July 06, 2006

TFS Top Tip #7 - Determine when TFS Trial Edition will expire

Like a lot of early adopters, we installed the Team Foundation Server 180–day trial edition so that we could use is right away while we were waiting for our TFS license key.

Anyway, if you want to know what the installation date of your TFS server is then the easiest way is to type the following command in a Visual Studio 2005 command prompt:-

tf changeset 1 /server:http://servername:8080 /noprompt

Where servername is your TFS instance.  I get the following result:-

Changeset: 1
User: tfssetup
Date: 20 February 2006 19:57:54
  add $/

During the installation, Team Foundation Server creates the root branch of the source tree and this is the first changeset on your system.  If you add 180 days to this date then you get when your trial will expire.

Now, in my case it is even more confusing.  I installed the Release Candidate of TFS on February 20th, and then upgraded to the 180–day trial edition of TFS on March 21st.  A fact that I can tell from my installation log file located on the Team Foundation Server in the following directory:-

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server\Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server - ENU\Logs

Which date will be used for the expiry of my server?  Well at the moment I have no idea, so I am assuming the earlier of these dates will be used just in case…

However, for most people who went straight to the 180–day trial, the command at the top of this post will give them the date of initial install.

Posted by Martin at July 6, 2006 11:31 AM


Here's an on-line date calculator to help calculate the 180 days:


I have Beta 3 Refresh installed. My first changeset date is November 23, 2005. How do I determine when the install will expire? It's obviously not 180 days, as it's nearing 270 now. Is there an expiry? Am I going to be in trouble in 4 days (270 days from install)?

Dylan. Honestly, I've no idea when (or if) Beta 3 Refresh expires. It is very possible that they didn't put any timebomb code into the early Beta's - but I have no idea.

My honest recommendation would be to migrate to the RTM version ASAP. By sticking on Beta 3R you are exposed to a large number of bugs that the product team know about and have fixed. Also - none of the Team System Extensions currently available will work against Beta 3R.

TFS takes expiration date from registry.

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