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Compatibility between Team Foundation clients and Team Foundation Server

Whether you have upgraded Visual Studio or Team Foundation Server (TFS), you’ll want to make sure that you can connect from your version of Visual Studio or Team Foundation client to the version of TFS that’s running in your deployment. In general, follow this guidance:

Connecting to TFS:

  • Visual Studio Online always runs the latest version of TFS.

  • You can connect to the latest version of TFS from earlier versions of Team Explorer although you might need to install additional software. The current version of Team Explorer installs with each version of Visual Studio.

  • To connect to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 from Visual Studio 2008 or Team Explorer for Visual Studio 2005 Team System requires installation of Microsoft Source Code Control Interface (MSSCCI) Provider 2013. This configuration supports users in accessing Team Foundation version control from these earlier client versions.

  • When you connect to a more recent version of TFS than that of the client that you run, you’ll only be able to access those features supported by your client. For example, if you connect Visual Studio 2010 to TFS 2013, you can perform the same functions as if you connected to TFS 2010. You can’t access any new features that Visual Studio 2010 doesn’t support.

  • To create a team project or manage process templates on an on-premises TFS, you must connect using the same version level of Visual Studio or Team Explorer. That is, to create a team project on TFS 2013, you must connect from Team Explorer 2013.

  • For information about compatibility and deploying a build server, see Deploy and configure a build server.

You can work around most limitations by installing Team Explorer 2013 in a side-by-side configuration with an earlier version of Visual Studio or by using Team Web Access (TWA). Use Team Explorer 2013 to support TFS administrative and project administrative tasks.

Team Explorer is available as a free download.

Clarification of terminology:

  • Earlier versions refer to software that was made available with versions of TFS prior to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013, the current version.

  • Forward compatibility refers to how earlier versions of a client support the current version of Team Foundation Server, sometimes with the addition of a software update. Backward compatibility refers to how the current version of a client supports earlier versions of Team Foundation Server. A General Distribution Release (GDR) software update is available to support forward compatibility of Team Explorer.

TWA is automatically installed and configured when you install or upgrade Team Foundation Server. Version compatibility is not an issue because all instances of Team Foundation Server are accessed by TWA services that are hosted on that server. To connect to TWA, use the any of these browsers:

To learn about the new features available through TWA with the upgrade to TFS 2013, go here.

To connect to a server that’s running the current version of TFS, use any of these clients. This includes connecting to Visual Studio Online.

Visual Studio version

Team Explorer version

Required software

Visual Studio 2013

Team Explorer 2013

RTM release or latest update.

Visual Studio 2012

Team Explorer 2012

Requires latest Visual Studio 2012 update.  Supports Git with Visual Studio Tools for Git extension.

Visual Studio 2010

Team Explorer 2010

Requires SP1 and Compat GDR.

Visual Studio 2008

Team Explorer for Visual Studio Team System 2008 

Version control is available using MSSCCI 2013.

Visual Studio 2005

Version control available using MSSCCI 2013.  XP users need to use MSSCCI 2010

   

To connect to TFService also requires Compat GDR.

MSSCCI 2013

Not applicable

Will be available in the RTM timeframe with an update to the power tools

For an overview of new features, see What's new for Application Lifecycle Management in Visual Studio 2013.

You can connect to a server that’s running TFS 2012 from any of these clients:

Visual Studio version

Team Explorer version

Required software

Visual Studio 2013

Team Explorer 2013

RTM release or latest update

Visual Studio 2012

Team Explorer 2012

RTM release and latest update.

Supports Git with Visual Studio Tools for Git extension.

Visual Studio 2010

Team Explorer 2010

Requires SP1 and Compat GDR.

Visual Studio 2008

Team Explorer for Visual Studio Team System 2008 

Requires SP1 and Compat GDR.

Visual Studio 2005

Limited access available using MSSCCI 2012.  XP users need to use MSSCCI 2010. Access to TFService requires Compat GDR.

MSSCCI 2012

Enables access for client applications that support the MSSCCI interface.  Available for 32-bit and 64-bit applications.

   

After you install MSSCCI 2012, you can connect to TFS 2012 for source control operations only. To manage work items or builds, you must use Team Web Access.

Here are the client-side tasks that are available if you connect to TFS 2012 or TFS 2013 from a Visual Studio 2012 client:

Feature area

Availability

My Work, Pending Changes, and Request Code Review

These features are only available from Team Explorer 2012 and Team Explorer 2013.

Code analysis check-in policies

There are several differences in the way check-in policies are authored and evaluated when you use different versions of Team Explorer. See Version Compatibility for Code Analysis Check-In Policies.

Version control local workspaces and name format

You cannot use local workspaces with earlier versions of Visual Studio. You must use server workspaces. You can only share server workspaces across multiple clients. See Decide between using a local or a server workspace.

  

Version Control now uses a display name, such as Jamal Hartnet, when it outputs user information instead of a user ID, such as fabrikamfiber\jamal. You will need to update any dependencies on the command line output format to parse names according to the new format.

Testing

Visual Studio 2012 introduced several changes that impact on compatibility of Microsoft Test Manager, unit tests, coded UI tests, Web performance tests, and load tests. See What's new in testing the application in Visual Studio 2013.

Project creation and process template management

You must use Team Explorer 2012 to create a team project or upload and download process templates when connecting to TFS 2012.

Manage groups and security

To manage groups, group membership, and security permissions, you must use Team Web Access.

Work item tracking

To complete the following tasks, you must connect to TFS 2012 or more recent version:

  • Finds parent items based on filters specified for the child items, also known as bottom-up tree queries.

  • Find work items by filtering on text fields that are indexed for full-text search, which correspond to: Description, History, Steps to Reproduce, and Title that use Contains Words or Does Not Contain Words operators. See Query fields, operators, values, and variables.

  • Link work items to models and storyboards using the Model and Storyboard link type.

  • Set project alerts.

Extensibility

The extensibility model for Team Explorer has been completely redesigned. Custom controls based on the earlier versions will need to be rewritten. You can view work item forms that contain new custom controls, but they display as missing. The location on the form where the control is missing displays as red, with the path of the missing control displayed. To view all new work item form controls, use the current version of Team Explorer in a side-by-side configuration, or use Team Web Access.

To connect to a server that’s running TFS 2010, use any of these clients:

Visual Studio version

Team Explorer version

Required softwa8re

Visual Studio 2013

Team Explorer 2013

RTM release or latest update

Visual Studio 2012

Team Explorer 2012

Requires latest Visual Studio 2012 update.  Supports Git with Visual Studio Tools for Git extension.

Visual Studio 2010

Team Explorer 2010

Requires SP1 and Compat GDR.

Visual Studio 2008

Team Explorer for Visual Studio Team System 2008 

Version control officially supported with MSSCCI 2013. Version control unofficially supported with SP1 and Compat GDR.

Visual Studio 2005

Version control available using MSSCCI 2013.  XP users need to use MSSCCI 2010. 

   

To connect to TFService also requires Compat GDR.

MSSCCI 2010

Not applicable

After you install MSSCCI 2010, you can connect to TFS 2010 for source control operations only.

The following table lists version compatibility for TEE. TEE no longer stores credentials for each TFS connection.

Team Explorer Everywhere 2013 also supports connection to Visual Studio Online.

Clients and tools

Eclipse versions supported

Team Foundation Server 2013

Team Foundation Server 2012

Team Foundation Server 2010

Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server

Visual Studio 2005 Team System Team Foundation Server

Team Explorer Everywhere 2013

3.5–4.3

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Team Explorer Everywhere 2012

3.5-4.3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Team Explorer Everywhere 2010 SP1

3.2-3.6

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Team Explorer Everywhere 2010

3.0-3.5

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

You can run Team Explorer side-by-side with older versions of Team Explorer and Visual Studio. To use these Team Foundation clients, you must install the current version of Team Explorer side-by-side with earlier versions of Team Explorer.

  • Microsoft Test Manager

  • Microsoft Project

  • Microsoft Excel

  • PowerPoint Storyboarding

For example, you can start the Office Integration Add-Ins for Excel and Project from the 2005 version, but they will have 2013 functionality when they are side by side. Similarly, you can publish test cases only when you run the two versions of Team Explorer side by side. You must install a side-by-side update to use the earlier versions of Team Explorer with the current versions of Office Add-Ins for Team Foundation Server.

For more information about Office integration, see Choose the Team Foundation client to support your tasks.

The MSSCCI power tool lets you can integrate Team Foundation version control with products that do not support integration with Team Explorer. Download the 2013 version of this tool here:

XP users need to use MSSCCI 2010

MSSCCI Provider 2013 supports Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 and is compatible with these software versions:

  • Visual Studio 2008

  • Visual Studio 2005

  • Visual Studio .NET 2003

  • Visual C++ 6 SP6

  • Visual Basic 6 SP6

  • SQL Server Management Studio

A: Go here to learn how to connect to TFS 2013 from TWA, Team Explorer, or TFS Proxy server.

A: If you are upgrading from TFS 2005 or TFS 2008, you’ll want to understand the supported operating systems, SQL Server versions, and other special considerations. Review TFS 2013 Compatibility and Dependencies to understand which versions of the following products and functions that TFS 2013 supports.

  • .NET Framework

  • Hyper-V

  • Office (client products)

  • Project Server

  • SharePoint Products and Technologies

  • SQL Server

  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager

  • Web browsers

A: Not many features have been deprecated from TFS 2012. Go here for a summary of a few changes that were introduced.

To learn about changes made to TFS process templates, see Changes made to team projects and default process templates during upgrade of Team Foundation Server.

A: Agile portfolio management, team rooms, charting query results, and test case management tools require users to have Full access to TWA. Go here to learn how to change access levels.

A: Go here to learn about all supported Team Foundation clients and the tasks you can perform with each client.

A: Custom controls for TWA that you developed for TFS 2012 are compatible with TFS 2013. You must rebuild any TWA custom controls for work item forms that were built for TFS 2010 or earlier versions. You must rebuild these controls by using the assembly references in the current version of Team Web Access. To learn about writing new controls, see the following Microsoft websites: Work Item Custom Control Development in TF Web Access 2012 - Development and Work Item Custom Control Development in TF Web Access 2012 - Deployment.

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