SQL Server requirements for Team Foundation Server

The most recent requirements information, which also covers TFS 2015, is Requirements and Compatibility.

Team Foundation Server 2013 requires SQL Server 2012 with Service Pack 1 or SQL Server 2014.

You have multiple options:

Regardless of which option you choose, your instance of SQL Server must meet the following requirements:

Supported editions

  • SQL Server 2014¹ (Express,² Standard,² and Enterprise editions)

  • SQL Server 2012 with SP1³ or newer service pack (Express,² Standard,² and Enterprise Editions)

Tip: TFS Express only supports SQL Server Express instances that use the default instance name (SQLExpress).

Required for Team Foundation Server

  • Database Engine Services

  • Full-Text and Semantic Extractions for Search

Required for reporting

  • Reporting Services – Native

  • Analysis Services

Collation settings

  • Must be accent sensitive

  • Must not be case sensitive

  • Must not be Binary

  • Must not be Binary - code point

For more information, see SQL Server Collation Requirements for Team Foundation Server.


Windows authentication

Service account

You can use a domain account or a built-in account.


For TFS installations that require running SQL Server on dedicated hardware, hardware recommendations are available. For more information, see System requirements for Team Foundation Server

Your limits on database read operations

Microsoft does not support any read operations against the TFS databases that originate from queries, scripts, .dll files, and so on, not provided by Microsoft or its support teams. If Microsoft Support determines that those read operations prevent them from solving your problem, the entire database will be unsupported. To return the database to a supported state, all unsupported read operations must stop.

¹ SQL Server 2014 has increased hardware requirements compared with previous versions. Certain configurations might hurt TFS performance. For more information, read TFS 2013 Update 2: performance considerations using SQL Server 2014.

² Limited or no SQL Server High Availability support.

³ If you’re using SQL Server 2012 with SP1, we recommend you also apply cumulative update 2 on top of SP1 to address a critical SQL Server bug around resource consumption. This isn’t a requirement because the bug only affects a small number of instances, but we wanted you to be aware of it. If you don’t apply CU2, you should apply a SQL Server hotfix (KB2793634) to addresses another (different) issue where SQL Server 2012 with SP1 might request an excessive amount of restarts.

SQL Server High Availability features Supported by Team Foundation Server

SQL Server 2012 offers a new high availability (HA) feature that requires a Team Foundation Server-specific configuration. For more information, see: Use SQL Server Always On Availability Groups with Team Foundation Server

SQL Server HA feature

TFS support

Requires TFS Configuration

Always On Failover Cluster Instances



Always On Availability Groups



SQL Mirroring



SQL Replication



SQL Log Shipping



How to install SQL Server for Team Foundation Server

More SQL Server Tasks for Team Foundation Server

Conceptual Information about SQL Server and Team Foundation Server

See Also


Install Team Foundation Server

TFS upgrade requirements