How to configure Team Foundation Server with Release Management

How to configure Team Foundation Server with Release Management

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Release Management for Visual Studio 2013 (RM) is tightly integrated with TFS. In order to communicate with TFS, RM uses a service account to access different functionality of TFS.


Here are the necessary minimal permissions that the account must have. If possible, to keep things simple, we recommend an account that is part of the Project Collection Service Accounts group.

·         Collection Level

o    ‘Make requests on behalf of others’ permission (required to setup TFS Connection in RM)

o    ‘View collection-level information’ permission (to get list of Build Definitions on behalf of current user)

o    ‘View build resources’ permission (to set a Build to Release)

·         Team Project Level – for all projects used in RM

o    ‘View project-level information’ permission (to add a TFS Group)

·         Build Definition Level – for all build definitions used in RM

o    ‘Retain Indefinitely’ permission (when starting a Release)

Team Foundation Server support:

·         TFS 2010, TFS 2012 and TFS 2013 versions are supported with Release Management for Visual Studio 2013

·         Visual Studio Online account not supported yet, we plan to add this capability soon .

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  • I have just migrated all code to Visual Studio online so disappointed I can't yet use Release Management. Do you have any idea when this will be supported?

  • Release management as part of Visual Studio online is planned, but there are no concrete timelines yet. We will announce it when it is available for limited previews.


  • What are recommendations for Release Management installation? On Application Tier server or on a build server or should have it's own server?

  • @Karan,

    It is recommended to have Release Management server on a dedicated server


  • @Karan

    When you want to trigger releases from build you must install RM Client on the build maschine

  • Hi, Will the Release Management Tool also release SQL databases and SSRS/SSIS projects - if so, will it do this without us having to, for example use WIX to build a release package.

  • @Daniel,

    Our build servers are running Windows Server 2003 and RM Client does not support it. Are there other ways to trigger a release from a build without installing the RM Client on the build server?

  • Is Visual Studio Online supported yet?  What is the issue with connecting to the online services?  It would seem that in being forward and backward compatible with TFS versions, regardless of location, the primary difference is the security model.  I've associated the local account with a "Keep Me Signed In" Microsoft account, but the TFS connection will still not authorize.  I've done this with other products that require local accounts to connect to Visual Studio online, like the TFS Migration and Synchronization products, and they have no issue with it.

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