In creating a SharePoint 2013 SP1 development environment, I am considering a laptop solution as follows, with the main question being where Visual Studio needs to be installed:

  1. laptop with 32gb ram
  2. hyper-v vm running windows server 2012 r2
  3. the windows 2012 vm would run SP2013 SP1, SQL Server 2014
  4. Visual Studio 2013 - is this installed on the vm or the host in order to develop SP projects?

the purpose is to develop either farm or sp apps, including web parts.

Also, does VS 2013 contain all of the libraries and templates needed for such development? if not, what else is required?

3 Answers 3


When you install Visual Studio 2013, you get all of the templates, tools, and assemblies to develop SharePoint 2013 on your local development machine. I think you need Install the Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013

For development purpose, their is no issue to install the VS on sharepoint server.

  • thanks for the help. Does vs need to be co-located with sharepoint on its server, or could I continue to develop from the host machine rather than the vm?
    – tony bonn
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 14:13
  • In order to develop farm solutions, you need to install VS on the same machine as SharePoint. Apps don't have this requirement. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 18:27

I generally create a Windows Server 2012 core install on a separate VM to run Active Directory. You will require at least one domain controller to install SharePoint.

For dev purposes SQL can be installed on the SharePoint VM.

I would recommend an SSD drive to run the VMs on if possible as this makes things run a lot more smoothly. Larges drives are much cheaper now.

If you install the latest update for VS2013 I believe everything you need is installed for SharePoint development.

  • For DEV AD role, SQL and SharePoint cam be installed on single VM. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 18:34
  • I separate out Active Directory as I have found issues with running Workflow Manager on a domain controller. Also i have had issues in the past with permissions so always avoid that overhead.
    – Adam C
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 14:12
  • Just spin up a server core VM and add the DC role. Runs fine with 512Mb
    – Adam C
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 14:13

16GB on your computer will be enough, 12GB for the VM and 4GB for the host, but if you have that amount of ram will be better.

Install Visual Studio on the VM, because you need to have the SharePoint object model available for debugging, (specially if you plan to develop event receivers) because the project's "Server Connection" property will have to be set to Local and you have to provide the "Site URL" property too with the local server name.

I have installed VS2013 Ultimate, but any other edition will be ready to work with SharePoint solutions just after the installation.

  • 1
    12GB of RAM might be good for foundation, but for server with search service running it won't be comfortable. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 18:29
  • You're right, installing the search service in the same VM will be very uncomfortable, I suggest to skip the search service if there's no need to have it installed. I've done that before. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 15:20

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