This question is related to that posted at SP2010 Developer Farm with a Shared Config Database. Viable? - I have some queries around isolation and figured it may be easier just to ask a separate question given that the general consensus appears to be to go with isolated SharePoint VMs.

I am not really a developer as such (yet) so feel free to point out any glaring errors here.

We are intending to implement a shared development farm using Hyper-V such that each developer has their own VM.

We originally planned to go with a shared farm (WFE per dev) as opposed to "stand alone" VMs per developer. However, having read numerous posts on here I am now starting to think that it's not the best idea.

I appreciate that isolation has its benefits but I do have a few concerns around this:

  • We use a custom SQL database (not a SharePoint DB). As part of code changes it is not unusual to make schema modifications - e.g. a developer might wish to add some additional stored procedures. These changes currently have to be rolled out manually on every VM and we invariably encounter inconsistencies.
    • We refer to global site templates in our custom database that are farm-specific. If we were to share the custom DB whilst using isolated SP2010 farms these templates would presumably only match up with one VM.

Presumably I am missing something obvious here such as a better approach to managing global farm templates.

Cheers in advance! Ben

1 Answer 1


When you say that you're using a custom SQL database, that's for an application your developers are working on right? If so, there's no problem with just setting up a SQL server that your development team can use for your custom database, and each developer gets a standalone install of SharePoint.

I'm not familiar with your terminology, can you explain what a "global site template" means? Are you talking about a site definition?

  • Im all in on this one. We always create a domain per customer. In the domain we have one (HyperV) AD/SQL server. Depending on the team size and customer needs we have 1, 5 or sometimes even 10 seperate (HyperV) servers that are members of the doimain. Each machine run a seperate farm per developer. All databases are put on the shared AD/SQL server. Also always remember to security harden your farms and sql servers running with lowest possible privileges. TechNet can help you out there. You probably should create a custom DB per farm as well (prefix w machinename) to keep things isolated Dec 16, 2010 at 21:20
  • Thanks for the comments guys. Mike - you are correct in that the custom SQL database is for an application that all developers work on. By global site template I mean those templates that are added to the gallery via stsadm -o addtemplate and are available on all Web servers. We reference those templates by their IDs (e.g. _GLOBAL_#2) which are stored in a custom application database. So Anders - does that mean that we are better off manually creating stored procedures etc. or is there something I am missing here? Thanks in advance Dec 16, 2010 at 22:55
  • You mention global site templates being stored in another database... Will your sites provision if that database didn't exist?
    – James Love
    Dec 16, 2010 at 22:55
  • We only store references to the global templates - e.g. _GLOBAL_#2 in a table called "Templates". Our application utilise these templates to provision sites so a non-existent template will give a nice template not found error. Dec 16, 2010 at 23:02

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