Worst. SCM. Ever.
All that is wrong in SCM is embodied in VSS. Even StarTeam is better than Source Safe. Source Safe is the Internet Explorer 1 of the version control world: entirely superceded by any other implementation.
How did I use it?
My typical workflow for getting things done was
- Check out the project
- Lock all the files (to avoid merging with anyone 'cos that opened the unholy gates of Hell)
- Did my work
- Each day checked my changes in
- Checked it all back out again and fixed all the problems with integration
- Checked it back in
In comparison to Subversion, the above is laughable (apart from checking you've not broken the build).
Restrictions to my team's programming practices
These are the rules the team had to work under to make it work for us. Your mileage may vary.
- One person only may edit a file (Heaven help you if they go on holiday)
- Do not branch it's too hard to manage
- Never attempt to go back to a previous revision
What can be done?
Polarion has a good set of tools for migrating from the likes of Source Safe into Subversion (SVN) which is the current de facto standard within most enterprises for open source version control. Subversion does suffer from requiring a server to be available to allow checkins (unlike GIT or Mercurial which are designed for distributed offline teams).