Visual Studio 2012 or 2010 for SharePoint 2010 Development?

A recurring question that has come up is regarding which version & flavour of Visual Studio can and should be used for SharePoint- we are at a point where SP 2013 is coming on strong but many, many clients are going to be locked into SP 2010 for a while yet. Obviously an investment in software like Visual Studio should be made with the best balance of future-proofing and low cost possible. This post seeks to offer some advice on that.

The quick answer is:
-you can develop for SP 2010 using VS 2012, there project templates etc. that are geared for both version in VS 2012.
-you can develop for SP 2013 using VS 2010, however there’s going to be loose ends. Upgrading your existing VS 2010 solutions to VS 2012 is however not that hard.

The next question you will likely have is, which flavour of Visual Studio to get – Ultimate with MSDN, Premium with MSDN, Test Professional, Professional with MSDN, or Professional.

Version compare here: I would see Visual Studio Professional 2012 being a good fit for most common scenarios, but whether you use Pro or move up to Premium would depend on if you need the following Premium features:

–          PowerPoint Storyboarding
–          Team Foundation Service

In general, the big upsell when going up the feature matrix ladder is when you are working on hardcore software development in big teams, using Agile development processes, complex unit testing etc.

The hard requirement of having Visual Studio installed on a non-production SharePoint server install is pretty much standard, until you go to a SharePoint 2013 development model which is based on more open standards and Apps. Depending on your licensing provisions available (e.g. you’re in Government or Education), you may have SharePoint CAL’s covered to create such an environment – or, and for a variety of other reasons, you might want to consider an MSDN subscription. An MSDN subscription also would enable the aforementioned Team Foundation Service hosted source code option.

A fleshed-out dev environment is a must, custom code should never see the light of day on a production server until tested, there is always potential for irreparable damage to production systems when it comes to custom dev. Here are four great options for setting up a SharePoint development environment in the cloud.

SharePoint dev is sometimes maddeningly complex as the already complex front-end side of SP is just the tip of iceberg. The plumbing underneath is massive. Although there is quite a bit of flexibility with how you approach it, you definitely need to get your shop tooled up in a specific pattern, and Visual Studio is just one component. Evaluating whether or not it even makes practical sense to do such work in-house or to contract out is a big jigsaw puzzle too.  Fortunately there is a good degree

Cloud SharePoint for Developers : Office 365, Azure, Amazon AWS & CloudShare

Here’s a quick round up of our four top picks for getting your SharePoint Development going on in the cloud. Why develop in the cloud instead of perhaps using a local dedicated or virtual development environment?    Here’s ten reasons:

1. Scalable Add as many machines as you need.
2. Open and Flexible Choose development platform and programming model.
3. Secure Secure and durable technology platform with industry-recognized certifications and audits.
4. Fast Deployment Time Deploy applications without waiting for hardware to arrive.
5. Highly Available Highly reliable services and multiple fault-tolerant Availability Zones.
6. Quickly Adjust to Business Change: Running SharePoint in the Cloud allows you to add capacity as needed, without long lead time. You can easily scale up, or down, as business demands change. Stay ahead of the curve by adjusting capacity in minutes and hours, not days or weeks.
7. No New Hardware to Buy: All four options offer low, pay-as-you-go pricing, which eliminates hardware acquisition costs and allows you to pay only for the capacity you need. We do all of the hardware management, so you can focus on higher-value activities than replacing hard drives.
8. Shift Capital Expense to Operating Expense: While reducing both. You no longer need to plan, procure, manage, and depreciate your IT infrastructure.  You can replace large up-front expenses with more predictable costs that scale with your business.
9. Utilize Existing Skills and Software: Leverage your existing investments in IT skills and software assets, enabling your company to roll out new applications more quickly.
10. Low Cost Pay only for cloud resources used.

SharePoint Development on Office 365

Use an Office 365 Developer Site as a development and testing environment to shorten your setup time and start creating, testing, and deploying your apps for Office and SharePoint. Deploy the “Napa” Office 365 Development Tools to this preconfigured SharePoint site and you also get a head start on developing SharePoint-hosted apps, and apps for Office documents and mail items, without installing Visual Studio 2012 and Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012 on your development computer. With an Office 365 Developer Site, you get an isolated app domain for SharePoint-hosted apps, preconfigured to use OAuth, so that you can use the Windows Azure Access Control Service (ACS) for authenticating and authorizing provider-hosted apps for SharePoint that are deployed to this site.

Next steps

After you have a development environment and an Office 365 Developer Site, you can start creating apps for Office and SharePoint.

Next steps for working with “Napa” Office 365 Development Tools

Next steps for working with apps for SharePoint

Additional resources

SharePoint Development on Azure

Microsoft SharePoint Server provides rich deployment flexibility, which can help organizations determine the right deployment scenarios to align with their business needs and objectives. Hosted and managed in the cloud, the Windows Azure Virtual Machines offering provides complete, reliable, and available infrastructure to support various on-demand application and database workloads, such as Microsoft SQL Server and SharePoint deployments.

While Windows Azure Virtual Machines support multiple workloads, this paper focuses on SharePoint deployments. Windows Azure Virtual Machines enable organizations to create and manage their SharePoint infrastructure quickly—provisioning and accessing nearly any host universally. It allows full control and management over processors, RAM, CPU ranges, and other resources of SharePoint virtual machines (VMs).

Windows Azure Virtual Machines mitigate the need for hardware, so organizations can turn attention from handling high upfront cost and complexity to building and managing infrastructure at scale. This means that they can innovate, experiment, and iterate in hours—as opposed to days and weeks with traditional deployments.

Step-by-Step: Build a FREE SharePoint 2013 Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services


The following is required to complete this step-by-step guide:

  • A Windows Azure subscription with the Virtual Machines Preview enabled.   DO IT: Sign up for a FREE Trial of Windows Azure   NOTE: When activating your FREE Trial for Windows Azure, you will be prompted for credit card information.  This information is used only to validate your identity and your credit card will not be charged, unless you explicitly convert your FREE Trial account to a paid subscription at a later point in time.
  • Completion of the Getting Started tasks in the following article:   DO IT: Getting Started with Servers in the Cloud
  • This step-by-step guide assumes that the reader is already somewhat familiar with configuring Windows Server Active Directory, SQL Server and SharePoint Server in an on-premise installation. This guide focuses on the unique aspects associated with configuring these components on the Windows Azure cloud platform.

Additional Resources:
How to: Deploy SharePoint Server 2010 on Azure
SharePoint 2013 on Azure Infrastructure

SharePoint Development on Amazon Web Services

Amazon EC2 running Windows Server is a secure and dependable environment for customers to deploy Microsoft SharePoint quickly and cost  effectively. The Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance program  allows Microsoft volume license customers to use their existing Windows Server applications licenses, including SharePoint Server, on AWS  without paying any additional Microsoft licensing fees. Take advantage of the benefits that the AWS Cloud offers such as pay-as-you-go pricing,  scalability, and data integrity to run your SharePoint workloads today.

The Get Started section below has more detail about all of the available technologies and resources for Microsoft on AWS, including pricing,  documentation, whitepapers, templates and sample code. If you have questions about SharePoint on AWS please visit the FAQ page for more info.

Get Started with AWS for Free
Sign Up Now »

AWS Free Tier includes 750 hours of Linux or Windows Micro Instances each month for one year. To stay within the Free Tier, use only EC2 Micro instances.

View AWS Free Tier Details »

Additional Resources

Microsoft and AWS     Overview of the relationship between the Microsoft and AWS, with technical resources, case studies, videos and more.

>     Learn More

Windows on the Amazon Cloud     Learn about pricing on Amazon EC2 for Windows Server and SQL Server, or find out about the Free Tier.

>     Learn More

SharePoint Reference Architecture White Paper     General concepts and technical guidance for setting up and running a SharePoint Server farm on AWS.

>     Read White Paper

Security for the Microsoft Applications on AWS White Paper Guidance, best practices, and available controls and capabilities within the AWS platform to run Windows Server-based applications securely on the AWS cloud.

Read White Paper

SharePoint Development on CloudShare

CloudShare provides an unmatched solution for SharePoint development and testing. Build a single server or multi-server SharePoint farm in minutes. With a few clicks, you can collaborate with other developers, demo for prospects, and deploy your solution to a production farm.

  • Explore the full functionality of SharePoint
  • Develop on virtual machines with sole server administration access
  • Select from development templates pre-configured with Visual Studio, Office, and various versions of SharePoint
  • Leverage tools including Team Foundation Server to store your solution code
  • Share your SharePoint solution across your organization

Try now using these top templates

SharePoint 2010 with SSRS 2012›
SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Small Farm›
SharePoint 2010 with Project Server›

CloudShare Free  Trial›


Each of these services has it’s strong points. With Microsoft’s Azure offering now set to price match against Amazon AWS, things are really heating up. CloudShare is an fantastic company with a super-simple deployment model – it’s possibly the simplest way to roll out a new development scenario.  Office 365 is rock solid, if you don’t need to actually manipulate server-side stuff and are focused on the Apps model.  I’m always interested to hear from other developers on their experiences with these different offerings.

Sample Browser App for Windows

I love me some All-in-one-Code Framework. Concise, useful, organized examples of code from Microsoft’ers that help you paddle fast enough to keep up with ye olde wave of acronyms. They  are responsive and community-oriented; if you request an example and there is a need for it, they will probably publish it for you.  I have posted previously about the effort here , which was focused on the Codeplex project and desktop application.

They now have a Windows App for exploring the latest updates:




Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework new update is out

New (Oct.25 2012) release of the Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework is out.

Lots of new Windows Phone 8 samples, an Enterprise Sales Dashboard for Windows 8, SharePoint 2013 Custom Geolocation field type with Client side rendering, a Microsoft Surface Sample screen saver, and more..


Developers love code samples. Samples often serve as the starting point for many developers to learn a new technology. They also provide straightforward solutions and helpful references when we as developers need to solve tough programming tasks. Some developers even live by code samples.

In partnership with Visual Studio Product Team and MSDN Samples Gallery Team, Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework releases Sample Browser Visual Studio Extension for Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2010 – an effort to evolve the code sample use experience. You can search and download 3500+ Microsoft official code samples and community samples, including over 700 Windows 8 samples and more than 1000 All-In-One Code Framework customer-driven code samples. With its integrated sample search, flexible sample download and more than ten useful features designed for easier access and management of code samples, we hope to put the power of tens of thousands of code samples at developers’ fingertips.


Features & Benefits

  • Integrated and Rich Sample Search Experience

Sample Browser Visual Studio Extension is integrated with Visual Studio Quick Launch Bar, Toolbar, Code Editor and File Menu. It gives you quicker access to samples when you are writing code in Visual Studio. A rich set of sample search conditions allows you to filter search results by language, owner, technology and the targeting Visual Studio version.

  • Integrated and Flexible Sample Download Experience

The Sample Browser Visual Studio Extension is integrated with the built-in support of downloading online samples in Visual Studio 2012. Code samples downloaded in Sample Browser Visual Studio Extension are visible to the built-in code sample feature in Visual Studio 2012. Vice versa.

Beyond that, Sample Browser Visual Studio Extension provides additional benefits to developers. Developers can enjoy theflexibility in downloading and managing code samples. By multi-selecting sample search results, and clicking a simple download button, you get your wanted code samples.

  • Integrated Look and Feel

Sample Browser Visual Studio Extension is integrated with the Visual Studio theme colors. It supports both light and dark themes.

Large collection of Free Microsoft eBooks for you, including: SharePoint, Visual Studio, Windows Phone, Windows 8, Office 365, Office 2010, SQL Server 2012, Azure, and more.

Eric Ligman has assembled a nice little collection of free Microsoft ebook downloads:

Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

Programming Windows 8 Apps

Programming Windows Phone 7

643352_win Phone.indd

Programming Windows Phone 7 (Special Excerpt 2)

Office 365 – Connect and Collaborate virtually anywhere, anytime

Microsoft Office 2010 First Look

Security and Privacy for Microsoft Office 2010 Users


Getting started with
Microsoft Office 2010 – For IT Professionals


Planning guide for Microsoft Office 2010 – For IT professionals


Deployment guide for Microsoft Office 2010 – For IT professionals


Operations guide for Microsoft Office 2010 – For IT professionals


Technical reference for Microsoft Office 2010 – For IT professionals


Understanding Microsoft Virtualization R2 Solutions


Introducing Windows Server 2012


Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012


Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

Configure Kerberos Authentication for SharePoint 2010 Products

Business continuity management for SharePoint Server 2010

Deployment guide for SharePoint Server 2010

Get started with SharePoint Server 2010

Governance guide for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

Profile synchronization guide for SharePoint Server 2010

Remote BLOB storage for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

Technical reference for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

Upgrading to SharePoint Server 2010


Getting Started with SharePoint Server 2010


Planning guide for sites and solutions for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Part 1


Planning guide for sites and solutions for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Part 2


Planning guide for server farms and environments for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010


Capacity planning for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Tabular Modeling

Microsoft SQL Server AlwaysOn Solutions Guide for High Availability and Disaster Recovery

Transact-SQL Data Manipulation Language (DML) Reference

QuickStart: Learn DAX Basics in 30 Minutes

SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Data Mining

Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services Multidimensional Performance and Operations Guide

Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) Reference

SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Technical Guide

Backup and Restore of SQL Server Databases

SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Multidimensional Modeling

Master Data Services Capacity Guidelines

In The Classroom - Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling

In The Classroom - Free Tools

Free Tools in the Classroom

In The Classroom - Movie Maker

Windows Live Movie Maker in the Classroom

In The Classroom - Windows 7

Windows 7 in the Classroom

In The Classroom - Web Apps

Microsoft Office Web Apps Teaching Guide

In The Classroom - Office

Microsoft Office in the Classroom

Critical Thinking - In The Classroom

Developing Critical Thinking through Web Research Skills

In The Classroom - Bing

Bing in the Classroom

Moving Applications to the Cloud, 2nd Edition

Windows Azure Prescriptive Guidance

Windows Azure Service Bus Reference

Intro to ASP.NET MVC 4 with Visual Studio (Beta)

Deploying an ASP.NET Web Application to a Hosting Provider using Visual Studio

Getting Started with ASP.NET 4.5 Web Forms (Beta)

Introducing ASP.NET Web Pages 2


Own Your Future

W7PUG Cover-free

Windows 7 Power Users Guide


Deploying Windows 7 Essential Guidance


Welcome to Windows 7

What You Can Do Before You Call Tech Support (Windows 7)

Visual Studio 2010 – The project type is not supported by this installation.

I came back to a VS 2010 C# SharePoint project after a while and found it wouldn’t open the project.

The error: The project type is not supported by this installation.

This error generally means that the project type you are trying to open is not supported in that Visual Studio Installation. 🙂 Reasons this situation could come about is an improper sequence of Visual Studio add-on installs/patching, or simply having built the project on one VS install and opening it on another.


1. Check whether the VS2010 product you installed supports web development

Please see:
For VS2010 Express products:

For VS1010 retail products:
(Expand the node of “Product Feature”)

2. If you’re running VS2010 retail products Professional edition, Premium Edition, check Help Menu > About Microsoft Visual Studio > Installed products? Please check whether “Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2010” has been installed properly.

3. Delete the
If those 2 steps fail to yield a result, do what I did – open the Visual Studio project file .csproj for example in notepad, remove the values in the node, save and open again.

So, (in my project), I deleted the GUID values from the following node:


so it became:

<ProjectTypeGuids></ProjectTypeGuids> the file and open project again in Visual Studio. Project subsequently works.

Rename Team Foundation Server 2010 Team Project

So you plunk in a name for a new Team Foundation project in Visual Studio’s team explorer, and at some point thereafter have a requirement to change the name of the project.

Short and long of it- as far as my look-see has taken me, you can’t:

You can however delete and start from scratch:

  1. Open the Visual Studio 2010 Command Prompt window (found under Start > All Programs > Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 > Visual Studio Tools )
  2. Run the TFSDeleteProject utility using the following command line. TFSDeleteProject /Collection:<Collection Name> <YourTeamProjectName>
  3. Confirm delete by pressing Y and then press ENTER.

Full syntax is as follows:

Usage: TfsDeleteProject [/q] [/force] [/excludewss] /collection:<url> <team project name>

Deletes the Team Project from Team Foundation. To use this command, you must bea member of either the Team Foundation Server Administrators group or a member of the Project Administrators group for the project you are deleting. Use this command with caution because after deleting the team project it cannot be recovered.

[/q] – Do not prompt for confirmation.
   [/force] – Continue even if some data cannot be deleted.
  [/excludewss] – Exclude the project’s SharePoint site when deleting the project. This option will leave site intact so that it remains for other projects that may be using it.
  /collection:<url> – The url for a Team Project Collection.
   <team project name> – The name of the project. Use quotes if there are spacesin the name.

TFS Power Tools for Visual Studio

The Team Foundation Server Power Tools for Visual Studio is a free add-on for VS 2010. If you are planning on or are currently working with TFS 2010, this is a must-have:
Alerts Explorer
A plug-in to Visual Studio, Alerts Explorer provides a graphical user interface that supports flexible subscription of alerts based on check-in, work item change, or build completion.
Team Foundation Server Backups
The tool can schedule backups for the following databases that your deployment of Team Foundation Server uses:
  • the configuration database
  • the database for each team project collection
  • the databases that Team Foundation Server uses in conjunction with SharePoint Products, if your deployment includes integration with SharePoint Products
  • the databases that Team Foundation Server uses in conjunction with SQL Server Reporting Services, if your deployment includes reports
By using the restore wizard included with this tool, you can restore your entire deployment to new hardware, or selectively restore team project collections to an earlier point in time.
Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 Best Practices Analyzer
To launch the Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 Best Practices Analyzer, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 Power Tools, point to Microsoft Visual Studio Best Practices Analyzer, and then click TfsBpa.exe.
Updated! A diagnostic tool with a graphical user interface that you can use to perform the following actions:
  • Verify that the deployment for Team Foundation Server is configured according to recommended best practices
  • Identify the source of problems in an unhealthy deployment.
  • Take a snapshot of the configuration of a deployment.
  • Obtain usage data about the volume of data stored or accessed in the past 14 days. Includes specific information about database tables that have a tendency to grow and that may need to be reduced in size.
Custom Check-in Policy Pack 
A supplemental set of four custom check-in policies to use to enforce software development practices during the check-in process.
Process Editor
An add-in to the Tools menu, the Process Editor provides a graphical user interface for editing Team Foundation Server process templates inside the Visual Studio IDE. This tool also provides a GUI for viewing the values assigned to all fields defined in a project collection.
Team Explorer Enhancements
Updated! This tool provides additional Visual Studio menu options and functions to support finding files under version control by status or wildcard, opening a folder using Windows Explorer from the Source Control Explorer context menu, and labeling files and folders in Source Control Explorer.  New in this release is the ability to easily search for work items and be able to easily rollback changes in version control.
Team Foundation Power Tool (TFPT.EXE) Tool
Updated! A command line tool that you can use to work with files and directories under version control, team projects, and work items. Some commands display a graphical user interface when run.
Team Members
An add-in to Team Explorer, this tool allows you to organize users into sub-teams and access a number of collaborative tools, such as IM and email, sharing of queries and links, and downloading and installation of custom Team Foundation components.
Windows PowerShell Cmdlets for Visual Studio Team System Team Foundation Server
This tool provides a Windows PowerShell interface that supports basic version control commands and a pipeline and glue to enable scripting.
Windows Shell Extensions
Updated! This tool provides integration with Windows Explorer and the common file dialogs. With this integration, you can perform many source control operations without having to run Visual Studio or a Team Foundation command-line tool.
Work Item Templates
This tool provides an add-in to the Team menu and a folder under each team project node in Team Explorer. With this tool, you can create, apply, capture, set, and organize default work item templates.
Test Attachment Cleaner
With the introduction of Visual Studio Test Professional 2010 & Visual Studio Premium/Ultimate 2010, testers can author manual and automated Test cases, configure the different diagnostic data collectors (as part of Test Settings), associate the Test Settings with Test Plan/Suites and then execute these test cases as part of Test Runs. The execution of a Test Run (whether automated or manual) generates a bunch of diagnostic data, which may be captured either automatically by the system or manually by the tester. This diagnostic data is critical in eliminating the “no repro” bug scenarios between the testers and developers. However, the downside of this rich diagnostic data captures is that the system/user generated diagnostic data, over a period of time, can grow at a rapid pace and start taking up database space.
In Visual Studio 2010, the database administrator has little or no control over what data gets attached as part of Test Runs. For example, she has no policy settings to limit the size of the data capture, or how long to hold the data before initiating a cleanup. The “Test Attachment Cleaner” addresses these issues by:
  1. Determining which set of diagnostic captures is taking up how much space AND
  2. Reclaiming the space for runs which are no longer relevant from business perspective.

Download TFS Power tools here: