How To Access Microsoft Team Foundation Server

How To Articles

Using Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) can completely transform any development team. As a software engineer with years of experience using TFS, I can confirm its capabilities and efficiency in project management and teamwork.

Before jumping into the technical details, let me share a personal story about how TFS transformed the way my team and I work together. Prior to using TFS, our project management process was a mess. We were using disparate tools for version control, bug tracking, and task management. This led to confusion, wasted time, and frequent communication breakdowns. But once we started using TFS, everything changed.

So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details of accessing TFS.

Step 1: Install Team Explorer

The first step is to ensure that you have Team Explorer installed on your machine. Team Explorer is a client software that enables you to connect to TFS and access its features. You can download and install Team Explorer from the official Microsoft website.

Step 2: Connect to TFS

Once you have Team Explorer installed, launch the application and click on the “Connect” button. A dialog box will appear, prompting you to enter the URL of the TFS server you want to connect to. Make sure you have the correct URL provided by your system administrator. If you are working on a local machine, the URL will typically be something like “http://localhost:8080/tfs”.

If you have the correct URL, click on the “Connect” button, and Team Explorer will establish a connection to the TFS server.

Step 3: Authenticate and Access Projects

After successfully connecting to the TFS server, you will be prompted to authenticate yourself. Depending on the configuration of your TFS server, you may need to enter your username and password, or you might be prompted to use your Windows credentials.

Once you are authenticated, you will have access to all the projects that you are a part of. You can navigate through the project hierarchy and view various sections like code repositories, work items, builds, and more.

Step 4: Collaborate and Contribute

Now that you have access to TFS, you can start collaborating with your teammates and contributing to the projects. TFS provides features like version control, task management, bug tracking, and automated builds, which are all essential for successful software development.

One of the key features of TFS is its version control system. You can check-in and check-out code files, create branches, merge changes, and track the entire history of your codebase. This promotes a collaborative and controlled development process.

Another powerful feature is the work item tracking system. You can create and assign tasks, track their progress, and communicate with your teammates through comments and attachments. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and no tasks fall through the cracks.

Additionally, TFS allows you to set up automated builds and continuous integration processes. This ensures that your code is always tested and ready for deployment, reducing the chances of introducing bugs and issues in your software.


Accessing Microsoft Team Foundation Server is a straightforward process that can greatly enhance your team’s productivity and collaboration. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can establish a connection with TFS and leverage its powerful features to streamline your software development process.

From my personal experience, TFS has been a game-changer for my team. It has helped us eliminate confusion, improve communication, and deliver high-quality software on time.