Integrating SourceAnywhere into Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect

Sparx Systems EnterPrise Architect is a high-performance modeling, visualization and design platform based on the Object Management Group (OMG)’s Unified Modeling Language (UML). It provides full life cycle modeling for business, software, and systems. In this tutorial, I’d like to share how to configure the version control software – SourceAnywhere – for Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

SourceAnywhere Downloads & Installation

Version Control Software Configuration

  1. Launch Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect and create a new project.
  2. Right-click the project root to show the context menu. Select Package Control, and click Version Control Settings.Start Version Control Settings Read more

Using Git-TFS in Visual Studio 2013 Express

Microsoft has released Visual Studio 2013 Preview, and announced the availability of Git for Visual Studio and Team Foundation Service. Today, let’s go through the new experience of version control in VS 2013 Preview.

Account Creation

Microsoft provides Team Foundation Service Free Plan for up to 5 users. I’m using the service for demo in this article. If you don’t have an in-house TFS Server, you can also take advantage of it and sign up for an account here. If you need a TFS Hosting service with good customer service, you may check out Dynamsoft TFS Hosting plans.

After creating an account with Microsoft TFS Service, you will be directed to your TFS page like the one shown below. You can see two options for creating a team project. The account URL is located below “Getting started”.

TFS main page

Team Project Creation

Click “New team project + Git” to create a team project using Git as the source control provider.

create git project


Specify the project name and select Git for version control.

specify new project


This is the page for my newly created team project. After creating the team project, we can then push the local repo to remote server.

project created

Local Project Creation

Create a new project in Visual Studio, and do not forget to check “Add to source control”.

create local project


Choose Git as your source control system.

choose git


Now you will be able to view the changes of your source code.

changes of source code


Commit your code.

commit changes


Right click a file in Team Explorer, you can compare version differences with syntax highlighting.

diff files


Also, checking repo history is convenient by right click.

view history

Publish to Remote Repository

Switch to Commits.

switch to Commits


Find Git URL on your TFS account.

git URL


Copy the URL to remote repository configuration, and click “Publish” to upload your local files to remote server.

publish to remote repo


Check commits information online.

commit log


Import Git from GitHub

Clone Git repo.

git clone


Download source code to local disk.

clone finished


Double-click your repo and click “Open” to mount your project.

open cloned project


That’s all about how to simply use Git between Visual Studio 2013 Express and Git remote server. Don’t hesitate to email if you have any idea to share with me.



How to access Team Foundation Server Source Control from Windows Explorer?

Most of the time I use TFS source control within Visual Studio. However, sometimes I just want to add or edit some files from within Windows Explorer without bothering to launch Visual Studio. If you have such needs as well, you can follow the steps below to achieve it.

Firstly, download and install Team Foundation Server Power Tools, which includes Windows Shell Extensions. It provides integration with Windows Explorer which enables you to perform most operations with TFS via Windows Explorer.

After the installation, if you right-click an item in a TFS workspace, you will see the Team Foundation Server context menu.

TFS Context Menu in Windows Explorer

When you click a source control command, you will get the prompt to log into TFS Server. I am using Dynamsoft TFS Hosting service.

Log into TFS Server

Here I add a new htm file and check in the change to TFS from Windows Explorer.

TFS Check In

Then if we go to Source Control Explorer in Visual Studio and check the history of the project , we can see the changeset I submitted from Windows Explorer.

View history of the project

SourceAnywhere Brings Fully Version Control Support for Visual Studio 2012

vs12 n saws

I am happy to announce that the latest SourceAnywhere release (from ver. 4.2) brings fully support for Visual Studio 2012.

Visual Studio is one of the first and most important IDEs that SourceAnywhere series support and integrate with ever since 2003.

VS 2012 comes with more colors in the main UI and the flexibility to adjust it according to your taste. For instance, color theme, fonts and colors for different display items, fully customizable toolbars and commands. It has 5 editions: Ultimate, Premium, Professional, Test Professional and Express. Moreover, Team Foundation Server 2012 is shipped with VS 2012.

Comparing with TFS, SourceAnywhere (we call it SAW for short)is a truly agile source control software designed for local and remote development teams. If you’re experiencing inefficiency – exceptionally large amount of time cost while doing the essential source control operations like get, check in or check out, using it locally or over the internet, with developers located worldwide, then SAW is the best source control product that you should try. It focuses on security, speed, team collaboration, usability, and integration with IDEs especially Visual Studio, Eclipse and Dreamweaver. It is a pure, simple and easy-to-use source control tool, which does it should does and without hassles, complexity or costly user training.


When I look back to the progresses we have made on SAW in this very year of 2012. We successively rolled out several major updates to it, SAW 4.0, SAW 4.1 and SAW 4.2 which was brought out 2 weeks ago(11/26/2012). Particularly in SAW 4.2, we upgraded SourceAnywhere Add-in to support Visual Studio 2012. It makes the performance of SAW, when working with Visual Studio 2012, faster, smoother and more efficient.

After installing SAW 4.2, you can enable it at VS 2012 menu Tools/Add-in Manager.

add-in manager

By far we have received quite a few positive feedbacks as well as some constructive suggestions from SAW users. These are the powers that motivate our R&D team to keep evolving our products, especially SAW series.

How to choose a better TFS hosting service?

Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server is the collaboration platform at the core of Microsoft’s application lifecycle management (ALM) solution. It automates the software delivery process and gives you the tools you need to effectively manage software development projects throughout the IT lifecycle.

Due to the high cost of setting up TFS internally and the increasing maturity of hosting services, many of these companies now include TFS hosting. Now the question pops up: how to choose a TFS hosting service that can suite the team better? I list off some factors below, and hope the information helps.


Good customer service adds value

During one of our weekly training events a question was asked:  When we talk with our customers, they always tell us …? One of our team members answered the question immediately with: Good Customer Service.  True.  When a lot of companies announce themselves as customer oriented, not many of them really help their customers find the right solution, either because their product/service lines are too large and/or spread out, or they’re overloaded with their customers needs … sometimes that is just reality, but it is also an excuse!

I was happy to hear my coworker’s answer. That is what we are focusing on – Good Customer Experiences. I’m also very proud to show you our Customer page, which includes our existing customers as well as their feedback on our services.


Whether your data is in good hands

Before you make the decision, it’s critical to learn the security features provided by the vendor:

  1. Details of the data center, including its location and the service level.
  2. Database backup plans as well as the frequency.
  3. Whether you can download the database from the vendor (anytime).
Company Data Center Database Backup Database Downloadable Price
Dynamsoft VancouverSAS70 and CICA5970 certified Onsite: every 15 minutesOffsite: daily One per month at no cost From $20 /user/month
DiscountASP.NET US / UK Daily One per month at no cost;Need to pay for each additional backup. From $20 /user/month
Phase 2 International Hawaii 5 days’ worth of full backup One per month From $ 129.99 /user/month
PRAKTIK Hosting Seattle, WA USASAS 70 Certified From $25 /user/month
SaaS Made Easy, LLC IndianaSAS 70 Type II compliant UPS & power backup From $15.00 /user/month
TeamDevCentral Nightly backups $500.00 ~ $12,000.00 (CAD) setup fee + $150.00 ~ $200.00 (CAD) /user/month
TFS Server Hosting $25 /user/month


To learn more about these corporations and their services, please go to: TFS Hosting Service Providers


Database migration from VSS

If you were using Visual SourceSafe, it’s ideal and necessary to migrate all your VSS data to the new system. Both Dynamsoft and DiscountASP.NET provide FREE database migration for customers.


Available add-ons

In cooperation with Pyxis, most TFS hosting companies provide the Urban Turtle add-on to prioritize your backlog, plan your work and deliver software. Currently, Microsoft doesn’t provide the add-on for TFS Azure.


Learn the company history

Dynamsoft has 8 years of experience in developing source control and bug tracking software. Thus, our team has better understanding of version control and bug tracking, which helps in providing better services to our customers. July 04, 2010 was the fifth anniversary of the launch of SourceAnywhere Hosted, Dynamsoft’s first SaaS solution for source control. Over the past few years, the online rate of our server has been (and continues to be) as high as 99.9x%. Learn More >>

DiscountASP.NET is focused on hosting .net software, including TFS, SQL Server, etc. Learn More>>

PRAKTIK Hosting as well as some other companies specializes in TFS hosting.

It’s a big decision to start using a new system and service. If you have any other suggestions for other users, please feel free to share your comments below. You can also email me at

What’s New in Visual Studio 11 for Developers

Last month I wrote a quick review for Visual Studio 11, which is literally a quick and general introduction to VS 11. The article today, as my exploration deepens, focuses on the improvements that are crucial for developers. They are:

  1. Windows Metro style apps
  2. IDE
  3. Async feature and Caller information for VB & C#
  4. Parallel related improvements for C++
  5. New in JavaScript & Visual F#
  6. New in Debugging
  7. New for data application development
  8. ASP.Net 4.5 and Web Development
  9. .Net 4.5
  10. Integration with Dynamsoft Source Control


1. Windows Metro style apps

Windows Metro style apps come with Windows 8. They are similar to Android apps and iOS apps but brand new on Windows platform. There’re two things you need to do before starting to develop and test these apps. First, you must install Visual Studio 11 on Windows 8. Second, you must obtain a developer license1 for the Windows Store.
You can develop a Metro style app2 using HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript; XAML with C++, C#, or Visual Basic; native C++ and HLSL. See the diagram below.

2. IDE

The IDE of Visual Studio 11 is backward compatible. I can open all files, projects or solutions that were created in Visual Studio 2010 with SP1. The earlier versions like VS 6.0, VS 2003, VS 2005 are not tested yet. However, I strongly recommend you to upgrade your projects in avoid of any unex
The new Solution Explorer brings much convenience for developers to manage codes. We can left click on a file to preview the code inside, double left click to open it. The code preview tab is in the top-right of the code editor. See the screenshot below.pected problems.

Read more

SourceAnywhere V.S. Subversion

SourceAnywhere: A SQL Server-based version control software designed to be a replacement of Microsoft Visual SourceSafe (VSS). It is developed for both local and geographically distributed development teams.

SourceAnywhere Hosted: Sign Up

SourceAnywhere Standalone: Free Trial Download

Subversion (SVN): An open-source revision control system, which aims to be a compelling replacement for CVS.

Both SourceAnywhere and Subversion are great version control products. So which one is the right product for you?

SourceAnywhere is THE ONE for Experienced VSS Users.

If you are an experienced Visual SourceSafe user, SourceAnywhere is definitely the right choice. First, all your source code history can be easily imported to SourceAnywhere. Second, the resembling user interface makes developers’ learning curve almost zero.

Otherwise, it depends on which working mode you prefer. Typical working flow in SourceAnywhere is “(multi) check-out — edit — (merge) check-in”, while typical working flow in SubVersion is “edit local copy — (merge) commit to server”. In another word, with SourceAnywhere, when you edit a file, you know whether other people is also editing it. With SubVersion, you don’t know.

More detailed comparison follows. I will try to be unbiased in the comparison. Comments which disagree with me are well welcomed. 🙂

Where Subversion is better than SourceAnywhere

If any of the following situations apply to you, I recommend Subversion:

  • Command Line SubVersion Command Line is suitable for auto scripting. Although SourceAnywhere provides Command Line Client as well as Java GUI Client, SourceAnywhere’s main focus is for IDE integration on Windows platforms. If you are working on OS X, Subversion command line provides better flexibility.
  • Open Source Project SubVersion suites well for personal and open source projects. Subversion, released under an Apache-style license, is an open source system. People can get a version control system with no regard to cost.
  • Integration with Windows Explorer Subversion supports integration with Windows Explorer while SourceAnywhere does not.
  • Third Party SupportSVN is better supported among third party tools. For example, Hudson and Redmine.

Where SourceAnywhere is better than Subversion

If any of the following situations apply to you, I recommend SourceAnywhere Standalone:

  • Tech Support Dynamsoft provides phone, email, forum, and 16 hours per weekday online chatting support. For the difficult issues, an online meeting session will be scheduled. A developer from the R&D team is involved when necessary.And, all the tech support is free.
  • Microsoft Platform Support Dynamsoft is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. SourceAnywhere passed Optimized for Microsoft Visual Studio, Certified for Windows Vista, and Certified for Windows Server. SourceAnywhere offers better integration with Microsoft products than Subversion.
  • Security Powered with SSL Protocol, Sophisticated Password Policy, Database Encryption, IP & MAC Filter Rules and other security tactics, SourceAnywhere Hosted online source control is designed to be more secure than most in-house deployment.For more information about security features, please refer to the white paper: Secure Your Source Code.
  • Web development Besides of Dreamweaver integration and cross-platform access, SourceAnywhere offers a unique feature, Web Deployment through FTP. SourceAnywhere can automatically detect which files are changed, and only transfer the changed/added files.

Where SourceAnywhere and Subversion are different

  • User Interface SourceAnywhere has VSS style UI. There is virtually no learning curve for developers who know Visual SourceSafe already.
  • Server Setup and Maintenance SourceAnywhere Server requires Microsoft SQL Server (Express). For SVN, you need to set up either Apache2 or an “svnserve” server.
  • Distributed team Both Subversion and SourceAnywhere are designed for local and distributed team. SourceAnywhere takes a step further. Its cache server can greatly improve distributed team’s productivity.
  • Product integration SourceAnywhere comes with GUI client, command client, SDK, Eclipse plug-in, Visual Studio integration, Dreamweaver/flash integration, cross-platform client. All are in one product.

    Subversion comes only with core product. For IDE integration, cross-platform access and other tools integration, you need to deal with several independent sources.