Assign permissions to view and manage reports for Visual Studio ALM

As a project manager or administrator, you can determine who can view, refresh, create, and manage reports for a team project in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server. The permissions that you grant depend on both the type of report that you use and the data store to which the report connects. You can create reports in Microsoft Excel and SQL Server Reporting Services. For an overview of the data sources, see Choose the source of data and authoring tool.

If you want to view data about Team Foundation in a Microsoft Excel report, the following conditions must be met:

  • If you want to access a Microsoft Excel report from a process template for Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF), a project portal must be provisioned and enabled for your team project.

    Microsoft Excel reports are stored on the server that hosts SharePoint Products for your team project. If a project portal has not been enabled for your team project, you cannot access the reports. For more information, see Configure or redirect process guidance, Excel reports, or Excel reports (CMMI).

  • If you want to open a report in Microsoft Excel that connects to the operational data store for Team Foundation, the Team Foundation Office Integration add-in must be installed on your client computer. This add-in is installed when you install any product in Visual Studio ALM.

  • If you want Excel reports to appear in the dashboards and Excel Services to be available, the project portal must be hosted on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise Edition or Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition.

If you want to view data about Team Foundation in Reporting Services reports, Reporting Services must be provisioned and enabled for the team project collection that contains your team project. These reports are not available if Report Reports does not appear when you open Team Explorer and expand your team project node. 

To create, view, or refresh a Microsoft Excel report that contains data about work items, you must be a member of the Team Foundation Valid Users security group. To store a report in the Documents node of the team project portal, you must belong to the Members security group for SharePoint Products.

The following table summarizes the required permissions that each activity requires. For information about how to grant these permissions to team members, see Add users to team projects.

Activity

Team Foundation Server

Team project portal (SharePoint)

Notes

View or refresh an Excel report that is opened from the Documents node of Team Explorer

Readers

Visitors

To access the Documents node for a team project, you must belong to the Team Foundation Valid Users security group. If the required security permissions are set explicitly, your View project-level information permission on the team project must be set to Allow.

Run a work-item query, and use the Open in Microsoft Excel feature

Readers

In addition, you may require permission to open a team query. For more information, see Set permissions on queries.

Create a Microsoft Excel report

Readers

  

To modify work items from Microsoft Excel, you must belong to the Contributors group, or your Edit work items in this node permissions must be set to Allow.

Manage Excel reports in the Documents node

Readers

Members

To view the Documents node, you must have access to the team project. To manage files under the Documents node, you must be a contributing member for the SharePoint site. For more information, see Manage documents and document libraries.

To view, refresh, or create a Microsoft Excel report that connects to the SQL Server Analysis Services cube, you must belong the TfsWarehouseDataReaders security role in Analysis Services. The only exception to this rule is when you view, refresh, or create an Excel report from an enterprise dashboard.

All Microsoft Excel reports that appear in the enterprise dashboards contain data from the Analysis Services cube. You can view enterprise dashboards only when the team project portal is hosted on a server that is running Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise Edition or Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition.

To view, refresh, or create a Microsoft Excel report from an enterprise dashboard, you must configure the SharePoint web application definition to use either Single Sign-On or Windows Authentication. The following restrictions apply based on the authentication service that you configure.

Important note Important

You must configure the SharePoint web application for Single Sign-On if you do not want to add users as members of the TfsWarehouseDataReaders security role in Analysis Services. You must also configure the application for Single-Sign on if the team project portal is configured to use NTLM authentication and is not installed on the data-tier server. Members of the TfsWarehouseDataReaders security role can generate reports for all team projects across all team project collections that use the same data warehouse.

  • For Single Sign-On Authentication (Recommended)

    To authenticate viewers of enterprise dashboards by using Single Sign-On, you must perform the following actions:

    • You must configure the SharePoint web application to use Single Sign-on. For more information about how to configure Single Sign-on, see Configure Settings for Dashboard Compatibility.

    • You must add dashboard viewers to a group that is granted access to the Single Sign-on enterprise application definition.

  • For Windows Authentication

    To authenticate viewers of enterprise dashboards by using Windows Authentication, you must perform the following actions:

    • You must either host the team project portal on the data-tier server or configure the SharePoint enterprise web application to use Kerberos authentication.

    • You must add users to the TfsWarehouseDataReaders security role in Analysis Services.

Depending on the task that you are performing, you may require other permissions. To access the Documents node for a team project, you must be a member of the Team Foundation Valid Users security group.

The following table summarizes the permissions that each activity requires. For information about how to grant these permissions to team members, see Add users to team projects and Grant permissions to view or create reports in TFS.

Activity

Team Foundation Server

Team project portal

Analysis Services cube (Tfs_Analysis)

Notes

Open the Documents node in Team Explorer, and view or refresh a Microsoft Excel report

Readers

Visitors

TfsWarehouseDataReader role

To access the Documents node for a team project, you must belong to the Team Foundation Valid Users security group. If the necessary security permissions are set explicitly, your View project-level information permission on the team project must be set to Allow.

View or refresh a Microsoft Excel report that appears in an enterprise dashboard

  

Visitors

In addition to Visitors or Read permissions, you must belong to a group that is granted access to the TfsWarehouseDataReader role or the Single Sign-on enterprise application definition for the SharePoint web application.

For more information, see Excel reports or Excel reports (CMMI).

Run a work item query, and then use Create Report in Microsoft Excel

Readers

TfsWarehouseDataReader role

In addition to these permissions, you may require permission to open a team query. For more information, see Set permissions on queries.

Use the New Excel Report feature from a dashboard

Visitors

TfsWarehouseDataReader role

The New Excel Report button is available only if reporting is configured for the project collection that hosts the team project.

Create a report from Microsoft Excel that connects to the Analysis Services cube

TfsWarehouseDataReader role

If you want to save the resulting workbook to the project portal, you must belong to the Members group for SharePoint Products.

Manage Microsoft Excel reports in the Documents node

Readers

Members

  

You must be a contributing member of the SharePoint site to save files under the Documents node. For more information, see Manage documents and document libraries.

To view, refresh, or create reports that are available from Report Manager, you must belong to the Browser or Team Foundation Content Managers group security group that is defined on the server that hosts Reporting Services for your team project collection. To create these reports, you must also belong to the TfsWarehouseDataReaders security role in Analysis Services for the relational data warehouse.

The following table summarizes the permissions that each activity requires. For information about how to grant these permissions to team members, see Add users to team projects and Grant permissions to view or create reports in TFS.

Reporting Services

Analysis Services cube (Tfs_Analysis)

Relational data warehouse (Tfs_Warehouse)

View or refresh a report  

Browser

Create a report that accesses data from the Analysis Services cube

Browser

TfsWarehouseDataReader role

Create a report that accesses data from the relational data warehouse

Browser

TfsWarehouseDataReader role

Manage reports

Team Foundation Content Managers group

You can share Excel reports in one of the following ways:

  • Email report data. No special permissions are required to view the data.

  • Email an Excel workbook.

  • Upload an Excel report to the project portal.

  • Add an Excel report to a dashboard.

  • Upload an Excel report to a shared network site, and add the URI of that location to a work item form.

Users must have the required permissions to refresh data and the required Team Foundation add-in to open a report whose data is connected to Team Foundation Server.

A: To create more complex reports that you will host through Reporting Services, you can use either Report Builder or Report Designer. You can use these authoring tools to access both the relational data warehouse and the Analysis Services cube. If possible, you should use Report Builder because it is simpler.

In addition to these tools, Microsoft provides additional tools and plug-ins that extend your capability to customize and publish reports. For more information, see the following pages on the Microsoft website: Choose the right business intelligence technology to suit your style (white paper) and Microsoft Business Intelligence.

You can create TFS reports by using any authoring tool that can connect to the Analysis Services relational database or the OLAP cube. For example, you can use Excel, Report Builder, and Report Designer. By using Excel, you can quickly generate reports that access data for tracking work items or data that is stored in the cube. By using Project, you can create reports that show information such as dependencies, schedules, resource usage, and timelines. By using Report Builder or Report Designer, you can allow users to update reports without granting them read access to the databases.

As the following illustration shows, you can create Excel reports that access data from the Analysis Services cube or the data store for tracking work items. These reports are useful for ad-hoc and self-service analysis, sharing information with your team through a portal or dashboard, and integrating with other data sources by using PowerPivot for Excel. For more complex business and operational reports, you can use Report Builder or Report Designer to create or customize reports in Reporting Services.

Tools to Generate Team Foundation Reports

The following table provides information about the tools, data, advantages, and resources for using the authoring tools that you can use to create and customize TFS reports.

Software tool

Data accessed

Useful for

Notes

Excel

Data store for tracking work items

OLAP data cube (TFS_Analysis)

Self-service analysis

Managing small to medium data sets (100s - approximately 1MM records)

Flexible, free-form report layout and format

To update or refresh an Excel report, the user must have the appropriate permissions. One permission must grant access to the data warehouse, which stores data for the whole deployment of project collections. The user must refresh data manually or by using macros.

Project

Data store for tracking work items

Project schedule and resource data

Displaying Gantt reports that show dependencies, timeline reports, resource usage, and allocation.

For enterprise deployments, Project Server provides a variety of reports that you can use to analyze project and resource performance within a project or across multiple projects. Also, you can use PivotTable and PivotChart reports to work interactively with the reports and change some of the fields that structure the report.

You can access a report in Project immediately by opening a work item query in Project. For more information, see Create your backlog and tasks using Project.

To access enterprise-level reports in Project, you must install and configure the Team Foundation Server Extensions for Project Server. For more information, see Synchronize Team Foundation Server with Project Server.

Report Builder

OLAP data cube (TFS_Analysis)

Relational warehouse database (TFS_Warehouse)

Creating sophisticated, consistently formatted reports.

Adding sparklines, bar charts, and indicators to reports.

Using parameterized views.

SQL Server 2008 R2 Report Builder 3.0 provides an intuitive, full-featured reporting environment with which users can develop highly formatted reports by using a ribbon that resembles similar functionality in Excel. You can download this tool and access additional resources from the following page on the Microsoft website: Getting Started with Report Builder 3.0.

Report Designer

OLAP data cube (TFS_Analysis)

Relational warehouse database (TFS_Warehouse)

Creating sophisticated, consistently formatted reports.

Report Designer is a collection of graphical query and design tools that are hosted within the Visual Studio environment. Report Designer provides a Report Data pane, so that you can organize data that is used in your report, and tabbed views for Design and Preview, so that you can design a report interactively. Report Designer also provides query designers, with which you can more easily specify data to retrieve from data sources, and the Expression dialog, with which you can specify report data to use in the report layout. For more information, see the following page on the Microsoft website: Report Designer.

To further compare the features of Report Designer and Report Builder, see the following page on the Microsoft website: Comparing Report Authoring Environments

  • To view or modify project portal dashboards requires users to have the corresponding SharePoint permissions. Also, the team project must have the project portal enabled.

    To update or refresh Excel reports that appear in the dashboard, you must belong to a group that is granted access to the Single Sign-on enterprise application definition, or you must belong to the TfsWarehouseDataReaders security role in SQL Server Analysis Services.

  • To create, update, or refresh an Excel report, the user must have the appropriate permissions. One permission must grant access to the data warehouse, which stores data for the whole deployment of project collections. The user must refresh data manually or by using macros.

    • If you want to access a Microsoft Excel report from a process template for Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF), a project portal must be provisioned and enabled for your team project.

      Microsoft Excel reports are stored on the server that hosts SharePoint Products for your team project. If a project portal has not been enabled for your team project, you cannot access the reports. For more information, see Configure or redirect process guidance, Excel reports, or Excel reports (CMMI).

    • If you want to open a report in Microsoft Excel that connects to the operational data store for Team Foundation, the Team Foundation Office Integration add-in must be installed on your client computer. This add-in is installed when you install any product in Visual Studio ALM.

    • If you want Excel reports to appear in the dashboards and Excel Services to be available, the project portal must be hosted on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise Edition or Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition.

    • Your team project must have been provisioned with a project portal.

      Excel reports are stored on the server that hosts SharePoint Products for your team project. If a project portal has not been enabled for your team project, you cannot access these reports. For more information, see Configure or add a project portal.

    • To open a report in Excel that connects to the operational TFS data store, you must have the Team Foundation Office Integration add-in installed on your client computer. This add-in is installed when you install any Team Foundation client.

  • To view or create Reporting Services reports, the on-premises TFS deployment must have Reporting provided with SQL Server Analysis Services and SQL Server Reporting Services. See Add reports to a team project. Also, users must have permissions to view or modify folders in Reporting Services. Report authors must be added to database roles. See Grant permissions to view or create reports in TFS.

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