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MSDN Library

SQL Server requirements for Team Foundation Server

Team Foundation Server 2013 requires SQL Server 2012 with Service Pack 1 or SQL Server 2014.

You have multiple options:

Regardless of which option you choose, your instance of SQL Server must meet the following requirements:

Supported editions

  • SQL Server 2014¹ (Express,² Standard,² and Enterprise editions)

  • SQL Server 2012 with SP1³ or newer service pack (Express,² Standard,² and Enterprise Editions)

Tip: TFS Express only supports SQL Server Express instances that use the default instance name (SQLExpress).

Required for Team Foundation Server

  • Database Engine Services

  • Full-Text and Semantic Extractions for Search

Required for reporting

  • Reporting Services – Native

  • Analysis Services

Collation settings

  • Must be accent sensitive

  • Must not be case sensitive

  • Must not be Binary

  • Must not be Binary - code point

For more information, see SQL Server Collation Requirements for Team Foundation Server.


Windows authentication

Service account

You can use a domain account or a built-in account.

Tip Tip

For TFS installations that require running SQL Server on dedicated hardware, hardware recommendations are available. For more information, see System requirements for Team Foundation Server

Your limits on database read operations

Microsoft does not support any read operations against the TFS databases that originate from queries, scripts, .dll files, and so on, not provided by Microsoft or its support teams. If Microsoft Support determines that those read operations prevent them from solving your problem, the entire database will be unsupported. To return the database to a supported state, all unsupported read operations must stop.

¹ SQL Server 2014 has increased hardware requirements compared with previous versions. Certain configurations might hurt TFS performance. For more information, read TFS 2013 Update 2: performance considerations using SQL Server 2014.

² Limited or no SQL Server High Availability support.

³ If you’re using SQL Server 2012 with SP1, we recommend you also apply cumulative update 2 on top of SP1 to address a critical SQL Server bug around resource consumption. This isn’t a requirement because the bug only affects a small number of instances, but we wanted you to be aware of it. If you don’t apply CU2, you should apply a SQL Server hotfix (KB2793634) to addresses another (different) issue where SQL Server 2012 with SP1 might request an excessive amount of restarts.

SQL Server 2012 offers a new high availability (HA) feature that requires a Team Foundation Server-specific configuration. For more information, see: Use SQL Server 2012 Always On Availability Groups with Team Foundation Server

SQL Server HA feature

TFS support

Requires TFS Configuration

Always On Failover Cluster Instances



Always On Availability Groups



SQL Mirroring



SQL Replication



SQL Log Shipping



Manually install SQL Server for Team Foundation Server

Provides steps for how to install SQL Server for Team Foundation Server. Use these steps whether you are installing on a single server, across multiple servers, or for any combination of the two.

Add the service account for Team Foundation Server to the report server

Describes how to assign permission to the service account for Team Foundation Server to use the report server.

Verify SQL Server for Team Foundation Server

Provides steps to verify that a SQL Server instance is ready to work with Team Foundation Server.

Provisioning SQL Server Databases for Team Foundation Server

Describes how to create empty databases where Team Foundation Server can host its data on SQL Server.

Work with SQL Server Named Instances

What is a SQL Server named instance and how would I use it?

Understanding SQL Server and SQL Server Reporting Services

Pulling it all together: Interactions between Team Foundation Server and SQL Server.

Team Foundation Server Databases

A comprehensive list of the databases used to store Team Foundation Server data.

SQL Server Reporting Services Roles

A brief explanation of how roles work in SQL Server Reporting Services.

SQL Server Collation Requirements for Team Foundation Server

Explains the Team Foundation Server requirements for SQL Server collation settings.

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