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For the various reasons described in Branch folders and files, many software development teams work in a codebase that is forked into various branches. If you use branches, eventually your team must integrate the work that has been completed on different branches during certain phases of your project. For example, when you are ready to test a full version of your software, you will need the changes made on different feature team branches to be merged together.
The procedures in this topic advise how you can use the graphical user interface of Visual Studio to merge together changes made in different branches. For information about how to perform merges at the command prompt, see Merge Command.
To perform these procedures, you must have the following permissions set:
You must have the Read permission for the item in the source tree and your Check out permission for the item in the target tree set to Allow.
You must have the Merge permission set for the target path.
If the item in the target tree is being renamed, you must have the Check out permission for both the source tree and the target tree set to Allow.
If any files affected by the operation are locked, you must have the Lock permission set to Allow. For more information about permissions, see Pernission reference for Team Foundation Server.
Initiate a Merge from the Source Control Window
The release of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 began a distinction between branches and folders. For example, in the following illustration you can see how branches and folders are displayed with different icons.
While you can still branch and merge among folders, the best practice for your team to follow is to branch and merge only among branches. For more information, see Branch folders and files.
Merge branches, files and folders from Source Control Explorer
In Source Control Explorer, select the branch, folder, or file that you want to merge.
Click the File menu, point to Source Control, point to Branching and Merging, and then click Merge.
The Source Control Merge Wizard is displayed. For information about how to use this wizard to complete the merge, see Use the Source Control Merge Wizard to Complete a Merge.
Initiate a Merge from the Tracking Changeset Window
You can use the Tracking Changeset window to view information such as, where a changeset was made, where it was merged, and when these events occurred. Branches where a changeset has not been merged are also highlighted. If you see such a branch where you know the changeset is needed but is missing, you can use a drag and drop operation to fix this problem.
This procedure can be performed only for changesets that affect a branch. For example, in the following illustration you can view how branches and folders are displayed with different icons.
For more information, see Branch folders and files.
Drag and Drop a Changeset into the Tracking Changeset Window
In Source Control Explorer, select either a branch, a folder, or a file which is contained within a branch.
Right-click the selected item and click View History.
In the History **window, right-click the changeset that you want to view and select **Track Changeset.
The Select Branches dialog box appears.
(Optional) In the Target branches list, check the branches that you want to view and uncheck the branches that you want to hide.
The Tracking Changeset window appears.
Drag the branch which contains the changeset to the target branch.
The Source Control Merge Wizard appears. For information about how to use this wizard to complete the merge, see Use the Source Control Merge Wizard to Complete a Merge.
Example: Where is that New Method?
To illustrate how you might use the preceding procedure, consider the following example. Julie has asked Chris to implement a new method in some of the FeatureTeamA code that she leverages in her FeatureTeamB code. Chris writes code for the new method and then he checks it into the FeatureTeamA branch. He meets Julie in the hallway as he is leaving for the day and mentions that he has checked in the new method.
Julie gets back to her desk and finds the latest source, but she does not see the new method that Chris checked in. She navigates to Source Control Explorer, views the History window for the FeatureTeamA branch, and she can see that with changeset 50 Chris did indeed check in the new method. She right-clicks changeset 50 and clicks Track Changeset, and the following window appears:
Tracking Changeset Window: Merge to Parent Branch
From the Tracking Changeset window, Julie can see that Chris checked in the method with changeset 50, and merged it to the Dev branch with changeset 51. But Julie cannot get the new code until changeset 50 is merged into the FeatureTeamB branch. So she drags the Dev branch onto the FeatureTeamB branch to launch the Source Control Merge Wizard, which she then uses to complete the merge.
Use the Source Control Merge Wizard to Complete a Merge
After you complete one of the above procedures, the Source Control Merge Wizard appears. This wizard enables you to specify the source and target of the merge. You can merge one entire branch to another branch, or you can pick a specific changeset or group of changesets that you want to merge.
Use the Source Control Merge Wizard to merge files, folders, or branches
In the Source Control Merge Wizard, in the Source branch box, either type the name of the team project source branch, or click Browse to select one from the list.
In the Target branch drop-down list, select the target team project branch to which you want to merge the source branch.
Select the range of changes that you want to merge into the target branch by selecting either the All changes up to a specific version or Selected changesets option, and click Next.
Tip: If possible, click All changes up to a specific version, as it will reduce the risk of conflicts in future merges.
If you selected All changes up to a specific version, then the **Select the versions of the source items **page appears. Select the version of the items that you want to use.
Merge by specifying a changeset version.
Merge by specifying a date version.
Merge by specifying a label version.
Merge by specifying the latest version.
Merge by specifying a workspace version.
If you selected Selected changesets, then the **Select changesets to merge into the target branch **page appears. Select the changeset you want to merge.
Tip: You can press and hold the CONTROL or SHIFT keys and then select multiple items in a continuous range.
Click Next, and then on the Perform the merge operation page, click Finish.
One or more pending changes are generated.
(Optional) If you want to check in the pending changes immediately, you can perform these steps:
Click the View menu, point to Other Windows, and then click Pending Changes.
Use the Pending Changes window to check in the changes. For more information, see Check in your work to the team's codebase.