Administrative guide to working in Team Services and TFS

Last Update: 5/3/2017

Team Services | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

Work on apps anytime, anywhere. Use integrated, powerful, cross-platform, enterprise-level Agile tools for DevOps so your team can share code, build often, test early, and ship faster.

Use this index to setup and manage your account or servers as well as configure key settings to support your teams.

  • Want to work in the cloud? Set up a Team Services account. Connect your dev tools, share code, invite team members, and start working.

  • Need to keep everything on site? Install on-premises TFS on your own servers. Or upgrade TFS, if you have an earlier version.

Account setup (Team Services)

The account owner and other members of the Project Collection Administrator group are responsible for account or collection-level settings in Team Services.

Manage user access and permissions

For a simplified view of the default permissions granted to built-in groups and stakeholders, see Permissions and access.

For details on built-in groups and permission management, see Permissions and groups reference.

Configure team settings

Team administrators can manage settings for their team, including team alerts and team rooms. Members of the Project Administrators and Project Collection Administrators groups can manage settings for all teams as well as team alerts and create and administer team rooms that they've created.

To better understand the features available with each backlog and board, see Backlogs and board views.

Add teams and customize DevOps policies and work tracking elements

Members of the Project Administrators and Project Collection Administrator groups can configure the following elements:

Manage collection-level settings and work tracking customization

Members of the Project Collection Administrator groups are responsible for account or collection-level settings.

Manage work tracking customization, DevOps policies, and extensions

Your team project determines the objects available to tracking work and the configuration of Agile tools. Specifically, the team project determines the work item types (WITs)—user stories, tasks, bugs— and the data fields used to capture information. Customized objects are shared across teams added to a team project.

The method used to customize a team project depends on the process model you use: Inheritance, Hosted XML, or On-premises XML. To learn more, see Customize your work tracking experience.

Manage team projects, project collections, reports, and project portals


For Team Services, the account corresponds to a project collection, and tasks associated with managing the account are listed under Account setup (Team Services).

Tasks associated with managing project collections, reports, dashboards, and SharePoint web portals are valid for TFS only.

Manage resources for an on-premises TFS

Members of the Team Foundation Administrator group are responsible for installing, upgrading, and maintaining an on-premises TFS deployment.

General setup, install, and upgrade

Manage data stores, deployment moves, and DevOps policies

Service hooks

Set up Team Services

Create your account

To get started in the cloud, create your Team Services account. You'll choose Git or Team Foundation as your version control, so that Team Services can create your team project for code and other assets, like builds, tests, and work items. If you're starting with Visual Studio as your development environment, you can create your Team Services account when you set up Visual Studio.

Your Team Services account includes 5 free users with Basic access plus unlimited Visual Studio subscribers and Stakeholders at no extra charge. Your account also includes free monthly amounts of additional services, like build and deployment, and cloud-based load testing.

Connect to your account

After Team Services creates your account, connect to your account with tools like Xcode, Eclipse, or Visual Studio, and add code to your team project.

Some clients, like Xcode, Git, and NuGet, require basic credentials (a username and password) for you to access Team Services. To connect these clients to Team Services, create personal access tokens to authenticate your identity. Use a credential manager to create, store, and secure your tokens, so you don't have to reenter them every time you push. Or if you don't want to use a credential manager, you can create personal access tokens manually.

Add users and assign access

To share work with others, add users and assign access. That way, you control the access that each user gets. Or add users to your team project, and let Team Services assign the next available access to them.

Try extensions for free

Help your team do more with Team Services extensions. For example, Team Services account owners can try the Test Manager extension free for 90 days. During the trial, all users with Basic access can try Test Manager for free.

Set up billing

If you need more than free users and amounts of services included with your account, set up billing for your account. You can then pay for more users with Basic access, pay for more services, and purchase extensions for your account.

Access with Azure AD

Team Services works with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), so that you can control access the same way that you do with Microsoft services like Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. If your organization uses a directory (tenant) managed by Azure AD, your Team Services account can also use your directory to authenticate access. Or change your Azure AD, if you're already connected to an existing directory.

Install TFS

To install the best configuration for your team, check the requirements and overview. Or choose based on your team size:

Upgrade TFS

To understand factors that affect your upgrade's compexity, check the requirements and review the upgrade process, which supports upgrades from 2005 to the latest version.

Learn if a dry run makes sense for you, and weigh the benefits and the costs to perform a pre-production upgrade.

When you're ready to upgrade, minimize downtime with the TfsPreUpgrade tool - especially for very large TFS collection databases (> 1 TB). Follow these steps for how to upgrade TFS, and for how to upgrade TFS Express, if you have that.