Team Foundation Server 2012 Update 2 supports 2010 Build Agents and Controllers

[UPDATE 9/26/13] TFS 2013 will include support for both TFS 2010 build agents and controllers and also TFS 2012 build agents and controllers.

One of the changes we made in TFS 2012 for Update 2 was to support TFS 2010 build agents and controllers. This provides several major benefits. The first is the obvious one of not having to upgrade your build agents and controllers when you upgrade your server to 2012. The second is that you don’t have to alter your custom build WF activities to be built with 2012. The third is that you will still be able to use Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 to run build agents and controllers – OSes that are not supported with the TFS 2012 release. This feature is available in the currently released CTP 4 of Update 2, and the final version of Update 2 will be available shortly.

Martin Hinshelwood, a Microsoft MVP, has written an extensive blog post about this feature.

Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 supports 2010 Build Servers

Did you know that Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 supports 2010 Build Servers? Being able to connect TF Build 2010 Controllers to TFS 2012 is opening up upgrade paths for customers that are currently blocked from upgrading to TFS 2012.



Follow me on Twitter at

Comments (25)

  1. Daniel says:


    thanks for this good news. Does this also mean that MSTest 2010 will again be able to publish test results to a TFS 2012 server?



  2. Vijay (MSFT) says:

    Hello David

    Yes, with the Compatibility GDR (…/details.aspx) , MSTest2010 can publish test results to a TFS 2012 server.



  3. Timo says:

    Can there be a TFS 2012 build controller with TFS 2010 build agents? Or vice versa?

  4. buckh says:

    Timo, no, you won't be able to mix versions with different versions of agents and controllers being used together.

  5. MichaelD says:

    With the impending release of TFS 2013, will TFS 2013 support TFS 2010 build servers?

  6. buckh says:

    MichaelD, yes it will. TFS 2013 RTM will support both TFS 2010 build agents and controllers and TFS 2012 build agents and controllers.

  7. Alicia says:

    Will TFS2012 work with a TFS2010 build controller/agent that is on a 32bit machine?

  8. buckh says:

    Alicia, yes so long as you are using Update 2 or newer (Update 4 will be out soon).

  9. Tekkie says:

    What about TFS2010 SP1 server with TFS 2012/13 build controller/agents?

  10. buckh says:

    Antek, no that would be a very large change to 2010, and so that combination will not work.

  11. Tekkie says:

    And here I was thinking it's called ' backward compatibility' on part of the build coordinator / agents ;)

  12. buckh says:

    Antek, fair enough, but in my own defense I did avoid that phrase. ;-)

  13. Vernon says:

    What about TFS 2013 Build controller/agents being able to connect to a TFS 2012.3 instance maybe?

  14. buckh says:

    Vernon, unfortunately no, you won't be able to use a 2013 build agent with a 2012 server.

  15. Kent says:

    We have 2013RC controllers. Will they work with 2013 RTM?


  16. buckh says:

    Kent, yes they will work just fine so you can upgrade them after the RTM server upgrade.

  17. Joe says:

    Hi Buck,

    You stated in your comment above to MichalD that TFS 2013 RTM will support both TFS 2010 build agents and controllers and TFS 2012 build agents and controllers.

    Do you have a link that you could provide supporting that?  We are looking to move to upgrade to TFS 2013 Update 2 soon.  I've been looking online with limited success.

    Thanks for your help!

  18. buckh says:

    Hi Joe,

    Here's the page you are looking for:…/dd647548(v=vs.120).aspx. It's under "Using Earlier Build Servers."

    Glad you are upgrading!

  19. Brandon Wilhite says:

    Hi Buck,

    What about Test Controllers?   Can I run a 2012 Test Controller on a stand alone machine and point it at a 2013 Update 2 TFS App-Tier?

  20. Sridhar Poduri [MSFT] says:

    @Brandon Wilhite Yes, you can run a 2012 Test Controller and point it at a TFS 2013  Update 2 App-Tier. If you face any issues, please send a message to sridhar dot poduri at Microsoft dot com.

  21. Sridhar Poduri [MSFT] says:

    @Brandon Wilhite You should upgrade to Dev12 Update 4 available at…/details.aspx.

  22. iihitp says:


    Can we have different operating systems on Team Foundation Server (Windows 2008 R2) and Team Foundation Build Service (Windows 2012 R2)?


  23. scott4566 says:

    Can TFS 2013 run TFS2015 Build Controller

  24. Buck Hodges says:

    Yes and no. The 2015 XAML build agent should work with TFS 2013. It's not going to give you any advantages over a 2013 agent/controller, though. The new build agent (aka build vnext) that runs the new style of build definitions will not work with TFS 2013.

Skip to main content