I like the Team Foundation Server Administration Console. It is obvious that when its UI was designed, they went through the typical admin tasks and tried to support them as much as possible. For example it is very easy to change the service account or the URL of the server, and you can even find a Test button near almost every option, which you can use to quickly validate your settings.
One of the most useful features is the Send Test Email button which allows you to check the SMTP settings of your TFS server:
After clicking this button you can enter the recipient’s e-mail address and optionally a message which will be included in the test e-mail:
Click OK and if you are lucky, TFS can send the test e-mail immediately:
But it may happen that sending the test e-mail fails, and you get the following error message:
Unable to connect to the TFS server to test email settings. Url = ‘/_api/_common/TestMailSettings?sendTo=myuser%40example.com&message=Test+email’. Exception = System.UriFormatException: Invalid URI: The format of the URI could not be determined.
at System.Uri.CreateThis(String uri, Boolean dontEscape, UriKind uriKind)
at System.Net.WebRequest.Create(String requestUriString)
After reading the error message one can check the SMTP settings again, however this time the problem is somewhere else. Open the Change URLs dialog and check that you have selected the Use localhost option in the Server URL section:
The error above is raised only if you have selected the second option and entered the real name of your server instead of the default localhost in the Use: field. If you are hit by this issue, vote on Connect, and hopefully it fill be fixed soon.