Team Foundation Server 2013 Preview – Upgrade FAQ



Now that the Preview has been out for a couple of weeks, we’ve started to get lots of questions about acquisition and upgrade.  This page provides useful information about the upgrade process for the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 Preview.  If you’re unfamiliar with the new features available in Visual Studio 2013, see this post for an overview.


1.  Should I upgrade my production server to the TFS 2013 Preview? 

This release is a preview, so we do expect there to be some bugs in the product.  However, we have been using the Preview in our production environment for months and have had a handful of customers install it prior to release to provide feedback, so it has already been through some vetting.  If you feel comfortable upgrading your production server, we will support you.  The 2013 Preview is “Go-Live,” which means you’ll be able to upgrade your data to the next 2013 release when it comes out.

2.  Has the upgrade process changed since TFS 2012? 

The upgrade process has not changed significantly since TFS 2012.  One improvement to be aware of is that just like in the later updates for TFS 2012, the 2013 configuration wizards will persist your Application Tier and Build settings during in-place upgrades.  As of 2012.2, we also support upgrading databases involved in SQL AlwaysOn or SQL Mirroring

Please see our Preview docs on MSDN for instructions on how to perform in-place and migration upgrades.  If you need to clone your environment to walk through a practice upgrade, you may reference the TFS 2012 Rangers Upgrade Guide, as the process is still the same.  Remember to always take a current, full backup of your TFS data prior to attempting an upgrade!

3.  What versions of TFS are upgradeable to the TFS 2013 Preview?

You may upgrade TFS 2010 (with or without SP1) and any Go-Live version of TFS 2012 to the TFS 2013 Preview.  We no longer support upgrades from TFS 2008.  If you would like to move from TFS 2008 to TFS 2013, you will need to perform a two-step upgrade by first moving your server to TFS 2010 or 2012 (2012.3 is recommended), and then to TFS 2013.

4.  Have there been changes to the system requirements since TFS 2012?

Yes.  The TFS hardware requirements have remained the same, but there are new software requirements.  The most notable ones are that TFS 2013 now requires Windows Server 2008 R2 and higher as well as SQL 2012 SP1 (CU2 recommended) and higher.  We no longer support Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, or SQL Server 2012 RTM.  If you use SharePoint, we now require SharePoint 2010 and higher.  For more details on the Preview’s system requirements, see our guidance on MSDN.

5.  Do I have to use the Visual Studio 2013 Preview client to connect to the TFS 2013 Preview?

No, you don’t.  You can continue to use Visual Studio 2012 clients with the TFS 2013 Preview.  The Visual Studio 2010 SP1 client is also compatible with the Preview if you install the 2012 compatibility GDR.  We no longer support integration with VS 2008 clients, except for very limited functionality through the MSSCCI provider.

6.  If I upgrade my server to the Preview, can I decide to go back to TFS 2012 later? 

The short answer is no.  Every release of TFS fully replaces the previous installation of TFS on your server, so they cannot be removed like patches.  There is also no “downgrade” path from a later version of TFS to an earlier one.  You can roll back to your previous version of TFS using the backup you took of your data prior to upgrading, which is useful if you experience any issues configuring the TFS 2013 Preview.  However, it is not possible to revert any upgraded databases back to their original servicing level, so any work you do after upgrading your server will be lost if you roll back.  For more information on how to roll back your server, see the TFS 2012 Rangers Upgrade Guide.

7.  Do I need to uninstall my previous version of TFS manually prior to installing the TFS 2013 Preview?

It depends. If you are currently on TFS 2010, you will need to uninstall manually, but if you are on one of the TFS 2012 releases (2012, 2012.1, 2012.2, 2012.3), the TFS 2013 installation process will uninstall your existing instance automatically.  This is consistent with the auto-uninstall behavior we had in the TFS 2012 cumulative updates.

8.  Can I install the TFS 2013 Preview side-by-side with TFS 2012?

No, you cannot.  The installation process for the Preview will automatically uninstall TFS 2012 from your box.  Note that this behavior is different from the Visual Studio client, where the 2013 Preview CAN be installed side-by-side with the 2012 one.  If you want to try out the TFS 2013 Preview without getting rid of your TFS 2012 instance, you need to install it on a different server.  

 9.  Will I need to update TFS Build, Proxy, and SharePoint Extensions when I upgrade my App Tier?

The TFS Proxy and SharePoint Extensions do need to be upgraded to the latest.  While the 2012 version of these components may appear to be compatible with TFS 2013, it is untested and unsupported.  We also recommend you update your Build agents and controllers if possible, but TFS 2013 does support integration with Team Build 2012 and 2010.

10.  After updating the TFS bits on all my servers, what else do I need to configure?

If you want to use the full TFS feature set after upgrading your server, you should follow the process in this topic to update your process templates.  This will make them compatible with the latest feature set.


As always, we are interested to hear about any issues you encounter.  If you think you’ve identified a setup-related bug, please email tfcare a*t Microsoft d*ot com.  You can use our forums, Connect, UserVoice, or the “Send a Smile/Frown” feature in VS to give any other feedback. Happy dogfooding!



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