Preparing to Migrate from Visual SourceSafe to Team Foundation Source Control


The Team Foundation Visual SourceSafe converter tool transfers files, folders, version history, and user information from a Visual SourceSafe database to a Team Foundation source control server. Before you move your files and historical information to Team Foundation, you should analyze and make a backup copy of the database, check in as many files as possible, and understand what information cannot be transferred from Visual SourceSafe to Team Foundation.

This describes how to prepare your Visual SourceSafe database for conversion and how to use the VSSConverter to effectively plan for the actual migration of the source.

In this walkthrough, you will accomplish the following tasks:

  • Back up your Visual SourceSafe database.
  • Identify and resolve data integrity issues in your existing database using the Visual SourceSafe Analyze tool.
  • Run the converter tool to identify potential sources of information loss.
  • Specify which Visual SourceSafe folders to migrate.
  • Create a user mapping file to map Visual SourceSafe users to Team Foundation users.


To complete this walkthrough, you need the following software installed on the computer where you plan to run VSSConverter.exe:

  • Team Explorer
  • Log on to the computer with administrative credentials
  • SQL Server Express

Note   By default, SQL Server Express is installed during installation of Visual Studio 2005 Team System.

  • Visual SourceSafe 2005 or later
  • The Visual SourceSafe database that you want to analyze. The database format must be version 6.0 or later. You must run the converter on the same computer as your Visual SourceSafe database to complete this walkthrough.

Additionally, you need:

  • The administrator’s password for the Visual SourceSafe database that contains the projects that you want to analyze.

Note   Other users should not access the Visual SourceSafe database during the analysis process. Do not lock the database because locking prevents the converter from accessing the database for migration.

Preparing the Visual SourceSafe Database

Before you transfer your source-controlled files from Visual SourceSafe to Visual Studio 2005 Team System, complete the following tasks in Visual SourceSafe.

  • Ask all database users to check in their files.
  • Create a backup copy of your Visual SourceSafe Database to migrate.
  • Use the Visual SourceSafe Analyze utility to locate and fix data integrity issues in the database.

Analyzing the Projects

VSSConverter.exe is a command-line tool that requires the following input:

  • A path of the folder that contains the srcsafe.ini file for the Visual SourceSafe database under migration.
  • An XML-based file that contains settings.

This walkthrough assumes that your Visual SourceSafe database is in c:VSSDatabase.

After you have decided which projects you want to analyze, create a file to contain the settings. This file lists the projects that you want the converter to analyze.

To create the settings file for analysis

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, point to Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, point to Visual Studio Tools, and then click Visual Studio 2005 Command Prompt.
  2. At the command prompt, type mkdir %DriveLetter%VSS2TeamFoundation, where %DriveLetter% is the current drive.
  3. At the command prompt, type cd %DriveLetter%VSS2TeamFoundation.
  4. Type notepad settings.xml, and then press ENTER.
  5. Select Yes to create the file.
  6. Copy the following XML, where $/FolderA and $/FolderB represent the names of folders that contain the projects that you want to migrate.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>
            <Source name=”VSS”>
                  <VSSDatabase name=”c:VSSDatabase”></VSSDatabase>
            <Project Source=”$/FolderA”></Project>
            <Project Source=”$/FolderB”></Project>

Tip   To migrate the whole database, use <Project Source=”$/”></Project>.

  1. Save your changes and close Notepad.

Next, run the converter tool from the Visual Studio command prompt to analyze the project, as shown in the following steps.

The user who is performing the analysis must be a system administrator for SQLExpress. By default, the user who installs Visual Studio will receive the required privileges for SQLExpress.

After you have the migration settings file and granted system administrator rights, you can run the converter tool to analyze the project.

To analyze the project with the converter

  • At the command prompt, type the following.

VSSConverter  Analyze settings.xml

When you are prompted, provide the Visual SourceSafe administrator password.

The converter tool displays the status of the preconversion analysis. When it is completed, it generates a report (VSSAnalysisReport.xml) and a user mapping file (usermap.xml), and saves them in the current directory.

Next Steps

You can now migrate the information in your Visual SourceSafe database into the Team Foundation source control server.


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