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TFS2012 Express: Advanced Configuration Part 3

About TFS Blog Series

This blog post is part of a blog series to introduce Team Foundation Server to new users. The blog series will also contain articles targeting intermediate and expert users.  I will be using Team Foundation Server 2012 Update 1 and Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 throughout the series. If you have any questions or you want me to cover a specific topic, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Expertise Level



TFS Express is a free version of Team Foundation Server for up to 5 users. Addition CALs can be purchased if your team size is over 5. You may not need to purchase a CAL if you have Visual Studio MSDN Subscription. To compare TFS Express with other TFS editions, check out this post. To learn how to install TFS Express edition click here

In this article, I will continue explaining what happens behind the scene when changes are done in the TFS admin console. In this post, I will explain

  • The process of adding Administration Console Users
  • Setting up Alert Settings  (with gmail)

Add Administration Console Users

I will start by logging on as lab\tfsadmin user who is NOT an Administration Console User yet.

Click on Start—>All Programs—> Microsoft Visual Studio TFS 2012 –> TFS Express Admin Console

    I got the following error (TF55038 You don’t have sufficient privileges to run this tool) indicating that the current user doesn’t have sufficient privileges.



To fix that error, I will log back in as lab\administrator which is the user that already in the Administration Console User list. Then I  add the lab\tfsadmin user.


I will leave the checkboxes check. Of course you can uncheck them if you don’t want to give the user the checked permissions.

By adding a user the Admin Console Users list the following occurs":

  • The added user, will be granted the following roles in the SQL Database:
    • master database: public and TFSEXECROLE


    • Tfs_Configuration: db_owner, public, TFSADMINROLE AND TFSEXECROLE


    • Collection Databases: db_owner, public, and TFSEXECROLE


  • the added user is added to the TFS_APPTIER_SERVICE_WPG and IIS_IUSRS windows groups


    • The following database permissions will be given to the added username
      • As a TFS admin console user: permissions CONNECT SQL, VIEW ANY DATABASE and VIEW ANY DEFINITION are granted
      • Create collection: CREATE ANY DATABASE permission is granted
      • Change service accounts: ALTER ANY LOGIN permission is granted


Setup Email Notification (with Gmail)

This should be straight forward. Click on Alert Settings on the application tier screen. Make sure you use port number 587 and use the full email address as your username. Check Enable SSL and don’t forget to enter your password Smile


The Alert Settings information are saved into the tbl_RegistryItems table in the Tfs_Configuration database.

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