Client Programs and Tools
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Client Programs and Tools

Visual Studio 2005

Visual SourceSafe provides several client programs and utilities that allow you to work with databases. These programs and utilities include the following:

  • Visual SourceSafe Explorer

  • Visual SourceSafe Administrator

  • Visual SourceSafe command line utility

  • Maintenance tools

Visual SourceSafe Explorer

Visual SourceSafe Explorer is the main client program that you will use to work with Visual SourceSafe databases and manage projects and files. This section describes some of the main features of the user interface for this program. Details of the dialog boxes associated with the user interface are provided in the Visual SourceSafe User Interface Reference.

File Pane

The file pane in Visual SourceSafe Explorer displays a list of files in the current project that is selected in the project pane. You can sort the items in a file list, refresh them, or resize the list. Specific symbols are used to represent different types of files, for example, a symbol of a page with a check mark on it indicates a checked-out file.

Project Pane

The project pane in Visual SourceSafe displays a list of projects in the database. Specific symbols are used to represent different types of projects.

Drag-and-Drop Functionality

Several drag-and-drop operations are available for Visual SourceSafe. For example, you can drag a file from the file pane to the project pane to share the file with another project. By holding down the CTRL key while dragging a file to a project, you can share and immediately branch the file.

You can also drag a file from Windows Explorer into Visual SourceSafe Explorer to add it to a project, or drag a folder from Windows Explorer into Visual SourceSafe Explorer to create a new project under a project. You can also select multiple files or folders and do the same thing with several items at one time.

If you drag a file that you have checked out into the Visual SourceSafe Explorer that contains Visual SourceSafe project, you check the file in. If you do not have the file checked out, Visual SourceSafe Explorer displays an error message. You can also drag your working folder for a project from Windows Explorer into the appropriate Visual SourceSafe project to check in all checked-out files.

Finally, if you drag a Windows shortcut into Visual SourceSafe Explorer, you can save the shortcut itself or the file the shortcut represents.


You cannot drag items from one copy of Visual SourceSafe Explorer to another unless you have the same Visual SourceSafe database open for both copies of the program.

Right Mouse Button

Visual SourceSafe Explorer enables the right mouse button to provide another way of working with the file and project lists. If you click a file with the right mouse button, Visual SourceSafe displays a shortcut menu of common file commands. If you click a project with the right mouse button, Visual SourceSafe displays a menu that contains commands that operate on projects.


When you click the right mouse button and drag items from Windows Explorer into Visual SourceSafe Explorer, a list of options becomes available.

Visual SourceSafe Administrator

The Visual SourceSafe Administrator program is designed for use by the database administrator for your team. This tool allows the administrator to do the following tasks:

  • Configure the Visual SourceSafe server

  • Archive and restore databases

  • Set team-level database options

  • Create Visual SourceSafe databases

  • Manage database security

  • Maintain user lists

  • Set users' access rights

  • Maintain team databases

  • Configure Internet and LAN services for remote access

For details of the Visual SourceSafe Administrator dialog boxes, see the Visual SourceSafe User Interface Reference.

Visual SourceSafe Command Line Utility

You can use the Visual SourceSafe command line utility SS to manually perform all commands that are available in the Visual SourceSafe Explorer user interface. Manual commands that Visual SourceSafe Explorer does not support are also available. Use of this utility is described in Using the Visual SourceSafe Command Line and in SS Utility.

Visual SourceSafe Maintenance Tools

Visual SourceSafe provides several maintenance tools, including the ANALYZE utility, which scans a database for data integrity. For more information about ANALYZE and the other utilities, see Maintenance Tools.

See Also

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