Do You Know How to Add Source Control in Visual Studio?
As a software developer, you might have heard of source control. It’s an important skill to have as it helps you keep track of your code changes, work collaboratively with your team, and prevent any code loss. Luckily, Visual Studio, the integrated development environment for Microsoft, provides excellent support for adding source control to your project.
What is Source Control?
Before diving into the steps to add source control in Visual Studio, let’s first talk about what source control actually is. Source control is a practice of tracking changes to software code or other digital assets, such as configuration files, images, or documents, in a central repository. The source control system enables developers to collaborate, work concurrently on the same project, maintain the code quality, and recover from mistakes.
Types of Source Control
There are two main types of source control:
1. Centralized source control
This is a traditional source control system that uses a central repository to store the code. Developers check out the code from the central repository, make changes, and check it back in. Examples of centralized source control are Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Apache Subversion (SVN).
2. Distributed source control
This is a newer source control system that makes a copy of the code repository on each developer’s computer. Each developer can make changes to the code on their own copy and sync it with the central repository. Examples of distributed source control are Git and Mercurial.
Steps to Add Source Control to Your Visual Studio Project
Now that you know what source control is and the types available, let’s discuss how to add source control in Visual Studio:
Step 1: Select your project
Open your Visual Studio project, or create a new one, and select it from the Solution Explorer.
Step 2: Initialize the repository
Right-click on the project in the Solution Explorer, select Add to Source Control, and then select Git. This step will initialize the Git repository in your project folder and create a .gitignore file that specifies which files should be ignored by Git.
Step 3: Commit changes
After initializing the repository, Visual Studio will show you the File Status window. This window shows you the files that have been modified and are ready to be committed to the repository.
To commit the changes, select the files you want to commit, enter a commit message that describes the changes, and click on the Commit button.
Step 4: Connect to remote repository
If you want to connect your Visual Studio project to a remote repository, such as GitHub, Azure DevOps, or Bitbucket, you can do so by following these steps:
- Go to the Team Explorer pane in Visual Studio by opening View > Team Explorer.
- Click on the Connect button and select the remote repository service you want to use.
- Follow the instructions to log in and authorize Visual Studio to access your account.
- Once connected, you can push your changes to the remote repository by selecting the Changes tab in the Team Explorer pane, entering a commit message, and clicking on the Push button.
Adding source control to your Visual Studio project is an important step in maintaining code quality, integrity, and collaboration. Whether you use a centralized or distributed source control system, Visual Studio provides excellent support for managing your code changes. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily add source control to your project and start collaborating with your team.