"Object reference not set to an instance of an object" while accessing Active Directory information from TFS Source Control Explorer

This article provides help to solve an error that occurs when you access Active Directory information from Team Foundation Server Source Control Explorer.

Original product version:   Windows Server 2012 R2
Original KB number:   957969

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Action

Create a Windows group in Active Directory (AD), and assign AD users to the group, then...

  1. Open Visual Studio as a TFS Administrator
  2. Open "Source Control Explorer"
  3. Right+click on a version control folder and select Properties
  4. Click the Security tab on the Properties dialog
  5. Select the "Windows User or Group" option and click the Add button
  6. Browse for the AD group; and attempt to add the group

Result

Error: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Cause

This issue is caused by a bug in the version control permission dialog window in Visual Studio 2008 \ Team Explorer 2008.

Resolution

This problem is resolved in Visual Studio 2008 SP1. If you are using Visual Studio 2008 RTM, there are two workarounds:

  1. Assign version control permissions with commandline tool: tf.exe

You can enter "tf perm /?" or review the MSDN documentation for this command TF Permission command for more information about how to assign version control permissions from command line.

  1. Explicitly make the AD group in question a valid TFS identity:

a. Create a new user group on the server. b. Add the AD group in question to this group. c. You should now be able to assign version control permissions to the AD group.

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