How to enable trace logs in the build environment?

by XDK 18. March 2014 11:19


Following are the steps to enable trace logs in the build environment

1. On the Build machine (both controller and agent) ,  copy the attached .config file (TFSBuildServiceHost exe.config (2.25 kb)) to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010\Tools.

2. Create a new directory named c:\logs and ensure that the account under which the service Visual Studio Team Foundation Build Service Host has write permission on c:\logs.

3. Restart the build controller/agent service (net stop tfsbuildservicehost & net start tfsbuildservicehost).

4. Trace log will be generated under c:\logs

Steps to enable log in the windows event viewer 

1. On the Build machine, go to Event Viewer and navigate to the following path:

  • Application and Services Logs\Microsoft\Team-Foundation-Server\Build-Services.

 2. We want a detailed level tracing:

  • Go to the ‘View’ menu and select ‘Show Analytic and Debug Logs’. Once you do that there will be 2 channels available under this event source, Operational and Analytic

** The operational log is always on and provides high-level auditing of failures and events, while the Analytic log is off by default and provides very detailed information about activities in the build machine.


** You can enable the Analytic log, by right click and select Enable Log.



Team Build | TFS 2010 | TFS 2012 | TFS 2013

TF259137: The following account does not have sufficient permissions to complete the operation: DOMAIN\user. The following permissions are needed to perform this action: Write.

by XDK 10. March 2014 10:02


Check whether the "[PROJECT NAME]\Project Administrators" group has permissions for the team project

Command to view current permissions

tfslabconfig.exe permissions /collection:<CollectionURL> /Url:VSTFS:///LabManagement/TeamProject/<TeamProject> 

Command to grant permissions

tfslabconfig.exe permissions /collection:<CollectionURL> /Url:VSTFS:///LabManagement/TeamProject/<TeamProject> 

/Group:"[PROJECT NAME]\Project Administrators" /allow:*


TFS 2010 | TFS 2012 | TFS 2013

How to clone a build definitions from one project to another within a same collection?

by XDK 7. March 2014 12:31


You can use TFS power tools command line utility to clone a build definition across projects

Note: You can download and install TFS Power Tools from

1. Open "Visual Studio" command prompt

2. You can use the following command to preview the build definition clone

tfpt builddefinition /clone "<Source Team Project Name>\Build Definition" "<Target Team Project Name>\Build Definition" /Collection:http://tfs:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection /preview

3. You can use the following command to clone the build definition

tfpt builddefinition /clone "<Source Team Project Name>\Build Definition" "<Target Team Project Name>\Build Definition" /Collection:http://tfs:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection

Only the well-defined build definition can be cloned using this approach meaning the build source build definition should have all the mandatory (required) properties filled with values

For example:

The source build definition without Build controller name cannot be cloned using this approach.

You can also use * wildcard character to clone all build definitions at one shot, provided you have well-defined build definition at source team project.

tfpt builddefinition /clone "<Source Team Project Name>\*" "<Target Team Project Name>\"  /Collection:http://tfs:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection

Remember to update the following build properties to the cloned build definition. 

1. Disable build definition to prevent accidental triggering.

2. Change workspace mapping to target team project source.

3. Change drop location.

4. Change the build process template to point to the right projects.

5. If you use custom build workflow/tasks, make sure your build controller custom assembly references are pointed to target team project source control

6. Enable the build definition.


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TFS 2010 | TFS 2012 | TFS 2013

How to change the work item maximum attachment size?

by XDK 14. February 2014 08:16


By default, The maximum WI attachments size is set to 4 MB but the attachment size can be increased up to 2GB


  1. Log on to the application-tier server for TFS.

  2. open the URL: http://localhost:8080/tfs/<Collection Name>/WorkItemTracking/v1.0/ConfigurationSettingsService.asmx?op=SetMaxAttachmentSize

  3. Enter the size in bytes, and then choose Invoke. For 9.5 MB, enter  10000000.

    SetMaxAttachmentSize, ConfigurationSettingsService


INSERT INTO [<Collection DB Name>].[dbo].[tbl_RegistryItems] VALUES (1,'#\Service\WorkItemTracking\Settings\','MaxAttachmentSize\',10000000);


TFS 2010 | TFS 2012 | TFS 2013

What are the access levels in Team Web Access ? And How to set the access levels and enable the features?

by XDK 5. February 2014 20:02


Following are the access levels

Limited: This level of access restricts the user so that they can only view work items that they create in Team Web Access (also known as Work Item Only View). No other features, such as team pages, are available to users in this group.

License Required: No client access license (CAL) is required for this level of Team Web Access.

Features available:

  • View my work items

Standard: This is the default level of access in Team Web Access for your users. Members of this group can view all Team Web Access features except for: sprint planning and backlog views any of the features for requesting feedback from users and managing that feedback. 

License Required:Team Foundation Server (TFS) CAL is required for all users with this level.

Features available:

  • View my work items

  • Standard features (home page, team queries, access to source and build pages)

  • Agile boards (Kanban board, task boards)

  • Backlog and sprint planning tools

  • Chart viewing

Full: This level is reserved for users who are licensed to use all features available in Team Web Access, including the sprint planning and backlog management tools and the Request and Manage Feedback tools.

License Required Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN, Visual Studio Premium with MSDN, or Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN. These MSDN subscriptions each include a TFS CAL for the subscriber.

Features available:

  • View my work items

  • Standard features

  • Agile boards

  • Backlog and sprint planning tools

  • Request and manage feedback

  • Test case management

  • Team rooms

  • Agile portfolio management

  • Chart viewing

  • Chart authoring

To set access levels:

  1. Goto TFS home page (http://TFSServer:8080/tfs). You need to have TFS Administrator permission to set the access levels

  2. Add the user or group.

    Add the user or group



TFS 2012 | TFS 2013

About the author

My name is Xavier Dilip Kumar Jayaraj having 16+ years of IT experience which includes solid experience and depth Knowledge in Application Life Cycle Management, Configuration Management, Implementation and Support using TFS on-premises and Azure DevOps. I have invested in gaining DevOps knowledege to expertise with Cloud Computing providers namely Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services in recent years. I am very positive to learn and adapt emerging technologies to client’s environment.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate

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Quotes I Like

"Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough."  - Dr. APJ. Abdul Kalam

"Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it." - Bruce Lee

"Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important." - Bill Gates

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." - Steve Jobs



The information provided here is based on my expreriences, troubleshooting and online/offline findings. It can be used as is on your own risk without any warranties and I impose no rights.