MS Project client integration with TFS

If you are a Project manager in charge of scheduling and tracking software projects, you probably rely on Microsoft Project to lay out the schedules, manage dependencies, load balance resources and estimate the end dates. The TFS add-in within MS Project enables you to easily add and update TFS work items as tasks to the project plan. Individual team members use any tool to update their tasks and the Project manager can get these updates by simply refreshing the TFS bound project plan.

We often hear from customers about how certain Microsoft Project features produce unexpected results in the TFS world. Consider the scenario where you have summary and individual tasks being round tripped to TFS, auto-calculation is turned on and the remaining work field is published and refreshed from TFS based on the mapping file settings. You will notice a toggle effect on the date fields on Refresh if the rollup of the remaining work isn’t accurate. This happens because dates are being read from TFS and also being calculated by Project based on the remaining work.

One workaround for this issue is to set the remaining field to PublishOnly so it is controlled only by the Project manager, or alternatively not have the summary tasks round tripped to TFS. In addition, we also recommend that you keep a local copy of the project plan to preserve information on tasks such as hierarchies and dependencies that cannot be stored in TFS.

Another issue that users encounter is when Resource names in their environment have comma delimiters. By default, Project is configured to use the comma as a resource separator but TFS doesn’t allow multiple resource assignment to a task. As a result, these tasks cannot be successfully published to TFS. In Project this task is considered to be split between 2 different resources and the calculation engine changes the end dates accordingly, which is not expected.

By applying the fix described here, you can circumvent the above issue.

There are a few other limitations in the V1 Project client integration, which we are working towards resolving in future releases.

Tell us what you think

We would also love to hear about the ways you are using this integration, the challenges you face and the features you would like to see in future. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey at


Yogita Manghnani

TFS Office integration Program Manager

Comments (7)

  1. Rob Caron says:

    If you use the Microsoft Project integration with Team Foundation Server to synchronize work items between

  2. I’m excited about the level of customer engagement and feedback our Team System teams are getting as

  3. The Teams WIT Tools Blog on MS Project client integration with TFS. Apinedo on Eclipse access to Team…

  4. says:

    Any idea how I would change the TFS connection info on Project. My TFS server is now hosted on a different server but I can’t see how I can change the TFS connection info.

  5. MissManagement says:

    Hello everyone,

    I am looking for help on Microsoft Project 2007 Server, Professional, Web Access etc.(entire EPM Suite). I was wondering if there is any video training (like downloadable webcasts) or at least introductions available from microsoft or any other partner that can give me an insight of the product. There is a long way i have to go so the deeper insight i get, the better it is for me. I need it for training purposes. I believe it is an open question and this might not be the most relavant place for such a posting but i have to find my way.

    Thanks in advance,



  6. JerryGerald says:

    Hello All,

    I am utilizing MPP 2007 with TFS 2008. Couple of Issues

    1.) We usually group the items in MPP. Eg Task A would be a parent of Task aa,bb,cc,dd. Thus Task A is sum of Task aa,bb,cc,dd.

    When the same is imported to TFS Task A also becomes a Sprint Back Log Item thus increasing the schedule by 2 folds

    2.) Upload MPP with Shared resources in MPP. Eg Task A is shared between Resource X and Y with 50% each. This format is not allowed in TFS

    3.) Thus we indvidually create items for each Resource with no Grouping, but set the predessors for tracking. Now upload the same to TFS

    Open MPP back from TFS and we would loose all predessors.

    These 3 items make workin with MPP and TFS virtually impossible. Is it taken care VS2010?

  7. Craig T says:

    Can you integrate Project Standard 2010 with TFS Server 2013 or do you need Project Server?

Skip to main content