Demoing SharePoint… how do you do it?

Ivory Tower (Redmond) to all earth bound SharePoint peeps.  I need some info on your l33t SharePoint skillz.

I am doing some research into how you, as SharePoint evangelists, demo SharePoint to others.  This could be as part of a sales pitch or just a regular Thu night demo to the SharePoint Users Group.  Anything really.

Some common methods include:

– Locally installed on my laptop (duel boot for example)

– In a Virtual Machine.  For this one i would like to know if you use a Microsoft Provided one or build your own.

– Remote Desktop into a machine somewhere back in your office?

– Use a SharePoint site you have on the net somewhere that you use to demo?

You can either reply with a comment here.  Or tweet/DM me here

We are looking at how best to serve our customers/partners and would like to make sure we are providing the right material to help you do your best work.


Comments (14)

  1. Dan says:

    a virtual machine I built myself.

  2. Kris says:

    I have used the VMs in the past. It is really easy to demo with the VPC.

  3. ramg says:

    I’m running windows server 2008 64bit with 8GB RAM on my laptop, have a single server instance running on my laptop which I use for development, also I built medium server farm (hyper-v) for testing production like scenarios ex DR & HA

  4. We had been using our Intranet to show off SharePoint, but have since converted to the Demo Showcase VM provided by MS (with some minor tweaks and add-ons from codeplex).

    It was much better having a VM that had some content and branding on it to show off some of the cooler things you can do with SP.

  5. Ari says:

    At the moment I’m using a customised version of the base Demo Showcase 2008 VM. I’ve added Office apps so everything is on the same box.

  6. Rob Wilson says:

    I use all three.  For user group presentations I like to use our user group’s site that is hosted on a public server so the members can refer back to it.  When demoing for clients I prefer to use a MOSS installation at our office if I have web access.  I use a virtual machine as a last resort…and I build my own.

    *Ideally* I would like to see a SharePoint test server built into SPD and/or VS…that would make development and testing much easier also.  Thanks for asking!

  7. Ivan Wilson says:

    I run Windows 2008 x64 as my only Operating System. I have MOSS 2007 installed directly on the laptop. I also run Hyper-V images, but find it easier to use the host image.

    I have put together a Powershell script to start and stop the various MOSS and SQL services so that I can free up some resources on my laptop when I need to.

  8. I used to use a MS image, but it expired in Oct. 2008. I have since built my own image. I documented the process both in a video and written format and posted it on my blog at

  9. michhes says:

    Everything except dual boot (that option’s just annoying). On the virtual machine side, external presentations are usually done on a MS VM on VPC 2007 while internal presentations are on a custom-built dev VM on VPC 2007. Like Sharee, I’ve also posted a Server 2008 small farm step-by-step on my blog:

    The lack of 64-bit guest support on the VPC platform will soon be forcing us to VMware–installing Server 2008 and hyper-v is not currently an option. Will Windows 7 give us something like this built in??


  10. Mark Orange says:

    I only use VMs and I use a mix of Microsoft built VMs and our own VMs. The Microsoft VMs are very useful because they are populated with content and users, include a good breadth of general SharePoint areas that can be demonstrated with little investment and I use them most heavily early in a product release cycle. Over time however we build up our own with more specific demos, particular covering the WCM internet space and if we’re demonstrating development activities.

  11. SpittingCAML says:

    I use a mixture of VMWare server VMs running on one of our high performance servers when I an doing internal demos, or I use VMware workstation on my laptop with a home brew VM when I am off site.

    I’ve not been using VPC for some years because of the flexibility VMware provides.

  12. It depends on what I need to show but for most of my demos I’m able to use my Vista laptop that is running Search Server Express (thanks to bamboo solutions).

  13. Alexey says:

    Hi, Chris,

    I use the Virtual PC available via to demo on my laptop and a HyperV VM on the premise. Some demos are simple enough to be shown off right on the Intranet portal.

    For development I build my own VM with a localized setup (1049).

    Thanks for blogging, speaking, showing and working for us.