Here are some suggestions of how you can get the first touch on WSS.
Here might be supplemented with a list of installation requirement.
Running WSS from Citrix server on the cloud:
You cannot build WSS stuff on that Citrix server, but you can play a little around with WSS Central Administration (WSS3.0), the Office SharePoint Designer 2007 and MOSS 2007.
Also the whole Office suite 2007 is available for a test drive.
Get started: http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/trynow.mspx
Running WSS from a Virtual PC:
Getting a local development environment is rather difficult due to WSS only installs on a server.
Fire up WSS on a Virtual PC:
Seems like the easiest way is to run WSS on a server in a VPC image. You can download one here:
Note: The image (C:\WSSVPC\WSS-V7.vmc) expires by the end of 2008.
The VPC image needs Virtual PC 2007 to run. Download it from here:
With Virtual PC installed doubleclick on WSS-V7.vmc in order to fire up the Win2k3 server.
Credentials for logging in on the server is written on the desktop of the server before anyone has logged on. User: Administrator. Password: P2ssw0rd.
Press <Alt gr + del> for sending <ctlr + alt + del> to the virtual PC or reach it from the menu of the running instance.
After logging in goto Control Panel – Regional Settings and change the keyboard to your national keyboard. It is by default set to English US. You need to log out and in again in order for it to take effect.
Virtual PC settings:
You might want to be able to browse WSS sites from your local PC. Press Settings on the Virtual PC Console.
Change the Adapter 1 to the network card you are using for accessing your internet with:
You should now be able to browse to the WSS Central Admin on the server from your local PC: http://spvm:8080/default.aspx
You might also want to copy files from/to the Virtual PC.
Browse to a folder on you local PC (E:\WSSVPC\Shared\ in this case) and map it to a drive on the Virtual PC (W: in this case):
Extending Visual Studio
Use WSPBuilder (Sharepoint Solution Package Builder) for creating more xml templates and for building a setup file for a feature. Download it here.
Extensions for Sharepoint Services 1.2
Getting a local development environment:
Before you locally can build a WSS project in Visual Studio on your local workstation you need to copy some folders and dll’s from the server, where you have WSS installed.
First make a shortcut to Web Server Extension 12 directory since this is where a lot of the WSS files are installed into. I.e. see https://rasor.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/09-05-2008_22-19-11.png
This makes it shorter for me to write and you can put it in a bat file.
SET 12Hive=%ProgramFiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12
REM Copy files on the VPC 12Hive to the VPC share drive (W: on above fig), so you can map following on your local PC:
SET VPC12Hive=E:\WSSVPC\Shared\web server extensions\12
SET MSVS=%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0
REM Or maybe VS2k5: SET MSVS=%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 8
Enable youself to build Web Parts for WSS locally. But you can also build them on the VPC since the image has Visual Studio 2005 installed.
See: http://www.myfatblog.co.uk/?p=35 and http://zgud.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!76596824C411964C!142.entry
Four files are in the %12Hive%\ISAPI on the VPC and Two files is in the GAC on the VPC. Copy those two files to the %12Hive%\ISAPI on the VPC:
copy %windir%\assembly\GAC_MSIL\Microsoft.SharePoint.WorkflowActions.intl\22.214.171.124__71e9bce111e9429c\microsoft.sharepoint.WorkflowActions.intl.dll *.* %12Hive%\ISAPI /I /K
copy %windir%\assembly\GAC_MSIL\Microsoft.SharePoint.WorkflowActions.intl.resources\126.96.36.199__71e9bce111e9429c\microsoft.SharePoint.workflowactions.intl.resources.dll *.* %12Hive%\ISAPI /I /K
You can now copy the six WSS isapi dlls from the VPC to your local PC:
xcopy %VPC12Hive%\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint*.* %12Hive%\ISAPI /I /K
Drag and drop those files to your local GAC (copy %windir%\assembly)
Enable intellisence on WSS xml files.
Follwing xcopy doen’t seem to work on my PC, so you can do the copy by hand
xcopy “%VPC12Hive%\TEMPLATE\XML\wss.xsd” “%12Hive%\TEMPLATE\XML” /I /K /T
You also need a ref to the schema in Visual Studio:
Edit C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Xml\Schemas\catalog.xml and add the <Schema/> tag:
<SchemaCatalog xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/xsd/catalog"> <Schema href="file://C:/Program Files/Common Files/Microsoft Shared/web server extensions/12/TEMPLATE/XML/wss.xsd" targetNamespace="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/" />
Test by opening those two files in Visual Studio. See if there are intellisence if you edit a tag.
Intellisence in action: