Sunday, October 27, 2013

Windows Azure: Provision a SharePoint Server 2013 development environment with Visual Studio 2013

If you are going to conduct training OR evaluating software solutions OR learn SharePoint 2013 with VS 2013. The MSDN benefits enable you to get free access to Azure resources.

Text extract from Azure Portal

“The Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 developer desktop is an offering exclusive to MSDN subscribers. The image includes Visual Studio Ultimate 2013, SharePoint 2013 Trial, SQL Server 2012 Express edition and configuration scripts to quickly create a development environment for Web, SQL and SharePoint 2013 development. To learn how to configure any development environment you can follow the links on the desktop. We recommend a Large VM size for SQL and Web development and Extra-Large VM size for SharePoint development. Privacy note: This image has been preconfigured for Windows Azure, including enabling the Visual Studio Experience Improvement Program for Visual Studio, which can be disabled.”

Visit Windows Azure Portal ( And login to Management Portal

Go to Azure Virtual Machine and click “New” menus to “Compute”, “Virtual Machine” Creating Windows Azure Virtual Image Gallery.


Virtual Machine image Selection page, ALL on the left menu and scroll to find the Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 from the list. Click the arrow to continue. (don’t Select SharePoint Server 2013 Trail)

You can also select VS Professional 2013 / Premium 2013 depending on your requirements. All 3 VS images contain SharePoint Server 2013 with SQL Express edition.


By default Azure offer you to select Large Instance VM, based on my experience if you select Medium Instance, the server performance is reasonable. If need good response time and performance select Large instance.

Finally, you need to provide user name and password so that you log into the machine with Remote Desktop given user name and password.


Next step to Create a new cloud service for virtual machine. (if you want to logically group the server for load balancing and assign DNS name our VM you need to have cloud services, when you create another SharePoint Server 2013 you select same cloud service and load balance)

Select Affinity Group or Data center region (my case is Singapore I created Affinity group)

Select Storage account if you have one, else select create automatic.

Availability set is NONE


In order to access SharePoint Server 2013 from outside you need to configure the public endpoints to allow connections to Windows Azure data center.

Go to Endpoints and Enter Name for the endpoint “Public Port” and Select TCP protocol and private port is 80.


Virtual machine provisioning will take a few minutes, (status change from provisioning, starting and running) once the process is completed. Please click “Connect” on bottom the screen to initiate a remote desktop session for new virtual machine.


Following Software’s Pre-Installed by defaults

· Visual Studio Ultimate 2013

· SharePoint Server 2013 trail version

· SQL Express 2012 (Software binary inside)

· SharePoint configuration links

· Configuration PowerShell script to do jump start


When you click visual studio link, it will take few minutes to configure….


Once configuration is done, you can see VS 2013 lunch successfully J


Next steps is to configure SQL Express server, Click “Configure Developer Desktop Folder, Scripts and Select file


Please note that SQL Express 2012 installation do not come with SQL Setup 2012 Express Management Studio. You need to download and install this software, in order to do that you will to change the security settings in Internet Explorer.

To validate the SQL Express 2012 installation, launch your Visual Studio, Server Explore and Add Connection, enter (local)\SQLEXPRESS on server name text box and click Test Connection.


Now we successfully Installed and verify the SQL Express connection.

Next step to configure SharePoint Server 2013, Click “Configure Developer Desktop Folder, Scripts and Select ConfigureSharePointFarm.ps1 file “ConfigureSharePointFarmInDomain.ps1”

Local Account Name : Your Account Name

Password: <your password>

Which take several minute to complete the configuration, Once configuration completed system automatically launch SharePoint Portal J



The default port for SharePoint Central Administration is 11111, the above screenshots show CA and Default SharePoint Web Application.


Now lets create and deploy Simple application to SharePoint 2013, Create “App for SharePoint 2013” Project name VS2013SPAPPS


Select “SharePoint-hosted” apps options and click Finish.


Add new item and select “List”


MyList and select Default (Custom List) Option


Create following additional columns and select Required column

· Home Address Street

· Home Address City

· Home Address State or Province

· Mobile Number

· Home Phone


Select Debug and Start Debugging to test your new app. Wait for installation to complete. Important Note: do not use F5 as it may cause problems.


Now you can see that the My List is default SharePoint functionality for presenting the list and adding/updating items is fully functional


Now in few mints we can use this for development/evaluation purposes in a nice isolated and hosted environment. Enjoy your development :-)