July 23, 2012

Up and Running with SharePoint 2013!

As you are all hopefully well aware, the SharePoint 2013 Release Candidate was made available for public beta testing last Monday! Along with the rest of the Office suite, this is part of a huge transition for Microsoft, which suddenly has a renewed focus on mobility, the cloud, and usability. I am very excited to learn as much as I can about the new platform; there are already some great online resources available, and SharePoint Saturday NYC is coming up in just a few days. But of course, the best way to learn about SharePoint 2013 is to get hands-on with it. So this weekend I finally made the time to build my first SP2013 virtual machine.

It's alive!!!!!!!

There are a few things worth noting about the setup, and some helpful guides already published online, so I wanted to call them out in the hopes that they'll help some of you out as they did for me.

First off, SharePoint 2013 (or at least the RC) CAN'T be installed on Windows 8! I initially tried this without reading anything ahead of time because I was excited to experience the wonders of Office 2013 on Windows 8 in addition to all the SharePoint goodness, but hit a dead-end as soon as I tried to start the SharePoint installation. Well, at least now I have a Windows 8 VM as well!

The full list of Microsoft's hardware and software suggestions/requirements for SharePoint 2013 is located here. Luckily, my laptop just barely meets the minimum requirements (4 processor cores, 8GB RAM).
As far as the installation goes, there are a few great resources already online. You'll get the most of one or another depending on what you use for virtualization:

  • For Hyper-V (naturally), Microsoft has produced this official guide, which isn't incredibly detailed and uses Windows Server 2008.
  • For Oracle Virtual BoxShail Chauhan has put together a very nice step-by-step guide for building the SharePoint 2013 environment from scratch. He uses the Windows Server 2012 RC, which is what I wanted.
  • I use VMWare Workstation 8, and still got the most out of using Shail's guide for everything post-OS installation. When creating the VM, I selected Windows Server 2008 but then mounted the 2012 ISO file and had no problems. The only hiccup occurred when I installed VMWare Tools and the screen went black after the video drivers were installed. Luckily, Gus Fraser's post gave me the easy fix - the "Accelerate 3D graphics" setting must be enabled on the VM.

There are SO many changes and enhancements in SharePoint 2013 that I've had a hard time keeping up with all the blog posts so far, so now that I'm up-and-running I can't wait to start experimenting myself and learning about all the news things it has to offer. I hope you'll join me!

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