Microsoft KB Archive/130176

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Project versus File Labeling in SourceSafe

Article ID: 130176

Article Last Modified on 12/12/2002


  • Microsoft SourceSafe

This article was previously published under Q130176


The ability to label both projects and individual files from within SourceSafe gives the user a great deal of flexibility for source code control. The label option can reduce redundancy within a database and in some cases can help the user to better track projects.


Many organizations track version numbers and build numbers for programs. Some users create a new project for each build or version while others label individual files. Neither approach is wrong, but it can limit your ability to fully tap the power of SourceSafe.

File labels are best used for tracking the progress of an individual file independently from the version of the program that it is being used in. For example, Microsoft Windows uses the CTRL3DV2.DLL file for 3-D enhancements to various windows. The version of this file is important to many programs, and therefore the version on this file is of high importance. This is how file-level labels are best used. Tracking individual files (not necessarily all files though) helps during development and testing.

Project-level labels are best used for tracking versions or builds of a program. By placing a label on the parent project of certain programs, all of the child projects and files inherently carry that label. Thus, one label on the parent is the same as putting a label on each individual file under that parent project.

NOTE: Labels for the individual files within the project do not change if the individual file label is changed. This saves a lot of time for the user and reduces any errors from putting the wrong version label on a file or skipping a file that should have been labeled.

By labeling the project, the user can reduce the number of projects that must be used to track the life of a program. Normally if a development team is working on version 5.0 of a program, there will be little use for version 1.0 of the program. If a separate project is used for each version, then the version 1.0 project will remain unless it is deleted (along with the history), or just be left over in the system (taking up valuable disk space).

If all of the parent projects have been labeled properly, then the development team has the ability to GET a previous version of a program, ROLLBACK all changes to the program, or SHARE-SEPARATE an old version of a program for parallel development or bug fixes. No extra space is being taken up by this, the number of excess projects is reduced, there is less risk of passing the 8191 object limitation (no more than 8191 projects or files under a single subproject), and there is a more concise form of version/build level organization.

Additional query words: ss3 vss vbwin 4.00 2.20 3.00 3.02 3.04 3.10

Keywords: vbwin 4.00 3.00 vss KB130176