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I'm building a VM for SP 2013 development. Will be developing Solutions, WebParts, Custom forms, Dataviews, Business Data Connectivity, Custom Fields, inline Jquery, SSRS reports for deployment into SharePoint, etc.

My VM has Windows 2008 EE R2, SQL 2012 Enterprise, Visual Studio 2012, SharePoint Designer 2013.

Should I install SharePoint 2013 StandAlone or Farm?

I'd rather keep it as simple as possible and go Standalone, but will I run into any limitations .. will I be able to deploy SQL 2012 SSRS reports? External Datasources for BDC? Test Claims Based Authentication? oAuth and oData? My concern is having to manually install all these services on this Dev VM if I go Farm.


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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Going stand alone will only (negatively) impact the security accounts used and the use of SQL Server Express 2008 R2 instead of your own SQL Server 2012 (and of course will prevent any growth later on) Both installations will run the Farm Configuration wizard which will configure most of the service (and you should do it manually to have better control once you'll know what you're doing) if you do not stop it / decline it.

A good guidance is the critical path training. It will help you creating a development frienly environment in minimal time :

Moreover, the kind of development that you'll be doing will heavily benefit from a development environment that is way closer to the target production environment than a quick & dirty "stand alone" deployment which will never be the case in any production environment (avoiding you the "hey it worked on my machine syndrome" when delivering to QA/STG/Prod).

Happy installation :)

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Should the fact that the VM will not be joined to Domain and that the install will not have any domain users on it, or have any domain user service accounts influence any of this? – o365spo Jan 25 '13 at 10:02
In that case, go for a standalone installation but a farm setup with a local domain will be much more valuable in the long run. – Francois Verbeeck Jan 25 '13 at 12:18
I installed Standalone.. keep in mind I now have about 6 copies of the VM cloning along the way so no big deal.. It seemed to install cleanly and I am able to create a site collection that comes up, but in VS 2012 when I try to create a new webpart it says SharePoint is NOT installed ???? – o365spo Jan 31 '13 at 13:48

Stand alone will attempt to use SQL server express. I would choose farm.

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It is always better to choose the farm installation, if possible. You may later decide to add a few more servers.

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-1: Adding more servers to a Development VM? That doesn't make sense to me. – Stuart Pegg Jan 25 '13 at 9:42
... and upvote to balance the -1. Just because it doesn't make a lot of sense to you doesn't mean it's silly. It's handy to have a two or more development vms that are connected to create a small farm and to test real-world deployment. You can have issues when you have several web applications servers to deploy to if you didn't foresee some stuff. So in short, adding server is valuable and relevant -> +1 – Francois Verbeeck Jan 25 '13 at 12:21

You might want to consider performance too. The full version recommends a 4 core processor. I installed it on a VM on my laptop (2 core, 16GB RAM) with 1 core for the VM and performance of the VM tanked compared with the standalone.

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Is it not possible to promote the vm to a dc? That way you can use all the goodness having AD gives you. A great guide to setting up a sp 2013 can be found @ in the member section (membership is free). If you want to add mail, use hmailserver...very light

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