I believe the answer to this question is no, it is not required. But I am only an entry level manager of SharePoint 2013 and would appreciate confirmation from more knowledgeable people.

In this system, SharePoint is used in conjunction with TFS2013. The TFS server is being transferred to a new domain. Part of the instructions at this link for the transfer include how to transfer SharePoint and one step in the process includes the encryption key.

I believe I do not need to perform this step because I don't recall ever specifying an encryption key previously.

But I would like to get confirmation on this. Is there a way to confirm if an encryption key exists?

I will make a separate post for input about moving a SharePoint 2013 server to a new domain.


The Reporting Services component of your TFS install uses an encryption key.

In order to configure RS, an encryption key is created. If you're attaching the reporting DBs to another RS environment (or restoring) you need to provide the encryption key used in the previous environment in order to use the restored DBs (there's lots of documentation on this out there).

As to your SharePoint question, yes, if you're using the Secure Store Service. Same deal as above with RS. If you're moving the Secure Store Service application's DB to another SharePoint farm, you will need the encryption keys transferred or the Secure Store DB will be unreadable.

Edit: as your link states, the TFS backup will include the RS encryption key if you're using RS. This RS instance isn't integrated directly into SharePoint so my info on the Secure Store is superfluous as RS doesn't use it in this configuration.

  • I would like to restate my understanding of your answer for confirmation. (1) Regarding TFS RS, it requires the key, but the key is automatically stored inside the backup and will therefore be automatically supplied during restoration from the backup and I will not have to take any special action regarding that key. (2) Regarding SharePoint, since I didn't employ the Secure Store Service I don't need to worry about an encryption key for SharePoint. And thanks for addressing TFS RS when I didn't know to specifically ask about it!
    – Alan
    Aug 15 '17 at 14:21
  • 1
    Regarding RS, the TFS backup should be good. It's mentioned in the procedure just so you know it's being done (otherwise, those that are familiar with RS will be wondering if they've forgotten anything). Regarding SharePoint, that's correct. Content and Service App DBs are transferable between farms. The only proviso is that you're restoring them to either the same patch level or higher (but there is an upper limit).
    – Greg W
    Aug 15 '17 at 22:54
  • I pressed forward through the TFS backup & ran into problems with the SharePoint portion. I came across the encryption key, so that was good. Unfortunately the backup is failing. There are 3 portions to the backup: TFS, RS, SharePoint. When I backup with TFS & RS only, the backup succeeds. When I add SharePoint to the backup it fails. Would I be able to post the log content in another post to get some help with that?
    – Alan
    Aug 16 '17 at 12:25
  • I'm not familiar with what TFS backs up in relation to SharePoint. I'd guess that it probably doesn't back up the entire SharePoint farm. I'm sure someone will be able to help with that part.
    – Greg W
    Aug 16 '17 at 12:43

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