Team Foundation Error: Type ‘Microsoft.TeamFoundation.ClientBasicAuthCredential’ is not marked as serializable

If you are getting this when trying to run a build in TFS or when trying to edit a build definition, you only need to reset your credentials. Go to Control Panel > User Accounts > Manage Windows Credentials > In tab Generic Credentials, find the one for your TFS server and edit the credentials. If that doesn’t work, try removing the credential.

TFS 2012 – Add Users to a Team Project Group

Working in Team Explorer 2012, one noticeable change is the administration for a team project or collection.  It has been moved to the Web Access application.  When trying to add a user to a group in a team project, it may seem confusing due to the user not showing in the drop-down and not being able to browse to the user unless the person has already been added to a group somewhere in TFS.  It turns out this is because this feature has been moved to a Web application and out of the desktop application.  Here is what you need to do to add a new user to a team project that has not been added anywhere in TFS 2012.

In Team Explorer, go to the settings screen and click on Group Membership as seen below.


This will take you to the security screen in the Control Panel.  To add a user to a team project, select the group on the left side of the screen, (e.g. selecting the “<team project name> Team” link on the left will add the users to the Contributors group).  Then click on Add > Add windows user or group seen below.


This will open the dialog to select the user as seen below.



There is a message on the dialog explaining what needs to be done, but it is easy to miss.  The problem is if the user has not been added to TFS anywhere, they will not show up in the drop-down and you will not be able to browse to find the person.  The only way to add the person is to manually type in the person’s username with domain, e.g. domain\username.  Once the person is added, the identity will be added to the TFS valid user group and will be available going forward.  The reason for this is the Web application is unable to check or browse the domain since it is browser based and not a desktop application.

Team Foundation Server Integration Tools – Watch Your Shared Step

One of my clients had recently created a Team Project in TFS 2010, but after a few weeks, decided they wanted to change the name of the Team Project.  Since this is not supported in TFS 2010, we decided to create a new Team Project with the new name and use the Integration Tools to move the work items and source code over.  Being a TFS 2010 to TFS 2010 migration, I expected everything to go smoothly and for the most part it did.  After confirming that everything got migrated correctly, I removed the users permissions from the old Team Project and directed them to use the new one.

After a couple of days, I started to receive reports from a few of the testers that they could not open their Test Cases.  They were getting the following error “TF26198: The work item does not exist or you do not have permissions to access it”.  I was able to open the Test Cases.  They also were unable to open some of the Requirement work items with the same error, but other Requirements they could open.

The problem turned out to be the Shared Steps work items.  Any Test Case that had Shared Steps or any requirement that linked to a Test Case that had Shared Steps could not be opened by the testers.  It turns out that the Integration Tools migrate the Test Cases and the Shared Steps correctly, but the mapping of the Test Cases to the Shared Steps is not.  The Test Cases were still pointing to the Shared Steps work items from the old Team Project.  For example, when opening the Shared Steps from a Test Case in the new Team Project, the work item id of the Shared Steps work item was the one from the old Team Project.  The reason why they could not open the Test Cases or Requirements was because I took their permissions away from the old Team Project.  Once I added their permissions back, they were able to open them.

The solution for me was to map the work item ids from the old Team Project’s Shared Steps to the new Team Project’s Shared Steps work item ids.  I then went through each Test Case and deleted the Shared Steps work items from the Manual Steps and re-added them with the equivalent Shared Steps work item in the new team project.  The other option would have been to go directly into the “WorkItemLongTexts” table of the TFS collection database and change the Shared Step reference in the XML data structure.  This probably would have taken just as long if not longer and would be very risky.  It is never a good idea to change data directly in the TFS databases.  Luckily, they only had around 50 Test Cases, so it took a couple of hours to fix.

I have not tried it yet, but there is the Test Case Migrator plus tool that is supposed to migrate all Test Case related work items over correctly.  It can be found at