I have a background in website design and want to transition to development with SharePoint 2010. What soft/hardware is required to develop SharePoint 2010 sites?

My research has produced a lot of confusion. Do I need Visual Studio 2010? What about a SharePoint Server? What are the costs of a SharePoint 2010 Enterprise license? I want to do this from my home office and need to get an idea of the requirements.

3 Answers 3


This question comes up quite often on this and other fora.

Here are two of the later questions: What resources would you recommend to someone who would like to learn and possibly become a SharePoint Developer? Getting started with SharePoint 2010 for SharePoint 2007 Developers

when you say web site design, do you mean development or designing (as in prototypes, HTML, CSS etc)?

There is a free evaluation version you can download http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/ee388573

Here you can also find hardware requirements http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262485.aspx

To do development you technically dont need any tools (other than Notepad or similar) but as with "normal" .NET development tools like Visual Studio 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010 makes things alot easier, especially if you are just starting up.


If all you're doing is design, then you can download SharePoint Foundation for free from the Microsoft Website, as well as Visual Studio 2010 Express and SharePoint Designer 2010. These are the tools you will need.

Then look around for tutorials describing how to build a SharePoint development platform (there are plenty).

You will need a fairly powerful machine that can afford to give a Virtual Machine around 4GB of RAM, and Windows Server 2008 R2. This might be your only expense (as well as a VMWare Workstation licence).

For picking up Design stuff, you can get away with doing a "Basic" install onto your VM. Personally, I reckon this is ok but you'll see a lot of tutorials strongly advise against that as the installer sets lots of service accounts to unsure ones and the environment is unscalable. But in my opinion, like I say if it's for design stuff, you'll be fine with this environment.


As a web designer you may be tempted to change the look and feel of SharePoint. You may want to have a look at the answers to the following question as well 'How to deal with SharePoint design complexity and web designer creativity ?'

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