I have been researching the different versions of VS2012 for use in developing in a SP2010 (Foundation) and possibly SP2013 environment. I asked two separate MS employees about which version of VS I would need for SP development. One referred me elsewhere, and the other said I had to use Premium or Ultimate since Professional is not integrated with SPOM.

I would like to know what version of VS2012 would allow me to develop in the SP environment and, if the Premium/Ultimate versions are the only path, if there is a way to purchase without MSDN (cost prohibiting factor).


Actually Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium and Ultimate all allow for SharePoint development as the "Office and SharePoint development tools" are available for all (see here http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/6/E/46E8BB6C-108F-467C-9292-50EE94F117B5/download/Visual-Studio-2010-Feature-Comparison-Matrix.pdf)

Same stands still with Visual Studio 2012 (Ultimate, Premium and MSDN Professional as well as simple Professional license) - see here http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/products/compare

Of course, the only one supporting development for both SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 is Visual Studio 2012, and more specifically, if you are looking ALSO for SharePoint Apps development (new in SharePoint 2013), you would need to install the actual Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012 (http://aka.ms/OfficeDevToolsForVS2012), or alternatively use NAPA - BUT ONLY for SharePoint 2013 APPS or Office - and directly ONLY on your Office 365 Developer Account. Otherwise, on-premises development using "traditional" development procedures hasn't changed much - tools improved, of course.

So bottom line, at this stage go for Visual Studio 2012 license already, however keep in mind that in either 2010/2013 you still need server locally to develop, only for SharePoint Apps things have changed.

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    An extra reference regarding the minimum version of VS 2012 required for developing SharePoint Solutions: msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee231582.aspx – H A Apr 22 '13 at 16:52
  • Thanks for the clarification! I have developed on SPS2010 with VS2010, but I think that particular MS rep was trying to upsell me to Ultimate here for no real reason. But your answer was perfect! Thanks again. – JuanTrev Apr 23 '13 at 13:44
  • As I understand it, from the fine print on the product comparison page above and other sources - you require Premium or Ultimate if you want to rely on MSDN server licensing for installing a SharePoint Server on a VM / your PC - so if that setup is required for your work it influences the answer. If you only need the SharePoint client components to access SharePoint server hosted elsewhere and licensed independently, then Professional is fine. Similarly if you can get away with only requiring SharePoint Foundation for development. – Matt Ryan Jul 11 '13 at 5:03
  • Matt - that is a totally new question. People getting VS would received through some kind of licensing scheme, such as MSDN. That is not against you getting a trial license, Foundation or one of MS provided VMs freely - for limitted time, e.g. 180 days- then either restore or reinstall. – Marius Constantinescu - MVP Jul 11 '13 at 14:24
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    Just to update this: Some newer features especially with O365 will only be available with Visual Studio 2013. – Dennis G Mar 17 '14 at 14:06

You can dev on SP2012 and SP2010 with VS2012 Premium edition, it is the only path I know. Also you could use NAPA for SP2013, but I think is only for Office 365: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/jj220038.aspx

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  • Are you locked into purchasing the MSDN Premium license? It seems expensive for custom development is why I ask. – JuanTrev Apr 23 '13 at 20:18

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