I use AnkhSVN and Visual Studio 2005 and 2008. Now, one thing that bugs me is that Ankh does not really work with ASP.NET sites. I cannot add them properly to a repository and it won't detect changes, especially because the site is on a remote server accessed through Frontpage Extensions (File => Open Site).

What are the alternatives? Does a better plug-in exist? Manually downloading the files through FTP and using TortoiseSVN or svn.exe is not really the level of integration I want :) I want to stay within the Visual Studio IDE when possible. Also, I do not control the remote Server, so I can not install anything on it, which means the whole change tracking/comparison to repository has to be done on my machine.

+1  A: 

Have you tried VisualSVN?

I don't have any recent experience using anything against the Frontpage Extensions, but VisualSVN does seem generally a lot more polished than Ankh.

Dave Ward
+11  A: 

Here on the Stack Overflow project we use VisualSVN. It really does a pretty decent job of integrating with Tortoise to provide menu selections that abstract away the pains of dealing with SVN at the file system level. It is highly recommended:

Geoff Dalgas
+1  A: 

Thanks, but VisualSVN also can not really manage it. I figured out that it's most likely impossible anyway, as Subversion needs it's .svn folder, which the SVN can not easily create on a Remote Server though. So I guess I have to somehow set up a local copy which I keep in sync with the Repo, unless someone knows a Plugin which keeps a local copy automatically?

Michael Stum

I'm not entirely sure if this would help with your VS integration issues, but, Subversion has a special mode for Visual Studio that uses _svn directories instead of .svn.

In the past, this has been an unsupported hack for the benefit of web projects in VS. Apparently, the hack is now officially supported. See: asp dot net hack


I've also had great success with VisualSVN. I mostly use TortoiseSVN, but VisualSVN comes in really handy when you add, delete, rename and move files in the ASP.NET project. For example, if you just use TortoiseSVN and you want to delete a file from the project, then you start by deleting the file from the project in Visual Studio and then you have to flip over to the explorer window to delete the files from the Subversion repository. With VisualSVN, you just delete the file in Visual Studio and VisualSVN takes care of the rest. In my opinion, the product is useful enough to justify the $49 cost.

Ben Mills

Ben: How do you integrate with Do you have a local server on which you develop? My problem is simply that since it's a remote site, neither Ankh nor VisualSVN are able to handle the fact that the files are remote, which looks like a limitation by the way Subversion works :/

Michael Stum
+6  A: 

Working with remote site is not possible with Subversion as far as I know. Other nuances of web development with VisualSVN are described here.

Just a note: This is the accepted answer not because it mentions VisualSVN, but because it links to a page that describes that you can only do it with Web Apps, not with Web Sites, which is (mostly) true. Doing it with Web Sites is possible but a PITA, and so for ME, the solution is to use a Web App
Michael Stum

Thanks! I completely forgot about Web Application Projects - mainly because they were not initially part of Visual Studio 2005 and had to be manually downloaded. In Visual Studio 2005 SP1 and Visual Studio 2008, they are back.

As it is pretty much impossible to do it otherwise, I'll use a WAP from now on.

Michael Stum

Another vote here for VisualSVN. I've also tried Ankh, and I have to say the VisualSVN is a much better product, and well worth the money. It integrates very nicely with TortoiseSVN, and gives you all the same commands within Visual Studio that you are used to seeing inside Windows Explorer.

+1  A: 

Michael, do you control the remote server? If you do, you could install a continuous integration server or a similar process that watches for changes and checks them out to the web server.


With all these VisualSVN recommandations above I'm sure I'm redundant but could I recommend...

VisualSVN? :D

It really works great and it must be very popular since there is even a crack available for it. Not that I would encourage such practices but it can still be (the existence of at least a crack) a measurement of software success.

Andrei Rinea
The existence of a crack or of a warez'ed version does not imply popularity. There is an illegal Version of EVERYTHING, including some crappy "Hello Shareware World" Apps!. Also, VisualSVN alone does not help, the Problem was Web App vs. Web Site, only Web Apps can be integrated properly.
Michael Stum
it probably says something about the community though.
Oh joy... I just said the c-word and now everyone happily downvotes me like hell.
Andrei Rinea

May I ask why you wouldn't just develop on your local machine and then upload as necessary to the remote server? Years and years ago I had to develop on a remote machine via frontpage, and I wonder why anyone would willingly continue on that route as opposed to using frontpage to simply deploy after development.

Moving it locally now allows for easy debugging, use of Subversion with VisualSVN, and the list of benefits goes on.

+1  A: 

I use two pieces of very inexpensive software to solve this problem: Visual SVN and DispatchFTP.

The former is to log to my Subversion Repository hosted in Dreamhost, the later is an extremely flexible ftp plugin for Visual Studio. It allows you to create different deployment configurations, such as test and production, and automatically synchronizes your local folders with your remote server.

I've been managing several websites this way and the deployment process couldn't be any simpler, it's just a keyboard shortcut away!


One thing I don't think anyone has mentioned is VisualSVN doesn't use the source code bindings that AnkhSVN uses (a built in Visual Studio provider). Everything appears committed/out of date inside Visual Studio via icons and tortoise. It takes getting use to but works very well. The only issue is the strange way SVN insists on using .svn folders everywhere instead of just one database file.

It definitely is a lot more stable than ANKHSVN, which I've had a lot of problems adding and moving folders, and it generally getting itself into a mess over trivial operations that TFS finds easy.

Chris S