Houston, Texas



Dynamsoft Customer

Since 2007


Needed a fast, reliable way to access VSS over the Internet.

The Solution

Dynamsoft SourceAnywhere for VSS

"SourceAnywhere for VSS allowed the developers to keep their productivity on par with development deadlines."

Tracy Reynolds
Manager, Technology
Continental Airlines

Dynamsoft SourceAnywhere for VSS Resolves Latency Problems at Continental Airlines

Continental Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 3,100 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 144 domestic and 138 international destinations. The Continetal.com development team consists of between 10 and 20 developers.

Business Need

Recently, the Continental.com team's VSS servers were moved across the WAN from Texas to North Carolina. This move started to cause latency problems for developers using VSS. Trent Taylor, Technology Analyst, Continental Airlines explained, "We like to have all the files local to each machine so that the developers can essentially develop the site on their computer rather than on one of our servers. With VSS, this was taking about 5 hours to download all 90,000 files from our data center to here in Houston."

Because of these long downloads, developers had to deal with minimal downloads of the most recent code. And even when the developers were only downloading a couple dozen files, it still took up developer's time. "Although it only takes a little while to download a couple of dozen files, that's still 2 or 3 minutes of the developer's time wasted." commented Taylor. "And they do that many times a day."

Therefore, Continental Airlines was looking for a high performance way to access source code over the internet.

The Solution: Dynamsoft SourceAnywhere for VSS

An add-on tool for SourceSafe, the software is recommended by Microsoft as a remote access and cross platform solution to VSS. SourceAnywhere for VSS was created with four core objectives in mind:

  • Performance - To deliver the fastest remote access possible over TCP/IP.
  • Security - To apply a fail-safe approach to moving code assets across the Web.
  • Multi-Platform Support - To provide broad platform support and integrate with the industry's most popular OS and IDEs.
  • SourceSafe GUI Similarity - To ensure easy integration for developers.


SourceAnywhere for VSS is a client/server application. It consists of a Server, a Cache Server, which is optional and several types of Clients. They communicate over any standard TCP/IP connection, including a PPP connection over a modem, an ISDN line, or an Ethernet connection on the same LAN as the Server. SourceAnywhere for VSS does not require Windows Remote Access Service (RAS). This architecture is illustrated in the next page.

The client-server architecture eliminates many problems of Visual SourceSafe, which is file-system based, in remote access. For VSS to share VSS documents, one has to share the whole VSS database folder, even if the user only wishes to share a single file in the database. Sharing the database folders exposes valuable data to the outside, which may potentially cause the data to be copied or damaged. Therefore, using SourceSafe for remote access is almost inconceivable since it creates a security risk.


Also, accessing the file system in a remote environment is very slow. In SourceAnywhere for VSS, the VSS database folder is only exposed to the SourceAnywhere for VSS Server. The client sends requests to the server and gets the result back. Therefore, the security and performance are greatly improved.

Business Result

The most important part in implementing SourceAnywhere for VSS has been the increased performance that the developers have experienced. "As soon as developers began using the trial version of SourceAnywhere for VSS, they noticed a marked improvement in download times," noted Tracy Reynolds, Manager, Technology, Continental Airlines. Tests were conducted to compare performance from SourceAnywhere for VSS against SourceSafe to verify the improvement. Taylor concluded, "I think I've estimated that version 5.1 was about 7 times faster than SourceSafe. And version 5.2 seems about 14 times faster. SourceAnywhere for VSS really speeds things up."

SourceAnywhere for VSS stood out among the other products that were being considered because it was an add-on tool. "After comparing the prices, which were virtually identical, there seemed to be less of a learning curve and less of a risk in SourceAnywhere for VSS because there was such a minimal change," remarked Taylor. By choosing SourceAnywhere for VSS, the team was still able to use SourceSafe at the same time reducing the risk associated with implementing a new product. Taylor explained, "It was attractive that we could use both at the same time in the transition period, and if there was a problem with SourceAnywhere for VSS we could always go back."

In addition, the Contintental.com team also found the SourceSafe interface similarity helpful in learning the new product. "The developers were pleased to use SourceAnywhere for VSS as its interface is so similar to Visual SourceSafe," commented Reynolds. "People really like it," added Taylor. "And we are saving a lot of time."

About Dynamsoft

Dynamsoft Corporation is the leading developer of version control and issue tracking software. Many Fortune 500 companies including HP, IBM and Intel use Dynamsoft solutions for version control, issue tracking.

About SourceAnywhere for VSS

An add-on tool for VSS, SourceAnywhere for VSS is the fastest VSS remote access software. It is also recommended by Microsoft for VSS remote and cross-platform access.