Get Started with a New Team Project

A team project in Team Foundation Server (TFS) provides a central planning tool that you use to track information and to organize source code, builds, tests, and plans for your team. You create a team project to provide a central point for your team to share activities that are required to develop a specific software technology or product. After you create a team project, you can manage and track work through the main nodes that were created for your team project.

In this topic

Depending on the resources that have been configured for TFS, your team project will appear with the pages and resources shown in the following two images.

Team Explorer with Basic Configuration

Team Project - Basic Configuration
Team Explorer with Advanced Configuration

Team project objects in Team Explorer

The My Work page appears when you install Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Ultimate, or Visual Studio Test Professional. For more information, see Visual Studio and MSDN Licensing white paper.

Your choice of launching a team project will depend on whether you are starting with a new installation or if you are creating a team project within an existing enterprise.

Get started using the cloud service

Sign up and create a team project on the hosted service, see Visual Studio Online.

First Installation – Standard Configuration

Install the basic configuration for TFS. You can consider adding resources later as needed.

See Adopting Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server for Application Lifecycle Management.

First Installation – Advanced Configuration

With the advanced configuration, you can install TFS and configure additional resources to support project portals and reports. To learn about how specific features map to server resources, see Features and resource dependencies.

See How to: Install Team Foundation Server Using the Advanced Configuration.


Limit the number of team project collections as much as possible to minimize administrative overhead. You can link items across team projects that are defined within the same collection. Also, you must manager users, groups, and permissions independently for each collection. A single project collection can comfortably handle hundreds of developers.

For more information, see Organizing Your Server with Team Project Collections.

Adding a team project within an existing installation

You can launch a new team project using the following process.

Launch a Team Project Quick Start Process


  • Create a team project for teams that use different workflow or business processes. Consider creating one team project to support all applications or team members that use shared resources, such as work items, people, and source code.

  • For teams that work on different applications but use similar workflow processes, configure them as separate teams within a team project.

  • If the applications are developed separately and the team uses separate processes and do not share resources, then define a team project for each.

See the following steps and related topics for more guidance.



Step 1

Connect to a Team Project Collection. From Visual Studio, open Team Explorer and connect to the team project collection where you want to create the team project. Team projects that reside on the same team project collection share similar resources.

For more information, see Connect to Team Projects in Team Foundation Server.


  • Discuss your project requirements with the administrator for your deployment and determine the project collection that you will use to host your team project.

  • Consider the resources that you require for your team project.

  • Consider the cross-group collaboration requirements that your team project shares with other team projects. Select the project collection that contains other team projects with which your team interfaces or collaborates. Team members can track dependencies across team projects only when those team projects are stored in the same project collection.

Step 2

Choose a process template. The process template determines the work item types and other artifacts that your team can use to track and manage work. Your team can create only those types of work items that are defined in the process template that is used to create the team project or types that are added to the team project after it is created.


Step 3

Create a Team Project. From Visual Studio, choose File, New, and Team Project to launch the New Team Project wizard.


  • You must have the required permissions on each server resource in order to create a team project. For more information, see Create a Team Project.

  • The team project name must be unique within the team project collection and no longer than 64 characters. You cannot change the name of your team project after you create it.

  • Determine the branch structure for source code. When you create a team project, you can create an empty folder for your source code, or you can create a branch in version control.

Step 4

Configure team(s). From the Home page in Team Web Access, choose the Manage all members link. Add the user accounts of your team members. See Add another team.


  • The default team corresponds to the team project. You can create additional teams to organize, track, and facilitate a group of people working in the same product area. You can create as many teams as you want for a team project. See Get Started as a Team.

  • To grant team members access to the backlog page and request feedback features, you must add them to the Full group for Web Access Permissions. See Features, client, and licensing dependencies.

  • You can control the level of access that a team member has to team projects by assigning each member to a group for each project. You can individually add team members or add groups that are defined in Active Directory or in a workgroup.

    When you create a team project, four default groups are created for that project regardless of your choice of process template. These groups are Readers, Contributors, Builders, and Project Administrators. By default, each group has a set of permissions that are defined for it and that govern what members of that group are authorized to do.

  • To grant team members permissions to the project portal and Report Manager, see Add Users to Team Projects.

Step 5

Plan your work. You can get started planning your work using the task board and defining sprints. You access these features from Team Web Access. If you have access to the full set of Team Web Access features, you can also use the backlog page. See Features, client, and licensing dependencies.

For more information, see Agile Planning and Iterations.

Step 6

Add source code. You add source code from Visual Studio. See Using Version Control.

Step 7

Create build definitions. You create build definitions from Visual Studio. See Building the Application.

The following table indicates the servers that you must provision in your Team Foundation deployment for your team to have access to the corresponding feature. You can add resources after you have created your team project. See Adding resources after the team project has been created.

Application area

Team Foundation Server

Team Foundation Build

SharePoint Products

SQL Server Analysis Services

SQL Server Reporting Services

Team Foundation Server Proxy

Visual Studio Lab Management

Open Team Web Access Web Access (1)


Source Control Explorer (2)


Work Items node Work Items (3)


Builds Icon Builds (4)


Document node Documents (5)



Excel reports (6)



Report Reports (7)



Remote-site support (8)



Virtual environments (9)



The Required (blue-field) checkmark indicates that the server resource is required to support the corresponding feature.


  1. Open Team Web Access Web Access opens Team Web Access, which provides a web interface to TFS that grants access to team projects, Agile planning and tracking tools, version control, and builds. Some features require configuration. See Features, client, and licensing dependencies.

  2. Using Source Control Explorer your team can manage source code for your team project. See Using Version Control

  3. From the Work Items node Work Items page, your team can create work items and work item queries to track, monitor, and report on the development of a product and its features. A work item is a database record that stores the definition, assignment, priority, and state of work. Your team can create only those types of work items that are defined in the process template that is used to create the team project or types that are added to the team project after it is created.

    See Track Work and Manage Workflow.

  4. The Builds Icon Builds page lists the build definitions defined for your team project. This page appears only when your deployment has installed and configured Team Foundation Build. Access to Team Foundation Build Service requires that the team project collection has been configured to use a build controller. Each build controller is dedicated to a single team project collection. The controller accepts build requests from any team project in a specified collection. Team Foundation Build enables your team to create and manage product builds regularly. For example, a team can run daily builds and post them to a shared server. Team Foundation Build also provides build reports about the status and quality of each build.

    See Building the Application.

  5. The Document node Documents page appears only when your team project has been configured with SharePoint Products. After the team project is created, you can configure a SharePoint site or another web location as the project portal. See Project portal and SharePoint Products dependencies.

  6. Microsoft Excel reports are uploaded to the Document node Documents folder when you configure your team project with a SharePoint site. With these reports you can track your team project’s burnrate, bug backlog, software quality, test progress, and other metrics. Many of these reports display within your project's dashboards. In addition to the SharePoint Products dependency, Excel reports depend on your team project collection that hosts your team project has been configured with both SQL Server Analysis Services.

    For an overview of the default Excel reports, see Excel Reports (Agile) or Excel Reports (CMMI).

    If your team project doesn't have a SharePoint site, you can still use Excel to create status and trend reports. See Creating Reports in Microsoft Excel by Using Work Item Queries.

  7. The Report Reports page appears only when the team project collection that hosts your team project has been configured with both SQL Server Reporting Services and SQL Server Analysis Services. This page provides access to Report Manager and the default and custom reports that you upload to the server that hosts SQL Server Reporting Services. Each of the default process templates that Team Foundation Server provides contain a number of default reports.

    For an overview of the default reports, see Reports (Agile) or Reports (CMMI).

  8. If some team members are located remotely from the main location for version control, you may want to install and configure Team Foundation Server Proxy to support them. Team Foundation Server Proxy manages a cache of downloaded version control files in the location of the distributed team, which significantly reduces the bandwidth that is needed across wide area connections. If clients are configured to use Team Foundation Server Proxy, management of the files is transparent to the user. Any metadata exchange and file uploads continue to interface directly with TFS.

    See How to: Install Team Foundation Proxy and Set Up a Remote Site.

  9. By using Visual Studio Lab Management, your team can create, assign, and track virtual environments to support application development, deployment, and tests. By using Microsoft Test Manager, your test team can test your application by using these virtual environments. Access to these virtual environments from Test Manager requires that the server where your team project is stored is configured to communicate with Lab Management.

    See Configuring Lab Management for SCVMM Environments.

Teams use the project portal to share document templates and predefined reports. These predefined objects are based on the process template that you select for your team project.

Important noteImportant

If you add a SharePoint site as the team project portal, Document node Documents appears in Team Explorer. This page links to the SharePoint library for the team project, and project members can use it to store and share documents that relate to the project. This feature is available only if you add a SharePoint site. If you add another type of Web site, the Documents page doesn't appear.

Access to the following resources requires that you provision your team project with SharePoint Products. When provisioned, these resources appear within the Document node Documents page folders and subfolders.

The following artifacts and functionality are available only when your team project is configured with SharePoint products. You can add additional SharePoint features and add team-specific areas. If you configure your team project with a SharePoint site after it has been created, you will need to upload the artifacts you want later.

  • Document repository: You can use the repository to check-in and share documents with the team. See Manage Documents and Document Libraries.

  • Wiki: Each team project comes with a team wiki.

  • Out-of-the-box artifacts based on your process template: The process template you choose to create your team project defines various artifacts that are uploaded at the time of team project creation. You can access these artifacts from the Documents page. They are stored on the server that hosts SharePoint Products for your team project.

    • Microsoft Excel reports: You can use Excel reports to display information from the data warehouse for your team project. These reports also support the display of information within the dashboards.

    • Workbooks: You can use workbooks to track issues and triage bugs. Workbooks are only provided with the Agile and CMMI process templates that TFS provides.

      See Workbooks (Agile) or Workbooks (CMMI).

    • Dashboards: Dashboards display project data, support investigation tasks, and help teams to perform common tasks quickly. Most dashboards support the display of several reports in Microsoft Excel that access data in the Analysis Services cube. For team members to have access to all six enterprise dashboards, you must select a SharePoint site that has Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise Edition or SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition installed.

      To learn more, see Dashboards (Agile) or Dashboards (CMMI).

    • Links to process guidance: Links to MSDN process guidance are defined for work item types within the Support folder. Process guidance provides information about how to coordinate work on a team project and how to use a type of work item in the overall project life cycle.


      When you click the Open process guidance for work item process guidance icon that appears in the work item forms in Team Explorer, a web browser opens to display the page defined in the process guidance support file for the corresponding work item type. If you have not configured your team project with a project portal, or uploaded the process guidance support files to the project portal, then this link will be inactive.

      You can redirect process guidance to your custom content.

      For an overview of MSDN process guidance, see Process Guidance and Process Templates for Team Foundation Server.

You connect to Team Foundation Server from a Team Foundation client. As the following table shows, you can access some features only from Team Web Access or from Team Explorer. Access to certain Team Web Access features requires your TFS administrator to add you to the corresponding Web Access permissions group. By default, all members added to the team project are added to the Standard group. Other features require you to be added to the Full group of Web Access Permissions. See Change access levels.

Team Web Access

Team Explorer

Web Access permissions

Work items and work item queries

Fully supportedFully supported


Source Control Explorer

Fully supportedFully supported


Build Explorer

Fully supportedFully supported


Configure teams and manage members

Fully supportedFully supported


Individual and team alerts (1)

Fully supported


Team dashboard (home page)

Fully supported


Task Board

Fully supported



Fully supported


Feedback Request (1)

Fully supported


Code Review (2)

Fully supported


Task Suspend/Resume (My Work) (2)

Fully supported


Power Point Storyboarding (2)




The Fully supported (green-field) checkmark indicates that you can access the feature through the corresponding Team Foundation client and when added to the corresponding Web Access Permission group.


  1. Team members can subscribe to receive notifications through email when changes are made to a team project. Alerts can be sent when the status of a work item changes, a check-in occurs, a build is completed, or when a build status changes. See Set alerts, get notified when changes occur. To set alerts and request feedback, the server where your team project is stored must be configured to use an existing Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server to send e-mail alerts. See Support alerts and feedback requests with an SMTP server.

  2. To access these features you might need Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Ultimate, or Visual Studio Test Professional installed. For more information, see Visual Studio and MSDN Licensing white paper.

For information about other Team Foundation clients, see Use Team Foundation clients to interact with Visual Studio ALM.

Most users that interact with TFS must have a CAL. However, you can provide access to stakeholders who have no CAL for the following activities:

  • Work Item Only View: You can create and view work items that you created by using the Work Items page in Team Web Access. This view has been designed specifically to provide access to any member in an organization with a TFS deployment who doesn't have a CAL. In this view, stakeholders can report code defects, suggest a product feature, or review their feedback responses. See Work in Limited access view or Work Item Only View.

  • Provide feedback: To allow your stakeholders to provide feedback, you must grant them specific permissions. You can also allow them to view their feedback responses or to create other types of work items. Also, you can add them to the Limited Web Access Permissions group which will allow them to view their feedback responses and create other types of work items. See Give reviewers permissions to provide feedback.

  • View dashboards and reports: Depending on the resources configured for your team project, you may have a combination of reports and dashboards that you may want other members within your organization to access. For these stakeholders to view and refresh reports, you must assign them the required permissions. See Assign Permissions to View and Manage Reports for Visual Studio ALM.

Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback
© 2015 Microsoft