Creating SharePoint Development Environment – Part II: Tools & Preparation

This is the second post in a three posts series which will guide you through the configuration of the SharePoint development machine.

In part I of the walkthrough we set up the environment. Next we need to add some useful tools that will be used during the development process.

However, before you install any of the tools, ensure that your machine installed all available Windows Updates.


The list of tools and programs you’ll install at this point depends on your needs and habits. Anyway, this is what I like to install on my development machines:

  • Visual Studio 2010 + SP1.
  • KB2581206- update for Visual Studio 2010 SP1 that will enable Team Explorer to connect on the tfspreview TFS servers (optional).
  • Office 2010 client apps (x86 version) + SP1– depending on  solutions you’re working on, you may need Info Path, Word, Excel or Outlook to test your solutions.
  • SharePoint Designer 2010 x86 + SP1– install x86 version because x64 version does not support SharePoint 2007 sites. Another reason towards x86 version is smaller memory footprint while running.
  • Notepad ++ – ultimate text editor, working as a main code editor. 🙂
  • Check for Windows updates once again and ensure your machine is up-to-date.

SQL Server

Next step is installation of the SQL Server. Since this is a development machine, I recommend installation of the SQL Server 2008 R2 + SP1. Of course, SQL Server will be 64-bit because SharePoint 2010 requires it.

  • Start by selecting “New installation or add features  to an existing installation.” option from the Installation section.
  • On the features selection page, choose to install database engine and reporting services:

SQLoptions _thumb

  • Don’t forget to add current user as an administrator when asked.
  • Create standard domain user called  sp_sql and set MSSQLSERVER, SQLSERVERAGENT and other SQL related services to run under this account.
  • Choose to install Reporting Services in the SharePoint integrated mode:

Reporting Services _thumb

  • Install the product!
  • Next, install the SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1.
  • Guess what, there are additional Windows updates waiting to be installed.

System Accounts

Before we proceed and install SharePoint Server 2010 bits we need to prepare few domain accounts that will be used as service accounts. Best practice for each SharePoint installation is the “least privilege service accounts” approach. The idea is to use separate accounts with minimum privileges assigned for each role inside the SharePoint environment. Since this is a development machine, I’ll be a bit less strict than usual and will use 4 dedicated service accounts:

  • sp_install – standard domain user account used while installing SharePoint Server 2010; must be member of the local administrators group; also, must be added as a SQL Server login with following security roles:  securityadmin, dbcreator.
  • sp_sql– already created in the previous section.
  • sp_farm– yet another standard domain user without any additional  domain permissions. Account will receive necessary SharePoint permissions during the SharePoint Server 2010 installation.
  • sp_service – under this account should run all SharePoint services.

Additionally, best practice suggests that we use few additional service accounts for the search service, crawler or user profile service. However, since this is a development machine I’ll ignore this guidance. Of course, I’ll never ignore them in the production environment. You shouldn’t ignore them neither!

To add additional service accounts, open the Active Directory Users and Computers applet, expand the Users section and add above listed users to your domain.

Add User _thumb

Right-click on the domain name and start the Delegate Control wizard. On the Users or Groups page, select the sp_install user. On next page, select the “Create a custom task to delegate radio button. Leave This folder, existing objects in this folder… selected and continue. Leave only General permissions checked and assign the Replicating Directory Changes permission. Finish the wizard.


Now, add the sp_install account to the local administrators group.

Next, open SQL Server Management Studio and add sp_install login. Assign dbcreator and securityadmin server roles to the newly added login.


Finally, we are ready to start the installation.

Sasa Tomicic IS a .Net & SharePoint consultant with 11+ years of experience. His blog shares his thoughts about SharePoint and .Net programming technics and the solutions about the challenges and issues I hit on the real-world projects.

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