Hosted Microsoft TFS - Team Foundation Service - Part 1: Getting Started

Tobias Zimmergren
Tobias Zimmergren
ScriptRunner Webinar

Author: Tobias Zimmergren
http:https: | | @zimmergren


A while back an announcement was made that had been made available for general testing. Various bloggers at Microsoft put an invitation token in their MSDN blogs so everyone can have a go at it.

In this article series we’ll take a very quick look at what the hosted TFS solution by Microsoft looks like.

Articles currently in the series:

[blockquote]Part 1: Getting Started (this post)
Part 2: Connect your development rig
Part 3: Configuring a Build server to work with TFS preview
Part 4: Connect your project to TFS and create a build definition [/blockquote]

What we need to know before getting started…

Firstly you’ll need to get an invitation token from someone who already have an account on and then you’re good to go. In this post I’ll assume that you’ve got that already.

Sign in to the TFSpreview account you just acquired:


This should give you access to the Team Foundation Service Preview console:


From here you have a few options for proceeding:

  • Create a team project – The first step to create a new TFS site and project
  • Download software – You’ll want to visit this link so you can download the required software for connecting from VS 2010, if you haven’t already.

To guide you through the process of getting up and running, I’ll create a new project and call it "TOZIT AB Project 42" so you can follow the sample this article through.

Getting Started – Step by step

Right, so you’ve got your account set up and want to create a project. Follow along and I’ll take you through the entire process. Hang on.

Click "Create a team project":


Next you’ll get a dialog telling you the progress of setting the new project up:


When this is done you can navigate directly to the project or click close. I pressed close and made sure I could see the team project in my project list when I press "Browse all…":


Simply click on the "Navigate" button to navigate to the project and you should see your team project dashboard, similar to this:


What you get here is the intro to your Project. You can see in the top menu that you’ve got options for these things:

  • Home (This is what you see above)
  • Work
  • Source
  • Build


As depicted in the screenshot above, this is the welcome screen of the currently selected project. From here you can control your Product Backlog, Product Backlog Items, Sprints, Work Items and so on. Think of this as your online control panel for the Scrum project. Pretty neat, if you ask me.


Under the "backlog" tab:


You’ll get a more detailed overview over you current situation in the project including the Product Backlog, Sprints and Work Items with an overview as well as detailed information about each item you select. From here you can control, create and modify your current project quite easily from the Web Browser.

For example, you can create a new PBI (Product Backlog Item) from here:


and it’ll immediately appear in the list below, and you can start working with it:


I’m obviously not going to walk you through each and every button on these pages, that’s for you yourself to try out, but this should give you an overview and idea of what’s available.

Under the "board" tab, you can easily get a really awesome overview of your current status in the project with all your Product Backlog Items in the selected sprint. You can easily drag and drop these items from one to the other section:

(Pretty awesome…)

Of course you can edit everything from the browser UI here as well:


Under the "work items" tab you can get a more familiar overview of the current work items, and even create you own queries in the section to the left – much like you would do from Visual Studio otherwise:



Under the Source tab you can see (perhaps one of the most important things) the source code of your project including the history, changesets, shelvesets and so on:



An overview of your current build configurations. In this post I haven’t set up any build configurations yet, but keep your eyes out for that soon enough.



This was intended to be a short introduction of what capabilities and features you’ll see in the hosted Team Foundation Services 2010 hosted service. More on this subject to follow!



Tobias Zimmergren Twitter

Hey, I'm Tobias! I write about my experiences in designing, architecting, securing, and operating distributed cloud services. Nice to meet you 👋

Reactions and mentions

Presently sponsored by:
Hornet Security