Plan and 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.

Creating a team project in TFS provides you with a source code repository—either Team Foundation version control (TFVC) or Git—and work item tracking. You can configure additional resources to support builds and testing. Depending on the resources that have been configured for TFS, your team project will appear in Team Explorer as shown in the following images.

Team Explorer with Basic Configuration (TFVC)

Team Project - Basic Configuration

Team Explorer with Advanced Configuration (TFVC)

Team project objects in Team Explorer

Team Explorer (Git)

Team Explorer Home page with Git as source code
Note Note

The My Work page appears for those team projects configured to support TFVC and when you install Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Ultimate, or Visual Studio Test Professional.

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 Set up TFS on a server.

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 Configure Team Foundation Server using the advanced configuration.

Tip Tip

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 Organize 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). You can add a team or a hierarchy of teams.


  • 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.

  • To grant team members access to premium feedback features, you must grant them full access.

  • 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, Build Administrators, 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 Choose the Team Foundation client to support your tasks.

For more information, see Plan and Track Projects.

Step 6

Add source code. You add source code from either Team Foundation Version Control or GIT.

Step 7

Create build definitions. You create build definitions from Visual Studio. See Build 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 Q: How do I add resources after a 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

Team Web Access icon Web Access (1)


Source Control Explorer (2)


Work Items node Work Items (3)


Builds Icon Builds (4)

Required Required

Document node Documents (5)



Excel reports (6)


Required Required

Report Reports (7)


Required Required

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. Team Web Access icon 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 Change access levels.

  2. Using Source Control Explorer your team can manage source code for your team project. See Use 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 Create a backlog.

  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 Build 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 Share information using the project portal.

  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 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 Create Excel reports from a work item query.

  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 (SQL Server Reporting Services).

  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.

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