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WSS 3. 0 Development Environment

  Asked By: Johanna    Date: Nov 05    Category: MOSS    Views: 1476

I have been going through articles on WebParts in WSS 3.0 and MOSS
2007. We have WSS 3.0 in our organization. Now, how do I go about
developing webparts from my local machine. Most of the articles that I
have gone through talks about developing webparts on the server
machine. Can anyone give me a proper direction and best practices for
setting up the dev environment with respect to WSS 3.0?



21 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Christian Waters     Answered On: Nov 05

What do developers do when building a server-farm environment? Do they
install Visual Studio on every server box?

What problems are presented with a traditional development  environment,
where VS is installed on a dev  workstation? I can execute IISRESET and other
commands through a remote connection, and can map a network drive to the
server, for example. Is there an article that you are aware of that
discusses this?

Answer #2    Answered By: Virendar Bahudur     Answered On: Nov 05

First let me say that I'm not a developer. I'm an admin that does a
little programming. If any developers come in and contradict something
I've said they're right and I'm wrong.

I don't think you need to replicate the whole farm when you're
developing. I just install MOSS into a VM with all the options
installed and install VS in that. That way if I need to program against
a feature, it's there. MOSS includes SQL Express so you don't even need
a separate database box. Usually development  is done in three stages.
Development, Test, and Production. I think you can do the first part on
one box, even a VM. Once it's developed then you move it on to Test,
which should be an environment  closer to Production. If Production has
two WFEs, Test probably should too, but I wouldn't bother with it in

Since you can't test your SharePoint code on XP or Vista then you have
to do it on a 2003 box. I brought up the iisreset issue because that's
one of the things that comes up if you end up sharing that environment.
You might be iisreseting the environment when another developer is
testing his code. That's another reason I think the VM option works
well. There's no chance of stepping on anyone's toes. That problem
could also show up if you're installing things into the GAC or BIN or
making web.config changes. Iisreset was just an example.

Answer #3    Answered By: Sierra Beck     Answered On: Nov 05

To inline-debug a webpart, you must have Visual Studio
installed on a sharepoint server. To build a webpart
a little more complicated than "Hello World," you will
need inline-debugging.

I would definitely install Visual Studio on a
Development server. I would not install VS on the
Production server. I may install VS on the Test
server if it will be used to unit test the webpart.

Often a developer will host his own dev  server locally
using a 2003 vhd on Virtual PC. The webpart will be
unit tested on a team development  server or test
server that has VS.

Answer #4    Answered By: Elisabeth Walsh     Answered On: Nov 05

I concur with all the others, VS.NET on the Win2K3 VM is the easiest.
However, if your VS.NET is totally decked out with tons of tools, or you
have licensing issues with installing it on your VMs, check out the step
by step instructions that Eli Robillard posted:

Answer #5    Answered By: Bhavesh Doshi     Answered On: Nov 05

I think I will go with the VMware
image option.

Answer #6    Answered By: Elisa Santos     Answered On: Nov 05

Unless your production installation is a single server, I strongly
suggest building a virtual farm on two machines for testing. Unless you
are building only web parts, you should definitely understand how
Feature deployment works across a farm.

Answer #7    Answered By: Tatiana Houston     Answered On: Nov 05

Thanks for your excellent advice, as always. The virtual machine  approach
seems to be universally recommended.

Paul S, just out of curiosity, what do you recommend deploying where in a
two server virtual farm?

Answer #8    Answered By: Arlene Hodge     Answered On: Nov 05

I usually work on a 2 or 3 virtual server environment.

Server 1 is the DC and SQL server (just to get these off the SharePoint
server itself)

Server 2 is the SharePoint Web Front End

Server 3 (if I've got one) is the SharePoint Index server. I usually
don't go this far when developing  webparts, but I do have this
arrangement in my Test farm.

Answer #9    Answered By: Jolene Sandoval     Answered On: Nov 05

I know what I'll be doing this weekend, unless I start my Christmas shopping
early this year.

Answer #10    Answered By: Brandan Roach     Answered On: Nov 05

Are you running the virtual servers on your local  desktop/laptop, or
on a separate dedicated box? I've been running a single vm on my
laptop for testing/development, but I don't know about trying to run
multiple vm instances simultaneously on my poor little lappy.

Answer #11    Answered By: Kai Carney     Answered On: Nov 05

I normally run 2-3 VMs on my laptop. I'm running on a 4GB vista laptop
with a Core Duo processor and 7200 rpm drive.

Answer #12    Answered By: Gaurav Nemane     Answered On: Nov 05

Running ms virtualserver or vmware? I've tried running two vm machines
with virtualpc on my laptop with 2gb of ram and it just doesn't work.
4gb might be enough for two, but certainly not 3 to try running a
separate index server.

Answer #13    Answered By: Marjorie Humphrey     Answered On: Nov 05

My experience thus far has shown that I need at least 1.5GB RAM per VM that has
SharePoint process running on it. Cut it down more than that and you can count
on paging.

Answer #14    Answered By: Chelsey Watts     Answered On: Nov 05

I've done 3 VPCs on 3GB RAM. Not preferred, but doable. #1-256 RAM
DC/SQL #2 768 RAM Index server #3 whatever else I can get main
sharepoint server.

Answer #15    Answered By: Nagesh Maulik     Answered On: Nov 05

I have 2GB on the laptop.

VM 1 uses 128MB and is only a domain controller. (It had considerably
more memory during install, but now that it is built, 128MB is plenty)

VM 2 uses 512MB and has SQL Server and Windows SharePoint Services.

VM 3 uses 512MB and has Windows SharePoint Services and Visual Studio

Answer #16    Answered By: Jonathan Scott     Answered On: Nov 05

I'll try a few multi-vm setups. My experience
has been in line with Craig's with the VMs needing about 1.5gb each,
but I've been doing pretty full installs.

Answer #17    Answered By: Asia Meyers     Answered On: Nov 05

Several points.

1) You don't need to develop things like webparts, features, event
handlers etc on a farm even if it will be deployed to a farm.

2) You can develop on an XP box if you pull copies of the
SharePoint .dlls and put htem on the XP box. However, you can't run or
debug the code on anything but a SharePoint server. So after you
compile the code you need to move it to the server for testing.

3) If you use a remote server you need to use remote debugging if
you want to debug interactively. Although possible its not a lot of
fun. You'll also need to frequently do either an IISreset or reset the
AppPool on a regular basis. IISreset will disrupt other users on the
server. AppPool resets would require separate AppPools for each
developer and you should really only have 7 or 8 AppPools on a server.

4) Microsoft's SharePoint Development templates, Visual Studio
Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 can only be installed on
a server. It's also only available in C#. Lots of people develop
without VSeWSS.

5) Because of #3 & #4 most people develop directly on a SharePoint
server configured to run as a Virtual PC or VMware image on the
Developer's desktop.

Answer #18    Answered By: Shelley Reese     Answered On: Nov 05

Are you using 64 bit Vista? 32 bit Vista can only see 3 GB of my 4 GB. I
haven't gotten up the courage to go 64 yet. I've heard too many horror stories.

Answer #19    Answered By: Omar Arnold     Answered On: Nov 05

Unfortunately, I bought my laptop about 6 months before they went to
Core 2 Duos (64 bit) so I'm on 32bit with 3.2GB of usable RAM.

Answer #20    Answered By: Christen Roberson     Answered On: Nov 05

...and keep in mind even with Vista x64 you might not be able to see all
4 GB. Laptop chipsets created before about 3 months ago (prior to
"Santa Rosa") have an addressable RAM limitation that cannot be worked
around, even with BIOS updates or x64 operating systems.

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