TFS 2013 Installation Validation

by garyg 1. April 2015 17:24

Ok now that we’ve successfully installed Team Foundation Server, its time to validate that it’s running. We’ll do this by checking some basic things on the system. Then we’ll look at TFS security and how the leverage it to save administration

We’ll cover:

· Validating TFS URLs

· Validating TFS Services

· A few words on the installation logs

Installation Validation

We are all excited to jump in and start in using a new set of tools, but first we probably should make sure the installation went ok first and it's fairly simple. Next we will dive into a few steps that will help us with this. I'll give a couple of tips for upgraders at since that’s fairly specific to your environment.

Validate Team Foundation Server URLs

This one is easy and determines a whole host of services and web sites have been configured correctly. Let's start by looking at the main URLs for the Team Foundation Server (you can get the first one from the "Success" window from your install if that is still up, or if you closed it just following the steps below).

1. Get the URL. Go to the Start Menu Team Foundation Server 2013 ➤ Team Foundation Server Administration Console.

2. Once you have the console open go to the Application Tier node in the selection tree as indicated in the screen below in Figure 3-1. Note the Web Access URL on this page. It will be in the format of http(s)://<server name>:<port, normally 8080>/tfs


Figure 3- 1 TFS Web Access URL

3. Now that we have that we can check the Web Access services with the URL. (Note the Server URL would also be able to perform this quick test on the local server). Put that URL into a browser window on the TFS server. You should see windows displayed similar to the ones below in Figure 3-2. Click on the Administer panel and this window should pop up as in Figure 3-3. We'll visit this window again later.


Figure 3 - 2 TFS Web Access main page


Figure 3- 3 TFS Web Access Admin screen

Validate TFS Services

Another important step in making sure your install went smoothly is examining the services installed by Team Foundation Server. Most of the time (actually since TFS 2010) if you make it to the installation confirmation window with a page of green check marks you are usually good to go. However it never hurts to double check a few things. Since Team Foundation server runs on the standard Windows Sever stack it depends upon a slew of "standard" services, and a few specialized ones to be running to do its job including but not limited to:

· World Wide Web Publishing Service

· SQL Server (for both TFS and SharePoint)

· SQL Server Reporting Services

· Visual Studio Team Foundation Background Job Agent

The above system level services are to be expected on a Standard Single Server install like we performed elsewhere in this book. If you have another configuration or a scaled out deployment your individual servers would not necessarily run all of these. These are fairly easy to identify in the Service applet and should be running and should be set to Automatic start. There are a bunch of others that will be seen in a fully configured TFS server as other featured are added (as in the Build Service we'll check out next) but these are good to start with. An interesting service worth mentioning is the last one on the list. You'll only know something is wrong with the "Visual Studio Team Foundation Background Job Agent" when things you did in the system don’t seem like they took properly (permissions for instance) so it bears both initial checking and monitoring on occasion since it can be confusing when you are setting things up properly and it doesn’t seem to be working through no fault of yours.

1. Start the Services applet. Go to Start ➤ Administrative Tools ➤ Services.

2. Verify key services are running and Set to Automatic Start as in Figure 3-4.


Figure 3- 4 Windows Services applet highlighting the Visual Studio Team Foundation Background Job Agent

Installation Logs

So I'm sure someone at Microsoft will be upset with me saying this but the Installation Logs are of limited usefulness in validating if an install happened correctly in the absence of any real errors presented during the installation. Why? There is just too much information in the files appearing as a potential error that in reality is just information. However if you are tracking down a stubborn installation error and can focus on that or if you are working with Microsoft Technical Support they can be useful. The location is here:

C:\Users\<install account>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Team Foundation\Setup\Logs

So if you were installing under the account TFSADMIN you would look in:

C:\Users\TFSADMIN\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Team Foundation\Setup\Logs

Here is a typical view in Figure 3-5 of files you might find in that directory for the curious. Note the use of the Hidden flag on the View menu in File Explorer. Without selecting that you'll be staring at an empty directory:


Figure 3- 5 File Explorer in the TFS Logs directory

About the author

Gary Gauvin is a 20+ year Information Technologies industry leader, currently working as the Director of Application Lifecycle Management for CD-Adapco, a leading developer of CFD/CAE solutions. Working in both enterprise environments and small businesses, Gary enjoys bringing ROI to the organizations he works with through strategic management and getting hands-on wherever practical. Among other qualifications, Gary holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technologies, an MBA, a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification, and PSM (Professional Scrum Master) certification.  Gary has also been recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional.

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