I have on my laptop a development environment as win7 with std IIS, SharePoint 2010 Server, SQL 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010. I already installed Visual Studio 2012 side by side. But what about SharePoint 2013? I would like to develop and test for SP2010 as well as SP2013, but I don’t want to use any VM’s (this is only using more memory and more CPU cycles for again another full blown OS. I even don’t like VM’s any way on a laptop regarding sleep/hibernate and startup issues). Is there a way to accomplish this all in a “normal” fashion way? Or… what is the best way to achieve this? Can you install SP2010 and SP2013 side by side and how to setup the debugger for this (sometimes SP2010 and sometimes 2013) Or do you really need to install something like VM with SP2013 in it… and then do some remote deployment to this VM with the debugger attached to it? Is this even possible? What is the best practice here? Please advise… All information is welcome!

3 Answers 3


In addition to what rjcup3 already stated,

There are numerous reasons you can't install SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 side by side on one server, one of reason I am aware of is that SharePoint 2013 needs two folders 14 hive as well as 15 hive for operations so if you try to install it on top of SharePoint 2010 it will overwrite 14 hive of SharePoint 2010 which will make it corrupt and most likely un-usable.

I am surprised on one side you are saying that VM's take too many resources, but do you even know how much resources SharePoint needs to run a specific server ? Even imagining of SharePoint 2010 ans 2013 sounds like a night mare to me.

Another possible reason is that SharePoint interacts a lot with SQL databases so installing both on same sever (just saying) will crash your laptop (which just have 1 hard drive and maximum of 16 GB I assume.)

My tip for you would be to have get an external SSD hard-drive and keep one of VM on it and another one on your laptop's hard drive, its not just the ram that speeds up your computer but hard drive plays an important role too specially when its SharePoint.

Oh by there was a option in older versions of SharePoint for side by side install which was later on removed by Microsoft because of serious performance issues.

You can easily get strong second hand servers for development maybe for around £500 from ebay.

You might find this post helpful.

  • Well well well... I just was thinking: Crab! It would be just nice to put the SP2013 bits in place and rock and roll. But nerveless you just need a VM with full blown OS, SQL, SharePoint AND VS2012, and this all just on top of your own box (or run it on a separate box). This must require more CPU Cycles and RAM than just put the SP2013 bits in place. At this moment I have an i5 with 8GB RAM and a 750GB normal 7500turns HD for my SP2010 dev in win7 and its just fine for development. The CPU is doing nothing and 6GB RAM is used. And then there was SP2013 and all hell breaks loose.
    – ChiYoung
    Mar 8, 2013 at 21:12
  • Ps: How are you guys doing it? Reformat your drive, install it all for SP2013? Or using VM's or Hyper-V's on win7 (or8)? i7? 16GB RAM enough for SP2013 dev box? Please do advice...Thanks a lot devers! (Not you Microsoft :( But I still love SP :)
    – ChiYoung
    Mar 8, 2013 at 21:17
  • @ChiYoung 16GB of ram is enough to install SharePoint 2013, VS2012 and SQL server on a single box but only for development purposes. I would recommend you to start developing on SharePoint 2010 first and once you know nuts and bolts then move on to SharePoint 2013 unless you are working for a company who wants you to work on it. Mar 8, 2013 at 22:43
  • Thank you for your comment, it’s really valuable for me. Thanks again!
    – ChiYoung
    Mar 9, 2013 at 9:54

You can not install SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 "side by side" on the same box.

You must configure two separate environments for testing.

Here's an MSDN link walking you through configuring remote debugging for SharePoint 2013 (and it's limitations): Developing apps for SharePoint on a remote system.

Also, here's a link to walk through configuring remote debugging of event receivers in SharePoint 2013: Debugging Remote Event Receivers with Visual Studio

  • First link: "You can develop app for SharePoint solutions in Visual Studio 2012 if Microsoft SharePoint 2013 is installed on a remote server. However, you must install Microsoft SharePoint 2013 locally before you can develop other SharePoint solutions." So basically this means that you need a dual boot as a SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 development (so dual OS)...Or using VM's ... this is sad ;(
    – ChiYoung
    Mar 8, 2013 at 20:18
  • You sir are correct. And the fun part will be getting one instance of Visual Studio to deploy and debug both SP versions. You may be better off to load the project into separate instances of Visual Studio, one on your 2010 box and one on your 2013 box. Source control is key here to sync your code changes. Mar 8, 2013 at 20:22

Only easy way to develop on one machine is using virtual machines (insert your favorite brand here).

Even when you only need to develop on one machine I would still go for a virtual machine solution. It's very easy to reset when you messed up your SP environment (I tend to do that a lot.. ;-) )

When developing with vm images. Make your life easy and invest in a high-end SSD and assign at least 4GB to the VM with SP2010 and 12GB for the VM with SP2013.


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