Change access levels

If you don’t see the product backlog page or can’t send feedback requests, it might be because you don’t have the right level of access to the features in Team Web Access. There are three levels of access: standard, full or limited. The access level you can have depends on your license as described in Visual Studio and MSDN Licensing white paper.

  • Any user with a TFS client-access license (CAL) can have standard access.

  • Full access is available to users who have one of these MSDN subscriptions: Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN, Visual Studio Premium with MSDN, or Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN. With full access, you get the more advanced agile project management tools, and you can send feedback requests.

  • You can give anyone limited access. There’s no license required. Limited access is helpful when you want to use TFS to collaborate with your customers or stakeholders (or anyone who’s not on your team, really).


For a team project upgraded with the RTM release of TFS 2012, you must enable new features—such as the product backlog page and feedback requests—using the Configure Features wizard. See Configure features after a TFS upgrade.

If you already know what the access levels are and you just want to see how to set them, jump ahead to how to do it.

Standard access

Standard access includes access to the team home page, work items, source and build pages. You can manage your team on the team home page, view and manage source code, changesets, and shelvesets on the Code page, view and manage builds on the Build page, and plan and manage your work in various views.

For example, you can create, modify, and find work items on the work items page…

Work items page with standard access

… and manage those work items on the task board, where you can also plan and manage your sprint.

Task board with standard access

Full access

With full access, you can plan and organize your work on the product backlog page and manage your work with the Kanban board.

Open the cumulative flow diagram

You can request feedback from stakeholders or customers.

Home page with Full access Activities links

And you get some charts on the team home page.

Team home page with full access

In addition, if you have installed Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 with Update 2, you also have access to the Test hub that supports Web-based test case management.

Limited access

Users with limited access can create work items and edit the work items that they created, but they don’t have access to any other pages. See Work in Limited access view or Work Item Only View. Here’s what limited access looks like.

Limited access

Setting access levels

  1. From the TFS home page (for example, http://myserver:8080/tfs), open the server administration page.

    Go to the administration page


  2. On the Access Levels tab, add the user or group. If you don’t see this tab, you need to be added to the Team Foundation Administrators group.

    Add the user or group

Permissions and access levels

Of course, none of these access levels expose information that you don’t have permission to view. Make sure your users have both the permissions and the access levels they need. If they’re members of a team, then they probably have the permissions to use the features provided with full and standard access.