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SharePoint Blues By now, you should have a fixed clone parent VM with the server OS installed and configured. You should also have a linked clone with VS 2005, SQL Server 2005 and any other developer tools you use frequently.

Before installing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS), you need to configure SQL Server. If you do not see SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) in your Start menu, install if from the client tools on your CD. This is not obvious! As mentioned previously, refer to Keith Pattons's blog postings for detailed steps.

Since this is purely a standalone development machine, you can use your Windows administrator COMPUTERNAME/Administrator login for the database also. Set up the roles as shown in the diagram below. In a production environment, you would first install the database and then set up seven separate domain accounts. Be sure to use the Surface Area Configuration Manager to enable TCP/IP and Named Pipes connections. Then, stop and re-start the database engine service for it to take effect. Also, set SQL Server "Maximum Server Memory" to half of that allocated to the VM. You can do this by right-clicking the server name in SSMS under properties. One more thing regarding the DB: if you plan on playing with Team System, note that it will not work with a "Developer" edition of SQL Server 2005.

SQL Server Roles

The next step is to install Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS). Create a new linked clone as before, and grab a free six-month trial of SharePoint here. In VMWare, right-click the drive icon in the task bar and select edit. Now, you can point it to the SharePoint ISO image you just downloaded to the desktop of your host PC. Choose the "Advanced" installation option. Then, on the "Server Type" tab, select the "Complete" option. Follow the steps outlined here. Since this is not a production machine and will not be joining a domain, you do not need to run Sysprep. After the install, you can run the configuration wizard. Aside from starting services and setting up email, note the following order of operations:

  * Create Shared Services Provider (configure index server first)
  * Create Web Application (and reset IIS using iisreset /noforce)
  * Create Site Collection

When you have things configured, run Windows Updates, as you should after each major install. Open Visual Studio at least once. Next, install the tools and extensions. This is the order in which I installed them:

  * Visual Studio Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services (VSeWSS)
  * Visual Studio Tools for Office Second Edition (VSTO)
  * Visual Extensions for Windows Workflow Foundation (VSeWWF)

Both VSTO and VSeWWF wil display success message panels after a successful installation. You can check for a successful installation of VSeWSS by opening Visual Studio and choosing to create a new project. If the install was successful, you should be able to see the SharePoint project templates shown below:

VSeWSS Extensions

Aside: Tips for Team Development Environment VM:
  * Sysprep the base VM
  * Do not use vOptimizer
  * Do not run the SharePoint Products and Technologies Wizard on the original VM

You should now be up and running. I have kept this series of blog posts brief and referred the reader to step-by-step instructions already covered by other blogs. The goal was to record my personal experience as I attempted to create a SharePoint development environment for my own learning purposes. This was an obvious first step before attempting the slightly more ambitious task of setting up a cloned team development VM. My machine is 3GHz, 2GB RAM and runs XP. My external drive is 160GB. My new environment works like a treat and is reasonably fast when running a single VM. Happy coding!

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At this point, you should have a snapshot of the base OS with the .NET frameworks and Office 2007 on board. Now we will create a linked clone in the Snapshot Manager and install the development tools. Tip: pick short, meaningful names for your VM instances so that you can make them out at a glance when you open Snapshot Manager. My layout has one more instance than the version described here, but it doesn't really matter. The main factors affecting performance are the external disk speed and available RAM. Note that some of the extensions need MOSS/WSS installed first, so that's why these installs are in a certain order.

Start by installing VS 2005. I'm using the standard version. Professsional is needed for Office development. The goal here is to be able to sit down at home and start developing. Even WSS on its own, which comes free with Windows Server 2003, is perfect to start coding against.

Snapshot Manager

When you have VS 2005 installed, download and install SP1 on its own. It's 431 MB and you may encounter error messages on Windows Server when you try to install it. Download a fix for the SP1 installation here. Note: I tried to install this using an ISO image on CD and had to right-click the icon first, select properties and then install the security certificate. Then apply the fix linked to above. This worked for me after much hassle; try to avoid the registry hack, more information here. Reboot, and install SP1: leave it run its course and do not be tempted to interrupt the install. If it's still running after a week, you can email me ;-)

At this stage, you should make a shortlist of the developer tools you normally work with, and install these also. Perhaps, the Firefox and IE7 developer toolbars, Notepad2, Reflector, etc.

Next, install SQL Server 2005. As with the other installs, you can install directly onto the VM using an ISO image. When in doubt, opt to install everything. Choose the Default Instance and Built-In System Account option. Select Local System from the drop-down list. Choose Windows Authentication Mode and select defaults for everything else. Re-boot if prompted, then run the updates. Download and install whatever is suggested.

SQL Server 2005

The next and final installment will see the installation of MOSS and the remaining extensions, including some things to look out for if you are trying to do this in a team environment...

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Strategy:

We are going to set up our virtual machine using a modular, layered approach. First, we will create a base virtual machine using VMWare Workstation, which will contain the Windows Server 2003 operating system as a snapshot. Refer to the diagram below for an overview of the VM:

Overview of VM

Getting Hands Dirty:

Download the VMWare and install Windows Server 2003 before moving on. When setting up the VM, opt for NAT networking; this way, it will use your host machine to connect to the Internet. Make it 40GB and choose to set the size in advance. When installing the OS, create it on a single, 30GB partition. Remember to run Windows Updates after installing the OS; ditto for the .NET 2.0 and 3.0 frameworks. After the OS is installed, you must install the VMWare tools before activation of Windows. You will be prompted to adjust your hardware acceleration. You will need to disable browser Internet security: Add/Remove Programs, Add/Remove Windows Components, scroll down and uncheck it.

Refer to Keith Patton's great blog post for this and other details of setting up ASP.NET, SMTP, etc. Take note of some of the other performance tweaks to be made! I used Keith's step-by-step guide throughout. Also, the only other time I attempted this setup was with Virtual PC. So, this was my first time using VMWare and it was pretty painless. Here's what the VM Manager looks like:

VM Manager

Finally, you can install Office 2007 and run the updates. Take a snapshot of this before moving on so that we can roll back if need be; the original can be a base for future installations. Next, we will create two linked clone snapshots based on this fixed clone. One will contain our development tools and database; the other will contain a complete installation of MOSS and the various extensions. When we start up our virtual machine, it essentially treats all three snapshots in the hierarchy as one physical VM. After you have ASP.NET 2.0, Email and IIS configured, defrag your external drive containing the VM three times and run vOptimizer on the VM. Then defrag your host machine.

In the next installment, I will show you how to set up Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005. I will also show you how to work around a common error when attempting to install the very large SP1 for VS 2005... Rock on!

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