Rob Caron

Developer-related topics and other stuff.

A Hitchhiker's Guide to Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition

A Hitchhiker's Guide to Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition

  • Comments 30

Those who have Team Suite (or one of the role-based Team Editions) with MSDN Premium subscription will soon be able to download Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition. This edition of Team Foundation Server only differs from Team Foundation Server Standard Edition in one fundamental way – you can only have five users accessing it. To support larger teams, you need to purchase a license for Standard Edition (full retail price: US$2799).

Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition shouldn’t be confused with installing Team Foundation Server in a Windows workgroup. Just as you can with Standard Edition, you can install the Workgroup Edition using a Windows workgroup, or an Active Directory domain.

Since I’ve been asked this before, I’ll note that there isn’t a cumulative effect. For example, if you have four licensed copies of Team Suite, Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition will not support twenty users; however, you could install four independent instances of Team Foundation Server on separate computers.

We implemented the five-user limitation by creating a special Team Foundation Server global group in the Workgroup Edition named, "Team Foundation Licensed Users." This group is only used with Workgroup Edition because its membership is limited to five users. For more information about Team Foundation Server groups, see Team Foundation Server Security for Users and Groups.

When adding users to Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition, the administrator must add users (you can’t add Windows groups or other Team Foundation Server groups) to this group in addition to the usual Team Foundation Server project and global groups; otherwise, they’ll receive this error message when they try to access Team Foundation Server:

TF31001: Team Foundation cannot retrieve the list of team project from Team Foundation Server. The Team Foundation Server returned the following error: The request failed with HTTP status 403: Domain\User is not a licensed user.

If you want to upgrade from Workgroup Edition to Standard Edition, all you need to do is run setup in Maintenance Mode and supply the product key for Standard Edition, which will lift the restriction of requiring users to be a member of "Team Foundation Licensed Users."

Update: For more information, see How to: Add Users for Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition.


  • Rob Caron Blog Roundup:

    Organizing Team Projects
    Team System Wins Jolt Award
    Upgrading To Team Foundation...
  • Team Suite subscribers only get workgroup version??  WTH! What are we paying 50% more in our subscription every year for?
  • I know this has all been said before, but I doubt any small development team will be able to justify to their managers the price of the standard version.

    In a small shop of 20 developers, Visual SourceSafe will continue to be used, even though it's really an outdated tool.

    The Workgroup edition is a nice idea, but you really should have made the limit higher, something like 25. Then I could see that if you get past the 25 developer point, justification becomes much easier to a manager.

    Microsoft has already caused some consternation with the way they've split up the functionality in VS.NET 2005. A perfect example of this is trying to explain to me how an architect shouldn't have the testing tools on the Team Architect version. It makes no sense other than to squeeze another $1300 out of my company's pocket.

    It's greedy and really sort of a slap in the face since all these years we've put up with the low quality VSS solution.

    But back to my original point. There's no way you'll get early adoption of teams in the 6 to 25 range. There's simply no justification with all of the effort that would be required to make the change. The money you want for the product would be seen as money that could be better spent on building a better process or on third party products that do similar tasks.

    I'm at a client right now that would have about 30 or so people using the system including project managers, testers, and developers. But they already started using a 3rd party tool called DevTrack and they're comfortable with VSS. They plan to move to VS.NET 2005, but I highly doubt they'll even consider TFS with the pricing model you've come up with.

    I guess you'll make all your money from the Allstate's and such.
  • Well, I am an independent developer.  I work with (right now) 4 other independent developers.  We all subscribe to MSDN.  Everyone else subscribes to VSTD while I purchased the full Suite so I could host a full TFS server for all of us.  Everyone has a client license and I should have the server license.  The Team Suite subscription is $10939 for the first year and $3499 each additional year (Team Developer is $5469/$2299).  The extra $5k+ is not enough to cover the combo (architect, developer, tester) AND the full TFS server (the only differences I can find between the subscription)???  
  • You didn't have to purchase Team Suite to have access to Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition. That's available to your four fellow developers as wel. As note above, "Those who have Team Suite (or one of the role-based Team Editions) with MSDN Premium subscription will soon be able to download Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition."
  • You are totally missing the point.  Workgroup edition limits us to 5 users.  We are at 5 users NOW.  Basically, as soon as I find another developer to join our little group, TFS will no longer work for us without spending an additon $2800.  I feel like I'm being punished.
  • I'm not sure I can say anything that would convince you that you're not being punished, but the cost of Team Foundation Server is relatively low when compared with other Microsoft server products, and very low when compared with most of the commercial alternatives. Equipping that potential sixth team member with Team Edition for Developers is almost twice the cost of Team Foundation Server. Consider the productivity gains you will likely experience by using Team Foundation Server, especially if your team continues to grow. Is using Team Foundation Server worth 1/2 a team member in developer tools licensing cost?
  • With the introduction and availability now of Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition, you’re...
  • As Rob Caron wrote on his blog, the RTM version of Team Foundation Server can be downloaded from MSDN...
  • I agree the cost of VST Dev, Arch, Tester and Suite are way over priced considering we have been living with microsoft's technology move of the last decade.  However, TFS seem fairly priced.  I'd like to see pricing include groups of VSTS/TFS for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and so on.  I may function as a developer but I may want to play with the Architect designers to advance my career.  How is one to do this if all they have is Team Developer?

    We have 4 sites with about 20 developers and it is going to cost us about 140K for VSTS licenses and about 12K for four TFS.  I feel a better pricing model would be 15K for 5 users and 30K for 10 user, etc... Make it a flat rate and stop making the user/machine cals so darn hard to figure out.  Any Microsoft's web site needs a lot of work and same with help system, etc...
  • Likewise "CAL" might represent a client access license, but only a licsensing expert knows it.
    I get...
  • Alright, I seriously broke tfs.  I went in, removed TFSSetup from the licensed users and added the 5 users of the system.  TFS promptly removed the TFSSetup account and then errored before adding the 5 users so NO ONE can connect to the TFS server.  HELP!
  • Try logging in as the service account (commonly known as TFSService). This account should be able to get you back on track.
  • Is it possible to upgrade from the trial version to the workgroup edition?
Page 1 of 2 (30 items) 12
Leave a Comment
  • Please add 3 and 7 and type the answer here:
  • Post