I've seen a bunch of questions over time about what it takes to get Team Foundation Server (TFS) components installed. Because it varies by component, the answer is usually rather lengthy and takes long enough to fully describe that eyes start glazing over, heads start nodding, and the utility of the information is basically reduces to a (very) small hill of beans. So, over the next few posts I'll review specific prerequisites (a.k.a. "prereqs" to their friends) for the TFS components. I'll be refering to the Team Foundation Install Guide left, right, top, bottom, and center (possibly front and back, too, but don't hold your breath), so I recommend you download it so you can play along at home. Also, it's pretty useful in its own right.

Today, we start with the all important operating system. I'm going to gloss over the hardware requirements since they're all listed on the pages I reference. If you're interested, feel free to read up on it at the source. Each TFS component has its own specifications for what it can and cannot be installed over, so we'll break them down by categories:

  • Application Tier and Proxy: These two SKUs can only be install on 32-bit OSes in the VS2008 release. In addition, they require a "server" OS - Windows Server 2003 or Longhorn Server. For Windows Server 2003, we require at least SP1. All 2003 Editions other than the Web Edition are supported. For a complete list, check out the "System Requirements for Team Foundation Server" section of your install guide. The Proxy page ("System Requirements for Team Foundation Server Proxy") starts out by saying "The software requirements for Team Foundation Server Proxy are the same as for Team Foundation Server" so you can just look at the first page to get the list of OSes you can play with.
  • Team Build is a different story. It can be installed on 32- or 64-bit systems. On the latter, it will run in WOW64 mod since it's actually a 32-bit application. The install guide page doesn't give you an exhaustive list, but rather refers to the Visual Studio 2008 Readme with some modifications. As with the Application Tier and Proxy, we require at least SP1 or R2 on Windows Server 2003 and only support Standard and Enterprise Edition. On XP, we require at least SP2 and it must be Professional. For Vista, we support Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, or Ultimate Edition. They don't mention Longhorn Server on the "System Requirements for Team Foundation Build" Install guide page, but I can't imagine why it wouldn't be supported. I'll find out about that.
  • Team Explorer also references the Visual Studio requirements, but doesn't specify any exceptions like Team Build has. As with Team Build, it will run in WOW64 mode if installed on a 64-bit OS. See the "System Requirements and Additional Client Software for Team Explorer" page for more detail.
  • TFS Databases can be installed on a 64-bit machine only if you use the "dual server" deployment where the Application Tier resides on a different machine from the SQL instance with the TFS databases. In addition to the OSes listed in the Application Tier's requirements page, you can find the 64-bit OSes the databases supports on the page titled "64-Bit Support in Team Foundation".
  • Remote SharePoint: If you choose not to install SharePoint on your Application Tier, it can be installed on any OS supported by SharePoint, with some caveats. Currently, our TFS "SharePoint Extensions" SKU doesn't like 64-bit OSes. As Jason mentioned, we're working on a Power Tool to rectify that and will post more when it's available. Otherwise, for 32-bit OSes, see the Install Guide page "How to: Install Windows SharePoint Services Extensions for Team Foundation Server" on how to upload the appropriate templates and redirectors to make SharePoint and Team Foundation Server friends.
  • Team System Web Access: According to the Power Tool download page, TSWA only supports Windows Server 2003. As TSWA is incorporated into the main line components for the next version I'm sure we'll see more information on its support.

I hope there aren't too many nodding heads and glazed eyes- it's very tough to condense all of this down, especially when you enjoy words as much as I do. Next time we'll investigate what other software must be installed prior to TFS. Stay tuned!