Configure and manage TFS resources

You configure and manage Team Foundation Server (TFS) and additional resources to support your teams. These resources include the application-tier and data-tier server(s), team project collections which host team projects, and optional resources such as report servers, SharePoint products, build servers, lab management, and more. For information on TFS components and architecture, see Team Foundation Server architecture.


You should not manually modify any of the TFS databases unless you’re either instructed to do so by Microsoft Support or when you’re following the procedures described for manually backing up the databases. Any other modifications can invalidate your service agreement.

Through the Team Foundation Server Administration Console, you can manage and monitor your server configuration. Tasks you can accomplish through the administration console are indicated with this image: Team Foundation Server Administration Console.

Application tier

Data tier

Team project collections

Team projects

Reports, documents, and dashboards

Service accounts, application pools, and websites

Use the Team Foundation Administration Console to configure and manage your deployment

The administration console is installed by default on any server on which you install one or more of the following components: an application tier for TFS, TFS extensions for SharePoint Products, Team Foundation Build, and Visual Studio Lab Management

If all of your components are installed on a single server, the administration console provides management nodes for all components in your deployment. If, however, your deployment uses multiple servers, you must open the console on the server that is running the component that you want to manage.

  1. If you’re not a local administrator on the server where the console is running and an administrator in TFS, get those permissions.

  2. To open the console:

    • From Start, open the application menu, choose Microsoft Team Foundation Server, and then choose Team Foundation Server Administration Console.

      If Team Foundation Server Administration Console doesn’t appear in the list of available applications, you might not have permission to open it. You can try to open it at a command prompt, but you might not be able to access some or all of the administration console's functionality.

    • From the command line, open a Command Prompt window running as an administrator, and change directories to the TFS tools directory (by default, Drive:\%programfiles%\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 12.0\Tools), and enter TfsMgmt.exe.

View installed updates on your server

To determine what updates have been installed, you can open the administration console for Team Foundation or view the version number of a particular file.

  1. Open the administration console and choose Application Tier and review the version numbers listed for the application-tier and data-tier.

    View installed updates

  2. To learn when the software was installed, choose Installed Updates.

If the administration console provides isn’t available, for example during a TFS upgrade, you can view the file version number of the Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Admin.dll file.

  1. Open Windows Explorer (or File Explorer), and browse to \Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 12.0\Tools.

  2. Expand the sub-menu for Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Admin.dll, and then choose Properties.

  3. Choose the Details tab, and review the information under File Version.

Application areas and resource dependencies

You can add or remove resources to your deployment to better meet the changing needs of your business and the software projects that you support with TFS. You can add or remove reporting and Web resources at any time. You can also use more than one instance of SQL Server to host the databases for your deployment. For example, you can add a server that is running SQL Server Reporting Services to your deployment after you install and initially configure TFS. You can also upgrade the version of SharePoint Products that supports your deployment and add its capabilities of that product to the team projects that already exist in your deployment.

When you create a team project, you automatically gain access to the following functions:

  • Web access: provides a web interface to TFS that grants access to team projects, Agile planning and tracking tools, version control, and builds. For an overview, see Work in Team Web Access (TWA).

  • Source control repository using Team Foundation version control or Git repositories.

  • Work item tracking: teams can create work items and work item queries to track, monitor, and report on the development of a product and its features. A work item is a database record that stores the definition, assignment, priority, and state of work. Your team can create only those types of work items that are defined in the process template that is used to create the team project or types that are added to the team project after it is created.

    Team members can work in TWA or Team Explorer. To learn more about these and other clients that connect to TFS, see Choose the Team Foundation client to support your tasks.

The following table indicates the additional servers and functionality that you must configure for your team to have access to the corresponding feature. You can add resources before or after you have created your team project.

Feature area

Required resources

Related topics


Feedback requests and email alerts

SMTP Server

Configure an SMTP server to support alerts and feedback requests

The SMTP server you configure supports all team projects created under the project collections defined on the application-tier. If the SMTP server isn’t configured, then links may not appear to access the Request feedback and to set Alerts.

Builds IconBuilds

Team Foundation Build

Configure and manage your build system

The Builds Icon Builds page lists the build definitions defined for your team project. This page appears only when Team Foundation Build is installed and configured. Team Foundation Build enables your team to create and manage product builds. For example, a team can run daily builds and post them to a shared server. Team Foundation Build also supports build reports about the status and quality of each build.

Access to Team Foundation Build Service requires that the team project collection has been configured to use a build controller. Each build controller is dedicated to a single team project collection. The controller accepts build requests from any team project in a specified collection. See Build the application.

Document nodeDocuments (team project portal)

SharePoint Products

Add SharePoint products to your deployment

How to: Configure a Default Location for Team Project Portals

The Document nodeDocuments page appears only when your team project has been configured with SharePoint Products. After the team project is created, you can configure a SharePoint site or another web location as the project portal. You may need to configure dashboard compatibility and configure an enterprise application definition. See also Share information using the project portal.

Excel reports

SharePoint Products

SQL Server Analysis Services

Add SharePoint products to your deployment

Add a report server

Microsoft Excel reports are uploaded to the Document nodeDocuments folder when you configure your team project with a SharePoint site. With these reports you can track your team project’s burn rate, bug backlog, software quality, test progress, and other metrics. Many of these reports display within your project's dashboards. In addition to the SharePoint Products dependency, Excel reports depend on your team project collection that hosts your team project has been configured with both SQL Server Analysis Services.

For an overview of the default Excel reports, see Excel reports or Excel reports (CMMI).

If your team project doesn't have a SharePoint site, you can still use Excel to create status and trend reports. See Create Excel reports from a work item query.

Report Reports

SQL Server Analysis Services

SQL Server Reporting Services

Add reports to a team project

The ReportReports page appears only when the team project collection that hosts your team project has been configured with both SQL Server Reporting Services and SQL Server Analysis Services. This page provides access to Report Manager and the default and custom reports that you upload to the server that hosts SQL Server Reporting Services.

For an overview of the default reports, see Reports (SQL Server Reporting Services).

Remote-site support

Team Foundation Server Proxy

How to: Install Team Foundation Proxy and set up a remote site

Configure Visual Studio to connect to TFS Proxy

If some team members are located remotely from the main location for version control, you may want to install and configure Team Foundation Server Proxy to support them.  TFS Proxy manages a cache of downloaded version control files in the location of the distributed team, which significantly reduces the bandwidth that is needed across wide area connections.

If clients are configured to use Team Foundation Server Proxy, management of the files is transparent to the user. Any metadata exchange and file uploads continue to interface directly with TFS. See Connect to team projects in Team Foundation Server.

Virtual environments

Visual Studio Lab Management

Configure Lab Management for SCVMM environments

By using Lab Management, your team can create, assign, and track virtual environments to support application development, deployment, and tests. Testing teams can test applications by using Microsoft Test Manager when their team project is configured to use these virtual environments.

Automate deployments

Release Management

Automate deployments with Release Management

You can support a rapid release cadence and manage simultaneous releases using Release Management. Set up release paths that represent your stages from development to production. Run actions to deploy your app to an environment for that stage.

Synchronize with Project Server

TFS-Project Server Integration

Synchronize Team Foundation Server with Project Server

To support data to flow from work items TFS to tasks in enterprise project plans in Project Server, you install Team Foundation Server Extensions for Project Server on the server hosting Project Server. This integration enables project managers and software development teams to use the tools that they prefer, work at the level of precision that supports their needs, and share information transparently.

Capture production incidents

PreEmptive Analytics

PreEmptive Analytics

With PreEmptive Analytics for Team Foundation Server, development teams can capture production incidents (unhandled, caught, and thrown exceptions) and create and update TFS work items based on custom rules and thresholds.

You configure PreEmptive Analytics through the Team Foundation Administrator Console.

Q & A

Q: What do I need to know about managing team projects?

A: Get started by reviewing the following topics:

Q: Can I rename a team project or team project collection?

A: You can’t rename a team project. You can rename a collection by first detaching the collection, editing its settings, and then attaching the collection. See Manage team project collections.

Q: How does TFS manage its services?

A: TFS and the products it integrates with include several services and service accounts which run on some or all of the logical tiers and physical computers that compose a deployment. You can use the same account for all of these service accounts, or you can use different accounts. Your choice of account or accounts to use depends on the configuration of your deployment, your security needs, and what components you have installed. For clarity, each service account is referred to separately by using placeholder names.

To learn more, see Service accounts and dependencies in Team Foundation Server.

Q: How do I scale my deployment?

A: You can move TFS to a new server or add additional application-tier servers. You can also Move Team Foundation Server from one environment to another.

Q: How do I monitor my deployment?

A: You can monitor TFS activity using the following tools:

  • From the administration console Logs page, you can open a log file generated when configuring or servicing TFS.

  • From the web administration page for the application-tier server, you can view activity logs and job monitoring charts.


    To learn more, see this blog post: New tools for TFS Administrators.

  • From the Control Panel context of TWA, you can export an audit log of all users and their access levels. See Change access levels.

For additional monitoring tips, see this blog post: What does a well maintained Team Foundation Server look like?

Q: What do I need to know about maintaining multiple servers?

A: Depending on how you initially installed and configured Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS), you might need to manage it across one or multiple servers to maintain and operate your deployment. For example, the following illustration shows the logical architecture of a deployment of TFS that is integrated with both SQL Server Reporting Services and SharePoint Products:

Database relationships with SharePoint Products

In this example, you have to manage the configuration of the components, the users, the groups, and permissions across several servers. You must configure firewalls or other devices to allow network traffic on the ports that are required for communication between the servers. You have to make sure that all services that the deployment requires are running and configured to start automatically. Finally, you must make sure that the service account that TFS uses is fully trusted by every computer in the deployment. 

See also this blog post: What does a well maintained Team Foundation Server look like?

Q: Where can I learn more about TFS requirements?

A: See one or more of the following topics:

Q: Are there any restrictions I should be aware of when maintaining TFS?

A: Yes. As mentioned above, you should never manually modify TFS databases, because that can invalidate your service agreement, block upgrades and patches, and result in data loss or corruption. There are only two circumstances where you should ever consider modification:

  • You are instructed to do so by Microsoft Support.

  • Your deployment needs require you to manually back up your TFS databases. In that case, you should only modify the databases as described here.

Q: What other resources are available?

A: The following resources and tools are available: