A new feature of SharePoint 2010 is that you can now install it on a client operating system. Don’t.
Installing SharePoint 2010 on Windows 7, or any other client OS, is a stupid idea, and I’ll tell you why, in simple bullet point items.
I’ll advance the conclusion to this post, so you know what the alternative is. Use a VM and install a proper server OS. There are absolutely no reasons why you shouldn’t. The software is free or has evaluation licenses, you need massive hardware to run SP2010 in any case, and the learning curve is about as gentle as the mountains of Denmark (which are, and this is absolutely true, no higher than 600 feet at their, well, peaks).
Back to the matter at hand, the six reasons, in no particular order, why installing SharePoint 2010 in Windows 7 is a stupid idea.
- SharePoint is a server technology, built to utilize server features that are not available on client operating systems.
While you may be able to get SharePoint up and running, you wont be able to evaluate or use many of the really cool features.
- SharePoint installs services that opens security-sensitive features on your computer
In a server environment, security people know what’s going on and can prevent problems. On your laptop, you may not be as vigilant. A VM doesn’t need access to the Internet at all, and it’s very easy to prevent or limit such access.
- For evaluation purposes or lab work, your environment will likely have to be rebuilt several times
Uninstalling SharePoint is a hassle, especially if you have a failed environment. Deleting a VM you’re no longer using takes about 5 seconds.
- You cannot take snapshots of a physical machine
Prior to testing new features or making big changes to your environment, it is a good idea to back everything up. That takes another 10 seconds with a VM snapshot but backing up a physical machine takes far longer.
- You cannot test multi-server features
Doing farm installations opens up new features that are not possible on a single server setup. For example, load balancing is not possible, nor is testing inter-server communications or distributing services on different servers.
- You cannot move your SharePoint 2010 installation from a physical machine
A major benefit of VMs is that everything you need to run the server is stored in a single folder. This is a major advantage if you need to reinstall or change your physical host.
I think it was Jeremy Thake who said previously what best sums up the reasons for and against using SharePoint on a client operating system, and I paraphrase this from memory:
It’s been possible, while not supported, to install SharePoint 2007 on a client OS for a long time, but yet, very few developers are doing so.
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