TFS 2015 behind a proxy

In many enterprise realities it is quite common that all of the internet access is made via a proxy server. Recently I wrote a post about a Tough life behind a proxy, you may check that for some of my rants and tips. What if your servers do also require internet access? Although it may seem it doesn’t, TFS 2015 has a need to access the web. Not having the access to web will not compromise any of it’s core functionality, however it will continue logging an error in the event log. It has to do with the News panel that is shown (or not) on your main portal page. As you can see on the following screenshot next to the Recent team rooms panel, on the right side, the usual News panel is not shown.


If you check your event log, you will probably find the following error:

System.Net.WebException: Unable to connect to the remote server ---> System.Net.Sockets.SocketException: A connection attempt failed because the connected party did not properly respond after a period of time, or established connection failed because connected host has failed to respond
       at System.Net.Sockets.Socket.DoConnect(EndPoint endPointSnapshot, SocketAddress socketAddress)
       at System.Net.ServicePoint.ConnectSocketInternal(Boolean connectFailure, Socket s4, Socket s6, Socket& socket, IPAddress& address, ConnectSocketState state, IAsyncResult asyncResult, Exception& exception)
       --- End of inner exception stack trace ---
       at System.Net.HttpWebRequest.GetResponse()
       at System.Xml.XmlDownloadManager.GetNonFileStream(Uri uri, ICredentials credentials, IWebProxy proxy, RequestCachePolicy cachePolicy)
       at System.Xml.XmlUrlResolver.GetEntity(Uri absoluteUri, String role, Type ofObjectToReturn)
       at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.FinishInitUriString()
       at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl..ctor(String uriStr, XmlReaderSettings settings, XmlParserContext context, XmlResolver uriResolver)
       at System.Xml.XmlReaderSettings.CreateReader(String inputUri, XmlParserContext inputContext)
       at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Server.WebAccess.Controllers.ApiCommonController.GetNews(Int32 maxCount)

This is how it looks like in the log:


It is pretty clear that the action called GetNews on the ApiCommonControler was unable to fulfill the Http request it made. This is because my TFS is behind a proxy server for what concerns the web access.
In order to set the access for the TFS application via a proxy, you need to locate the correct web.config file, which in may case is present in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 14.0\Application Tier\Web Services.
What you will need to do is to edit that file and under the section add the following:

    	<proxy usesystemdefault="True" proxyaddress="" bypassonlocal="True"/>

Make sure the correct proxyaddress is set and give your TFS main portal page a go. If all went as expected and your settings are valid, you should see the following:


That’s it. It may not be an essential setting, however it is nice to see that there are no errors in the event log and that your users do get a full experience.