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How to: Add User Accounts

Visual Studio 2005

Upon creation of a Visual SourceSafe database, two users are added to the database user list by default: Admin and Guest. As the database administrator, you must add user accounts for all users of the database, including yourself. Remember also to add a user name for the automated build process, if you are working in a team environment that requires code or document builds. Each user will also need a password for logging in to the database. Each user belongs to one of the user groups, as discussed in How to: Set Share Permissions for a Database.

Caution noteCaution

It is not recommended to allow regular users to log in to the database as the Guest or Admin user.

Visual SourceSafe uses the user name and password to identify a particular user at logon, in history information, and in file reports. An individual user's information is reflected in an Ss.ini initialization file maintained by Visual SourceSafe for that user. This file contains all settings that customize the user's Visual SourceSafe environment. An example of an Ss.ini file is provided in Database Design.


A Visual SourceSafe user name can be up to 31 characters long, cannot begin or end with a space, and cannot include any punctuation. A user's password can be up to 15 characters long, and can contain any characters.

When adding new users to a database, you have only two levels of Visual SourceSafe permissions to choose from:

  • Read-only permissions: The user can see everything in Visual SourceSafe but can change nothing.

  • Read/write permissions: The user can see and change anything in the Visual SourceSafe database.

If these Visual SourceSafe permissions are not adequate for your installation, you will need to assign additional project rights for your users. See How to: Assign Project Rights.

If you have a large team or team members who routinely access database items using a third-party application, such as Visual Studio, you can use network aliases for your Visual SourceSafe user names. For more information, see How to: Enable Automatic Logins for the Database.

To add user accounts for a database:

  1. Obtain a list of user names and sharing permissions (read-only or read/write) to add to the user list for the database.

  2. Using Visual SourceSafe Administrator, on the File menu, click Open SourceSafe Database to open the database.

  3. On the Users menu, click Add User.

  4. In the Add User dialog box, enter your own user name. As the database administrator, you can use the default Admin user name if desired.

  5. You can leave your password blank, but you are recommended to set a password using the Password box. Be sure to write your password in a safe place.

    Caution noteCaution

    If you forget your administrative password, you cannot run Visual SourceSafe Administrator later to change it. Remember that Microsoft Support professionals cannot assist, under any circumstances, in the breaking of passwords applied to files and features within Microsoft programs.

  6. Ensure that the Read only check box is deselected. Deselecting this box assigns you read/write Visual SourceSafe permissions.

  7. When finished, click OK. The Add User dialog box disappears.

  8. Now use the Add User dialog box again to set the user account for the Guest user name. You can either delete the name or set a password for the user name, as required for your site.

  9. If you have retained the Guest user, select the Read only check box to assign the Guest user read-only permissions. These permissions can be amended later if necessary.

  10. Click OK to accept your changes for the Guest user.

  11. For each remaining database user, access the Add User dialog box to enter the user name, a temporary password, and the appropriate Visual SourceSafe permissions. Select the Read only check box if the user has read-only permissions, and deselect the check box to assign read/write permissions.

  12. Notify your users that the database is ready to open using Visual SourceSafe Explorer. Provide the following information to each user:

    • UNC path to the database, for example, \\VSS_DB1\Srcsafe.ini

    • User name

    • Temporary password

    • Visual SourceSafe permissions

    • Warning not to use the same password for the operating system and for Visual SourceSafe, since a hacker can use the user's identity to access the operating system and all programs

See Also