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Local SharePoint 2010 development on Windows 7 - awesome experience

Tags: Visual Studio, SQL Server, Windows Vista, Windows 7, SharePoint 2010

I thought I should share my experience on working with SharePoint 2010 development on Windows 7. My previous posts on installing SharePoint 2007 on Vista and Windows 7 are posts that are quite popular. The downside with the “old” SharePoint version is that it was not officially supported to install it on a client machine, but SharePoint 2010 is supported for installation on Windows 7 and Windows Vista SP1 for development purposes.

There are many opinions on having SharePoint 2010 installed on your client OS. Some thinks it is despicable, but I think it is great and I’ve used local installations for years now. It’s perfect for rapid development, testing and demos. In seconds you can spin up a site and show some basic stuff for a client. Of course I use virtualization when testing my final bits etc.

Benefits and drawbacks

Having a local installation have several benefits:

  • You are running on the metal – i.e. no virtualization layer
  • Speed!
  • If you don’t have more than 4GB RAM then virtualization will be really slow
  • Visual Studio 2010 heavily uses WPF which requires a lot of your GPU. The virtualization layer will degrade the WPF performance
  • You don’t need to spin up and shut down VMs
  • Saves you a lot of disk space – one VM requires at least 20GB

Of course there are drawbacks. I would never go from developing on a local installation to production. Always test your code on a server OS!

SharePoint Foundation 2010 on Windows 7

I have installed SharePoint Foundation 2010 on my Windows 7 machine. I did not go for a full SharePoint Server installation. Most of the development can be done towards SPF and it makes a minimal impact on my client OS. But perhaps I go for a full SPS 2010 install once we have the final bits of it in June.

MSDN contains instructions on how to install SharePoint 2010 on a client OS, you need to extract the setup files and make some changes to the setup configuration file. With SQL Server Development Edition installed on my machine I installed a Server Farm, i.e. not the Standalone configuration. I also used domain accounts when I installed it, which required me to be connected to the domain during installation.

After the installation I’ve changed all SharePoint Services and SQL Services to be manually started to save some boot time. Emmanuel Bergerat has a great post on how to create Stop and Go scripts with PowerShell so that you quickly can start and stop all services. Starting these services and warming up my sites takes about 2-3 seconds on my machine equipped with an SSD (best gadget buy of 2010!)

Visual Studio 2010 RC and Team Foundation 2010 Basic

I use Visual Studio 2010 in combination with a Team Foundation Server 2010 Basic installation on my local machine. Using a local install of TFS is something I really recommend – never loose any of your local projects or files.

Visual Studio uses the GPU a lot so you will certainly have a better experience running without a virtualization layer. F5 debugging is no pain, it just takes a second to compile, package, deploy and start Internet Explorer.

Summary

If you have not tried to install SharePoint Foundation 2010 on your Windows 7 then stop reading right now and do it! It will increase your productivity immediately. The experience is awesome and together with RC of Visual Studio 2010 it’s just amazing.

6 Comments

  • Jeremy Thake said

    Thanks Wictor. Great tips! I've added your link to the other dev environment links on the SharePointDevWiki.com. When I get time I'll add your pros and cons unless you have time to add them ;-) http://www.sharepointdevwiki.com/display/sp2010/Building+a+SharePoint+2010+Development+machine

  • Trackback said

    The time has come for me to do my summary post of 2010. This is my fifth summary post (2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009). This year has been truly amazing. Working in the SharePoint world has been so interes...

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About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is a Director and SharePoint Architect working at Connecta AB. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for four consecutive years.

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