Tim Elhajj

Off the Microsoft stack!

Run the Configure Features Wizard (RTM)


So far, you’ve been upgrading the server. That’s great. But now it’s time to upgrade some or all of the projects created on that server, if you want any of those projects to have the new features available in Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2012. You might want to do this as the server administrator, or you might want to have an administrator for the project perform this task. When you upgrade a project using the Configure Features wizard, your user account is automatically added to the default team created as part of upgrading the project as an administrator for that team. That’s handy if you’re the project administrator; not necessarily so handy if you’re the server admin who will never look at that project again. And if you have a lot of projects to upgrade, it might make more sense to share the task out to the people who will be working in those projects on a daily basis. It’s up to you to decide who will do this work.

The Configure Features wizard helps you add features to your pre-existing projects created in TFS 2010. It cannot be used on projects created with earlier versions of TFS. If you have not customized your TFS 2010 team project, or only slightly customized it, the wizard can add features automatically for you. If you have customized your team project or process templates extensively, you will probably not be able to use the wizard.

You can use the wizard to:

  • analyze projects to determine if they can be automatically updated with available features
  • automatically configure these projects with those features, such as review, feedback, and planning tools

The wizard provides information about your project and the changes it will make in each step. Depending on how much you have customized your team project, you might need to choose between process templates. In some cases, no automatic configuration is possible, and you must manually make the changes required to enable the features you want. Unless you have heavily customized your project or templates, however, the wizard will be able to upgrade your project for you, providing you access to all the neat new features for this release, such as:

  • Team and Team Page: Organize work by teams and use the team home page as a convenient way to navigate work in Team Web Access
  • Code Review: Initiate and track code review requests and responses.
  • Feedback: Initiate feedback requests and track feedback responses. Even though this feature set will be enabled, users will not be able to see or use it unless they have Full permissions in Team Web Access. For more information, see Features Accessed Through Web Permissions.
  • My Work: Organize upcoming, ongoing, and suspended work.
  • Planning Tools: Manage the product backlog and plan and run sprints using the backlog page, iteration pages, capacity setting, and task board page. As with the Feedback feature set, even though all planning tools will be enabled, your users will only be able to see and use the set that they have permissions for. For more information, see Features Accessed Through Web Permissions.
  • Storyboard Linking: Access the latest version of storyboards by linking them to work items.
  • Hidden Types Category: Specify the set of work item types that users should create through a form or tool, and not manually. By default this includes Code Review Request and Code Review Response, Feedback Request and Feedback Response, and Shared Steps.
Required Permissions

In case you hadn’t guessed already, you must be at least a member of the Project Administrators group to configure features for a project, or have the equivalent permissions. Collection admins and Team Foundation admins can do this too, but as mentioned above, the user account of the person running the wizard will be automatically added to the default team, so to save time and avoid confusion, it might make more sense for a project admin to run this tool. Regular project members can’t use the Configure Features wizard, so don’t even try.

To run the Configure Features wizard

  1. Open Team Web Access and choose the team project you want to update. (If you’re not sure how to open a project in Team Web Access, it’s easy; just open a web browser and navigate to the URL of your team project, using the http://ServerName:Port/tfs/CollectionName/ProjectName format.)
  2. Choose the  gear icon to open the administration page, and then choose Configure Features.

    If Configure Features doesn’t appear, either your project has already been updated with all features available, or else you don’t have the required permissions to configure features.  Assuming there are features to configure and you have the right permissions, the Configure Features wizard opens and lists those features not yet configured for your team project:
  3. Choose Verify to determine if the listed features can be configured automatically for your project.
  4. After the verification process completes, choose from one of these options, depending on what the wizard returns:
    • Configure:  to proceed with the automatic update, disregarding any exceptions listed.
    • Cancel: to close the wizard as you want to update a customized process template or manually update the team project.
    • Choose a process template to continue: if you are asked to choose between two or more potential matches, to pick the process template that best matches the template used to create your team project, and then proceed with the configuration process.
    • Close:  to close the wizard as it cannot perform an automatic update. You must manually update your team project as it has been customized beyond what the wizard can handle, or you created your team project using a process template that the wizard doesn’t recognize.

A successful update will return a success message.


If the wizard doesn’t succeed, you will receive an error message. It’s up to you at that point to manually resolve any errors and complete the update.  There’s more information on MSDN: Resolve Errors Received After an Automatic Update for guidance.

In most cases, congratulations, you’ve enabled features for your upgraded team project! Now you need to verify that the changes worked, add team members to your team as needed, and so on. However, if you’re using the Agile process template, or you want access to add the shared queries feature to your team project, there’s a little more work to do before continuing to the next step. Fortunately, you can go read all about it and find the steps here.

There’s more information on MSDN you might want to review, too: Update an Upgraded Team Project to Access New Features and Manual Updates to Make After Features are Enabled.

Next Step: Verify Access to New Features

Now that you’ve configured features for a team project, it’s time to make sure that your teammates can see and use them!

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