Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Visual Studio 2003 - working disconnected from VSS

I work from my home and connect via DSL (512/256) to a VPN where our servers are located. Most of my work is done with ASP.NET projects in Visual Studio 2003. Even with broadband access, Visual SourceSafe interactions are incredibly slow. So I've been looking into working disconnected (File menu, Source Control, Change Source Control) in an attempt to speed things up. We have multiple checkouts enabled.

1. Working disconnected is really nice. Adding new files, checking out, etc, is instant (< 1 sec). No more multi-second pauses waiting for the UI to respond when you start to change a file; you get a dialog box immediately.

2. When reconnecting, there are several dialogs that warn of potentially lost work. None of these apply to multiple check-out scenario's of course, but they still need to read and the correct button needs to be clicked.

3. One of the useful tasks that just can't be done when working disconnected is "undo checkout". You would either reconnect or use the VSS Explorer to retrieve the file contents via cut-n-paste.

4. The process of working disconnected requires 4 additional steps; 2 to disconnect and 2 more to reconnect. While the disconnecting step isn't too bad, the time VSS takes to reconnect is intolerable. In addition, the time isn't constant, as I've noted below. What was the difference? I don't think it was my network connection as I wasn't doing anything else and none of my other PCs were turned on. This is just too slow for me.

5. If I have time later this week, I'll check out the eval version of VssConnect. It only costs $30/developer and is specially designed to speed up VSS interactions over a WAN. http://www.vssconnect.com/VssConnect.htm

Connected Process
Time to load solution 2:16
Time to checkout 0:07
Time to checkin 0:09
Time to do get latest 6:30

Process to Disconnect
Time to load solution 2:16
Time to open VSS menu 1:45-3:29
Time to disconnect 0:05

Disconnected Process
Time to load solution 0:10
Time to checkout 0:01

Process to Reconnect
Time to open VSS menu 1:45-3:29
Time to reconnect 7:20
Time to do get latest 6:30
Time to checkin 0:08


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