Using TortoiseSVN Version Control with ISESteroids

Anyone editing PowerShell source code will, sooner or later, realizes they need a way to keep multiple versions of source code changes. And, if you use PowerShell to develop in a team environment then source control moves from being a “nice to have” to a “must have” tool.

I had a few prerequisites when looking for a PowerShell editor. First, I wanted an editor that allowed source control management (versioning) to be callable from within the Windows PowerShell ISE. Second, I did not want to use a new tool since I had already used SVN as my source control provider.

With that said, I started looking around for PowerShell editors that would support source code control, but the ones I found where either too expensive or forced me into using “their” source control product. As luck had it, I discovered ISESteriods for PowerShell and started to explore how they handled source code versioning, and although the product has a built in versioning tool, see this link, I still wanted to find a way to that would allow me to use my existing SVN source code control provider.

One of the really nice features of ISESteroids is the ability to extend it, so with a little ingenuity and research I was able to connect ISESteroids to my SVN source control provider. I did this using TortoiseSVN, which is a Windows shell extension. It’s very easy to use because it eliminates the need to use the Subversion command line client, and best of all, it is free to use even in a commercial environment.

Obviously, in order to use TortoiseSVN from within Windows PowerShell ISE running ISESteroids, you need to have TortoiseSVN installed. To do that go to this page, and follow the instructions for installing it in your environment.

Now that we have TortoiseSVN installed, I had to find a way to call TortoiseSVN commands from Windows PowerShell ISE running ISESteroids. I did some research and found that TortoiseSVN can be automated because all the commands are controlled through command line parameters; hence, you can automate specific commands and dialogs from other programs — one of which is Windows PowerShell ISE running ISESteroids. I refer you to the following web page, which explains the commands and their command line parameters.

Now the fun part…connecting TortoiseSVN commands to the Windows PowerShell ISE running ISESteroids. I wanted to provide the following SVN commands to my editing sessions, but any SVN command exposed to command line automation can be added:

  • Show Log
  • SVN Commit
  • SVN Add
  • SVN Update
  • SVN Diff
  • SVN Blame

First, ISESteroids allows you to add your own commands to the main menu in order to call external programs, web sites, et cetera. These commands were saved in a file called: Microsoft.PowerShellISE_profile.ps1, which can be accessed by clicking the button to open the personal ISE Autostart Script.




By adding commands to this file, whenever Windows PowerShell ISE running ISESteroids is started, it will execute these commands making them available within the editor. After I added the commands I wanted to use to the file, and finally figuring out how to call the commands with the correct parameters, my menu looks like this:


When I click on the menu item TortoiseSVN I am presented with the following submenu:


If I click on any of those menu items, they call the SVN command line with its parameters, and open a SVN window from with my editing session. This eliminates having to switch over to Windows Explorer to run these commands in order to work with my version control provider.

Let’s take a look at each of these command from within an editing session to see what they do.

Show Log: Shows a log of all the changes with the source control repository.


SVN Commit: Identifies items that have changed and are waiting to be updated within the source control repository.


SVN Add: Adds any new items to the source control repository.


SVN Update: This is a tricky one, it is updating your local files from the source control repository; it is NOT updating the source control repository that is what SVN Commit does.


SVN Diff: Compares the differences between the current file you are editing and the latest version in the source control repository.


SVN Blame: Useful in a team environment to identify the person that made the changes to the file.


The challenging part was figuring out the correct syntax to use when calling the external commands. Most of my time was spent researching and testing these commands from within the Windows PowerShell ISE running ISESteroids. In order to save others the time, and clearly show what the command line calls should look like, I listed the commands below for all the SVN actions I automated.

Add TortoiseSVN Menu Item:
$parent = $psise.CurrentPowerShellTab.AddOnsMenu.SubMenus.Add(‘TortoiseSVN’, $null, $null)

Show Log Menu Item:
$parent.Submenus.Add(‘Show Log’, { &’C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin\TortoiseProc.exe’ ‘/command:log’ ‘/path:”C:\Users\zrmfld\Documents\ActiveDocuments\PSScripts\*.*”‘ ‘/closeonend:0’ }, ‘ALT+L’ )

SVN Commit Menu Item:
$parent.Submenus.Add(‘SVN Commit’, { &’C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin\TortoiseProc.exe’ ‘/command:commit’ ‘/path:”C:\Users\zrmfld\Documents\ActiveDocuments\PSScripts\”‘ }, ‘ALT+C’ )

SVN Add Menu Item:
$parent.Submenus.Add(‘SVN Add’, { &’C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin\TortoiseProc.exe’ ‘/command:add’ ‘/path:”C:\Users\zrmfld\Documents\ActiveDocuments\PSScripts\*.*”‘ }, ‘ALT+A’ )

SVN Update Menu Item:
$parent.Submenus.Add(‘SVN Update’, { &’C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin\TortoiseProc.exe’ ‘/command:update’ ‘/path:”C:\Users\zrmfld\Documents\ActiveDocuments\PSScripts\’ }, ‘ALT+U’ )

SVN Diff Menu Item:
$parent.Submenus.Add(‘SVN Diff’, { &’C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin\TortoiseProc.exe’ ‘/command:prevdiff’ (‘/path:”‘ + ($psise.PowerShellTabs.SelectedPowerShellTab.Files.SelectedFile.FullPath) +'””’) ‘/closeonend:0’ }, ‘ALT+D’ )

SVN Blame Menu Item:
$parent.Submenus.Add(‘SVN Blame’, { &’C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin\TortoiseProc.exe’ ‘/command:blame’ (‘/path:”‘ + ($psise.PowerShellTabs.SelectedPowerShellTab.Files.SelectedFile.

It may be difficult to see where the spaces and single and double quotes reside in the lines above, so I added a text file that can be downloaded from here TortoiseSVN Profile Commands. Also, the folder you designate to be under SVN source control, my folder was C:\Users\zrmfld\Documents\ActiveDocuments\PSScripts\, will have to be changed to match the folder you are using.

In closing, I hope this helps makes using ISESteroids that much more beneficial. It is a great package with many features to improve your productivity. In the future I look forward to writing some more posts on its other features. If there is enough interest, and may work on interfacing it with the “Git” version control provider.



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