SQL Server Requirements for Team Foundation Server

Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 v4

Team Foundation Server requires SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 or SQL Server 2012.


TFS 2012.4 introduces a new SQL Server requirement for TFS 2012: SQL Server 2008 R2 now requires service pack 1 (SP1). Previously, SP1 was only strongly recommended for some SQL Server editions, but now all SQL Server 2008 R2 editions require SP 1.

You have multiple options for SQL Server:

  • You can use the basic configuration of Team Foundation Server, which comes with SQL Server 2012 Express.

  • You can install one of the supported editions of SQL Server 2008 R2 with SP1 or SQL Server 2012.

  • You can use an existing installation of SQL Server 2008 R2 with SP1 or SQL Server 2012.

Regardless of which option you choose, your instance of SQL Server must meet the following requirements:

Supported editions

  • SQL Server 2008, R2 Express¹ with SP1 (Limitations of SQL Server Express - stackoverflow post)

  • SQL Server 2008, R2 Standard Edition¹ with SP1

  • SQL Server 2008, R2 Enterprise Edition with SP1

  • SQL Server 2012, Express¹

  • SQL Server 2012, Standard Edition¹

  • SQL Server 2012, Enterprise Edition

Supported Service Pack level

  • SQL Server 2008 R2, Service Pack 1

  • SQL Server 2008 R2, Service Pack 2

  • SQL Server 2012, Service Pack 1²

Required for Team Foundation Server

  • Database Engine Services

  • Full-Text Search (or Full-Text and Semantic Extractions for Search in SQL Server 2012)

Required for reporting

  • Reporting Services (or Reporting Services - Native in SQL Server 2012)

  • Analysis Services

Collation settings

  • Must be accent sensitive

  • Must not be case sensitive

  • Must not be Binary

  • Must not be Binary - code point

For more information, see SQL Server Collation Requirements for Team Foundation Server.


Windows authentication

Service account

You can use a domain account or a built-in account.

¹ Limited or no SQL Server High Availability support.

² If you're using SQL Server 2012 with SP1, we recommend you also apply cumulative update 2 on top of SP1 to address a critical SQL Server bug around resource consumption. This isn't a requirement because the bug only affects a small number of instances, but we wanted you to be aware of it. If you don't apply CU2, you should apply a SQL Server hotfix (KB2793634) to addresses another (different) issue where SQL Server 2012 with SP1 might request an excessive amount of restarts.


For TFS installations that require running SQL Server on dedicated hardware, hardware recommendations are available. For more information, see System Requirements for Team Foundation Server

SQL Server High Availability features supported by Team Foundation Server

SQL Server 2012 brings with it a new high availability (HA) feature that requires a Team Foundation Server-specific configuration and new recommendations for which HA features to use. In Team Foundation Server 2010, a lot of work went into making Team Foundation Server independent of the SQL Server configuration, especially regarding its HA features. The goal was that Team Foundation Server would work without any HA-specific configurations, no matter which HA feature you used. The reality is that the breadth of HA features in SQL Server is too great to pledge support for all of them, and Always On Availability Groups does require a small amount of TFS specific configuration.

SQL Server HA feature

TFS support

Requires TFS Configuration

Always On Failover Cluster Instances¹/ Failover Clustering



Always On Availability Groups²



For more information, see: Use SQL Server 2012 Always On Availability Groups with Team Foundation Server

SQL Mirroring³



SQL Replication



SQL Log Shipping



¹ Always On Failover Cluster Instances was known as "Failover Clustering" in versions before SQL Server 2012.

² Available only in SQL Server 2012.

³ Deprecated feature. Available only in SQL Server 2008 R2.

How to install SQL Server for Team Foundation Server

Manually Install SQL Server for Team Foundation Server

Provides steps for how to install SQL Server for Team Foundation Server. Use these steps whether you are installing on a single server, across multiple servers, or for any combination of the two.

Add the Service Account for Team Foundation Server to the Report Server

Describes how to assign permission to the service account for Team Foundation Server to use the report server.

Verify SQL Server for Team Foundation Server

Provides steps to verify that a SQL Server instance is ready to work with Team Foundation Server.

More SQL Server tasks for Team Foundation Server

Provisioning SQL Server Databases for Team Foundation Server

Describes how to create empty databases where Team Foundation Server can host its data on SQL Server.

Work with SQL Server Named Instances

What is a SQL Server named instance and how would I use it?

Conceptual information about SQL Server and Team Foundation Server

Understanding SQL Server and SQL Server Reporting Services

Pulling it all together: Interactions between Team Foundation Server and SQL Server

Team Foundation Server Databases

A comprehensive list of the databases used to store Team Foundation Server data

SQL Server Reporting Services Roles

A brief explanation of how roles work in SQL Server Reporting Services

SQL Server Collation Requirements for Team Foundation Server

Explains the Team Foundation Server requirements for SQL Server collation settings.

See Also