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My company recently had a number of offshore contractors leave the company, to a direct competitor, possibly taking a decent amount of source code with them. This has caused the company leadership to be very scared about IP protection, and have asked me to investigate improving the security of our code.

Unfortunately I am of the belief that trying to protect code, from programmers is pretty much impossible, since the whole point is for the programmers to read/write the code.

however, for the sake of due dilligence, I am sending out a bleg.   What are good best practices for controlling source, within a company? My boss wants to do things like restrict access on a per-file/unit of work in TFS (possible, but lots of overhead issues), watermark sourcecode (whitespace? dependancy whitespacing?), and lots of other ideas that I don't think are feasible. 

But, anyone out there have any solutions in this space? Posted on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 11:26 AM Programming | Back to top


Comments on this post: TFS Code Security

# re: TFS Code Security
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We restrict by project. It would be hard to restrict to files because the project is created in the developers work space. You have to have all the moving parts to debug/build locally.
Left by dtinsley on Sep 03, 2008 12:24 PM

# re: TFS Code Security
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I also worked in a situation where only certain people could check out the source code, then put it somewhere on the network in zip files. When the "remote" programmers were finished coding they sent it back to me and I had to merge it back into the source code. It was a solution, a terrible solution. Every was working hard but we could not get much work done.
Left by dtinsley on Sep 03, 2008 2:22 PM

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