Where is Team Explorer?

In recent discussions it has become clear that some people have transitioned straight from Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 to Visual Studio 2005 RTM products, but have been caught unaware of an important change that occurred in the interim.

Starting with the July CTP release, Team Explorer (or as it was previously known – Team Foundation Client, which is the client component of Team Foundation Server that provides access to Team Foundation Server functionality) is no longer ‘built-in’ to team editions of Visual Studio 2005. Shortly after Beta 2, it was starting to become apparent that Team Foundation Server would not ship at the same time as the Whidbey wave of Visual Studio products.

To ensure that the bundle of bits that we did ship at Whidbey RTM was of release quality, the decision was taken to remove Team Explorer and provide it solely as a separate install; however, Team Explorer still integrates seamlessly into Visual Studio 2005 when installed on the same computer.

Thus, those who are installing team editions of Visual Studio 2005 for the first time since Beta 2 are sometimes puzzled by the absence of Team Foundation Server connectivity, and sometimes go as far as uninstalling and reinstalling the product in search of the “Connect to Team Foundation Server” feature.

Just understand that Team Explorer is a separate install that is obtained from the Team Foundation Server installation media. It’s accessible from the Team Foundation Server setup launcher, or directly from setup.exe in the \tfc folder (which may be renamed for RTM) of the aforementioned installation media.

Comments (12)

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  1. Shane Healy says:


    Another step I discovered after much searching around was that you have to specify Team Foundation Server as your source control repository once the TFS client is installed.

    In Tools->Options select the source control plug-in option. From the drop-down I selected Visual Studio Team Foundation Server and all was well.

    A simple but crucial step. Maybe it would be possible to set this as the default option when the client is installed?


  2. Sean McLellan says:

    Correct me if I’m off-base here but this is my understanding and might be important to note… (I’ve seen this info passed around in the MSDN forum but not a specific blog post about it)

    Visual Studio 2005 does not need to be installed prior to trying to installing Team Explorer. If a Visual Studio 2005 ‘instance’ is not available, the Team Explorer setup will install a VS ‘Shell’ which TE can be used with

    So if you have a program manager who doesn’t write code, but still would like to have access to the functionality provided via Team Explorer, they can simply install Team Explorer, and use a Team Explorer CAL, without needing a seperate Visual Studio 2005 license.


  3. RobCaron says:

    Sean –

    Yes, you are correct. Team Explorer is both a standalone client (in the absence of Visual Studio 2005), and an integrated part of Visual Studio 2005. Also, you need not install them in any particular order. You can add Visual Studio 2005 to Team Explorer, or the other way around. Either way, Team Explorer will then be availabe through Visual Studio 2005. However, you won’t be able to use Team Explorer as a standalone client. You can also uninstall one or the other without ill effect.

  4. Gary Russo says:

    What is the cost of the standalone Team Explorer client?

    Is it a "free plugin" or do you need to purchase a specific Team Explorer CAL?

  5. Jørgen Thyme says:

    That leaves only one question. Why can I only download Team Suite Trial Edition and not a RTM version – because my Universal subscription isnt correct upgraded or because VS2005 Team Suite isnt real RTM’ed?

    Thanks (for a good blog)

  6. RobCaron says:

    Gary – Team Explorer ships on the Team Foundation Server installation media. To install Team Explorer, you need a Team Foundation Server CAL (Client Access License), which is included with each of the Team System client products. The cost for a CAL can vary depending on your licensing terms. For more information, see http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/howtobuy/default.aspx.

  7. RobCaron says:

    Jørgen – If all you see is the trial edition of Team Suite, and you currently have an MSDN Universal subscription, you need to transition your subscription. For more information, see http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/products/subscriptions/maketransition/default.aspx

  8. Chad Gruka says:

    Are there known issues with installing Team Foundation Client (from Beta 3 Refresh) with Visual Studio Team Suite RC? When I try to I get a message that states: "Thank you for participating in the Beta program. You must uninstall all pre-release products in a specific order before you can continue with the setup…" Then it lists nearly everything that installed with VSTS RC. I’m so lost! Any ideas?

  9. chadgruka says:

    Are there any known issues with installing the Team Foundation Client (from Beta 3 refresh) with Visual Studio Team Suite RC? I’m attempting to install TFC and receive the following message: "Thank you for participating in the Beta program. You must uninstall all pre-release products in order before you can continue with setup." Then it lists vitually all titles that came with the VSTS RC. I’m lost! Any ideas?

  10. RobCaron says:


    Team Explorer Beta 3 is for Visual Studio 2005 RC.

    Team Explorer Beta 3 Refresh is for Visual Studio 2005 RTM.


    This is a memo for my installation of Microsoft Team Foundation Server, in case I’ll have to…

  12. Rexiology... says:


    crosspost from http://rextang.net/blogs/work/

    This is a memo for my installation of Microsoft…

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