Set Up Drop Folders

Team Foundation Build provides most of its value to your team in the form of outputs, such as binaries, test results, and log files. You must designate and prepare one or more drop folders so that your build system can deliver these outputs to your team.

Two types of drop folders are used in a build system: public drop folders and private drop folders.

Drop folders in a build system

You typically create a public drop folder on a file-sharing server so that your team can access outputs such as those from nightly builds. You must specify the public drop folder either in the build definition itself or when you queue a build.

You typically create a private drop folder on a client computer, such as the development computer of a developer or a tester. Private drop folders contain output from private builds (also known as "buddy builds") of code that is stored in a shelveset before being checked in. You typically use this process to verify that new code will build successfully or pass some basic tests. You specify the private build folder either in the build definition itself or when you queue a private build.

The build agent runs on a build machine, which runs Team Foundation Build Service under a build service account. For the build agent to drop outputs in your drop folder, you must grant that account Change and Read permissions to the drop folder.

Required Permissions

To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the computer where the drop folder resides.

Operating Systems

You can use the procedure in this topic on the following operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2008

  • Windows Server 2003

  • Windows 7

  • Windows Vista

  • Windows XP

To set up a drop folder

  1. Log on to the computer where the drop folder will reside.

  2. Open Windows Explorer, and browse to the folder that contains or will contain the drop folder.

  3. If necessary, create the drop folder.


    Try to keep the path to the drop folder as short as possible (for example: c:\drops). The drop folder must not cause the build agent to produce any physical paths that contain more than 259 characters. Otherwise, your builds will fail and log the TF205022 error message.

  4. Right-click the folder, click Properties, and then click the Sharing tab.

  5. On Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Vista only: Click Advanced Sharing.

    The Advanced Sharing dialog box appears.

  6. Select Share this folder, and then click Permissions.

    The Permissions for FolderName dialog box appears.

  7. Click Add.

    The Select Users, Computers, or Groups dialog box appears.

  8. Perform one of the following steps, depending on what type of account has been specified as the build service account:

    • NETWORK SERVICE running on the computer that contains the drop folder: In the Enter the object names to select box, type NETWORK SERVICE.

    • NETWORK SERVICE running on a different computer from the one that contains the drop folder:

      1. Click Object Types.

        The Object Types dialog box appears.

      2. Select the Computers check box, and then click OK.

      3. Verify that the location is correct.

      4. In the Enter the object names to select box, type BuildMachine$ where BuildMachine is the name of the build machine on which the build agent is running.

    • A domain account: Verify that the location is correct. In the Enter the object names to select box, type the name of the account.

  9. Click OK.

  10. In the Permissions for FolderName dialog box, click the account that you just added to the Group or user names list.

  11. Select the Change and Read check boxes, and then click OK.

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