Set up a development environment for SharePoint Add-ins on Office 365

Set up a development environment for SharePoint Add-ins on an Office 365 Developer Site.

Note The name "apps for SharePoint" is changing to "SharePoint Add-ins". During the transition, the documentation and the UI of some SharePoint products and Visual Studio tools might still use the term "apps for SharePoint". For details, see New name for apps for Office and SharePoint.

Please read Tools and environments for developing SharePoint Add-ins to get an understanding of your options before you carry out any procedures in this article. See SharePoint Add-ins if you are not sure what kinds of SharePoint Add-ins you want to create.

Install Visual Studio and tools on your computer

Verbose logging in Visual Studio

Follow these steps if you want to turn on verbose logging:

  1. Open the registry, and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\ nn.n\SharePointTools, where nn.n is the version of Visual Studio, such as 12.0 or 14.0.

  2. Add a DWORD key named EnableDiagnostics.

  3. Give the key the value 1.

The registry path will change in future versions of Visual Studio.

Sign up for an Office 365 Developer Site

Note You might already have access to an Office 365 Developer Site: Are you an MSDN subscriber? Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN subscribers receive an Office 365 Developer Subscription as a benefit. Redeem your benefit today. Do you have one of the following Office 365 subscription plans? If so, an administrator of the Office 365 subscription can create a Developer Site by using the Office 365 admin center. For more information, see Create a developer site on an existing Office 365 subscription.

Three ways to get an Office 365 plan.

Tip Open these links in another window or tab in order to keep the following instructions handy.

Figure 1. Office 365 Developer Site domain name

Page 2 of Sign up form for Office 365 account

  1. The first page (not shown) of the signup form is self-explanatory. Just supply the information about yourself that is requested and choose Next.

  2. On the second page, shown in Figure 1, specify a user ID for the administrator of the subscription.

  3. Create a subdomain of

    After signup, you have to use the resulting credentials (in the format UserID@ to sign in to your Office 365 portal site where you administer your account. Your SharePoint Online Developer Site is provisioned at your new domain: http://

  4. Choose Next and fill out the final page of the form. If you choose to provide a telephone number to obtain a confirmation code, you can provide a mobile or land line telephone number, but not a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) number.

Note If you're logged on to another Microsoft account when you try to sign up for a developer account, you might get this message: "Sorry, that user ID you entered didn't work. It looks like it's not valid. Be sure you enter the user ID that your organization assigned to you. Your user ID usually looks like or ."If you see this message, log out of the Microsoft account you were using and try again. If you still get the message, clear your browser cache or switch to InPrivate Browsing and then fill out the form.

After you finish the signup process, your browser will opens the Office 365 installation page. Choose the Admin icon to open the admin center page.

Figure 2. Office 365 admin center page

Screenshot that shows the Office 365 admin center.

  1. You'll have to wait for your Developer Site to finish provisioning. After provisioning is complete, refresh the admin center page in your browser.

  2. Then, choose the Build Add-ins link in the upper left corner of the page to open your Developer Site. You should see a site that looks like the one in Figure 3. There is an Add-ins in Testing list on the page. This confirms that the website was made with SharePoint's Developer Site template. If you see a regular team site instead, wait a few minutes and launch your site again.

  3. Make a note of the URL of the site. It is used when you create SharePoint Add-ins projects in Visual Studio.

Figure 3. Your Developer Site home page with the Add-ins in Testing list

Screenshot that shows the Developer site homepage.

Additional resources