From my understanding, if one need to use Visual Studio to do some programming (be it C# or VB) on the SharePoint Server, one need to be at the Server that have Visual Studio, SharePoint Server and SharePoint Designer installed.

Are there any ways for programmer to be able to make full use of Visual Studio power and perform programming remotely on SharePoint Server (meaning that without the need to be station at the Server itself)?

2 Answers 2


See this link for more info: Is SharePoint 2010 Server mandatory on Developers workstation?

SharePoint Designer does not have to be on the same machine as SharePoint ever.

Visual Studio is another story. You could download SharePoint.dll and some other DLL(s) to your development machine and make it work. Ideally, however, SharePoint and Visual Studio will exist on the same machine. It especially makes debugging better.

Some people prefer to install VS on their SharePoint server. Others prefer to install both on a virtual machine.

I personally have SharePoint Foundation 2010 installed on my laptop and only start it when I am using it. When I need to develop for SharePoint Server 2010, I fire up a virtual machine that has both installed on it.

  • Thanks Wilson, using virtual machine or having the SharePoint Server installed on one's laptop is good but the problem will become on how you deploy your work from your laptop or virtual machine to the Production Server that will be hosting the application that you have created.
    – Jack
    Feb 21, 2012 at 4:11
  • 2
    In Visual Studio, every time you debug your project, right-click on the project and choose Deploy, or right-click on the project and choose Package a Solution Package (WSP file) is created in the bin folder (same place as the DLL). You then take that WSP file and deploy it to the production server(s) using the Package Deployment mechanisms provided by SharePoint. See technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262995.aspx Feb 21, 2012 at 7:01
  • @RobWindsor Does it also apply the same for SharePoint 2007?
    – Jack
    Feb 22, 2012 at 4:43
  • 1
    Yes, but you'll need an add-in like WSP Builder to automatically create the Solution Package for you. Feb 22, 2012 at 5:05
  • What fish-brain at Microsoft decided that it would be best to make it so that Visual Studio HAD to be on the same machine as SharePoint? That's asinine!
    – Christine
    Nov 29, 2016 at 19:50

Another option is to use the SharePoint 2010 Client Object Model or Web Services. For that, you don't need SharePoint installed on your server.

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