Thursday, February 26, 2009

Subversion SVN Server Problem Solved

After having too many issues with Microsoft's Team Foundation Server, we decided to look for a different code store/source control solution which would better fit the needs of our small shop. After googling around, one of my colleagues found Subversion.

I downloaded the open source CollabNet Subversion along with the open source Ankh SVN plugin for Visual Studio. Both installed quite easily and were simple enough to get up and running.

The Problem "After the Sale"
After getting everything up and running, I could not connect to the Subversion server. I followed the instructions in the book which came with the install package, googled and searched around for a possible solution to no avail. Out of desperation, before giving up and looking for another solution, I decided to post a request for assistance on Twitter. Not long after my "tweet," I received a response from Jack Repenning, CTO for CollabNet, who offered to assist me. Three email exchanges later I was connecting to my Subversion server via Ankh in Visual Studio.

The Solution
I installed Subversion on a Windows 2003 server, which also happens to be running IIS. Subversion uses Apache for its interface. I set Apache to use an odd port during install, which should have allowed it to communicate. But, according to Jack, IIS sometimes hijacks any and all web functions which does not allow Apache to do its thing. So the solution to my problem was to turn off IIS. IIS was running on this particular only because this was my Team Foundation Server box. Since we're not using TFS any more, it was an easy decision to turn off IIS and let Apache do its thing.

So far I find the Subversion/Ankh combination to be easy to use. I'll have to play with it a bit to see if it will suit our needs. It looks as though we may have a winner here.

Thanks to Jack for his quick response and assistance. For those who wonder how Twitter can be useful, here is an excellent example.

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