Work in the web portal

Last Update: 4/25/2017

Team Services | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

The web portal provides support for teams to collaborate through the planning, development, and release cycles. You use the web portal to perform both software development and administrative tasks.

You can manage source code, plan and track work, define builds, run tests, and manage releases. The web portal connects you to the team project defined for an account in Visual Studio Team Services or within an on-premise TFS.

If you don't have a team project yet, create one in Visual Studio Team Services or set one up in an on-premises TFS. If you don't have access to the team project, get invited to the team.

NOTE

The images you see from your web portal may differ from the images you see in this topic. These differences result from updates made to Team Services or your on-premises TFS and options that you or your admin have enabled. However, the basic functionality available to you remains the same unless explicitly mentioned.

Code, Pull Request, Active example

NOTE

Feature availability: The features available to you depend on the platform (Team Services or on-premises TFS), TFS version, features enabled for your team project or collection, and your access level. New features are deployed regularly to Team Services. Many of these features are then made available to on-premises TFS through regular updates.

To get started, from a supported web browser enter the following URL:

Team Services:

https://AccountName.visualstudio.com/DefaultCollection/ProjectName 

TFS (on-premises):

http://ServerName:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection/ProjectName

NOTE

For TFS, the TFS administrator can configure the following elements: protocol (https vs http), port (8080), virtual directory (tfs), and collection name (DefaultCollection) (See Web site settings and security.) For example, a deployment configured on port 443 with no vdir, an FQDN, and a custom collection name might look like: https://tfs.contoso.com/CustomCollection/ProjectName. If the above pattern doesn't work for you, check with your TFS administrator.

The web portal is one of several clients that can connect to a team project. Different clients support different features and functions. For a list of all clients that connect to Team Services or TFS, see Tools and clients that connect to Team Services and TFS.

There are three main navigational concepts to understand. The first is the collection-project-team structure, the second is the user/administrative context, and the third corresponds to user-focused and team-scoped features that provide quick access to tasks targeted for the logged-in user or for the selected team.

Collection-project-team structure

When you connect to Team Services or an on-premises TFS, you connect to an account or team project collection. Within that collection, one or more team projects may be defined. At a minimum, at least one team project must be created in order to use the system.

When you create your team project, a team of the same name is automatically created. For small teams, this is sufficient.

However, for enterprise-level organizations, it may be necessary to scale up, to create additional teams and/or team projects. These can be created within the single account or collection.

Single team project, team defined within an account/collection
Single collection-project-team conceptual image
Multiple team projects and teams defined within an account/collection
Scaled collection-project-team conceptual image

The collection-project-team structure provides teams a high-level of autonomy to configure their tools in ways that work for them. It also supports administrative tasks to occur at the appropriate level.

To learn more about adding teams and the features that support team autonomy, see Multiple teams and Manage team assets.

User/administrative context

The user context is used to get work done—manage code, plan and track work, define and manage builds, create and run tests, and so on. Administrators use the admin context to configure shared resources and permissions. Tasks performed in this context can impact the team project and team functions.

User context
You and other team members use the user context to collaborate, plan, and build working software.

Click any hub to open that hub. Hover your mouse over a hub to access a drop-down menu of pages and other options for that hub. To access administrative options, click the gear icon gear Settings icon or choose the admin level you want from the drop-down menu.

Team Services, User context hubs

Click any hub to open that hub. Hover your mouse over a hub to access a drop-down menu of pages and other options for that hub. To access administrative options, click the gear icon gear Settings icon or choose the admin level you want from the drop-down menu.

TFS 2017, User context hubs

Click any hub to open that hub. Hover your mouse over a hub to access a drop-down menu of pages and other options for that hub. To access administrative options, click the gear icon gear Settings icon or choose the admin level you want from the drop-down menu.

Team Services-Account Landing Off, User context hubs

Click any hub to open that hub. Then, click a page within the hub to open that page.

TFS 2015, User context hubs


Administrative context
You use the administrative context to set team, team project, and account or collection settings. The hubs and pages available change based on what level of administrative context you're in.

To learn more about each administrative context level, see the Administrative context and team, team project, and account/collection settings later in this topic.

User-focused features

Several features display information based on the logged-in user account or the selected team context. First off, users can set their preferences through their profile or account menu:

Team Services, My Profile link on Account menu

In addition, they have access to special queries—Assigned to me query, Followed work items, and more— dashboard widget such as the Assigned to me widget, and the ability to save favorites under a My favorites folder. Here's an example of the Assigned to me widget that you can add to a dashboard. To learn more, see User-focused features.

![]() Team Services, web portal, user profile/account menu

NOTE

If you work in Team Services, you can also use your account hub to view and quickly navigate to teams, team projects, branches, work items, pull requests and other objects that are relevant to you. For details, see Work effectively from your account hub.

Team-scoped features

Teams access their set of team-scoped features by choosing their team context. Each team gets access to a suite of Agile tools and team assets. These tools provide teams the ability to work autonomously and collaborate with other teams across the enterprise.

Agile tool team assets

Also, teams can set their query and build favorites within Team favorites folders. For more information, see Manage team assets.

Switch team project or team focus

Several features depend on the team project or team that you have selected. For example, dashboards, backlogs, and board views will change depending on the context selected.

For example, when you add a work item, the system references the default area and iteration paths defined for the team context. Work items you add from the team dashboard (new work item widget) and queries page are assigned the team default iteration. Work items you add from a team backlog or board, are assigned the team default backlog iteration. To change team defaults, see Set team defaults.

Also, several hubs enable you to set team favorites. The favorites you set and see are dependent on the team context you've chosen.

You navigate to your team context from the top navigation bar. The method changes slightly depending on the platform/version you work from.

NOTE

Feature availability: The Account Landing Page feature is in preview mode for Team Services and enabled for all users from web portal for TFS 2017.1 and later versions. To learn more about this feature, see Work effectively from your account hub. To enable or disable the feature, see Enable preview features.

You can switch your team focus to a team project or team you've recently viewed from the team project/team drop-down menu. If you don't see the team or team project you want, click Browse… to browse all team projects and teams. Your selection will open the Dashboard hub for the team project/team.

To access your account hub, click the Team Services icon Team Services icon. If you haven't yet enabled the Account Landing Page, you'll be taken to the account home page.

To go directly to the project vision and status page, choose the project home icon from the drop-down menu, for example, project home icon.

Choose another team from the team project menu

To switch your team focus to a team project or team you've recently viewed, hover over the Team Services icon Team Services icon and choose from the drop-down menu of options. If you don't see the team or team project you want, choose Browse… to browse all team projects and teams. Your selection will open the project vision and status page for the team project.

To access your account hub, click the Team Services icon Team Services icon. If you haven't yet enabled the Account Landing Page, you'll be taken to the account home page.

Choose another team from the team project menu

Open the team project/team drop-down menu and select the team project/team that you've recently visited. If you don't see the team or team project you want, choose Browse all to browse all team projects and teams.

Choose another team from the team project menu

Open the team project/team drop-down menu and select the team project/team that you've recently visited. If you don't see the team or team project you want, choose Browse all to browse all team projects and teams.

Choose another team from the team project menu

User context: hubs and tabs

You perform the bulk of your tasks by accessing a page within one of the these hubs—Home, Code, Work, Build and Test —and their corresponding tabs—such as Overview, Backlogs, Queries. For an overview of each hub, see Essential services.

The next sections liste what you can do, based on the hub and page you select.

Welcome page, dashboards, and plan and track work

The Home hub supports a configurable Welcome page and dashboards. From the Work hub, you gain access to a highly configurable suite of Agile tools to plan and track your work.

NOTE

Feature availability: The Account hub or New Account Landing Page feature is in preview mode for Team Services and turned on for all users of the web portal for TFS 2017.1 and later versions. To enable or disable the feature, see Enable preview features.

Source code control: Git and TFVC repositories

The Code hub supports management of your source control repositories. You can choose between two types of repos: Git (distributed) or Team Foundation version control (centralized). For a comparison of the two repos, see Choosing the right version control for your project.


Build, test, and release

The Build & Release hub supports defining and managing builds and releases to deploy your software to different staging and production environments. From the Test hub, you can create test plans, test cases, and run tests.


Administrative context and team, team project, and account/collection settings

From a user context, open the admin context by clicking the gear icon gear Settings icon. The tabs and pages available differ depending on which admin context you access.

Below we show the admin context for the team project level.

Open any admin page by clicking it's name. Click or hover over the gear icon to access other administrative options. Note that you can click any of the user-context hubs of Home, Code, Work, and so on to return to the user context.

Team Services, Admin context, team project level

Open any admin page by clicking it's name. Hover your mouse over a hub to access a drop-down menu of pages and other options for that hub. Click or hover over the gear icon to access other administrative options. Note that you can click any of the user-context hubs of Home, Code, Work, and so on to return to the user context.

TFS 2017.1, Web portal, Admin context, team project level

Open any admin page by clicking it's corresponding hub. Hover your mouse over a hub to access a drop-down menu of pages and other options for that hub. Click or hover over the gear icon to access other administrative options. Note that you can click any of the user-context hubs of Home, Code, Work, and so on to return to the user context.

TFS 2017, Web portal, admin context

Open any admin page by clicking it's corresponding hub.

TFS 2015, Web portal, admin context

From within the admin context, click one of the breadcrumb links to access the settings available at the account/collection, team project, or team level.

Web portal admin settings links


You must be a member of the listed administrator group or role to perform the tasks listed.



Server-level settings (TFS only)

Required membership: Team Foundation Administrators

Now that you have an understanding of how the user interface is structure, it's time to get started using it. As you can see, there are a lot of features and functionality.

If all you need is a code repository and bug tracking solution, then start with the Git get started guide and Manage bugs.

To start planning and tracking work, see Get started with Agile tools to plan and track work.

Additional resources you may find of interest:

User accounts and licensing

To connect to the web portal, you need your user account added to the team project. This is typically done by the account owner (Team Services) or a project administrator (TFS).

For Team Services, five account users are free as are Visual Studio subscribers and stakeholders. After that, you need to pay for more users (Team Services).

For TFS, limited access is available to an unlimited number of stakeholders for free; most regular contributors must have a TFS client access license (CAL). For details, see Work as a Stakeholder.

All Visual Studio subscriptions and paid Team Services users include a TFS CAL. Find out more about licensing from the following pricing pages:

Refresh the web portal

If data doesn't appear as expected, the first thing to try is to refresh your web browser. Refreshing your client updates the local cache with changes that were made in another client or in TFS. To refresh the page or object you're currently viewing, refresh the page or choose the Refresh icon Refresh icon if available.

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.

Clients that connect to Team Services or TFS

In addition to connecting through a web browser, you can connect to a team project from these clients:

Differences between the web portal and Visual Studio

Although you can access source code, work items, and builds from both clients, some task-specific tools are only supported in the web browser or an IDE, but not in both.

Web portal

Visual Studio

Can I open a query in Excel or Project from the web portal?

To open Excel from the web portal, install the VSTS Open in Excel Marketplace extension. Otherwise, you can open Excel or Project and then open a query that you've created in the web portal.

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.

  1. 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.

  2. Verify that your computer is connected to the network and can access network resources.

  3. Verify that TFS hasn't been taken offline. Talk with your account or TFS administrator.

  4. 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, TF31002: Unable to connect to this Team Foundation Server.

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