Chapter 2. Tips for SourceSafe Users

Vault Standard has been designed to make a seamless transition from SourceSafe and, at the same time, add many improvements. This has resulted in the following differences.

History Explorer Window

The History dialog is replaced by a top-level, non-modal window that allows browsing the repository history through queries. It also does not include a destructive delete function except in the Admin Web Client, where it is called Obliterate.

Branch exists separately from Share.

In SourceSafe, Branch can only be performed after a Share operation, but Vault Standard allows a Branch operation to happen by itself. The functionality is equivalent.

Atomic Check Ins and Check Outs

Add and Delete operations can be scheduled to happen as part of the next check in. Options exist that allow you to specify whether the operations happen immediately, or whether they are included with the next transaction.

SQL Server database

Vault Standard’s repository is stored in SQL Server rather than a collection of files in an undocumented format.

Request Exclusive Lock

In lieu of Allow Multiple Checkouts, Vault Standard has Request Exclusive Lock. The sense of the option is reversed and the default is to not request exclusive locks on files which are considered to be mergeable.


We have changed the following terms:

In Vault Standard, “Repository” (SourceSafe -- “Database”) refers to the place where source control files and history are stored.

In Vault Standard, “Folder” (SourceSafe -- “Project”) refers to folders in the repository.

Menu Items

The following menu items are no longer used:

The File / Create Shortcut

The Edit / Select

The Web / Check Hyperlinks

The Web / Create Sitemap.

Reports (In SourceSafe, these features serve the same purpose as Print commands.)

Show Differences Feature

Vault Standard only supports the “visual” diff, not “SourceSafe”, not “UNIX”.

Vault Standard does not include the option to Ignore OS Differences because Vault Standard’s diff code already ignores OS differences.

Miscellaneous Differences

The Options dialog has no pane for Command Line Options.

Check In and Check Out only function from and to the working folder.

Vault Standard does not always require files to be explicitly checked out before editing and checking in. Vault Standard may be configured to create working copies.

The Delete command does not include Destroy Permanently. This functionality is present in the Admin Web Client where it is called Obliterate.

Vault Standard does not have a built-in text editor.

There is no option to force MS-DOS compatible filenames.

The Store Only Latest Version feature is not supported. In SourceSafe, it appeared in the File Properties dialog box.

The Get Latest Version command is used to retrieve changes from the repository into the working copies, including any merge or conflict resolution. A file may not be checked in to the repository unless all changes from the server have been merged into the working copy using the Get Latest Version command.

Vault Standard makes use of a hidden state folder (named _sgvault) located in the local file system. These state folders keep track of the current version of files downloaded by the client and also store baseline versions of files for later merges. By default the state folders are kept in a user's application data folder, but a general option can be set to keep the state folders in the current working folders.

All access to the Vault Standard repository occurs through the Vault Standard server. There is no “local-mode client” to manipulate the repository through the file system.