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Manually install SQL Server for Team Foundation Server

The steps in this topic are for installing SQL Server 2012 enterprise edition, but you can use the same steps for installing the standard edition. The steps for SQL 2014 are also very similar to these. We’ll install all the SQL Server 2012 features that TFS requires on the same server as TFS, but this isn’t a requirement. TFS is very flexible with regard to SQL Server topologies. See One Server or Two?


You can also use an existing installation of SQL Server for TFS, but to do this you’ll need the SQL Server administrator to grant you a lot of administrative credentials. You must be a member of the sysadmin Server role in SQL Server to install and configure TFS. Why does TFS need so much privilege on the SQL Server? (blog post)

One server or two?

If you’re going to use only one server for TFS, you can safely ignore this section.

If you plan to have more than 500 users accessing your TFS server, the recommendation is to put SQL Server on a second server. This splits the load between TFS and its configuration database. You could install all the SQL Server features that TFS requires on the second server, or you could split the features up. Some teams like to put the report server on the TFS server, and the Database engine, Full text search, and Analysis services on the second server, splitting HTTP traffic from SQL Server traffic.

There are many different topology choices you could make. In general, TFS allows you to install SQL Server instance features (Database engine, Reporting Services, Analysis Services) on different servers. Here are some caveats for various SQL Server topologies to keep in mind:

  • TFS requires the Database Engine and Full text search features on the same instance.

  • TFS reporting is optional, but if you want reporting you must install Reporting Services and Analysis Services (each can go on its own server, if you want that topology). If you skip reporting, you don’t have to set up Reporting Services or Analysis Services.

  • If you don’t install any SQL Server instances on the TFS server, you must at least install the SQL Server feature Client Tools Connectivity on TFS. If you have a SQL Server instance on the TFS server (either the Database Engine, Reporting Services or Analysis Services) you don’t have to install Client Tools Connectivity.

If you want to install SQL Server features on different servers, run the SQL Server installation on each server where you want to install a feature. Use the same instructions below for each installation, but at step 9, only install the features that you require.


A multiple-server installation of TFS requires an Active Directory domain and domain accounts or the Network Service account. You cannot use local accounts for service accounts.

To install SQL Server

Required Permissions

You must be a member of the Windows Administrators security group on the server on which you are installing SQL Server. To manually configure a report server, you must also be a member of the Windows Administrators security group on the SQL Server that hosts the report server database, if this instance of SQL Server is not on your report server.

Tip: If you are installing SQL Server 2014 on Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2, you must have the .NET Framework 3.5 installed. You can install the .NET Framework 3.5 by using the Add Features Wizard from Server Manager. For more information, see the following page on the Microsoft website: Adding Server Roles and Features (Windows 2012/Windows 2012 R2), Adding Server Roles and Features (Windows Server 2008 R2)

  1. Insert the installation DVD for a supported version of SQL Server and launch setup.exe.

    More information: SQL Server requirements for Team Foundation Server.

  2. On the SQL Server Installation Center page, choose Installation, and then choose New installation or add features to an existing installation.

    New installation of SQL Server

  3. On the Setup Support Rules page, choose OK.

  4. On the Product Key page, type your product key or specify a free edition.

  5. On the License Terms page, accept the license agreement.

  6. On the SetupSupport Rules page, choose Next.

    Windows Firewall warning


    A Windows Firewall warning might appear, but you can safely ignore this warning if you’re planning to also install TFS on this server. TFS automatically adds an exception to Windows Firewall for SQL Server, if both servers (TFS and SQL Server) are installed on the same machine. If you’re installing TFS on some other server, you’ll want to open a port for SQL Server in Windows Firewall on this server (blog post).

    For more information about SQL Server ports required for Team Foundation Server, see Ports required for installation of Team Foundation Server.

  7. On the Setup Role page, choose SQL Server Feature Installation.

    Setup role

  8. On the Feature Selection page, select the check boxes for one or more of the following components, depending on the topology you intend to use:

    • Database Engine Services (required)

    • Full-Text and Semantic Extractions for Search (required)

    • Analysis Services (required for reporting)

    • Reporting Services – Native (required for reporting)

    • Client Tools Connectivity (required only if no other SQL Server components are installed on the server that is running Team Foundation Server - not pictured)

    • Management Tools - Basic ¹ (not pictured)

    Feature Selection

  9. On the Installation Rules page, choose Next.

  10. On the Instance Configuration page, choose Default instance. If you choose Named instance, type the name of the instance..

    Instance configuration

  11. On the Disk Space Requirements page, choose Next.

  12. On the Server Configuration page, accept the defaults or enter the name of a domain account or NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE in Account Name for every service. If you specify a domain account, type its password in Password. If you use NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE, leave Password blank.

    Server Configuration

  13. In the Startup Type column, verify that Automatic appears for all services that you can edit, and then click Next.

    Server Configuration (details)


    Are you using a non-English version of SQL Server? The default collation settings for U.S. English meet the requirements for Team Foundation Server. If you’re not using English, you can set collation settings for the Database Engine on this page. For more information, see SQL Server Collation Requirements for Team Foundation Server.

  14. If you selected the Database Engine Services check box in step 8, on the Database Engine Configuration page, choose Windows authentication mode, choose Add Current User. Otherwise skip to the next step.

    Database Engine Configuration

  15. If you selected the Analysis Services check box in step 8, on the Analysis Services Configuration page, choose Add Current User. Otherwise skip to the next step.

    Analysis Services Configuration

  16. If you selected the Reporting Services check box in step 8, on the Reporting Services Configuration page, choose Install and configure. If that option is unavailable, choose Install only.

    Reporting Services Configuration

    If you had to choose Install only, you might be planning to have the report server and Team Foundation Server on different servers. This is a supported topology, but you will have to manually configure the report server after you finish installing SQL Server. Use these instructions: Configure Report Server Manually


    You should not choose Reporting Service SharePoint Integrated Mode. TFS does not support this configuration mode.

  17. (Optional) On the Error and Usage Reporting page, specify whether to send information about errors.

  18. On the Installation Rules page, choose Next.

  19. On the Ready to Install page, review the list of components to be installed, and then choose Install.


¹ To install Team Foundation Server, you do not need to install Management Tools (Basic or Complete) on the same computer as SQL Server. However, you must use the SQL Server Management Studio management tool to verify your installation of SQL Server.

Configure Report Server Manually

No automatic configuration of Reporting Services

SQL Server 2008 R2 no SSRS auto configure

If you don’t install the Database Engine on the same server as Reporting Services, you must manually configure your report server using the steps below after you finish SQL Server installation. 

In the unlikely case that Reporting Services is on the same server as Team Foundation Server and you have not configured the report server, you are prompted during Team Foundation Server installation to complete the report server configuration, starting on step 3.

To manually configure a report server

  1. Launch Reporting Services Configuration Manager.

    The Reporting Services Configuration Connection dialog box appears.

  2. In Server Name, enter the name of the report server. If you are using an instance name, enter the name of the instance in Report Server Instance. Choose Connect.

  3. On the Reporting Services Configuration Manager page, choose Start if the Report Service status reads Stopped.

  4. In the navigation bar, choose Web Service URL.

  5. On the Web Service URL page, choose Apply to accept the default values in the Virtual Directory, IP Address, and TCP Port boxes.

  6. In the navigation bar, choose Database.

  7. On the Report Server Database page, choose Change Database.

    The Report Server Database Configuration Wizard appears.

  8. On the Action page of the wizard, choose Create a new report server database.

  9. On the Database Server page of the wizard, enter the name of a local or remote instance of SQL Server to host the database for the report server in Server Name.

  10. On the Database page of the wizard, accept the default values in the Database Name, Language, and Native Mode boxes.

  11. In Credentials, accept the default values in the Authentication Type, User name, and Password boxes.

  12. On the Summary page of the wizard, verify your information.

  13. On the Progress and Finish page of the wizard, choose Finish.

  14. In the navigation bar for Reporting Services Configuration Manager, choose Report Manager URL.

  15. On the Report Manager URL page, choose Apply to accept the default value in the Virtual Directory box.

See Also


Install Team Foundation Server

TFS upgrade requirements

SQL Server Collation Requirements for Team Foundation Server