The main difference between VSS and TFS is that VSS is a discontinued source control program oriented towards small software development projects, while TFS is an advanced and newer product than VSS which provides various services to develop large software projects.
VSS and TFS are two version control systems of Microsoft Windows Operating System. Both help to prevent file losses, allows tracking the versions of the entire project, allows backtracking to easier versions and also helps in branching, sharing and merging file releases. Overall, TFS is a newer project and is more advanced than VSS, which provides reporting, requirement management, project management and many other services.
Key Areas Covered
API, IDE, TFS, VSS, Windows Operating System
What is VSS
VSS stands for Microsoft Visual SourceSafe, which is a discontinued source control program. Usually, it was applicable for small scale software projects. VSS creates a virtual library of computer files. Generally, VSS can support any type of file in its database. However, the previous versions were unstable when storing a large amount images or compiled executable files.
Initially, VSS was not a client/server Source Code Management and was only a local Source Code Management System. VSS allowed a single user system to set up with fewer configurations when compared to some other SCM systems. It is possible to take backups by copying all the content of a single directory tree. Furthermore, Direct remote file system allows VSS to inherit its shared functionalities to access all the files in the repository. On the other hand, VSS did not support atomic commits of multiple files in a multi-user environment.
In 2005, Microsoft included a client-server mode to VSS. Files are accessible via VSS client tools such as VSS windows client, VSS command line tool or some application that integrates with or emulates these client tools.
What is TFS
TFS stands for Team Foundation Server, and is a Microsoft product that supports various tasks. Some of them are source code management, requirement management, project management, reporting, automated builds and release management. TFS is also capable of handling the entire application life cycle. Moreover, TFS contains DevOps capabilities. Additionally, it is possible to integrate it with various Integrated Development Environments (IDEs). Most programmers use it with Microsoft Visual Studio and Eclipse IDEs.
There are two standalone redistributed APIs for connecting TFS. Those are a Java SDK and a .NET framework SDK. These APIs allow a client to connect to TFS as it is implemented using service-oriented architecture. Therefore, TFS is capable of communicating with any tool that can call a web service. Also, it provides source code management with either Team Foundation Version control or Git. Furthermore, it supports project management for both agile development and waterfall development teams.
Difference Between VSS and TFS
VSS is a file system based source control program developed by Microsoft while TFS is a Microsoft product that provides source code management, reporting, requirement management, project management, automated builds, release management and many other capabilities. Thus, this is the main difference between VSS and TFS.
Moreover, VSS stands for Microsoft Visual SourceSafe while TFS stands for Team Foundation Server.
The stable version of VSS was released in 2005 while the stable version of TFS released in 2018.
Popularity is another difference between VSS and TFS. TFS is more popular than VSS.
Moreover, VSS is suitable for small projects while TFS is suitable for large projects. Hence, this is an important difference between VSS and TFS.
Usually, TFS is complex than VSS.
In brief, VSS and TFS are two Microsoft products that deal with source code management. The main difference between VSS and TFS is that VSS is a discontinued source control program oriented towards small software development projects while TFS is an advanced and newer product than VSS which provides various services to develop large software projects.
1.“Microsoft Visual SourceSafe.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Oct. 2018, Available here.
2.“Team Foundation Server.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Apr. 2019, Available here.
3.Gao, Kevin. “Using Visual SourceSafe – What Is VSS?” Code Pool, 15 May 2017, Available here.
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