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The repository can be created using Tortoise SVN itself. So what exactly is the role of a SVN server like VisualSVN Server or any other product like Collabnet Subversion? What extra features does a SVN server provide over repositories created by a svn client application like TortoiseSVN?

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2 Answers 2

Tortoise, or any other subersion client, is a tool with which to interact with the subversion server.

The server provides the functionality, where the client is the interface with which you act upon the server.

Subversion is what is referred to as a Centralized Revision Control System. The model of a Centralized RCS is inherently Client-Server.

Other RCSs are Distributed, such as Mercurial, Git, and Bazaar. They do not require a central server (and/or allow you to work disconnected, and later merge back to the central server.) They also allow multiple actors to host the server, letting you change where the 'central' server resides.

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So does that mean the downloads available for Tortoise on Sourforge include a SVN server as well? –  Zeeshan Sep 4 '12 at 18:39
    
No, TortoiseSVN is a client only. –  gWaldo Sep 4 '12 at 18:55
    
you're confused by the concept of repository. When interacting with any kind of RCS (Git, Cvs, Subversion) you usually maintain a local (on-your-disk) copy of a repository and that copy gets updated from a remote source, which is a SERVER. TortoiseSVN cannot operate as the latter, it can only maintain the local copy and fetch data from a remote one. It cannot serve as a remote copy from which others fetch data. –  ItsGC Sep 5 '12 at 6:31

Tortoise includes the ability to create a repository, analogous to the svnadmin create command, but it lacks the ability to serve the repository over HTTP/WebDAV with complex access controls, web interfaces, and the other fancy features offered by server-focused software.

You can create a repository on your local filesystem with Tortoise, but you're just creating the repo; to provide the same level of service as those other software packages, you'll need more than Tortoise.

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