Team System Web Access 2008 SP1 Scalability Update

We have just published updates to address the scalability issues in Team System Web Access 2008 power tool.

The update consists of two parts that can be installed separately, but I strongly recommend installing both updates to get the most benefits for improved scalability:

1. Patch for referenced object model assemblies

This update contains fixes in various assemblies used by Web Access, Team Explorer and Team Foundation Server.

You can download it at:

You need to install this patch to the server where Web Access 2008 power tool is running. Important: Make sure you run the patch using an account different than the service account that TFS runs as.

2. Web Access 2008 power tool:

This is a full release that contains the latest version of Web Access 2008 power tool with the scalability fixes.

You can download it at:

You need to uninstall any existing installations of Web Access 2008 before installing this.


What was the problem?

Due to a couple of bugs in Web Access and TFS object model assemblies, certain objects in memory were not properly released when they are no longer used, which resulted in memory leaks.

When Web Access 2008 was accessed by multiple people over a certain period of time, the memory consumption increased linearly to a point where Web Access application became unstable due to the fact that there’s no sufficient memory to handle new requests. In some cases, IIS might automatically force a app pool recycle due to the memory pressure, causing all logged in users to be kicked out with error messages saying the sessions have timed out.

Along with that, you might have seen common error messages like “unable to create work item store” which are actually a manifestation of the underlying “out of memory” exceptions.

What is the fix?

This update fixes the known memory leaks in both Web Access and TFS object model assemblies so that the Web Access instance does not destabilize over time.

What can I expect from this fix?

The most important improvement is the stability of Web Access over time. Previously -in theory- even a single user could cause scalability issues over a long period of time due to the nature of the memory leaks, and this is no longer the case.

If you install both updates, you will see improvements with the stability of Web Access instance, especially if you have multiple people using it for long periods of time. In summary, the frequency of session timeout or “unable to create work item store” errors will decrease dramatically.

How does this fix change the scalability limits of Web Access 2008?

Although the number of concurrent users that Web Access can handle is somehow improved with this update, the biggest improvement is the stability over time as I explained in the previous section. That said, I’m planning to update the TSWA 2008 Scalability Limits Whitepaper soon so watch this blog for updates.

Comments (8)
  1. jasperortis says:

    The article is informative and i like it

  2. MagnusTim says:

    Hi Hakan,

    Thanks for these patches! I have been waiting for it a long time.

    I have installed the patches on two servers without a problem but when I tried the third one the KB974402 failed.

    The log says:

    Patch (d:78254883c4dacb3d30VS90SP1-KB974402.msp) install succeeded on product (Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Team Explorer – ENU) and requires reboot. Msi Log: Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SP1-KB974402_20091223_072521844-Msi0.txt

    Patch (d:78254883c4dacb3d30VS90SP1-KB974402.msp) install failed on product (Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server – ENU). Msi Log: Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SP1-KB974402_20091223_072521844-Msi1.txt

    Final Result: Installation failed with error code: (0x80070643).

    Final Result: Installation failed with error code: (0x00000643), "Fatal error during installation. ".

    I also have the MSI log, can I send it to you?

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Regards Magnus

  3. Hakan Eskici says:


    Sure, you can send the logs to hakane -at- MS dot com.

    One thing to check on the third server is whether it uses FQDNs (full qualified domain names) for the reporting services, I remember seeing issues with patches being applied to such servers.



  4. Martenb says:

    Hello Hakan,

    Have you found what causes the problem with the installation of the hotfix on the third server of Magnus? On our server the installation also gave an error. It is not exactly the same one, but maybe it is related:

    MSI (s) (EC:58) [15:00:38:840]: Product: Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server – ENU – Update ‘KB974402’ could not be installed. Error code 1603. Additional information is available in the log file C:TEMPMicrosoft Visual Studio 2008 SP1-KB974402_20100111_135443005-Msi1.txt.

    We performed the folowing actions:

    We first deinstalled the TSWA SP1 Power Tools, and then we installed the new version of TSWA SP1 Power Tools. After that we installed the hotfix, but we got an error. We didn’t get this error on de Test server.

    Do you have any suggestions?



  5. Hakan Eskici says:

    Marten, the problem might be related to the account used to run the patch.

    The patch needs to be run using an account that’s different than the TFS Service Account.

  6. Martenb says:

    Hello Hakan,

    After consulting with you and your collegue, we found our problem. The hotfix also contains other improvements from prvious hotfixes, which we did not have installed. One of those hotfixes contains a database  change. Our install user did not have any rights on the database. Because of that the installation failed. After we gave the user sufficient rights on the data tier, the installation succeeded. Thank you for your help.

    With kind regards,


  7. llavelanet says:

    I Installed the hotfix and the TS Web access sp1 power tool on primary server. I also added an aggressive cach cleanup section in the web.config.

    We find without any users on the system, a fluctuation increase of 1.6 GB of memory and drops to 700MB within 3-4 hour periods.

    How can I be sure the version installed is the Scalability Update. What are the assembly dates and times.

  8. Eric Ramsay says:

    is somewhere i can find this KB974402 for a french installation of TFS?

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