Tools of a SharePoint Consultant – the 2010 edition

Posted on 6/22/2010 @ 10:43 AM in #SharePoint by | Feedback | 776 views

A long time ago, I had published a blogpost - “Tools of a SharePoint consultant”. Well, that article was so 2007. So, per one of the commenter's suggestion, here is an updated edition … drumrolll….. !!


1. Still definitely virtualize: Unless you are a masochist, you will end up virtualizing. Even within Virtualizing there are plenty of choices. I personally like to use VMWare Workstation 7.5 which I feel is a lot better than Hyper-V. Virtual PC is not a choice, since it won’t run SP2010 (64bit only). Here is a convincing screenshot -

2.  A Powerful machine: I have, a laptop (Lenovo W510), with 16GB RAM, and Dual SSD. And a desktop with SATA3 SSDs and 24GB of RAM. I know it’s a bit extreme as of today (06/22/2010), but DEFINITELY Get an SSD, and DO NOT settle for < 8GB RAM. Preferably 12GB at least. Go for Core i7 processors.

3. Operating System: 64 bit Windows 7 on the host. I love windows 7, it’s awesome, smooth, stable, sexy. ‘nuff said! Has to be 64 bit though to access to gobs of RAM you will need.

4. The Virtual Machine: Pls refer my book, chapter 1, for the VM and how I built it. While you can develop for SP2010 on Win7, I still prefer to go Win2k8.

5. SharePoint Designer: Is a lot better now in the 2010 frame. Still icky sometimes, but way better than 2007.

6. And everything else mentioned hereA SharePoint Developer’s toolchest.

Sound off but keep it civil:

Older comments..

On 6/22/2010 12:47:44 PM Rob Garrett said ..
Dude, it's time to think cloud - Amazon can now host a development server with better spec than you'll ever get on your laptop VM, for a fraction of the price you pay for a high end machine. The best part is that you only pay for what you use, so turn it off when going to bed and it'll cost you very little. Better yet, factor the cost into your hourly fee and then you don't need to lug around a huge laptop.

On 6/22/2010 5:34:37 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Admittedly, I haven't tried Amazon a lot, but I've heard amazing things about it. But, sometimes, or rather let me say, most of the time, internet connectivity is an issue. Either it is too crappy, or non-existent - especially if you travel. Like right now :)

So, there is a definite plus to have your own heavy duty setup .. still.

That said, I am QUITE certain that the cloud computing is a certain game changer.

On 6/23/2010 2:26:59 AM Ali Robertson said ..
Sahil, what on earth are you doing without a MyFi or 3G? There's your SharePoint dev "must"!

On 6/23/2010 5:46:17 AM Sahil Malik said ..
Yup that too. MyFi etc. are hella nice to have. But y'know where do you stop? I say an iPad is a great SharePoint tool, because on long flights with the air dominatrix, uhh I mean air hostess and their bad attitude, the iPad is hella nice to watch SP Videos on.

On 6/24/2010 3:15:42 AM Mohan Taneja said ..
I use Win 2008 R2 Hyper V on a Server. Since Servers do not have Audio Card, use a Virtual Sound Card and that way when on logged in remotely from a laptop, I can hear sound also from Browser or other applications.

On 7/10/2010 7:11:14 AM Anthony said ..
Sahil. Looks like you have beefed up your desktop spec since writing your book. What's it gonna be, 8 gig of RAM or 24? I'm being facetious. I wanted to ask you though, your RAID-0 config. What strip size is best for VMing? Are the performance improvements worth it? BTW, nice book thus far, ..only up tp chap3.

On 7/10/2010 8:35:29 PM Sahil Malik said ..
I did. 24G RAM, SATA3 SSD. :)

Thanks! Glad you like the book.

On 7/21/2010 4:10:05 AM Bjørn said ..

Here's my dev rig these days. To afford it, I had to bump my hourly rate from $200 to $203.

Yes, EC2 will be a game changer, which is why we only use that at the academy :-)


On 7/21/2010 4:19:26 AM Sahil Malik said ..
Looks nice, but looks a little tight on RAM. no? How much RAM do you have?

On 8/10/2010 4:39:33 AM mguadarrama said ..
ei Shail,

which desktop have you that allow 24gb ram???


PD: your book, awesome!