How To Create A Developer Machine For SharePoint 2013

SharePoint developer machines are very useful when you need test something rather than production environment. Since its test environment, you can try any package, powershell script on it before going production.

This article will cover the prerequisites for a SharePoint 2013 developer machine. Same can be applied for SharePoint 2016, which I will be discussing later.

I'll skip the first prerequisite of you having VT-x supported processor like Intel's i3 and later products.And I will also skip that you already enabled Virtualization. Those 2 are the primary prerequisite for creating developer machine in a virtualization environment, but you can also create a fresh developer machine without using virtualization products. 


To create a developer machine we should have an Operating System first, yes? Indeed, we do need it.

Simply go to Microsoft's Technet EvalCenter and Download Windows Server 2012 from here.

Install Windows Server 2012 and then skip to the part where we create our own Domain controller.

SQL Server 2012

After server is created, our primary objective is to install SQL Server 2008 R2 or SQL Server 2012. I chose to install SQL Server 2012 so here's the download link where you can download it.

Creating your own Domain Controller

If you plan on creating Standalone Installation, you can skip that step. Because we'll be creating Active Directory and our Domain Controller.
First we need to enable AD Domain Services via Server Manager or write a powershell script to do the job. You can read my blog about it here: 
Next, after a server reset, you need to add some users to AD.Create 2 or 3 additional users at least:
  • SPFarm -> Farm Account
  • SPTest   -> Test Account
  • SPSVC    -> Service Account
You can follow instructions from my article:
When all is created,we can start installing SharePoint Server 2013!

SharePoint 2013

Then again, you can download SharePoint 2013 Trial from here.

First, install the Prerequisites. Make sure all are downloaded and installed without warning or errors.Then and only then you can install SharePoint 2013.

I won't be showing how to install SharePoint 2013 step by step. There are many tutorials in C# Corner like:

Jean Paul's SharePoint 2013 Installation Guide 

It would be wise for me to tell you what you need to be aware of through the installation step.

People who have installed SharePoint 2013 before may skip it.
  • The farm account we created, must be filled in Configuration Wizard step.
  • The SQL Server address must be given correctly.
  • You should also assign SPSVC (or whatever you named it) to handle service applications.
  • You should also fill a passphrase and note it somewhere in case you may need to enter it later.
  • Make sure services work for both SQL and SharePoint.
If all is done successfully and SharePoint 2013 asks you to create a Portal Site, then you successfully created your own developer machine.

Visual Studio 2013 & SharePoint Designer 2013

Speaking of Developer Machine, you also need to install these 2 products via Microsoft Download page:
If you want to develop Apps for SharePoint 2013,you need to enable Apps in SharePoint 2013.

Read Ketak Bhalsing's App Configuration Guide in C# Corner for further instructions. 

And If you haven't already, you can read my "What Every SharePoint Developer Must Know" article for additional tools that can be used with SharePoint 2013.

Rest is up to you! Happy development.