Category Archives: 2911

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.

Using TFS to develop custom SharePoint applications (revised)

TFS and MOSS - a great team?The first article is created during a real world customer engagement and answers dozens of frequently asked questions and how-tos in a real world context vs. theoretical discussions. The 2nd package addresses very common questions around setting up and using TFS features for a MOSS development project.

VSTS Rangers – SharePoint Server Custom Application Development: Document Workflow Management Project
Read about the real-world design, construction, and deployment of a custom SharePoint Server 2007 application to a mid-market enterprise customer using Team Foundation Server as an ALM platform.

VSTS Rangers – Using Team Foundation Server to Develop Custom SharePoint Products and Technologies Applications
Learn how to use TFS to support your SharePoint application development, and provide an integrated development environment and single source code repository for process activities, integrated progress reporting, and team roles.

Additionally to the existing guidance from Patterns & Practices the two teams worked together to align these stories:

patterns & practices: SharePoint Guidance

The SharePoint Guidance contains a sample implementation of an intranet application based on SharePoint Server 2007 that demonstrates solutions to many ALM challenges.

VSTS Whitepapers by Microsoft


Installation, Configuration & Administration

Requirements Management

Version Control

Hardware Recommendations for Team Foundation Server 2008

What hardware do I need to run TFS? Well, it depends on how much load you are going to generate. But what is a solid hardware configuration to start?

Microsoft recommends for the Single-Server installation of TFS:

Recommneded requirements for TFS AT and DT

Additionally they recommend switching to a Dual-Server configuration (TFS & MSSQL installed on separate machines) if you have more than 450 users (Note: this is really just a rough orientation – many other factors are important).

Sources: here and here.

We recommend the following minimum based on our experiences
(recommendations for better performance in brackets):

# Developers Configuration CPU RAM* HDD**
<= 20 single server 2 x 2.2 GHz 2.5 GB (3 GB) 80 GB
<= 100 single server 4 x 2.2 GHz 3 GB (4 GB) 250 GB
> 100*** dual server 2 x 2.6 / 4 x 2.2 GHz 4 / 8 GB (16 GB) 500 GB

Disclaimer: All values shown here do vary depending on the individual situation.

A few general notes

* Increasing the amount of memory (RAM) clearly improves performance (be aware TFS Application Tier is 32-bit only and hence limited to ~ 3.5 GB)

** Hard drive speed is very important to MSSQL and therefore for TFS. The use of fast hard drives and disk arrays is heavily recommended.

*** Splitting TFS and MSSQL is a good idea if you experience heavy load and slow response times on a single server installation. [More]
However more than just the number of developers should be considered in this case, e.g. licensing issues, existing SQL infrastructure, backups in place, etc.

A reliable network connection with a minimum bandwidth of 1 Mbps and a latency maximum of 350ms is required.

The use of virtualization technologies (Virtual Server, Hyper-V, VMware) is possible and mostly recommended by us for backup and fail-over reasons.

More official Hardware Recommendations (our recommendation in brackets):

Q: How Do I link work items with SharePoint documents?

A: Two possible ways:

Step 1: Get the URL of the document saved in a SharePoint document library

From the project portal:

Right-click the file and select Copy Shortcut. Done.


From the Team Explorer window in Visual Studio:

Right-click the file under the Documents folder and select Properties.


The quickest way is to double-click on “Url”, then right-click the blue-marked URL on the right side and select Copy (or press Ctrl+C respectively).


Step 2: Add the link to the work item

Select Add on the work item’s Links tab:


Select the a link type of “Hyperlink”:


Paste the URL and enter a comment optionally:


Confirm with “OK”.



TFS Tip: Enabling Work Item meta data filtering

Beginning with TFS 2008 SP1 you can specify that only the necessary part of the Work Item meta data will be transferred to the client caches, e.g. not the meta data for project you have no permission on. This is not done by default.

You can read all the glory details in Martin Woodward’s blog. Short excerpt:

Enabling WIT Meta-data filtering

Now that we have been through all the gory details, let’s finally see how to switch on the feature.

In the appSettings section of the %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server\Web Services\WorkItemTracking\web.config file add the following keys

   1: <add key ="filterClientMetadata" value="true"/>
   2: <add key ="excludedUserAgents" value="WebAccess:w3wp:witfields:witimport:witexport:witadmin"/>

The filterClientMetadata switch determines whether to filter client metadata based on the calling user’s access rights (true) or not (false). If not provided the setting will default to false.

The excludedUserAgents switch is a colon delimitated list of strings that may appear in the requested clients HttpRequest UserAgent header. You can take a look at your IIS logs or your TFS Activity logs to determine what user agents are used, but a handy feature of the TFS .NET API is that the executable name using the API is recorded in the user agent string, meaning that you can easily find your specific utility and exclude it if necessary. As far as I am aware, the only publically accessible application that makes use of shared meta-data is Team System Web Access, so we put “WebAccess” in our excluded user agents setting. We also put in the names of the utilities in Team System that need to see all the metadata to report back correct information to the TFS administrators.

Ways to access Team Foundation Server

Pick your favorite tool for your task/job:

From Visual Studio:

From the command line:

From the web browser:

From Microsoft Office products:

From other platforms or IDEs:

From Windows Explorer:

From other products:

From Windows Taskbar:

(*) requires Team Explorer to be installed.
($) means the product is a commercial third party solution.

Using TFS to develop custom SharePoint applications

Using Team Foundation Server to Develop Custom SharePoint Products and Technologies Applications

Summary: Use Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server to support SharePoint application development, and provide an integrated development environment and single source code repository for process activities, integrated progress reporting, and team roles. (12 printed pages)

Author: Microsoft Corporation, September 2008


Updated: revised versino of this blog post.