A SourceSafe shadow folder is a UNC share* in
which VSS maintains a current copy of the latest database version of every
file in a SourceSafe project and all of its subprojects. When you or a
teammate check in changes to a source-controlled file whose project has a shadow
folder, its shadow copy is--or should be--overwritten on disk.
A shadow folder can get out of sync with the SourceSafe database for a number
of reasons. The most common are:
To confirm that a
SourceSafe shadow folder is up to date
1. In VSS Explorer, select the
2. Click Tools and
then click Show Differences.
3. In the Show Differences
dialog box, enter the UNC path of the project’s shadow folder in the
To: box (usually, this involves overwriting the path to your
working folder), and then click OK.
If there are any differences
between your database version and its shadow copy, they are
You can restore synchronicity
between the database version of a project and its shadow copy using any of the
Some software development teams
use a (read/write) Shadow Folder to share their latest bits with each other,
usually for local builds. For the very reason that many types of everyday
changes can break the synchronicity between Shadow Folders and SourceSafe
projects, I do not recommend this method. However, the SourceSafe help
says, "To make sure that every user has the most recent version of files,
it may be desirable for all users to compile source code out of a centralized
folder, instead of in personal working folders. In this case, shadow folders are
frequently used in conjunction with the Remove local copy after Add or Check
In option on the Local Files tab in the Options dialog box on
the Tools menu." Microsoft documentation is almost
always right ;-). As an alternative to this iffy method, you might
consider writing a script that routinely (or OnBlank event) gets the latest
version of a project/subproject to the working folder of an administrative user
(you can even call it Admin_Shadow) and then removes the read-only
protection for all contained files, if necessary for build
What are your experiences with
Shadow Folders? Have you encountered synchronization issues? If so, how did
you work around them? Have you resorted to something like the 'Complex, Trusted
Update Method' mentioned above? If so, how did it work for you?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Related Post: http://blogs.gotdotnet.com/korbyp/commentview.aspx/f65c0513-f128-4d04-8858-28765a7b714a.
*typically and preferably,
although you can specify any physical path. Don't use mapped drives
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