PlasticDrive: A virtual drive for Windows to mount changesets and be able to browse using regular tools like Visual Studio.
PlasticDrive comes packaged with the Plastic SCM client.
PlasticDrive is a command line application that mounts the content of a changeset on a virtual Windows drive. It uses Dokan to create a virtual filesystem.
PlasticDrive is read-only, it doesn't let you modify the code, but you can create temporary files (means you can build your code or you can use Visual Studio "find references" which builds the code underneath).
You can launch PlasticDrive this way:
plasticdrive.exe --drive z: lb:188.8.131.529@secretrepo
Which will mount label 184.108.40.2069 on drive z:
PlasticDrive can also be launched from the changesets menu of the Windows GUI. In order to enable you have to edit your guiclient.conf file and add the following line:
PlasticDrive is useful when you need to look into a branch or changeset but you don't feel like switching to the branch, and the repository browser doesn't help because you can't use your Visual Studio to open a solution on it.
PlasticDrive doesn't download the entire changeset content, it will just download the files you really read. Download is on-demand so it is super fast to browse a few files even on a big repository.
The controlled files that you access are cached in the plasticdrive-filecache directory on your Local folder. These files are reused between sessions, so if the first time you mount a changeset it takes time to open a big solution in Visual Studio, most likely it will go much faster in the next session.
The temporary files created during the session are deleted when the drive is unmounted (typically obj files).
A "tray icon" is displayed on the Windows task bar so you can unmount your drive.