Category Archives: 17365

Error TF259137 when trying to create new Lab Environment

The Problem

When trying to create a new Lab Environment with TFS 2012, you receive the following error message:

TF259137: The following account does not have sufficient permissions to complete the operation: DOMAIN\user. The following permissions are needed to perform this action: Write.

The Solution

You can find out about the current permissions by running the following command:

tfslabconfig.exe permissions /collection:<CollectionURL>

(Replace blue parts with actual values.)

In the output, I realized that somehow the "[PROJECTNAME]\Project Administrators" group had not permissions for the team project, so I fixed it by running:

tfslabconfig.exe permissions /collection:<CollectionURL>
/Group:"[Neno]\Project Administrators" /allow:*

Hope this helps!


How to configure SMTP Settings for Team Foundation Server

There are three places where you might want to configure SMTP settings:

  1. On TFS itself via » TFS Admin Console » Email Alert Settings:
  2. SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) via » Reporting Services Configuration Manager:
  3. SharePoint (SP) via » Central Admin » System Settings » Outgoing e-mail settings:

Here are some screenshots:

TFS Admin Console:
Configure SMTP Settings in TFS Admin Console

Reporting Services Configuration Manager:
Configure SMTP Settings in SQL Server Reporting Services Configuration Tool

SharePoint Central Administration:Configure SMTP Settings in SharePoint Central Administration

How to enable the backlog view in TFS 2012 Web Access

Q: Why is the backlog view missing in TFS 2012 Web Access?

Where's the backlog tab gone?

A: In TFS 2012, web access permissions control what Web Access features are available to users. By default users get “Standard” permissions.

Here’s how to fix it:

Web Access Permissions control what features from Web Access are available to users.

Note: Make sure that all users with “Full” permission have either Visual Studio Premium, Ultimate or Test Professional (more info can be found here).

Where to get Team Explorer from

It can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center:


  • The “Installer” versions download necessary update files from the internet.
  • (*) = Install the GDR updates if you want to use TFS 2012 or TF Service.

Free Book: Testing for Continuous Delivery with VS 2012

New Book: Testing for Continuous Delivery with Visual Studio 2012Microsoft patterns & practices published a new book.

What’s the book all about?

“Testing is potentially an obstacle to agile software deployment. The smallest change in your code could require the whole application to be retested. This book shows you how to minimize these costs by using the testing infrastructure of Visual Studio 2012. The code samples gives you a starting point to test your infrastructure.”

Who should read the book?:

“This book is aimed at test engineers, managers, developers, and folks interested in understanding the changing world of test.”

Read online:


Available Check-In Policies for Team Foundation Server 2012

Shipping as part of Visual Studio 2012:

  • Builds – Requires that build was successful (CI builds) and therefore build breaks must be fixed before a new check-in.
  • Changeset Comments Policy – Requires that user provide comments on check-ins. (new in VS 2012)
  • Code Analysis – Requires that Code Analysis is run before check-in. [More]
  • Work Items – Requires one or more work items be associated with the check-in.

Note: The Testing Policy that shipped with VS 2010 is not longer available.

Added after installing TFS 2012 Power Tools (needs to be installed an all VS clients):

  • Custom Path Policy – Allows you to scope other check-in policies to specific folders or file types.  [See here for how to use it.]
  • Forbidden Patterns Policy – Prevents users from checking in files with filenames that contain forbidden characters or patterns.
  • Work Item Query Policy – Requires that the associated work items need to be part of the result of a specified work item query.

Note: When using an older version of VS (2008/2010) you need to install the corresponding version of the TFS Power Tools (VS 2008 requires 2008 Power Tools, etc.)

Developed by the Community:
  • Code Review Checkin Policy – allows to enforce Code Reviews prior to check-in (by Colin Dembovsky). Get it here.
  • Checkin Time Tracker v3 – allows you to gather effort values from developers during check-in (by AIT TeamSystemPro Team). Get it here.
  • Column Limit Check-in Policy – prevents users from checking in files that don’t comply with your column limit coding style guidelines (by Gambitrex). Get it here.
  • Merge / Branch Only Check in Policy – Block check ins that are not part of either a branch or merge operation (by Leon Mayne). Get it here.

Note: When using an older version of VS (2008/2010) you need to install the corresponding version of the check-in policies (for a list of check-in policies for VS 2010, see here).

What about the "Override Warnings" link?

There might always be an unforeseen reason why not all policies could be fulfilled.

How can I deploy custom Check-In Policies to all team members?
How can I create custom Check-In Policies?:

Do you know another great check-in policy for TFS 2012? Let me know!


Updated (May 17th, 2013): Added Merge / Branch Only Check in Policy.