Set up a general development environment for SharePoint 2013
Learn the steps to set up a SharePoint development environment by installing SharePoint and Visual Studio.
Last modified: August 13, 2015
Applies to: SharePoint Foundation 2013 | SharePoint Server 2013
In this article
How to determine the SharePoint development environment you need
Create a SharePoint development environment on a Microsoft Azure virtual machine
Create a SharePoint development environment on premise
First, decide what you want to build (to learn more about SharePoint Add-ins, see SharePoint Add-ins):
If you want to build farm solutions, we provide those steps in this article.
If you want to create SharePoint Add-ins, see Tools and environments for developing SharePoint Add-ins.
If you have an MSDN subscription, you can quickly provision a developer image that comes with SharePoint and Visual Studio pre-installed. With Visual Studio, you get all of the templates, tools, and assemblies to develop SharePoint. This image also contains Windows PowerShell scripts for provisioning and configuring SharePoint with or without an Active Directory running on a different server.
If you haven’t activated the Microsoft Azure benefit that comes with your MSDN subscription, you can learn more about it at Microsoft Azure Benefit for MSDN Subscribers.
You can provision the image in the Microsoft Azure management portal and then use the pre-installed Windows PowerShell scripts.
Provision the image with the Microsoft Azure management portal
Sign in to the Microsoft Azure management portal.
Choose the plus sign (+) at the bottom of the page.
Choose Compute > Virtual Machine > From Gallery.
Scroll down the list of images, choose Visual Studio, and then choose the arrow in the lower right corner.
Follow the instructions provided by the virtual machine creation wizard. We recommend an X-Large VM size for SharePoint development.
The provisioning process takes about 5-10 minutes. Once the machine has been provisioned, use Remote Desktop to connect to it.
Now you need to provision SharePoint. The image comes with pre-installed Windows PowerShell scripts that will help you do this. Choose the Configure Developer Desktop shortcut icon on your desktop to get these scripts.
The scripts folder contains two scripts, one that provisions a standalone configuration of SharePoint, and another that provisions SharePoint with Active Directory.
Go to Visual Studio 2013 Gallery image for MSDN subscribers for instructions on how to provision and configure the virtual machine for SharePoint development as well as documentation for the pre-installed Windows PowerShell scripts.
Once you’ve set up your development environment, you can access your source control from Visual Studio on the virtual machine by using an Azure Point-to-Site connection. See Configure a point-to-site VPN connection to an Azure Virtual Network for instructions on how to do this.
Install the operating system for your SharePoint Add-ins development environment
The requirements for a development environment for an installation of SharePoint are less stringent and costly than the requirements for a production environment. In any development environment, you should use a computer with an x64-capable CPU, and at least 16 GB of RAM to install and run SharePoint; 24 GB of RAM is preferable. Depending on your specific requirements and budget, you can choose one of the following options:
Install SharePoint on Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 x64 or Windows Server 2012.
Use Microsoft Hyper-V and install SharePoint on a virtual machine running a Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 x64 or Windows Server 2012 guest operating system. See Use best practice configurations for the SharePoint 2013 virtual machines and Hyper-V environment for guidance on setting up a Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machine for SharePoint.
Install the app development prerequisites for the operating system and SharePoint 2013
SharePoint requires your operating system to have certain prerequisites installed before installation begins. For this reason, SharePoint includes a PrerequisiteInstaller.exe tool that installs all of the prerequisites for you. Run this tool before running the Setup.exe tool.
Run the PrerequisiteInstaller.exe tool.
Run the Setup.exe tool included with your installation files.
Accept the Microsoft Software License Terms.
On the Choose the installation you want page, choose Stand-alone.
If any errors occur in the installation, review the log file. To find the log file, open a Command Prompt window, and then type the following commands at the command prompt. A link to the log file also appears when the installation is complete.
After the installation is complete, you are prompted to start the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard.
The SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard can fail if you are using a computer that is joined to a domain but that is not connected to a domain controller. If this failure occurs, connect to a domain controller either directly or through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection, or sign in with a local account that has administrative privileges on the computer.
After the configuration wizard is complete, you see the Template Selection page of the new SharePoint site.
Install Visual Studio
When you install Visual Studio, you get all of the templates, tools, and assemblies to develop SharePoint on your local development machine.
See Installing Visual Studio for instructions about installing Visual Studio.
Verbose logging in Visual Studio
Follow these steps if you want to turn on verbose logging:
Open the registry, and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\nn.n\SharePointTools, where nn.n is the version of Visual Studio, such as 12.0 or 14.0.
Add a DWORD key named EnableDiagnostics.
Give the key the value 1.
The registry path will change in future versions of Visual Studio.
If you will be creating workflows, continue with Set up and configure SharePoint 2013 Workflow Manager.