About access levels

Azure DevOps Services | Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

Access levels grant or restrict access to select web portal features. This is in addition to permissions granted through security groups which provide or restrict specific tasks. Access levels enable administrators to provide their user base access to the features they need and only pay for those features.

Important

To view the content available for your platform, make sure that you select the correct version of this article from the version selector which is located above the table of contents.
Content version selector

When you add a user or group to a team or project, they're automatically granted access to those features supported by the default access level and those supported by the security group to which they are added. Most users can access most features by being assigned to the Basic access level and Contributors security group. For a simplified overview of the permissions assigned to the most common groups—Readers, Contributors, and Project Administrators—as well as the Stakeholder access group, see Permissions and access.

To add user accounts or groups to specific access levels, see Manage users and access. Make sure to set each user's access level based on what you've purchased for that user.

To add user accounts or groups to specific access levels, see Change access levels. Make sure to set each user's access level based on what you've purchased for that user.

Supported access levels

You assign users or groups of users to one of the following access levels:

  • Stakeholder: Provides partial access, can be assigned to unlimited users for free. Assign to users with no license or subscriptions who need access to a limited set of features.
  • Basic: Provides access to most features. Assign to users with an Azure DevOps Server CAL, with a Visual Studio Professional subscription, and to users for whom you are paying for Azure Boards & Repos in an organization.
  • Visual Studio subscription: Assign to users who already have a Visual Studio subscription. The system automatically recognizes the user's subscription—Visual Studio Enterprise, Visual Studio Professional, Visual Studio Test Professional, or MSDN Platform—and enables any other features that are included in their subscription level. If you assign Basic or Stakeholder, they also receive their Visual Studio subscription benefits upon sign-in.

The following table indicates those features available for each supported access level. Visual Studio Test Professional and MSDN Platform subscriptions grant access to the same features as Visual Studio Enterprise.

Feature Stakeholder Basic Visual Studio Professional Visual Studio Enterprise
Administer organization
Can configure resources when also added to a security group or role: team administrator, Project Administrator, or Project Collection Administrator
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
Advanced backlog and sprint planning tools
Includes full access to all backlog and sprint planning tools
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Advanced home page
Includes access to projects, work items, and pull requests defined across projects you work in
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Advanced portfolio management
Includes full access to define features and epics from a portfolio backlog or Kanban board
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Agile boards
Includes limited access to Kanban boards. Stakeholders can't add work items, can't drag-and-drop work items to update status, and can't update fields displayed on cards.
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
Agile Portfolio Management
Includes limited access to portfolio backlogs and Kanban boards. Stakeholders can't change the backlog priority order, and can't assign items to an iteration, use the mapping pane, or exercise forecasting.
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
Analyze test results and manage machine groups
Includes tracking test status and testing different configurations
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Artifacts
Includes full access to all Azure Artifacts features (previously referred to as package management)
checkmark checkmark
Author Release Pipelines and Manage Releases
Includes defining release pipelines and multi-stage continuous deployment (CD) pipelines, and using approvals and gates to control deployments; when the Free access to Pipelines Preview feature is enabled, Stakeholders gain access to all Azure Pipelines features.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Basic backlog and sprint planning tools
Includes limited access to add and modify items on backlogs and sprint backlogs and taskboards. Stakeholders can't assign items to an iteration, use the mapping pane, or forecasting.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Build
Includes full access to all features to manage continuous integration and continuous delivery of software
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Chart Authoring
Can create work tracking query charts
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Chart Viewing
Can only view work tracking query charts. Stakeholders can't view query charts from the Queries page, however can view them when added to a dashboard.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Code
Includes full access to all features to manage code using Git repositoriesor using Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC)
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Delivery Plans
Includes full access to add and view Delivery plans.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Request and Manage Feedback
Includes full access to request and manage feedback on working software.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Standard Features
Includes working across projects, View dashboards, View wikis, Manage personal notifications. Stakeholders can't view markdown README files defined for repositories and can only read wiki pages.
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
Test services in build and release
Includes running unit tests with your builds, reviewing and analyzing test results
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Test summary access to stakeholder license
Includes performing user acceptance testing and requesting stakeholder feedback using the Test & Feedback extension
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
View My Work Items
Access to add and modify work items, follow work items, view and create queries, and submit, view, and change feedback responses. Stakeholders can only assign existing tags to work items (can't add new tags) and can only save queries under My Queries (can't save under Shared Queries).
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
View Releases and Manage Approvals
Includes viewing releases and approving releases; when the Free access to Pipelines Preview feature is enabled, Stakeholders gain access to all Azure Pipelines features.
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
Web-based Test Case Management
Includes adding test plans and test suites, creating manual test cases, and deleting test artifacts
checkmark
Web-based Test Execution
Includes running manual and automated tests
checkmark checkmark checkmark
  • Stakeholder: Provides partial access, can be assigned to unlimited users for free. Assign to users with no license or subscriptions who need access to a limited set of features.
  • Basic: Provides access to most features. Assign to users with an Azure DevOps Server CAL, with a Visual Studio Professional subscription, and to users for whom you are paying for Azure Boards & Repos.
  • Basic + Test Plans: Provides access for users who have a monthly Test Manager subscription, Visual Studio Test Professional, or MSDN Platforms subscription.
  • VS Enterprise: Provides access to premium features. Assign to users with a subscription to Visual Studio Enterprise.

The following table indicates those features available for each supported access level.

Feature Stakeholder Basic Basic+Test VS Enterprise
Administer organization
Can configure resources when also added to a security group or role: team administrator, Project Administrator, or Project Collection Administrator
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
Advanced backlog and sprint planning tools
Includes full access to all backlog and sprint planning tools
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Advanced home page
Includes access to projects, work items, and pull requests defined across projects you work in
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Advanced portfolio management
Includes full access to defining features and epics from a portfolio backlog or Kanban board
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Agile boards
Includes limited access to Kanban boards. Stakeholders can't add work items, can't drag-and-drop work items to update status, and can't update fields displayed on cards.
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
Agile Portfolio Management
Includes limited access to portfolio backlogs and Kanban boards. Stakeholders can't change the backlog priority order, and can't assign items to an iteration, use the mapping pane, or exercise forecasting.
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
Analyze test results and manage machine groups
Includes tracking test status and testing different configurations
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Artifacts
Includes full access to all Azure Artifacts features (also referred to as package management)
checkmark checkmark
Author Release Pipelines and Manage Releases
Includes defining release pipelines and multi-stage continuous deployment (CD) pipelines, and using approvals and gates to control deployments
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Basic backlog and sprint planning tools
Includes limited access to add and modify items on backlogs and sprint backlogs and taskboards. Stakeholders can't assign items to an iteration, use the mapping pane, or forecasting.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Build
Includes full access to all features tomanage continuous integration and continuous delivery of software
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Chart Authoring
Can create work tracking query charts
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Chart Viewing
Can only view work tracking query charts; Stakeholders can't view query charts from the Queries page, however can view them when added to a dashboard.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Code
Includes full access to all features to manage code using Git repositories or using Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC)
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Delivery Plans
Includes full access to add and view Delivery plans.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Request and Manage Feedback
Includes full access to request and manage feedback on working software.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Standard Features
Includes working across projects, View dashboards, View wikis, Manage personal notifications; Stakeholders can't view markdown README files defined for repositories and can only read wiki pages.
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
Test services in build and release
Includes running unit tests with your builds, reviewing and analyzing test results
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Test summary access to stakeholder license
Includes performing user acceptance testing and requesting stakeholder feedback using the Test & Feedback extension
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
View My Work Items
Includes limited access to add and modify work items, follow work items, view and create queries, and submit, view, and change feedback responses. Stakeholders can only assign existing tags to work items (can't add new tags) and can only save queries under My Queries (can't save under Shared Queries).
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
View Releases and Manage Approvals
Includes viewing releases and approving releases
checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
Web-based Test Case Management
Includes adding test plans and test suites, creating manual test cases, and deleting test artifacts
checkmark checkmark
Web-based Test Execution
Includes running manual and automated tests
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Microsoft published Azure DevOps Extensions checkmark
  • Stakeholder: Provides partial access, can be assigned to unlimited users for free. Assign to users with no license or subscriptions who need access to a limited set of features.
  • Basic: Provides access to most features. Assign to users with a CAL or with a Visual Studio Professional subscription.
  • Advanced (legacy access level, deprecated in Azure DevOps Server 2019): Provides access to premium features. Only assign to users with a subscription to MSDN Platforms or Visual Studio Test Professional.
  • VS Enterprise: Provides access to premium features. Assign to users with a subscription to Visual Studio Enterprise.
  • Stakeholder: Provides partial access, can be assigned to unlimited users for free. Assign to users with no license or subscriptions who need access to a limited set of features.
  • Basic: Provides access to most features. Assign to users with a CAL or with a Visual Studio subscription.
  • Advanced (TFS 2017): Provides access to premium features. Only assign to users with a subscription to MSDN Platforms or Visual Studio Test Professional.
  • VS Enterprise (TFS 2017.1 and later versions): Provides access to premium features. Assign to users with a subscription to Visual Studio Enterprise.

The following table indicates those features available for each supported access level.

Feature Stakeholder Basic Advanced
VS Enterprise
Administer organization
Can configure resources when also added to a security group or role: team administrator, Project Administrator, or Project Collection Administrator
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Advanced backlog and sprint planning tools
Includes full access to all backlog and sprint planning tools
checkmark checkmark
Advanced home page
Includes access to projects, work items, and pull requests defined across projects you work in
checkmark checkmark
Advanced portfolio management
Includes full access to defining features and epics from a portfolio backlog or Kanban board
checkmark checkmark
Agile boards
Includes limited access to Kanban boards. Stakeholders can't add work items, can't drag-and-drop work items to update status, and can't update fields displayed on cards.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Agile Portfolio Management
Includes limited access to portfolio backlogs and Kanban boards. Stakeholders can't change the backlog priority order, and can't assign items to an iteration, use the mapping pane, or exercise forecasting.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Analyze test results and manage machine groups
Includes tracking test status and testing different configurations
checkmark checkmark
Artifacts
Includes full access to all Azure Artifacts features (also referred to as package management)
checkmark
Author Release Pipelines and Manage Releases
Includes defining release pipelines and multi-stage continuous deployment (CD) pipelines, and using approvals and gates to control deployments
checkmark checkmark
Basic backlog and sprint planning tools
Includes limited access to add and modify items on backlogs and sprint backlogs and taskboards. Stakeholders can't assign items to an iteration, use the mapping pane, or forecasting.
checkmark checkmark
Build
Includes full access to all features tomanage continuous integration and continuous delivery of software
checkmark checkmark
Chart Authoring
Can create work tracking query charts
checkmark checkmark
Chart Viewing
Can only view work tracking query charts; Stakeholders can't view query charts from the Queries page, however can view them when added to a dashboard.
checkmark checkmark
Code
Includes full access to all features to manage code using Git repositoriesor using Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC)
checkmark checkmark
Delivery Plans
Includes full access to add and view Delivery plans.
checkmark checkmark
Request and Manage Feedback
Includes full access to request and manage feedback on working software.
checkmark checkmark
Standard Features
Includes working across projects, View dashboards, View wikis, Manage personal notifications. Stakeholders can't view markdown README files defined for repositories and can only. read wiki pages.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Team rooms
Requires TFS 2017 or earlier versions. Deprecated for TFS 2018 and later versions.
checkmark checkmark
Test summary access to stakeholder license
Includes performing user acceptance testing and requesting stakeholder feedback using the Test & Feedback extension
checkmark checkmark checkmark
View My Work Items
Includes limited access to add and modify work items, follow work items, view and create queries, and submit, view, and change feedback responses. Stakeholders can only assign existing tags to work items (can't add new tags) and can only save queries under My Queries (can't save under Shared Queries).
checkmark checkmark checkmark
View Releases and Manage Approvals
Includes viewing releases and approving releases
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Web-based Test Case Management
Includes adding test plans and test suites, creating manual test cases, and deleting test artifacts
checkmark
Web-based Test Execution
Includes running manual and automated tests
checkmark checkmark
  • Stakeholder/Limited: Provides partial access, can be assigned to unlimited users for free. Assign to users with no license or subscriptions who need access to a limited set of features.
  • Basic/Standard: Provides access to most features. Assign to users with a CAL or with a Visual Studio subscription.
  • Advanced/Full: Provides access to premium features. Assign to users with a subscription to Visual Studio Enterprise, Visual Studio Test Professional or MSDN Platforms.

The following table indicates those features available for each supported access level.

Feature Stakeholder (Limited) Basic (Standard) Advanced (Full)
Administer organization
Can configure resources when also added to a security group or role: team administrator, Project Administrator, or Project Collection Administrator
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Advanced backlog and sprint planning tools
Includes full access to all backlog and sprint planning features.
checkmark checkmark
Advanced home page
Includes access to projects, work items, and pull requests defined across projects you work in
checkmark checkmark
Agile boards
Includes limited access to Kanban boards. Stakeholders can't add work items and can't drag-and-drop work items to update status.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Agile Portfolio Management
Includes full access to portfolio backlogs and Kanban boards
checkmark
Basic backlog and sprint planning tools
Includes limited access to add and modify items on backlogs and sprint backlogs and taskboards. Stakeholders can't assign items to an iteration, use the mapping pane, or forecasting.
checkmark checkmark
Build
Includes full access to all features to manage continuous integration and continuous delivery of software
checkmark checkmark
Chart Authoring
Can create work tracking query charts
checkmark checkmark
Chart Viewing
Can only view work tracking query charts
checkmark checkmark
Code
Includes full access to all features to manage code using Git repositoriesor using Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC)
checkmark checkmark
Request and Manage Feedback
Includes full access to request and manage feedback on working software.
checkmark checkmark
Standard Features
Includes working across projects, viewing dashboards, and managing personal notifications; Stakeholders have no access to repositories.
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Team rooms checkmark checkmark
View My Work Items
Includes limited access to add and modify work items, follow work items, view and create queries, and submit, view, and change feedback responses. Stakeholders can only assign existing tags to work items (can't add new tags) and can only save queries under My Queries (can't save under Shared Queries).
checkmark checkmark checkmark
Web-based Test Management
Includes adding and executing test plans and test suites and manual test cases, and deleting test artifacts
checkmark

Stakeholder access

With Stakeholder access, users can create and modify work items and create and save queries. They have limited access to many of the Azure Boards features. They also can view and approve release pipelines and perform administrative tasks when granted administrative permissions or added to an administrative group.

To get started as a Stakeholder, see Get started as a Stakeholder.

Public versus private feature access

Stakeholder access grants access to features differently depending on whether you're working from a private or a public project. To learn more about public projects, see What is a public project?.

Service, application, or setting Private project Public project
Dashboards Partial access Full access
Wiki Partial access Full access
Boards Partial access Full access
Repos No access Full access
Pipelines Full access Full access
Test Plans No access No access
Notifications Full access Full access
Semantic search Full access Full access
Project settings Partial access Partial access
Organization settings Partial access Partial access

Features not available to users with Stakeholder access

If a Stakeholder needs access to one or more of the following features—which support the daily work of product owners, team leads, developers, testers, and project administrators—you need to grant them Basic access.

For Private projects:

  • Change the priority of an item within a backlog
  • Delete work items or move work items to another project
  • Create shared queries, view charts, and modify the home page
  • View Delivery Plans (a Marketplace extension)
  • Access the full set of features under Pipelines, Repos or Test Plans.

For Public projects:

  • View Delivery Plans (a Marketplace extension)
  • Access the full set of features under Repos or Test Plans.
  • Change the priority of an item within a backlog
  • Delete work items or move work items to another project
  • Create shared queries, view charts, and modify the home page
  • View Delivery Plans (a Marketplace extension)
  • Access the full set of features under Pipelines, Repos or Test Plans.
  • Change the priority of an item within a backlog
  • Delete work items
  • Create shared queries, view charts, and modify the home page
  • View Delivery Plans (a Marketplace extension)
  • Access the full set of features under Code, Build and Release or Test.
  • Change the priority of an item within a backlog
  • Delete work items
  • Create shared queries, view charts, and modify the home page
  • View Delivery Plans (a Marketplace extension)
  • Access the full set of features provided under Code, Build and Release or Test
  • Participate in team rooms, which capture interactive, detailed conversations about the project.

Note

Stakeholders that choose a feature that's not available to them receive an error message indicating that they don't have permissions to complete the task.

Visual Studio subscription access

Visual Studio subscribers are entitled to Visual Studio subscription features as a subscriber benefit. When you add those users, be sure to assign them the Visual Studio subscription access level.

The system automatically recognizes their subscription and enables any other features that are included, based on their subscription level.

VS Enterprise access

Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers are entitled to VS Enterprise access as a subscriber benefit. When you add those users, be sure to assign them the VS Enterprise access level.

With VS Enterprise access, users have access to any fee-based, Marketplace extension published by Microsoft Marketplace extension published by Microsoft that is included for active Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers. Examples include Azure Artifacts (which is also free for 5 users who are not Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers) and Test Manager.

For TFS 2017.2 and later versions, assign VS Enterprise to those users for whom you've purchased Visual Studio Enterprise. These include a TFS CAL plus the rights to access VS Enterprise features. (For users with MSDN Platforms subscriptions or Test Professional, assign the Basic access level and the Test Manager extension for Azure Test Plans.) To learn more, see Assign paid extension access to users. For example, for users with Visual Studio Test Professional or Visual Studio Enterprise, assign them access to the Test Manager extension for Azure Test Plans.

Advanced access

Users assigned Advanced access can manage test cases when you have purchased Test Manager extension for Azure Test Plans and assigned to the user accounts to gain full access to Web-based test case management tools.

Note

The Advanced access level is deprecated for TFS 2017 and later versions of TFS. Use the VS Enterprise access level only for active Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers. For MSDN Platforms and Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN subscribers needing access to Test, assign them to the Advanced access level and the Test Manager extension for Azure Test Plans.

For TFS 2017 and earlier versions, you should assign the Advanced level to those users for whom you've purchased the full Test feature set. Here are the purchasing options:

  • Higher-level Visual Studio subscriptions: Visual Studio Test Professional, Visual Studio Enterprise, or MSDN Platforms subscriptions. These include a TFS CAL plus the rights to access the full set of Test features.
  • A paid Azure DevOps user (which includes a TFS CAL) plus the Test Manager extension for Azure Test Plans.

For TFS 2017.2, Assign Advanced access to those users for whom you've purchased MSDN Platforms or Visual Studio Test Professional subscriptions. These include a TFS CAL plus the rights to access Test Manager. To learn more, see Get extensions for TFS, Assign paid extension access to users.

Note

With TFS 2017.1, the Advanced access level was temporarily disabled. Updating to TFS 2017.2 re-enables it. If you are on TFS 2017.1 and have users with Visual Studio Test Professional or MSDN Platforms subscriptions, you should assign them Basic access level. In addition, you need to open Users for the project collections in which they are a member and assign them the Test Manager extension for Azure Test Plans. To learn more, see Buy access to TFS or TFS Test.

Test Plans, load testing, and Marketplace extensions

Full access to Test Plans and load testing features requires VS Enterprise access. Visual Studio Test Professional plus the test features in the web portal are managed through Azure DevOps, Azure billing services, and purchase of Test Manager extension for Azure Test Plans from the Marketplace.

To learn more, see Start free trials for paid Azure DevOps Services features and extensions.

Test features and Marketplace extensions

Full access to Test features requires Advanced (TFS 2017 or earlier versions) or VS Enterprise (TFS 2017.1 or later version) access. Visual Studio Test Professional plus the test features in the web portal are managed through Azure DevOps, Azure billing services, and purchase of Test Manager extension for Azure Test Plans from the Marketplace.

To learn how to grant access to an extension, see Get extensions for TFS.

What features are available to users who are added to two different access levels?

If a user belongs to a group that has Basic access and another group that has VS Enterprise access, the user has access to all features available through VS Enterprise, which is a superset of Basic.

Service account access

Azure DevOps Server service accounts are added to the default access level. If you make Stakeholder the default access level, you must add the service accounts to Basic or Advanced/VS Enterprise access.

Service accounts don't require a CAL or other purchase.