License costs of Team Foundation Server 2010

by Ewald Hofman 2. November 2009 13:05

In the 2008 era, the adoption of TFS was blocked because of the costs that small teams had to make to buy Team Foundation Server.

You had two options:

1) the Workgroup Edition

2) the Full Edition

The work group edition was included in a MSDN subscription and supported up to 5 users. So for small sized teams it was very cheap to work with TFS. However when the company grows to 6+ people, you had to buy the Full Edition.

The Full Edition costs $2700, and for every user that makes use of TFS you need a CAL, which is $500. In a MSDN subscription a CAL is included.

So if you have a shop of 5 developers with a MSDN subscription, and 7 people that do not have a subscription, you have to spend

  Workgroup Edition Full version
TFS costs - $2700
5 developers - -
7 others not supported (limited to 5 users) 7 * $500
Total Not supported $6200


TFS 2010

In the TFS 2010 era, there are new version of TFS. You have one licensing model with different installation options:

1) The Basic edition

2) The Full edition

The basic edition consists of the same functionality as the Full Edition, except it does not contain the reporting and the sharepoint integration. Therefor the Basic installation is suitable for a client machine. It will cost you $500 to purchase TFS.

When you want to make use of the Full Edition, you can now buy it for $500, and it includes 5 CAL’s. For every other user, you need to buy an addition CAL of $500 or you need to have a MSDN subscription.

So lets go back to our example shop of 5 developers and 7 other persons. You will now see that the license costs will be far less:

  Full version
TFS costs $500
5 developers - (Included in the MSDN subscription)
7 others $1000 (the 5 CAL's included with the Full version, every next user will cost $500) 
Total $1500



12/8/2009 1:57:33 AM #


if there are 50 users using one TFS server and accessing there respective projects with their respective client through Team Explorer.Then how is TFS licensing done for this.Could u plz explain me on licensing part if this is the case.

mbond United States |

12/11/2009 6:46:51 AM #

Ewald Hofman

It depends (as always)

Scnenario 1
When you are on the one end of the spectrum with no MSDN subscribers, you will need to buy TFS (which will give you 5 CAL's) plus 45 additional CAL's. This will cost you 1 x $500 (for TFS) plus 45 x $500 (for the additional CAL's)

Scnenario 2
When you are on the other end of the spectrum where everybody has a MSDN subscription, it will give you no additional costs, because every MSDN subscription has a CAL.

Scnenario 3
When you are in the middle with 25 MSDN subscribers, then you will have to buy TFS (with the 5 CAL's) and buy an additional 20 CAL's. This will cost you 1 x $500 (for TFS) plus 20 x $500 (for the additional CAL's)

If it is not clear yet, feel free to ping me to get additional info.

Ewald Hofman Netherlands |

4/1/2010 3:34:26 PM #


All my worldwide developers have MSDN.  However, suppose I have TFS servers co-located to project teams, and therefore I have one in the USA, One in India and one in China.  Some of my developers will access code on more than one TFS server.  Who needs to buy what in addition to our existing MSDN?  TIA!

mandrew United States |

10/29/2010 11:31:39 AM #

Mohamed Radwan

What about volume licenses and MS partner, actually we are MS partner for custom development and I can't see the TFS in the new license benefit document and they mention it included in the MSDN subscription, so could you please descripe the license with Volume and MS partner?

Mohamed Radwan Egypt |

3/21/2011 7:59:21 AM #


nice article, thanks

linda Indonesia |

7/23/2015 3:17:35 PM #


Pingback from

How to set up source control in VS2010 - codeengine |

9/25/2016 5:27:32 AM #


Pingback from

How To Buy Team Foundation Server Client Access License | 4 |

Comments are closed

Powered by BlogEngine.NET
Theme by Mads Kristensen


Widget Statistics not found.

There is an error in XML document (0, 0).X

Recent comments

Comment RSS