Have you used Visual Component Manager, a powerful tool included with Visual Studio? Visual Component Manager is based on the Microsoft Repository and can store files such as source code, images, documents, and components. After an item is stored in the Repository, developers with the proper access can use Visual Component Manager to search and retrieve the information.

Visual Component Manager provides the GUI; the Repository is the storage structure. To implement the Repository, you need a database. You can use Visual Component Manager to implement the Repository database structure in either SQL Server or Access. To create a new Repository, first start Visual Component Manager, then right-click the Visual Component Manager root folder and select New. Then, pick a DSN that points to the database you're going to use. (You can also access the Visual Component Manager from the View menu in Visual Basic—VB—or from the View, Other Windows menu in the Visual Studio IDE.)

When you create a new Repository, you might see results you don't expect. For example, if you point to a DSN that uses the Master database, Visual Component Manager will automatically build the Repository structure in the Master database, which probably isn't your intent. If that happens, then you need to open the Master database, find the Repository tables, and delete them. You can guess how I know this!

To properly create the Repository in SQL Server, create a new database for the Repository. Then point a DSN to this database and use that DSN with Visual Component Manager to create the Repository database. This method places the Repository database structure in the new database.

If you accidentally put the Repository structure in the Master database, you can easily identify the tables to delete by creating a new database and creating the Repository structure in it. You’ll find the tables to delete in the Repository structure.

Visual Component Manager is quite powerful. But it takes a little care and feeding to get it running and to maintain it.