It can be very tricky getting a development environment set up for SharePoint 2007, as the path is strewn with pitfalls and blockades. Having recently completed a SharePoint 2007 project, I felt compelled to share some of the trouble I ran into along the way and the solutions I found.
In order to properly develop for SharePoint 2007, it is necessary for SharePoint 2007 and Visual Studio 2008 to be installed on the same machine. This allows Visual Studio to access local file storage on the SharePoint server for deployment purposes, and supports debugging of assemblies running in the SharePoint environment. In most corporate environments, IT would not look too fondly upon a developer installing Visual Studio on the production server, so a separate development server is generally used. These days, most servers are running a 64-bit operating system in order to take advantage of more than 4GB of memory. However, this is where the first pitfall is encountered.
Visual Studio 2008 does not support debugging SharePoint in a 64-bit environment.
Thus the development environment must be set up on a 32-bit server OS. Windows Server 2008 R2 is only available in a 64-bit version, so either the original release of Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003 must be used. I used Windows Server 2003 SP2 for my development environment. I also set up my development environment using a virtual machine and would highly recommend this approach. There were numerous times where it was necessary to roll-back to a good snapshot point after getting SharePoint into a non-functional state.
To help get you set up with the necessary components, the following list includes all of the relevant software installed in my development environment. While you may not need all of these pieces depending on your development needs, it at least gives a fairly comprehensive listing:
- Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2
- Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Service Pack 2
- Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
- Microsoft Office 2003 Web Components
- Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007
- Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
- Microsoft Report View Redistributable 2005
- Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2
- Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Technologies
- Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
- Microsoft Visual Studio Web Authoring Component
- Microsoft Windows SDK for Visual Studio 2008 .NET Framework Tools
- Microsoft Windows SDK for Visual Studio 2008 Headers and Libraries
- Microsoft Windows SDK for Visual Studio 2008 SDK Reference Assemblies and IntelliSense
- Microsoft Windows SDK for Visual Studio 2008 Tools
- Microsoft Windows SDK for Visual Studio 2008 Win32 Tools
- MSXML 6 Service Pack 2
- Visual Studio 2008 extensions for Windows SharePoint Servers version 1.3
- Visual Studio Tools for the Office system 3.0 Runtime
- Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
Hopefully this information will be helpful for others trying to set up a functional SharePoint 2007 development environment.