does not require a VPN. Corporate users will not be able to access this domain. In this environment, you can set up development user accounts and the corporate domain has to trust the development domain to give access to services. If you want to use this type of domain, carefully check your corporate security policy to ensure compatibility with your plans.

  • Decide on a development environment that is part of the corporate domain if you want to avoid domain separation with developer access to existing corporate infrastructure and services. Keep in mind that individual developers might not have local administrator rights under corporate security policy. This causes problems for developers because a person must be a local administrator to debug an ASP.NET Web application on a development workstation. Another problem might be that the corporate security policy might prohibit developers from installing required service packs. One of the worst problems with this type of development environment is that the development domain must trust the corporate domain, which creates a potential for hacking.

Requirements for a Developer Environment

If your site supports a developer environment, you might want to consider the following requirements when installing Visual SourceSafe:

  • Adopt a file system structure that matches the file system structure on the build server, and mirror it on all client machines. This is especially important for directories that contain Visual Studio .NET solutions and projects.

  • Developer workstations must meet the minimum recommended requirements for Visual Studio. Therefore, they have the same hardware requirements as the build server. See "Build Server Requirements."

  • After setup of a developer workstation, consider creating a workstation image, which you can deploy to other computers using third-party disk-imaging software.

  • Prepare the workstations with the plan of storing all user data (including solutions and projects) on a separate partition or physical disk. This type of storage allows you to install a workstation image over the existing C drive. You can deploy minor updates and additional software through Group Policy in Windows 2000 Active Directory Services.

  • You can use Visual Studio Enterprise Templates to help encourage good development procedures and standard practices across development projects. For more about the templates, see Enterprise Templates for Distributed Applications in the Visual Studio Help.

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