Getting Started with TFS Hosted

Team Foundation Server enables everyone in your team to collaborate more effectively, be more agile, and deliver higher quality software. For busy or small development teams who don’t have a dedicated system admin to perform the setup, backup and other maintenance tasks, hosting TFS might be a good choice.


* Account Signup

1. Register for a hosting account

Fill out the form, and click the “sign up” button.

  1. Account info

After clicking “sign up”, we will be directed to the hosted web portal, where the account info is displayed.

TFS connect info


* Built-in admin user

  1. Click “User Management” in the left menu tree of the web portal

We can see that a default user “_Admin” is already created by the system. The password is the same one we specified during signup in the 1ststep.

TFS Manage Users

* Connect to TFS with the admin user in Visual Studio

  1. Open Team Explorer Open Visual Studio, and check if the Team Explorer window is visible in Visual Studio. If not, please go to menu “View” and click on “Team Explorer”.

Note: With Visual Studio 2005 and 2008, you might need to install Team Explorer. Please check the Installation and Configuration guide for Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 for detailed steps.

Visual Studio 2010 has the ability to connect to TFS built in. If your installation of Visual Studio 2010 doesn’t include Team Explorer, you will need to download and install Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer 2010 - ISO

  1. Connect to Team Foundation Server…

In Visual Studio, click “Connect to Team Foundation Server…“ under the menu “Team”. Click on “Servers…”, then click on “Add…”, enter the Server  URL of your TFS Hosted account. For example: “”.

By default, the connection to the server uses HTTPS protocol with the SSL certificate. connect to TFS Hosted

Input the credentials.

TFS Login

Add solution to source control

  1. Open a project/solution

Open a local project in Visual Studio and switch to the Solution Explorer window.

  1. New team project

To create a team project on the server, please right click on the server name in Team Explorer, and then choose “New Team Project” from the content menu.

  1. Add solution to source control

In Solution Explorer, right click on the solution file and choose Add Solution to Source Control” from the content menu.

version control under TFS Hosted

We see yellow plus icons beside the filenames. You need to perform a “Check In” action to check all the files to the server. You can right click on the solution name and choose “Check In”. Or you can open the Pending Changes window and click the “Check In” button.

NOTE: Please make sure “Visual Studio Team Foundation Server” is chosen as current SCC provider at menu “Tools” - > “Options” -> “Source Control”.


  1. You can see the icons change to locks, that means check in completed. Now your code is in good hands and enjoy.

source control under TFS Hosted


Manage other users for collaboration

  1. Add user

Back to step 3. Click “User Management” in the left menu tree of the web portal, we see a “Create User” button. Here we can create user names for other team members and set the initial passwords for them.

  1. Permission setup

Log in Hosted Web Portal. You can use the email address and password from step 1. Register for a hosting account for access.

In the web portal, click “Project Group” in the left menu tree. Choose the team project we created in step 7. New team project from the “Project” dropdown list, and click the icons in the “View/Edit Members” for user permission management.


add user to a team project


  1. Other team members’ login in Visual Studio

As we did in step  5. Connect to Team Foundation Server…,  first we open Visual Studio, and then click menu “Team” -> “Connect to Team Foundation Server”. In the “Add Team Foundation Server” dialog box, we input the same URL.  When credentials are required, we input what the admin user created in step 11. Permission setup.

  1. Team collaboration

Now other team members can access the code and work items in the team project where they have proper permission. Like how other version control systems work, developers can pull code and work items from server to their workspaces using “Get Latest Version” in Team Explorer. And here begins the team collaboration.

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