TFS: Common questions and Misconceptions

Hello all, after working with Team Foundation Server since TFS 2005 RTM release, here I am writing a blog for our team.  What could be a better topic then to talk about some of the common misconceptions or questions about the installation. Here is a list of some of the common questions which TFS users have.


What is a standard (out of box) Dual Server configuration? Which component should be installed on Application Tier and which on Data Tier.


Whereas TFS 2008 gives us lot of flexibility of installing components on remote servers and to make it in real distributed architecture, following is a standard Dual Server configuration (same will hold true for TFS 2005)


Application Tier

Data Tier


SQL Database Engine

SQL Reporting Service

SQL Analysis Service


(Need to install TFS Component on DT for TFS 2005)




Another confusion that some people have (very few) is, where does WSS databases goes.


If you let TFS install WSS for you it will put WSS DBs on same Database Engine which you select for Team Foundation Server.


Should I uninstall TFS 2005 from DT (applicable in case of Dual Server scenario) before doing the upgrade to TFS 2008?


Although it’s not required to uninstall TFS 2005 from Add Remove Program (you would still be able to upgrade to TFS 2008 without uninstall TFS 2005 from DT) it is advised to do so. Reason being that in future if you uninstall it from Add Remove Program it would break your Team Foundation Server 2008 and would require a Repair. (so don’t leave a chance)


Does Team Foundation Server 2008 works with WSS 2.0?

Yes it does.


Will Team Explorer 2005 work with TFS 2008.

Yes it will, but there is a caveat, if you have WSS 3.0 on your TFS 2008 it would require a Hotfix otherwise New Project Creation would fail

Please check


 Do I need to buy a separate SQL License to install with Team Foundation Server?

I would leave it unanswered here, would direct people to check with Microsoft License Team. (try 1-800-426-9400)


How can I check if Server is working fine?

My personal advice to people with whom I work, is to create new Team Project to test (you can delete a Project by using ‘TFSDeleteProject’ command.)

 Please see


Apart from this a very good tool to check health of TFS is to use Best Practice Analyzer tool (BPA)

BPA can be downloaded from

Visit to know what BPA can do.


Which Document should I follow for installation or upgrade?

Nothing better than Install Guide (comes with TFS Media, but highly advised to download the latest version before planning installation or upgrade)

You can download latest Install Guide from following locations

TFS 2005:

TFS 2008:



Content Developed by: Romitg

Reviewer: Lakhmins

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