CodePlex launches support for TortoiseSVN

CodePlex is now offering server support for SvnBridge, the tool that enables TortoiseSVN to talk to Team Foundation Server. Support for Subversion has been our number one requested feature, and by hosting SvnBridge, our users can now use their favorite Subversion client with any project.

What’s SvnBridge / TortoiseSVN / Subversion? What’s the big deal with server support?

Subversion is one of the most popular source code repositories in the open source community. TortoiseSVN is a Subversion client (similar to how Team Explorer is a client to Team Foundation Server) that is widely used among open source developers. We want TortoiseSVN users included in the CodePlex community, so we created SvnBridge to enable TortoiseSVN to work with Team Foundation Server.

SvnBridge illustration linking Team Foundation Server and TortoiseSVN

Our first versions of SvnBridge have required client-side installations, meaning that TortoiseSVN users first had to install and run SvnBridge prior to interacting with the CodePlex source code repository. Having to start the SvnBridge software prior to every session has been the primary cause of dissatisfaction with our TortoiseSVN support.

Starting today, TortoiseSVN will just work as illustrated below, no extra software is necessary to work with CodePlex.

Setting up TortoiseSVN to use CodePlex

For users experienced with using TortoiseSVN, it is as simple as knowing the URL to use.

https:// <projectname>

Make sure you use HTTPS and replace <projectname> with the name of the project. See SVN Checkout below for illustration.

TortoiseSVN within Windows Explorer

When I first started using TortoiseSVN, I kept trying to find the GUI or “TortoiseSVN.exe” to launch. Try as I might, there was no executable to be found. It took me some time to accept the fact that TortoiseSVN merges itself into Windows Explorer. For those coming from a similar Microsoft background as I am, you’ll find yourself scratching your head if this is the first time you’ve seen source control commands within a Windows Explorer context menu.

Show Log command on TortoiseSVN within Windows Explorer

TortoiseSVN in Action

The following illustrations will walk through some of the basic operations of using TortoiseSVN. Since SvnBridge is an open source project itself on CodePlex, I’ll use it as the example project below.

The first thing to try is starting the Repo-browser, short for repository browser, which lets you see the files in source control. The URL for the SvnBridge project is Using TortoiseSVN, CodePlex supports anonymous access, so you won't be prompted for a login to see the files or for any other read-only activity. The Repo-browser is equivalent to the Source Control Explorer in Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer.

Repository Browser

Use SVN Checkout to download the source code for a project to your computer. You will see the checkout progress screen while the files are downloading. For Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer users, “Checkout” is equivalent to “Set Working Directory” and "Get Latest Version", and “HEAD” means “the latest version.”

TortoiseSVN Checkout

After the initial check-out is completed, you’ll see the finished checkout window.

Checkout Finished

The Show Log command displays the history for that particular file or folder. Just select the file you want more information on, right-click to bring up the context menu, and select the TortoiseSVN command.

Show Log

You can also check out Steven Harman’s blog post for an actual TortoiseSVN user’s write-up regarding SVNBridge support.