How to set up TFS 2008 SP1 to use TSWA links in checkin notification emails

One of the new features available in TFS 2008 SP1 is that a TSWA URL can be configured in the server so that checkin notification emails will have links to the Team System Web Access page for the changeset, which allows you to see the diffs for each of the changes.

You can find the documentation for this feature at How to: Configure Work Item Hyperlinks to use Team System Web Access.  You must also install the following fix (QFE) in order to use the feature: KB957196 - Checkin event e-mail alert notification doesn't work (download).  Without the fix, turning on the new feature will result in checkin notification emails not working at all.

You may be wondering why work item tracking email notifications do not also use the TSWA URL.  This unfortunately fell through the cracks.  The four simple manual steps that you can take to enable this are documented at Links for Team System Web Access 2008 Power Tool are enabled only for check-in notification e-mail.

If you are curious about how to construct your own links to TSWA pages, you can find documentation here.

 [UPDATE 10/21/08]  If you want to remove the TSWA URL from registration, you can run the following command after installing the hotfix (the RTM version of the command does not support removing the TSWA URL).

tfsadminutil configureconnections /tswauri:

Comments (10)

  1. Marais van Zyl says:

    Thanks for the hotfix!

    One question though. I have installed the hotfix and applied the above mentioned how-to, but for some reason the workitem link in the changeset email still points to the static tfs page and not the TSWA page.

    Is this supposed to be like this?



  2. Shai Raiten says:

    How to set up TFS 2008 SP1 to use TSWA links Published On Buck Hodges & bharry's blog. In TFS

  3. Recently Ladislau Szomoru (an Escalation Engineer in Hungary who supports TFS there) made an excellent

  4. buckh says:

    Marais, yes, unfortunately that is still the case.  You would need to modify the version control checkin notification XSL file, similar to the instruction for the WIT XSL, to get it to point to TSWA.


  5. TFS/VSTS SP1 brought an exciting feature, namely the Send Mail feature, as covered in

  6. Mihai says:

    If you follow these instructions you will have links to TFS in checkin notification emails. Also, if you want to have links to TSWA in these em you need to run this command in the end:

    TFSAdminUtil ConfigureConnections /PublicATUri:http://server:port (where default port is 8090)

  7. Odessa says:


    i installed the hot fix, modified the XSL file, ran tfsadminutil configureconnections to change PublicATUri, the WorkItem ID URL has the correct server name and port number but still points to workitem.aspx and not wi.aspx (which i have already changed in the WorkItemChangedEvent.XSL).

    did i miss anything?  need help :-)



  8. buckh says:

    Odessa, unfortunately this is difficult to diagnose here.  I’d like to know what’s going on and recommend that you open a case with customer support to get to the bottom of it.


  9. Jhomer says:

    I have a test TFS server and a production TFS server running on the same network.  I have emails linked to TSWA on both, and I have email notifications coming from both.  The problem is, if my TSWA is currently logged onto the production TFS, and I get a check-in email alert that was sent from the test TFS, when I click the Changeset number in the email I get an error, "TF14019: The changeset 282 does not exist."  I believe this is because it’s looking for the changeset on the production server, (we have a higher number of changesets on test TFS, and the number doesn’t exist on TFS production), since my TSWA is logged onto TFS production, and even though the link in the email looks as though it should be hitting test TFS.

    Is there some way to make this work with two active TFS servers, rather than forcing a TSWA login to the server that sent the email?

  10. buckh says:

    Jhomer, this is a limitation of the TSWA power tool.  To get around this, you will need to use two separate installations of the TSWA power tool.


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