Creating a development environment for Sharepoint 2013 part I

A few weeks ago Sharepoint 2013 Preview version was released to the public.

This post is about the first step in the process of getting hands-on with the new version : The development environment.

In this post I will describe the installation process and the configuration of Sharepoint to allow you to get started developing apps and other artefacts for Sharepoint 2013.

I use a virtual environment for many reasons, it is portable, you can take snapshots and revert to previous versions and you can share it.

We will install Sharepoint 2012 on Windows Server 2012 RC, so we need to download it from Technet : Download Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (RC)

I’ve downloaded the vhd file (it’s 1 GB smaller) and mounted it in on a new virtual machine in my favorite virtual machine software!

Note : You will need at least 30GB disk on your VM.


So now that Windows 2012 RC is running, we need to configure a few things like roles and names and service accounts.

First of all let’s give this server a more friendly name ! Like SP2013.


After a restart you’re ready for installing roles.

Since it’s a standalone server we need to make it a domain controller. For that purpose in the Server Manager choose Add Roles, use the wizard and add :

Active Directory Domain Services

Web Server (IIS)

In Features please add :

  • Group policy management
  • Media Foundation
  • Quality Windows Audio video experience
  • Remote Server Administration Tools
  • Windows Search Service
  • Windows TIFF IFilter
  • XPS Viewer

In Web Server Role Services under Security check:

  • Basic
  • Digest
  • Windows


Process with the rest of the wizard. Choose either restart the server automatically under the installation or not and go grab a cup of coffee !

Configuring the AD

  • Choose AD DS in the Server Manager and click på More
  • image
  • Notice the Action link in the main window. Click it and start configuring the AD by creating a new forest
  • image
  • A warning message appears about not being able to contact the authoritative
    parent zone for DNS. This is not a problem at all for the VM
  • Proceed with the rest of the wizard and finish your coffee.

These next steps are optional but provide a smoother developing experience:

Disable loopback check

  • in regedit go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlLsa
  • Add a dword value called DisableLoopbackCheck
  • image
  • And give it a value data of 1.
  • If you want to read more about the Loopback Check and other options, check out

Disabling password Expiration

Nothing more annoying than expiring passwords in a development environment.

  • Find the Group Policy management editor and edit the default domain policy
  • image
  • Change Maximum password age og Password Policy to 0 (not expire).
  • image

Disable UAC

In production environment UAC is a great feature to ask you one more time “Are you sure abut that?” in development environment we don’t really care so much.

  • Control Panel –> System and Security –> Change User Account Controls settings.
  • Move the slider all the way down to “Never Notify”

End Optional steps

Creating users

Ususally for all purposes Sharepoint development I add 4 users.

  1. sp_farm : the sharepoint farm user – needs to be a local administrator
  2. sp_appPool : the app pool user
  3. sp_serviceapp : the service application user
  4. sql_service : the service user for the sql server services.

Of course you can adapt it to suit your needs and add users for different sql services or dedicated service account for example to the User Profile Synchronization Service, the above list is the basic.


Install SQL Server 2012

This is also a vast topic but for our purposes we will go the shortest way.

  • Make a new stand alone installation.
  • Choose these features:
    • Database Engine Services
    • Analysis Services
    • Reporting Services – Native
    • Reporting Services – SharePoint
    • Reporting Services Add-In for SharePoint Products
    • SQL Server Data Tools
    • Integration Services
    • Management Tools – Basic / Complete
  • Leave the instance name as is.
  • Use sql_service for running the different services
  • Add Current User to the different administrative roles.
  • Proceed with the installation. Now’s a good time for more coffee!

Install Sharepoint 2013

The installation files can be downloaded from :

Once you have access to the installation file from your VM you can start installing the prerequisites: from <SharepointInstallRoot>prerequisiteinstaller.exe

These are the prerequisites needed to be installed :


After a reboot you’re ready for running <SharepointInstallRoot>setup.exe

Find your product key if asked for one.

After a few minutes running installation you should now see :


Configuring Sharepoint 2013

  • The first step of the Sharepoint Products is to choose wether or not to create a new server farm.
  • Then write the name of your SQL Server and the name and password of the farm account (sp_farm)
  • image
  • Give a passphrase
  • Configure the Central Administration Web Application
  • After a while…
  • image

Navigate to the central administration to check that everything’s OK.

Now that your installation is complete and working you can move on to the next step. Ending the configuration of Sharepoint using the wizard or manually.

Ultimately, create a new site based on the developer site template.


And the site once created:


In part II I will configure Sharepoint for Apps developmen and install and configure the development tools for the environment. Visual Studio 2012 and Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012.

Happy Sharepointing!



  1. […] you’d let the wizard in part I take care of Sharepoint configuration for you then the App Management Service should be started but […]

  2. I have problem when installing Sql Server 2014 engine service. Is it because of installing SQL server on domain controller?

    1. Hi Kha,
      From MSDN : “It is not recommended to install SQL Server on a domain controller. There are specific security restrictions when running SQL Server in this configuration and given the resource demands of a domain controller, SQL Server performance may be degraded. Furthermore, SQL Server is not supported on a read-only domain controller. Setup will normally fail. Even if you find methods to work around the problem with setup, SQL Server is not supported on a read-only domain controller. In addition, SQL Server failover clustering is not supported to install on a domain controller.”
      That said it is completely possible to run a single instance on a DC. What kind of problems do you encounter?

  3. thanks regbac. the problem is it could not create user in sql server so we could not connect to sql server even it is running. it is resolved by installing the sql server on separated server from DC 🙂

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