Here is the situation.

I work heavily with SharePoint 2016 at work as a low code / no code SharePoint Analyst / Admin. all of our SP Team Sites are on our server farms and not in the cloud. I have a deep desire to learn more but can't.

Users like myself are not allowed to use SP Designer, Visual Studio, MS Access Services or any other platform that goes outside governance.

We use third party forms and workflow designers like Nintex and K2.5.

I feel stifled in that I am not able to advance my learning capacity and career. So, with that said, I have a deep desire to try and learn at home. I have installed the latest version of Visual Studio "Experimental Instance" and there are many free online resources to learn connected programming languages like ASP.NET, VB.NET and C#, to name a few.

Believe it or not I actually worked heavily with VB and VBScript and the first versions of ASP back in the day but not .net.

So, my question... finally is what can I do to set up my home PC to learn .NET and can I download SP Designer and leverage that? I want to learn!!!


You can download SharePoint Designer for free but you need a SharePoint server or SharePoint Online (classic sites) to work with.

  • So SharePoint Designer will only work if I have SharePoint server or SharePoint Online? – Christopher Lond Feb 11 '19 at 23:55
  • Correct. You either need a SharePoint Online tenant or a SharePoint Server deployment, which requires Active Directory and SQL Server. You can create an SPO developer tenant at developer.microsoft.com/en-us/office/profile. – Trevor Seward Feb 11 '19 at 23:56
  • If you read my comment below, I asked if I needed SQL Server and the person said no, so now I am really confused. – Christopher Lond Feb 11 '19 at 23:58
  • If you go with the SPO dev tenant, they're correct. Otherwise, they're wrong. You need Active Directory + SharePoint Server + SQL Server. – Trevor Seward Feb 11 '19 at 23:58

I recommend you to Install Hyper-V, create your own testing environment (on your PC/company resources) There you can install SharePoint for development, all tools like SharePoint Designer, Visual Studio and more. Develop here.

SharePoint Designer designer and Visual Studio need somethimes DLLs from SharePoint for correctly working and developing.

  • If I install SharePoint Designer on my home PC, won't I need SQL Server 2017? – Christopher Lond Feb 10 '19 at 12:09
  • You dont need SQL, why you think you need SQL? You need SharePoint binaries (specially for SharePoint 2013 workflow engine) and for development for VS you need SharePoint.Server.dll version 15 – Zdeněk Vinduška Feb 10 '19 at 20:53

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