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I am a SharePoint Admin who dreams about migrating back to the development world. I attended this SharePoint/ Office 365 conference where I heard about the fact that I can setup an office 365 development environment practically free (about $8 a month) from the office dev environment. I am very bad at building virtual machines or laptops at home and always struggle with available time. So this is music to my ear. I thought I will give it a try on a Sunday afternoon after I was done with my exercise and other chores.
So where to begin? Let us begin at the office 365 developer site. The site is @
http://dev.office.com/
BTW, if you google the bing for Office 365 Developer Site, you will not find it. Easily at least. A very tempting link for Getting Started is right there. But let us not go there. Rather, on the left navigation, scroll down to DEV Program. Let us get started here.
You will see a Free Dev Program Sign Up link. I like free stuff. Let us sign up there and get our Office 365 subscription going.
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So now, we have our new shiny office 365 developer subscription. After signing up, you will get an email. A screen shot suggests that this is indeed for one year:
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My site is @ https://portal.office.com/Home
Guess what? I do not see SharePoint in my products in this screen:
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But I registered for learning development on SharePoint online. Undeterred, I click on the admin tile. On the left nav, under the Admin section, I see a link for SharePoint. On clicking that, I see the SharePoint online admin screen. So I may not be too crazy after all. I have a few SharePoint site already pre-provisioned for me. Then it dawned on me that I am here to learn SharePoint online development. So I go back to this link:
http://dev.office.com/devprogram
Here you will see a section for Ready to Jump Right In. Well I created the accounts, so I thought I am just about ready. And I clicked. I am a SharePoint guy. So when I saw: SharePoint Add-Ins (formerly known as Apps for SharePoint), it caught my attention. So I clicked on the Get Started link. This brought me to the default page:
https://msdn.microsoft.com/EN-US/library/office/fp142379.aspx
that says : Get started creating SharePoint-hosted apps for SharePoint. So I see this section for: Set up your dev environment and I get excited. I thought Office 365 development subscription will give me some kind of on-line development environment. And then I see this line:
•If you don’t already have Visual Studio 2013 or later installed, install it using the instructions at Install Visual Studio. We recommend using the latest version from the Microsoft Download Center.
Wait, where shall I install it? On my office machine with Windows 7 on hardly any RAM? What if my office does not like me any more? I will sit @ home and Starbucks taking interviews and doing what else? So I remembered about this article:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sharepointdev/archive/2013/09/26/create-sharepoint-2013-development-environments-quickly-on-azure.aspx
Now this is an article from 2013. After two years have passed, you will find a few changes and you have to find your way through the forest of unknown roadblocks. But let us give it a try. On your Office Portal Admin page:
https://portal.office.com/Admin
you will see a link on the left navigation called Azure AD. I clicked on that. This will take you to:
https://manage.windowsazure.com
And then will make you create a separate Azure account. Somewhere on this screen it will tell you that you have certain $$ amount of free Azure credit. I already told that I like free stuff. So I created my account. However, here you have to provide your credit card. And remember, I heard somewhere that I can get Office 365 developer subscription for about $8 a month. I don’t mind that for learning some cool development skills. But I told myself one thing, if I provision and logon to an Azure VM, I gotto remember to turn that off as soon as I am done. You will eventually see a screen like:
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Select Virtual Machine and +New sign towards the bottom. Select From Gallery and select a Visual Studio track that you like. Once selected, it will provide you a machine/ dns name. Keep good note of that because you will need that information while rdp-ing onto the machine. Once the machine is provisioned, you will create a user and credentials. You will use this user for rdping into the vm. For me the dns name was: SoumyaVM1.cloudapp.net
Once the machine is provisioned and started, you will click the connect button below. I could not run or save the rdp file in IE11. So I tried Chrome to download the rdp file onto my laptop. While prompted for userid/ credentials, I am providing:
SoumyaVM1.cloudapp.net\myusername
and credentials.
Next onto my dev learning journey.

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