Team Foundation Build, Part 2: Installation and Configuration

This post was originally published here.

So now that we have some understanding of what the components of Team Build are from Part 1, where should these components be installed? Luckily, there’s some pretty good documentation on Team Foundation Server components and topologies on MSDN.

Lots of arrows and boxes, but the main point of this diagram is that Team Build is installed on a separate box from the Application Tier (Team Foundation Server or TFS Proxy) and from any client machines. A build machine should only have software installed to support the execution of a build. You shouldn’t install:

  • Third-party control packages
  • Database client tools (Toad, SQL Server Client Tools, etc.)
  • Anything that would push assemblies into the GAC

Ideally, all you would have installed would be:

  • Team Build
  • Team Edition for Developers (for static analysis)
  • Team Edition for Testers (for running tests during a build)

Anything else installed could potentially cause build errors because the build might use incorrect versions of third party libraries when compiling. That’s why it’s always best to check in all third-party libraries into source control, instead of relying on installers to get them to work. For a detailed installation guide, check out the Team Foundation Installation Guide.

Another piece to note on the diagram above is the upper-right hand corner, noted as the “Build Drop site”. This could be a file server or a share on the buildserver, where the compiled assemblies, log files, etc. are dropped. In the next post, I’ll discuss creating a Team Build definition and an introduction into extending the build.

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About Jimmy Bogard

I'm a technical architect with Headspring in Austin, TX. I focus on DDD, distributed systems, and any other acronym-centric design/architecture/methodology. I created AutoMapper and am a co-author of the ASP.NET MVC in Action books.
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