- Development Environment: where you install visual studio for developing apps. For your information for developing SharePoint apps you don’t need a SharePoint server. You can develop apps in your windows 7/8 environment.
- Deployment Environment: where you can run your apps for testing/debugging. Surely this will be a SharePoint system.
Based on the development and deployment environment integration, there are two ways you can setup your apps development environment:
On-Premises Development Environment
In this setup, you install the development and deployment in the same server. This is kind of manual process of setting up your SharePoint server to work as apps hosting server. I would not like to recommend you for this setup unless you have a specific reason. You can find more details on how to setup your on-premises development environment by following the MSDN link on ‘How to: Set up an on-premises development environment for apps for SharePoint’. The concept is shown below:
Figure 1: On-Premises setup
Basically in he on-premises setup, you develop your own SharePoint server and then prepare it for publishing hub for SharePoint apps. You will develop apps in your development pc and then deploy in the on-premises SharePoint server.
Office 365 based development EnvironmentIn this setup the development environment is on-premises but the deployment environment is office 365. You can get your own deployment environment by signing up for office 365 developer site. You can find details on how to sign up for office 365 developer site from MSDN ‘Sign Up for an Office 365 Developer Site’. The concept of this environment is shown below:
In the Office 365 development environment setup, you will develop in your own pc and then deploy in Office 365 developer site to test/debug. Once you are done with your development and want to publish it, you can do so by publishing in the office app market.
Step by Step Instructions on Setting up Office 365 based Development Environment
You can find more details of how to setup the development environment from the link ‘Get Started developing apps for SharePoint’. But I’ve put the details below, in more precise steps:
- Step 1: Sign up for office 365 developer site as instructed here: ‘Sign Up for an Office 365 Developer Site’
- Step 2: Once you finish signup, please navigate to the URL(if you are not already redirected), https://portal.microsoftonline.com/default.aspx. then login with your office365 user id.
- Step 3: From the link https://portal.microsoftonline.com/default.aspx, please click ‘Build Apps on the developer site.’ link as shown in the image below:
- Step 4: Now you will be landed to the SharePoint developer site and from the site click the tile ‘Get tools to build apps’ as shown below:
- Step 5: On the details page install ‘Napa – office 365 developer tools’.
- Step 6: Once installation is finished, click ‘Site contents’ from left side and then launch the app “Napa – office 365 developer tools’ by clicking as shown below:
- Step 7: Once the app launches, you can add the new SharePoint app project by clicking link’ Add New Project’ as shown below:
- Step 8: Once the project created you will be provided in-browser IDE like development environment. However you can lunch the project in Visual Studio by clicking the icon ‘Open in Visual Studio’ as shown below. This will install necessary tools to run the project.