so far I have very profound knowledge in C# developement of desktop applications with Winforms. Now my task is to learn sharepoint. But there are some points I do not understand. As far as I got it there are Server farms which contain applications which in turns hold website collections. Now I got Visual Studio which allows the developement of sharepoint web-parts or simply enables me to create empty sharepoint projects. The problem is whenever I try to create such a project VS tells me that I have to install SP foundation/server.

Do I really have to install Sharepoint on my desktop PC? Isn't it possible to simply develop for a sharepoint application or functionality in VS and then somehow deploy it on the farm? Please forgive me my lack of knowledge but I guess I had the wrong idea of how this whole thing works.

4 Answers 4


I suggest getting a Developer site on Office365. If you already have a subscription you can create a Developer site collection. You will want to install the NAPA app. From here you can create SharePoint hosted solutions via the Browser IDE. This let's you start playing with SharePoint with very little overhead.

There is however a caveat - in that it's a web application via HTML/JavaScript, you wont be using C# there.

If you want to develop server side solution and you have an MSDN subscription I recommend using your Azure credits and spinning up a machine there. You can also look at CloudShare for pre-configured VM's.

Check out the developer center on MSDN. They have a great video series on getting started with SharePoint development (click on the training link). I would also suggest you look at a pluralsight subscription as well.

Developer Center MSDN http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/office/dn448478

PluralSight http://www.pluralsight.com/training/Courses/Find?highlight=true&searchTerm=SharePoint+2013

CloudShare http://www.cloudshare.com/

  • I think you found the words I have been trying to find. I want to play around! which is pretty easy with desktop applications where you can compile your solutions anytime. Apr 4, 2014 at 13:34

That depends on the version of SharePoint you are trying to code against, and what exactly you are trying to accomplish.

2010 and below would require you to have SP installed on the box you are developing on.

If, however, you are developing for 2013 you have a bit more flexibility. If you need to create a farm solution, then just like 2010 and below you will need to have a local version of SP running. However if you are developing a SharePoint App then you do not need SP running on your local machine, but you will need a developer site on a SP farm (on prem or SP online).

I would recommend setting up a VM where you have SharePoint running and where you can do your development if you have to create a farm solution. That way that SharePoint is not running directly on your desktop and you can free up some resources by turning off your VM.


You must install the following prerequisites on the system before you can use the SharePoint solution development tools included in Visual Studio:

  • Visual Studio Professional or an edition of Visual Studio Application Lifecycle Management (ALM).

          Either the Visual C# or Visual Basic feature, or both, when installing Visual Studio.
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 installed on 64-bit Windows Server 2008 or 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • or Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 installed on 64-bit Windows Server 2008 or 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2. Requirements for Developing SharePoint Solutions

So Now you have option to create a VM and install SharePoint and stuff over there if you are going to develop in SP2013.

for SP 2010 check the below. Setting Up the Development Environment for SharePoint 2010 on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008


I think that you need SharePoint Server or Foundation to use the SharePoint development tools included in Visual Studio.
If you are going to develop and App for SharePoint you can use any web server or hosting service (for Provider-hosted app) or Microsoft Azure and SQL Azure (for Autohosted app) so you do not need a local SharePoint environment.
[SP Apps hosting] http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/fp179887(v=office.15).aspx#SPHosted

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