Using an SMTP server that requires authentication

Bill Essary provided the following as a work around for using a Team Foundation Server email notifications with an SMTP server that requires a user name and password.

TFS does not directly support using a username and password to connect to an SMTP server but it is possible to work around this limitation by using an SMTP virtual server on the TFS AT.  That virtual SMTP server can be configured to provide the authentication credentials that the “real” SMTP server needs when relaying messages.  Please consult the following links for more details:

As mentioned in the MSDN forum thread, Pete Sheill provides information on tracing the TFS interactions with the SMTP server in How to verify Tfs is sending emails.

Comments (12)

  1. levidos says:

    TFS 2008 doesn’t support SMTP authentication? Where are they living?

  2. buckh says:

    Unfortunately, TFS 2010 does not support SMTP authentication either.  It is on our backlog to look at for the next release.

    Is this a blocking issue for you, or are you able to work around it?


  3. We have moved our email services to exchagne system and it does require authentication..

  4. Muxr4t says:

    Working around it, while possible means I have to either add an additional VM to my domain to add an SMTP server, or add SMTP services to one of my existing app servers, which I really don’t want to do.  It can’t be that hard to add authentication to the SMTP options.  Don’t even care if it has a front end, I can edit it directly in the web.config like 2008 if required.

  5. Johannes says:

    I totally agree with Muxr4t – would really like at least the option to add authentication in web.config

  6. buckh says:

    Warren, Muxr4t, and Johannes, thanks for the feedback.  It’s high on our backlog for the next release.


  7. This feature should be released as an URGENT fix via a service pack as having to implement the workaround discussed is this article is insane.  I can’t understand how Microsoft would ever consider implementing a non-authenticated SMTP server option!

  8. buckh says:

    Jeff, I understand, and I wish I had better news for the current release.  We do not have plans currently to change the shipping version of TFS.  The future is better, though, as we do have this implemented for the next version of TFS where you'll be able to set the user name and password for SMTP authentication in the admin console.


  9. Dave Mason says:

    Yep – I also need smtp authentication settings, glaring omission.

  10. buckh says:

    Dave, give TFS 11 a try.  It's beta now, and it has this setting.


  11. Hi.

    I'm trying to receive email alerts from TFS but I don't succeed. I configure my adreess, the password and as smtp server but it doesn't work. Do I need to do something else?