VisualSVN has improved Visual Studio integration, works great with VS2012, has new features, and personal licenses are now FREE!
Several years ago, I bought a license of VisualSVN for personal use. I remember researching source control solutions and my criteria was:
- Integrate with Visual Studio’s Solution Explorer
- Be light-weight
- Easy to use
- No source hosting fees
VisualSVN, a Subversion plugin for Visual Studio, was the clear winner. Team Foundation Server (TFS) is too bloated for personal use in my opinion, and distributed version control systems were just coming on the scene.
I use TFS at work, Git and GitHub for open source software projects, and I’ve stuck with Subversion and VisualSVN for maintaining source control of my personal closed-source projects. Why? Because it’s still so easy to use, totally controlled by me, and it’s now free.
Free Personal License
When Visual Studio 2012 was officially released recently, I installed it and then went to the VisualSVN download page for their Visual Studio plugin. Not only was I amazed that they now officially supported VS2012, I saw they were on a new major version (3.0), and it was free! Yay, no upgrade cost! So how exactly do you qualify for a free personal (now called Community) license? Well, if you install it on a computer that’s not a member of an Active Directory domain, the Community License, which is free, can be used. They also have a free license for open source developers. Licensing details can be found here.
Favorite New Features
Compatible with Visual Studio 2012
VisualSVN 3.0 integrates nicely with VS2012. Just like in previous versions, a VisualSVN menu item is installed in to the IDE. It also provides the familiar visual indicator in the Solution Explorer if a file has been modified locally.
New Pending Changes Window
There is now a Pending Changes window, very much like the one TFS uses. From this window you can commit, un-commit, diff, and open any changed file in the solution.
Now Uses Visual Studio’s Built-in Diff Window
Besides now being free, this is my favorite new feature of version 3.0. Previously, the diff window was external to Visual Studio and looked very old-school. VisualSVN now diff’s directly in Visual Studio! Not only that, it looks great and makes it plainly obvious what has changed. You even get a a visual indicator bar to the right of the screen to indicate the location of all changes file-wide.
Subversion as a whole may not have the hype distributed source control gets lately. It still has its place and is being used by many developers. I’m glad to see VisualSVN decided to modernize their product and make it free.