Visual Studio: TFS or SVN?

You may have heard of the TFS MVP fiasco being talked about over the past couple of days. Aside from demonstrating how not to disagree with comments on your blog, it raised a favourite old question for .NET developers using Visual Studio: which is better — Team Foundation Server or Subversion?

Functionally, I find both TFS and SVN pretty much the same. They aren’t really, of course, but my everyday SCM needs are pretty simple, beyond branching, merging, and tagging/labelling — so it really just comes down to which one integrates into your IDE better.

At work, we use TFS 2008 for source control. I like the IDE integration with Visual Studio (well, most of it) — it’s seamless, and I really like the pending changes window for keeping track of what I’m working on.

At home, I use VisualSVN. The IDE integration with Visual Studio is almost as good as TFS, but extends out to Windows Explorer as well, courtesy of TortoiseSVN (which it uses under the hood). TortoiseSVN also has autocompletion for files and class names in the commit dialog which makes good check-in comments really easy.

So is TFS worth the license cost over VisualSVN? Maybe, if you use the work item tracking and MS Project integration. But based on my needs, I probably wouldn’t choose it.

3 thoughts on “Visual Studio: TFS or SVN?

  1. On a slight tangent, I have been using Perforce the last year and have been happy with it. It’s fast and the Visual Studio integration is good. It has a license fee attached, though.

  2. TFS still needs a lot of work to justify any penny being spent on it over a free solution. SVN and Git are great technologies to work with and have free implementations. TFS’s licensing per user encourages bad practices with check ins. It also is missing the externals linking that svn has. I find the user experience with locking files (marking them read only) is insanely annoying when I go offline. I’ve had to actually go unlock a file to edit it in some spots of VS. The checkout comparison tool when you come online is a pain to work with too. All of the integration means nothing when you have a slick tool like Tortoise to compare to. To be honest, part of why I dread working with TFS is because of it’s child like interface in VS.

    Some of the things I complain about probably have a setting buried somewhere, even if they do, then they shouldn’t be _ON_ by default!

  3. We Get TFS for free (microsoft …xyz whatever partners) so the pricing is not an issue.
    We still use SVN and TortoiseSVN. It just works better and easier. I hate the file locking rubish in VSS.

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