I'm looking for a decent paid source control solution for a singer-user, great compatibility with Visual Studio 05/08, and less than $70. What is your recommendation? What separates it from the other options available? How well does it scale to multiple users?


SVN (Subversion) is great, even for a single user. If you're on Windows, use TortoiseSVN as a great freeware client. For integration with Visual Studio, try ankhsvn.

Cost = $0, including a free book with all the information you might need.

Also, unless your code is confidential, I recommend you use the free online repositories offered by Google Code.

11 accepted

Both SourceGear Fortress and Vault are free for a single user. Comparison between them. Give them a try.


Subversion, hands down.

  • It's free and it's free software.
  • Even the book about it is free.
  • It's easy to set up and use (takes less than 30 seconds to create a repository for a new project).
  • It can be used on a local machine, or with SSH or a web server for remote operations.
  • It has excellent integration with IDEs:
  • It has excellent standalone GUIs:

Mercurial. Free, distributed.

Haven't used a VS plugin for it, but check out VisualHG, maybe.


Subversion (SVN) is a very widely used, free option with many supporting tools and a huge user community. Source control repositories can be local or remote and accessible via the web (with or without SSL).

Windows client: Tortoise SVN - Integrates with Windows Explorer Shell (Free!)

Visual Studio Integration: AnkhSVN - Been around for years and actively developed (Free!)

Easy Server setup: VisualSVN (Free, but not open source)
Other Server setup: SlikSVN (As per mgb's comment. Also free)


Subversion is solid, but it has its rough spots that have grated on me. Merging branches in particular is a pain, although the GUI wrappers like TortoiseSVN do help somewhat. Having .svn directories everywhere is messy and inconvenient at times. If you ever commit from the command line, Subversion starts to outright suck.

I've come to adore distributed version control, which lets you clone repositories across machines and pass commits between them. It's a slightly different workflow to get used to, but definitely worth it. I can make a lot of smaller related commits to my own repository without having to worry about merging with others' code or creating lots of small branches. Even if I'm the only one working on a project, it's very nice to be able to take a repository on a plane or elsewhere with no network access and still be able to make intermediate commits. So far my only experience has been with Mercurial (although I intend to give git, which the Linux kernel uses, some serious consideration soon), but I'm enjoying it far more than Subversion. There are also a Visual Studio plugin and GUI wrapper, although I have never used either and cannot vouch for them.

Mercurial and git are both open-source and free.


We use SourceGear Vault at work and I have used it personally at home as a single-user for projects. I highly recommend it. It's solid, has a really good GUI and integrates great with Microsoft Visual Studio. It uses Microsoft SQL Server for the back-end, but you can use SQL Express (Microsoft's free SQL Server version).

If you're in the MS-development camp this is a great tool.


Subversion, Concurrent Versions System, Git - And they are all free


If it's not sensitive, you can just use CodePlex with the TFS SCC plugin.


Check out Accurev - free for 3 users and has some great capabilities for doing Agile-style development. Also much easier to administer than most SCM solutions I have worked with.


Whywould you want to pay when the two best tools are free...?

GIT and SVN...


Use the free subversion and spend $50 on VisualSVN for a perfect integration with Visual Studio. They even provide you a free version if you're working on a Open Source Project.


Subversion is free.

A good quickstart book on it Pragmatic Version Control with Subversion would set you back by 22 to 35$. Or you could learn it for free online.


If you have a Mac, SVN is on it so use that. Otherwise, anything that's easy to install. CVS is plenty good for one person.


beanstalk hosts free SVN repositories. TortoiseSVN for Windows, and Versions for OS X, are easy tools.


I suggest Subversion (http://subversion.tigris.org/) it's open source, free and widely used. On the site you could find a lot of tools and documentation.


Perforce is also free for up to two developers.


Subversion, works great for me on my personal-1-developer projects.

I also use it for lots of projects with teams from 2 to 20 persons and from just a dozen of files to several thousands per project.

It has great clients/front-ends for all the major/popular IDEs and hoks to explorer and related tools.


I can't speak for the integration into visual studio (not even sure what that is), but the one thing about stackoverflow that's been the most foreign to me is how many people recommend subversion for revision control.

I've only worked in one place that used subversion (but they replaced it with mercurial fairly shortly after they got going).

git and mercurial are both faster and easier to use than subversion by far. Working without distributed revision control is very much like working without revision control at all from my perspective (since I work offline a lot, or otherwise find myself unable to talk to a central resource). Fast means more likely to be used correctly.

Scott Chacon recently put up a site describing why git is better than other systems in a simple and concise way. It's still blub to a lot of people, but to those who've used it, it's incredibly liberating and we're able to do things we wouldn't have tried before.


As was said before, SVN and Git are good free options with great communities and support. Depending on the size of your team and the tools or licenses that you have, you might be able to get a "free" version of a usually more expensive level source control system. I know that in teams with only a few developers (not sure the number), you can get a free version of Perforce. If you have an MSDN subscription and you have 5 developers or less, you can get a free version of TFS.