Every time I work with a client on SharePoint 2010 I am asked the same general question… “How do we setup a development environment?”
For SharePoint 2010 my answer is simply:
- Provide each developer a 64 bit Windows 7 computer with at least 4GB of RAM (8 recommended).
- Install SharePoint Foundation 2010
- Install Visual Studio 2010 Professional or Ultimate
- Install SharePoint Designer 2010
This simple configuration will allow developers to write almost any customization or build any application they would need on top of SharePoint. Now there are some instances where SharePoint Foundation may not have all of the features needed by the developer. In those cases they will need to install SharePoint 2010 in a single server configuration on Windows 7.
I also have a few other recommendations and opinions about SharePoint development:
- Each developer must have their own separate SharePoint Foundation 2010 or SharePoint 2010 instance.
- Visual Studio 2010 must run on the same machine where you are doing development. (This is not 100% mandatory but you would be crazy to do it any other way)
- SharePoint is a platform, however, not every solution requires custom code. With SharePoint Designer 2010 you can do a lot of very cool things with workflows and custom XSLT data views. Custom code should be a last resort.
- If you are writing custom code for SharePoint, use Team Foundation Server 2010 to help manage team development. If you are the only developer, consider using Team Foundation Server Basic for tracking work items, bugs, issues, and managing your source code.
A good development environment does not guarantee great code. It is always important to follow good software development practices.
Make sure you understand the SharePoint framework and if possible work with someone who has prior SharePoint development experience. SharePoint is a large beast and it will hurt you if you deploy poorly written code.