Visual Studio 2008 and Team Foundation Server 2010

Team Foundation Server 2010 works great when combined with Visual Studio 2010. However, if you wish to combine it with Visual Studio 2008, some additional setup is required.

First thing that you need to install is Team Explorer 2008. If you already used source control, you may have it. Easiest way to check is to go into Tools > Options and select Source Control. If there is "Visual Studio Team Foundation Server" in plug-in list, you can skip this download.

Another thing I installed was Visual Studio Team System 2008 Service Pack 1 Forward Compatibility Update for Team Foundation Server 2010. I do not think that this long-named update is really "must" but I decided to install it anyhow - just in case.

Once you install everything, you can try adding Team Foundation Server 2010 as destination, but you will be greeted with error "TF31002: Unable to connect to this Team Foundation Server ...". Reason behind this is that old Team Explorer 2008 does not know anything about collections.

Solution would be to add it as full path (e.g "http://server:8080/tfs/collection"). I could not do it because every time I entered full path, I also got error "TF30335: The server name cannot contain characters '/' or ':' ...". Since official way would not work it was time to come up with alternative.

In order to add TFS 2010 server, you will need to exit Visual Studio 2008 and go into Registry editor. Find key "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\TeamFoundation\Servers" and at this location just add string value. Name of this value will be what Team Explorer 2008 will use for display. It's value is full address of your server. It should be something like "http://server:8080/tfs/collection".

Now you can go into Visual Studio 2008 and Team Explorer will have new entry. As you work with it, you will notice that not everything is "bump-free" (e.g. tasks). However, source control it self will work perfectly and that was enough for me.

60 thoughts to “Visual Studio 2008 and Team Foundation Server 2010”

    1. how do you do it, because, i´m not worked, i need conect me to the TFS, somebody help me, reponse me with the unable conect bla bla, please.

    1. Hi,
      I have just started using VS TFS 2010. According to my observations during POC ( it has been adopted by around 9-10 users till now ) following is the sequence of installation that needs to be followed.

      1> VS 2008
      2> then VS 2008 SP1
      3> then Team Explorer 2008
      4> then Forward Compatibility Pack
      5> then Reinstall VS 2008 SP1

      to connect to a TFS collection use the following url

      e.g http://mytfs:8080/tfs/myProjectCollection

  1. Your technique does not work for me on Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit) edition. The drop down list of TFS servers is empty and it gives me a TF31002 error to the effect that it cannot connect to my TFS 2010 server. I verified the name is correct and that it is resolving the name to the one that TFS 2010 Admin Console says I should be using. Perhaps the RegEdit instructions are bad? Is it the KEY that gets the value of my TFS server URL or should I be putting it in the VALUE portion of an existing KEY?

  2. Yeah, I had to reinstall SP1 in order to get the forward compatibility pack to work but it still doesn’t work. I then edited the registry and the TFS server entry shows up now but I still get the same TF31002 error. I am able to connect to the same server fine using VS2010 but it just won’t work with VS2008.

  3. the compatability update wouldn’t run (it said “None of the products that are addressed by this software update are installed on this computer.”), and VS2008 can’t use the registry key because it says I need the compatability update. ARGH!

  4. this helps me to connect to the TFS server. however, I cannot see the collection in the Team Explorer. all I can see is the TFS Server’s URL then “My Favorites” under it. I did put collection name as part of the URL in the registry item.

  5. I fixed the problem of not seeing any collection. It was my fault, I misspelled the collection name.

    thanks very much, your posting is very helpful.

  6. I ran through these steps and they worked great on my computer so I applied the same steps to a co-workers computer. When it came time to edit the registry setting they did not have a ‘Servers’ location like mine did. All the steps up to this point worked as they should have. Do they need special permissions just see the ‘Servers’ location in the registry?

  7. Hi,

    I am connecting to a TFS2010(we migrated lastweek from tfs 2008), when i am creating a new build definition for a migrated team project using VS 2008 with a GDR patch, if i just change the MSBuild Platform to X86 it works. But whereas when i create a new team project in TFS 2010, and try to create a build definition, i am getting the following error message

    Team Foundation Error

    TF42073:The value cannot be null(parameter name:process)

  8. For anyone else stumbling on this, I found the correct order is:

    VS 2008
    Team Explorer
    VS 2008 SP1 (reinstall if already on)
    Forward comp pack

  9. If I have a license for TFS 2010 and want to use it with VS 2008 do I need a license for the Team Explorer 2008?

  10. Thanks for this it really helped.

    The only snag I had was that I thought the ‘collection’ part of your URL “http://server:8080/tfs/collection” was literally meant to be ‘collection’.

    It would make it clearer (to me anyway) if you changed the URL to “http://:8080/tfs/” or somesuch.


    1. It looks like the webpage munged my proposed URL , perhaps this will be acceptable.

      “http://{server name}:8080/tfs/{collection name}”

  11. Thanks,

    This worked for me.

    BTW, Visual Studio Team System 2008 Service Pack 1 Forward Compatibility Update for Team Foundation Server 2010 is a must.

    Register in Registry may require :)

  12. I’ve been searching for answers to the exact same issue on the web for days, and only yours worked!!!

    Many Thanks!

  13. This did not work for me, after following your steps only about half the items in my collection were accessable and the others had red ‘X’s that kept me from accessing them. After trying to undo the changes by deleting the registry log, it will now not go away. And I cannot remove the server from within the Tools.. Team Foundation Server menu. Anyone have any other ideas?

  14. I also have Windows 7 64 bit and had a very difficult time, but I DID GET IT! Thanks.

    I installed VS2008 Team Explorer, then.
    I did have to rerun VS2008 SP1, then
    I had to rerun the forward compat update above.


    I tried every other conceivable update too, but this is what finally worked.

  15. On Windows 7 46 bit:
    1. Install VS2008
    2. Install VS2008 SP1
    3. Install Forward Compatibility Update
    4. Run VS2008 as Administrator
    5. In VS2008, click Tools | Connect To Team Foundation Server
    6. In the Connect to Team Foundation Server applet, click the Servers.. button
    7. Click Add…
    8. In the Team Foundation Server name: textbox, enter e.g. http://:/tfs/. Entering the full URL in this form, with the http prefix, will disable the Connection Details section and allow you to enter the full URL
    9. Click OK. Your Team Foundation Server connection details will appear in the listbox
    10. Click Close. Your Team Foundation Server connection details will appear in the drop down list. Selecting the connection in the drop down list will display the projects in that collection in the Team projects listbox. Check the boxes of the projects to which you wish to connect and click OK

    You have now connected to the TFS collection and will be able to view, check out the projects you selected from that collection, in step 10 above. You can view the projects from the Team explorer (View | Team Explorer from within VS2008)

  16. Thanks Josip, this worked for me- SQL Server BIDS running Visual Studio 2008 Shell.

  17. Hi all
    i tried all thing as you suggested but i cannt create team project and cant see list of Team Project.

    i can connect with server from visual studio 2008 explorer but after connection successfully done.
    i cant add Team Project in this Collection.

    its throw error

    TF30172: You are trying to create a team project either without required permissions or with an older version of team explorer. contact…….

    Please help me out.
    thank you in advance.

  18. but I want to install team foundation server on windows xp sp3,how could I do?

  19. out of the 13 different articles I read, this seemed to be the only workable solution for me

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