I have an idea for a small SharePoint solution that can be quite useful, and I'm thinking about writing it in my spare time. How can I do it?

This is a relatively small project, which I don't expect to take more than 4 hours of coding (at most), which should result in a WSP, which I hope to host in an open-source site.

I can't use my company's resources for my own project (and prefer not to) - but that leaves me without a SharePoint environment, and with Visual Studio Express...

Do I have any good options to make such a project?

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    Sharepoint environment is not a problem, because you can use Sharepoint Foundation 2010 on Windows 7 for development purposes, but using VS Express will result in a huge pain:( All by hands... Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 20:10
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    We need some sort of SharePoint.SE community DEV environment.. I've been looking for the same thing. =) I did manage to get SP 2007 running in a VirtualBox VM, but haven't tried 2010 yet.
    – Kit Menke
    Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 17:42

4 Answers 4


You can try CloudShare. They have SharePoint VMs with Visual Studio, and a 14-day trial.

I am not affiliated with this company, just a happy customer.

  • 1
    Looks like an awesome service, and certainly the least destructive to my computer. I was able to start working in just a few minutes. Thanks!
    – Kobi
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 9:29

Why don't you download the Information Worker VM from Microsoft? It's free and contains (already installed and configured):

  1. Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Evaluation Edition x64, running as an Active Directory Domain Controller for the “CONTOSO.COM” domain with DNS and WINS
  2. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition with Analysis, Notification, and Reporting Services
  3. Microsoft Office Communication Server 2007 R2
  4. Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
  5. Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition
  6. Microsoft Office Web Applications
  7. Microsoft FAST Search for SharePoint 2010
  8. Microsoft Project Server 2010
  9. Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010
  10. Microsoft Visio 2010
  11. Microsoft Project 2010
  12. Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2

You'll need a Server 2008 R2 as host though.

  • The VM is intended for EValuation and Demonstration purposes only and is limited to 180 days usage. IANAL but I wouldn't feel comfortable using it for development purposes from a licensing perspective.
    – Steve P
    Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 6:08
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    You could use it to demonstrate the resulting wsp :) And how to evaluate a product if you don't do some development against it. Anyway, was just giving a ready-made alternative.
    – Bart
    Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 7:02
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    @Bart Thanks for the info but the link you mentioned is broken. Here is the new link to 2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine (SP1): microsoft.com/download/en/…
    – mvark
    Commented Nov 9, 2011 at 6:23

Install SharePoint Foundation on your Windows 7 PC (it will need to be 64-bit OS). The setup is a little complicated but okay once you get it set up. There are also some tricks to set up using non-domain accounts.

Also be sure to install SQL Server Express first and do a "Farm" install (not "Stand-alone"). Use the "with tools" package of SQL Server to get Management Studio.

With Visual Studio Express you won't have all the deployment bells and whistles, and you will have to set up your project items by hand, but you can still build your .wsp.

If you are going to release a commercial product you will need to test deploying it to a SharePoint farm built on Windows Server 2008 at some stage, obviously.


You can start a project on codeplex.com (or perhaps on github) and let volunteers participate and test your solution.

  • Thanks, but I think you missed the point of the question. It's more about the SharePoint side, not the Open Source side...
    – Kobi
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 21:05

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