There are several different ways to go about building a SharePoint 2013 development / test box. I have tried to categorize them into different scenarios, please see below:
- Prebuilt VHD or VMWare files for a quick and easy virtual install with Hyper-V or VMWare
- Different scenarios you can use to create an environment
- Detailed, step-by-step instructions on how you create the environment you select
- Other resources
- Example “rigs” (meaning expensive laptops people have purchased to make SP2013 run on a local environment)
- Don’t do it!
- Where to go for help if none of these options work for you
Pre-Built SharePoint 2013 VHD for Hyper-v Environments for Download
- There is now a download for Lync 2013 that happens to contain a SharePoint 2013, 180 day trial. However it is in 3 large downloads, and you need to host the VM’s on a server which has 24 Gb of RAM and 150 Gb of disk space. Download Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3 (thank you to Benoit HAMET for the info)
- Use the free Starwind converter or the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter to convert a VMDK (VMWare) drive into a VHD
- Be or become a Microsoft Partner to obtain the preconfigured SharePoint 2013 VHD
- Join a free trial of Azure and download the VM from the machine that it creates for you – (I am not sure if this is only SharePoint and missing SQL however, thanks to Scott for this idea)
If you know of another source please Tweet me or comment below!
Pre-Built WMWX for VMWare SharePoint Environments for Download
- SharePoint 2013 RTM on Windows Server 2012: Virtual Machine Download – VMWare file created by Gaurav Mahajan using the free trial versions of software (unsure of trial period expirations on this download)
- SharePoint 2013 RTM Trial Virtual Machine – VMWare file created using the free trial versions of software by Sayed Ali
Create Your Own Virtual SharePoint 2013 Hosted Cloud Environment
- Instructions & Caveats to Use Azure to create a SharePoint 2013 virtual environment (trial versions are available but PLEASE READ my article on Windows Azure Pricing Examples for SharePoint AND THE RISK OF REMOVING YOUR MONTHLY LIMIT! I accidentally left on my VM and had a very large bill, please don’t make this mistake.)
- Use Office 365 for Developers (this has limitations but is better than nothing) – MSDN subscribers get 1 year free, check your MSDN account for info
- Use a cloud based service with a pre-configured SharePoint 2013 VM such as CloudShare (I didn’t have such a great experience with this but you should make your own judgement)
- Use a cloud based service with a pre-configured SharePoint 2013 VM such as Amazon Web Services (special setup may be needed)
- Pay for a managed, higher quality, yet more expensive hosting account with FP Web, SharePoint Hoster, Apps4Rent or Rackspace.
Different Ways to Create Your Own SharePoint 2013 Environment from Scratch (Either on Your Own Hardware Hosted Locally or Hosted in the Cloud)
- Install Windows Server on a computer and install SQL & SharePoint on it (but then you only have a server and no regular PC and have to deal with trial versions or have demo licenses)
- Install Windows server on a different boot with SQL & SharePoint (but then you to reboot to select your other, regular Windows environment and deal with trial versions or have demo licenses)
- Buy VMWareWorkstation and install a Virtual Machine with Windows Server, SQL & SharePoint (but you will have to deal with trial versions or have demo licenses)
- Buy Windows 8 which has Hyper-V built in and install Windows Server, SQL & SharePoint (but you will have to deal with trial versions or have demo licenses)
- Use the cloud based Azure IaaS and use one of these pre-made SharePoint Azure PowerShell Automation Configuration Scripts to setup the environment
- Use a cloud based service with nothing on it and install the Windows Server, SQL & SharePoint on this (probably a bit more expensive long term with monthly fees and you will have to deal with trial versions or have software licenses)
If you do not want to deal with trial version licensing, you could try to become a Microsoft partner and purchase the lower cost Action Pack or possible be approved for the BizSpark program. Technet is now officially gone and there is no low cost licensing option for software from Microsoft for consumers that I am aware of.
Detailed Instructions on How to Install & Setup a SharePoint 2013 Development Environment
- SharePoint 2013 Development Machine eBook – Sahil Malik ($3.99 for immediate download but it was worth it. This also includes how to set up your dev machine for App development , the Workflow engine via Azure and HNSC; most instructions do not include this information. *Note: you might be able to get this book free now if you search the web.)
- Create Your Own Scripted SharePoint Environment – Vlad Catrinescu *Walks you through creating your own environment and creating your own PowerShell script to do it too!
- Install SharePoint 2013 – ($29.95 “ish”) Andreas Glaser
- Install SharePoint 2013 Video Series – Andreas Glaser / SharePoint-Tutorials / YouTube
- My First SharePoint 2013 Installation – Todd Klindt (This post is using the SharePoint wizard, I am trying to find where his information on installing SharePoint via PowerShell to avoid GUID issues is)
- Creating an awesome SharePoint development environment on Windows 8 – Ryan Dennis
- SharePoint 2013 Setting Up A Clean & Recoverable Dev Environment – Ritchie Ponce Grijaldo
- SharePoint Server 2013 Virtual Machine Setup Guide V2.0 – Critical Path (free registration required)
- Start: Set up the development environment for SharePoint 2013 – MSDN
- Install SharePoint 2013 on Windows Server 2012 without a domain – Martin Hinshelwood
- Test Lab Guide: Configure SharePoint Server 2013 in a Three-Tier Farm – Microsoft
- Test Lab Guides: Random different parts of functionality to configure your SharePoint 2013 Farm – from Microsoft, list created by Vlad @absolute-sharepoint
- Blog post on setting up a multi server SP2013 environment – Thuan
- Step-by-step Tutorial on Setting up SharePoint 2013 Environment – Windows 2012, SQL 2012, SP2013, very in depth article series – Pinaki Ghatak
- SharePoint 2013 Installation Step by Step – Alan Richards
- Use the autoSPInstaller, AutoSPInstallerGUI or AutoSPSourceBuilder from CodePlex for a scripted install on a computer. – Brian Lalancette & Ivan Josipovic
- Office Web Apps installation scripts to install OWA server (Excel, Word, etc.) – MDSN
- Microsoft Test Lab Guides – Can help with some of the configuration issues of Windows Server, Authentication, SQL, etc.
Examples & Computer Hardware or “rigs” from Others
- Paul Olenick’s SharePoint Dev & Demo Rig
- SharePoint-Community.net discussion on dev rigs
- My personal home “rig” was bought from DellAuctions.com. It is a 64bit desktop, I bought more RAM to get it to 24GB and installed Windows Server 2012 right over the OS. It works fine for a single server dev box. This is separate from my laptop, managed hosting & Azure dev environments (I have a few…it is true)
Don’t Do It!
I know you may be tempted to try and break the rules as a developer/IT pro, but…you probably shouldn’t try or won’t be able to do the following with your dev environment:
- You cannot install it on Windows 7 like you could with SP2010 (Windows 8 has Hyper-V built in)
- If you have less than 12G of memory on a single server install, in my opinion, don’t bother. It will be so slow it is practically pointless. Hey they have 32GB laptops now! Also, I have seen some people saying that their Mac Book Pro’s with only 16GB run well enough to use.
Where Do I Go for Help if I Cannot Configure My Environment?
It depends to be honest. Depending on which platform you are using will depend on the type of help you need. I would try the help forums on Stack Exchange, SharePoint Community, SP Yammer or LinkedIn.
*NOTE: I will try to update this post as more and more options appear all over the internet.