Review: SourceGear Vault 2.0

Vault 2.0
starting at $199/user
SourceGear LLC
Champaign, Illinois
(217) 356-0105 x 399

Vault is the source code control application I've been using for my own work, both solely on my LAN and in collaboration with other developers across the Internet. Now SoueceGear is out with version 2.0, which includes changes to both functionality and pricing that are likely to help the program's market reach even more.

Let's start with the pricing changes. Prices have been seriously cut here, to the point where you can get Vault licenses for $100 each in quantity 25, about a quarter of what they were before. Sharp-eyed readers may notice that the previous single-user deal (one license for $50) is gone. That's because Vault no longer has a trial license that times out. When you install Vault, you get a single user license for free. That means that if you just want to do your own source code control, and not share a repository with anyone, all it will cost you is download time. The trial install also lets you test with multiple users for free for a limited time.

So, with the lowered pricing, what's new? Well, for starters they've replaced the rather anemic diff/merge tool in the previous version with an all new tool that can handle diffs, 3-way merges, and folder diffs. It's fast and colorful (always a plus with me) and can be driven from the command line. And speaking of merges, there's now true bidirectional merging between branches and trunk, which will help those with complex source code control architectures. If you want still more power, you can set an external program for diff or merge (as well as for viewing or editing files) and buy one of the other command-line driven products on the market.

Vault 2.0 supports shadow folders. A useful concept from the VSS world, a shadow folder retains a local (to the Vault service) copy of the contents of some particular repository folder. This can be useful for backups, or as a simple deployment strategy. Vault also adds new label options that are more compatible with what VSS users will expect.

Vault also moves a tiny bit beyond its Windows roots with this release. There's a version of the command-line client compiled for Mono, so it runs on *nix operating systems. Vault also adds a Web-based client for browsing and viewing source code and diffs, for those times when you just need to look at code history and don't have the client installed.

Of course, there are the miscellaneous bug fixes and fit-and-finish items you'd expect from any major new release. All in all, Vault 2.0 takes a good product and makes it even better. Whether you're a lone wolf, a member of a distributed team, or a corporate developer, I urge you to take a look.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.


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