Team Services | TFS "15" | TFS 2015 | Previous versions
You use Team Explorer to manage work that is assigned to you, your team, or your team projects, and to coordinate your efforts with other team members to develop a project. Team Explorer is a plug-in that installs with Visual Studio or Eclipse. Working from different platforms, developers and stakeholders can effectively collaborate using Team Explorer connected to team projects hosted on Visual Studio Online or on-premises Team Foundation Server (TFS).
The operations available to you depend on which source control option—Team Foundation version control (TFVC) or Git—was selected to manage source code when the team project was created.
Team Explorer plug-in for Visual Studio
Team Explorer connects Visual Studio to team projects. You can manage source code, work items, and builds. Or, create a team project.
Home page with Git
Home page with TFVC
Some pages, such as Reports and Documents, only appear when TFS is configured with the required resources. Other pages, such as My Work, are only available with Visual Studio Enterprise Edition.
If you don’t need Visual Studio, but do want to connect to Team Services or TFS or get one or more Team Foundation add-ins, you can install the free Visual Studio Community.
Team Explorer plug-in for Eclipse
If you work in Eclipse or on a non-Windows platform, you can install the Team Explorer plug-in for Eclipse. Once installed, you can share your Eclipse projects by adding them to Team Services or TFS using Git or TFVC.
Home page with Git (Eclipse)
Home page with TFVC (Eclipse)
Choose the page to access the task you want
Based on the page you select and the options configured for your team project.
From the Connect page, you can select the team projects you want to connect to and quickly switch context between team projects.
Git: Local Git repo
If you connect to a Git repo, you also can create, add, or clone repositories.
TFVC: Map workspace
If you connect to a TFVC repo, you'll be prompted to Configure your workspace (TFVC) on first connect.
Important: From the Visual Studio plug-in, you can Create a team project. The ability to create team projects is not supported from the Eclipse plug-in. You can, however, create team projects from the web portal account/collection administration context.
Home, Work, and Build pages
Git and TFVC pages
The Git and TFVC repos support different pages and functions. You'll see one or the other pages depending on the team project and repro you connect to. For a comparison of the two repos, see Choosing the right version control for your project.
Report and Document pages (TFS only)
The Report page opens the Reporting Services report site. This page appears only when your team project has been configured with SQL Server Analysis Services and Reporting Services. Also, the option to Create Report in Microsoft Excel appears only when reporting has been configured for the team project.
If your team project is missing one or more pages, you may be able to add functionality to your on premises TFS deployment.
From the Settings page, you can configure administrative features for either a team project or team project collection. Configuring features in these areas requires you to be a member of a Team Services or TFS administrator group.
Most of the links open to a web portal administration page. Not all settings are available from the Team Explorer plug-in for Eclipse.
Team project settings
Required membership: Project Administrators
- Security (manage project-level permissions)
- Group membership: manage group permissions
- Source Control: Configure the check-out settings, check-in policies, and check-in note requirements for your team project (TFVC only)
- Work Item Areas (project-wide)
- Work Item Iterations (project-wide)
- Portal Settings (Enable portal or process guidance)
- Project Alerts
Collection settings (TFS)
Required membership: Project Collection Administrators
To learn more about administration features, see Work in the web portal, administration context.
You've now got a basic understanding of how to work in the Team Explorer add-in for Visual Studio and Eclipse.
Additional resources you may find of interest are listed below. Note that many of these resources you access from the web portal, and not from Team Explorer.
User accounts and licensing
Team Services provides access to the first 5 account users free. After that, you need to pay for more users (Team Services). For on-premises TFS, each user account must have a TFS client access license (CAL). All Visual Studio subscriptions and paid Team Services users include a TFS CAL. Find out more about licensing from the Visual Studio licensing white paper.
In addition, you can provide access to stakeholders in your organization who will have limited access to select features as described in Work as a Stakeholder.
Troubleshoot connection problems
Here’s a list of the most frequently encountered connection problems and what to do about them. Start at the top and follow it in the order indicated.
Verify that you have required permissions.
If the errors that you receive indicate read-only or blocked actions, you might not have permission to act on the data.
Verify that your computer is connected to the network and can access network resources.
Verify that TFS hasn’t been taken offline. Talk with your TFS administrator.
Verify whether your team project has been moved to another team project collection in Team Foundation Server. If it has been moved, you must create a connection to the new server name.
For more troubleshooting tips, go here.
Clients that connect to Team Services or TFS
In addition to connecting through Team Explorer, you can connect to a team project from these clients:
- Web portal
- Visual Studio Code
- Visual Studio Community
- Eclipse: Team Explorer Everywhere
- Office Excel
- Office Project
- PowerPoint Storyboarding
- Microsoft Test Manager
- Microsoft Feedback Client
Refresh Team Explorer
If data doesn’t appear as expected, the first thing to try is to refresh your client. Refreshing your client updates the local cache with changes that were made in another client or in TFS. To refresh Team Explorer, do one of the following actions:
To refresh a page that you are currently viewing, choose Refresh icon in the menu bar (or choose the F5 key).
To refresh the team project you currently have selected, choose Home, and then choose Refresh icon (or choose the F5 key).
To refresh the set of teams defined for the team project that you currently have selected, choose the Connect icon, and then choose Refresh icon (or choose the F5 key).
To avoid potential errors, you should refresh your client application under the following circumstances:
- Process changes are made
- Work item type definitions are added, removed, renamed or updated
- Area or iteration paths are added, removed, renamed or updated
- Users are added to or removed from security groups or permissions are updated
- A team member adds a new shared query or changes the name of a shared query
- A build definition is added or deleted
- A team or team project is added or deleted.
Additional tools provided with TFS Power Tools
By installing Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2015 Power Tools, you gain access to these additional tools through the Team Explorer plug-in for Visual Studio:
- Process Template Editor
- Additional check-in policies for Team Foundation Version Control
- Team Explorer enhancements including Team Members
- Team Foundation Power Tool Command Line
- Test Attachment Cleaner
- Work Item Templates
Additional requirements may apply.
Feedback and support
We welcome your feedback.
Or, see our comprehensive feedback and support page.