Team Foundation Server delivers source control, work item tracking, Team Foundation Build, a team project portal Web site, reporting, and project management capabilities. Team Foundation Server also includes a data warehouse where data from work item tracking, source control, builds, and testing tools are stored. Other Visual Studio Team System servers include build servers and test servers. Depending on your business needs, you might choose to deploy some or all of these servers. You should carefully evaluate the features as well as the hardware and software requirements of Team Foundation servers as part of your planning for Visual Studio Team System.

A logical Team Foundation Server is made up of two components: an application-tier server, made up primarily of Web services, and a data-tier server, made up primarily of several SQL Server 2005 databases. In Team Foundation Server deployments, these two components are referred to as the application-tier server and the data-tier server. The application-tier server and data-tier server can be deployed on one server or two servers. In the single-server configuration, the application-tier and data-tier services and programs are hosted on the same computer. In the dual server configuration, one server is the application-tier server, and the other is the data-tier server. This data is used by Team Foundation for its built-in reporting functionality.

All team projects are stored and managed with Team Foundation Server. To begin working on a team project, you must first connect to the appropriate Team Foundation Server. Be sure you are a member of a group on the Team Foundation Server with appropriate permissions before attempting to connect to Team Foundation Server, or that your account has been added directly to the Team Foundation Server and configured with the permissions appropriate to your role in the project. If you have not been added to the Team Foundation Server, either as an individual user or as a member of a group, you will not be able to connect to the Team Foundation Server.