July 23, 2003 spout

Using GotDotNet Workspaces For Commercial Work

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

When I visit Redmond, I share an office with Andy Oakley, the PM for GotDotNet Workspaces. Workspaces was recently released from beta to v1.0 and when that happened, Andy sent around feedback from users.

Of course, folks love it in general (even some hard-to-please MS internals), but I was surprised to see to some folks were using private Workspaces for their team’s main source code base. I shouldn’t have been surprised; this makes a lot of sense. Private workspaces provide a protected space for file sharing, discussion, bug tracking and source code control. The last time I set up a commercial software development team, I needed weeks to get all of this picked out, installed and working and I needed an IT guy to keep it running and backed up. I remember hearing about a 3rd party that was going to bundle all of this together for a fee, but never got around to it. With Workspaces, MS already provides the whole team development environment, including VS.NET integration and a web interface, and it’s free! Plus, with a private workspace, only folks on your team get access.

IMO, the only big piece that was missing from Workspaces was a way to pull down all of the source onto a build machine for regular automatic builds. For commercial work, this is key. So, Andy, tired of my whining, built a command line tool for pulling down all source from a GDN Workspace (and put it up in it’s own GDN Workspace). Personally, I’d be slightly happier if it took arguments from the command line instead of a .config file, but that’s easily added from the Genghis CommandLineParser class for those that are interested. Enjoy!