Source Control (1), MS Source Safe --- Stand Alone App

This is a series of articles related to Source Control or Version Control issues, from a stand-alone app, such as MS SourceSafe, to a Server app, such as MS TFS (Team Foundation Server), to web services such as GitHub, AWS, and MS Azure DevOps. We tried to categorize this series of articles as Source Control or Version Control, but this site does not have these categories, so we put the articles in the as DevOps category, as explained in the wiki:

DevOps is a set of practices that combines software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). It aims to shorten the systems development life cycle and provide continuous delivery with high software quality.[1] DevOps is complementary with Agile software development; several DevOps aspects came from the Agile methodology.

The structure of this article series will cover,

  • Stand Alone App:
    • MS Source Safe
  • Server App
    • MS TFS (Team Foundation Server)
  • Online (Cloud) Centralized Service:
    • MS Azure: DevOps
      • Boards
      • Repos
      • Pipelines
      • Test Plans
      • Artifacts
    • GitHub
    • AWS GitHub Enterprise
  • Distributed App:
    • Git

Because these are huge topics,  I will not go step by step, instead, each section will be relatively independent to become a reading unit.


This is the first article for this series, but we almost write it the last. Because this software was used before 2005. it is hard to get a live one to demo, we mainly got some photos from online to show it briefly.

This is the structure of this article,

  • Introduction
  • Versions
  • Overview
  • Finding the differences


Version Date
3.1 February 14, 1995
4.0 September 12, 1995
5.0 October 7, 1996
6.0 June 3, 1998
6.0c (Build 9350) 2001
2005 January 27, 2006

Starting with VSS 2005, Microsoft added a client–server mode. TFS


You may get Visual SourceSafe 6.0d from here: MSDN Visual SourceSafe 6.0d --- MSDN, Download.


Log on to VSS Database

Interface of VSS

Major Tools

Check in/ Check out

Finding the differences in versions using Visual SourceSafe

One of the most powerful features of a CM tool is it allows you to find out WHO made WHAT change. Visual SourceSafe includes a diff function to assist with this task.

From the Visual SourceSafe explorer select the file which was previously modified (AGBXTRA.XML) components sub directory.

To get to the "Differences" window, select Show Differences from the Tools pulldown menu.

You can compare the current workfile, to a version in the archive, or two archived versions. Once you have made your selection and pressed OK and the "differences" window is displayed showing differences line by line.

Consult the Visual SourceSafe documentation for further information