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Joel on Software

Develop on WinXP, Deploy to Win2k

I work in a small development team (8 developers) building web apps for deployment on to win2k servers. We mostly use C#/ (vs2003, .net 1.1), with some legacy VB6 COM+ and ASP.

Up until now, we have run win2k server on our dev machines so that we can be confident that our code will run OK on the servers. We are now coming under pressure to move to our corporate standard WinXP Pro desktop. Should we resist, or are cross-platform deployment nightmares a thing of the past?

Mark B
Tuesday, May 24, 2005

We had no problems with a similar migration. However, our servers went from Win2k Server to 2003 before all but one of our developers went from 2000 Professional to XP Professional.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


I wouldn't be too concerned if I was in that position.

Do you have a Windows 2000 Server machine that is separate from both the development and production environment that you use for final QA/deployment testing? So long as you retain that then you should be able to easily pick up any incompatibilities between Windows XP development and Windows 2000 Server production.

Mike Green
Tuesday, May 24, 2005

For legacy VB6 stuff, versioning problems can bite you, most often due the differing versions of MDAC.

A good solution is to use a virtual PC (or VmWare) with a vanilla installation of VB6 on your lowest common denominator platform and use it for building.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I have no problem when moved from Windows 2003 server to Windows XP SP2

Tien on Software
Tuesday, May 24, 2005

+1 for VMWare Workstation.  My dev machine is WinXPSP2, and I have virtual machines for all Windows OS from 2000 on.  It will do exactly what you're looking for.

Joe Paradise
Thursday, May 26, 2005

Thanks for the suggestions folks. VMWare sounds like a possibility. The main concern is that we would be pretty much working full time in that virtual machine. What's performance like? I'm thinking mostly about stuff like Visual Studio's Intellisense menus, where even a small delay adds up to a lot of frustration over a full working day. As long as there's plenty of RAM, is the VMWare session as responsive as if you were working on a bare OS?

Mark B
Friday, May 27, 2005

You can specify how much RAM each virtual machine can use when started (my default is 256MB).  My Inspiron 9200 has 1GB RAM, and a single virutal machine performs slightly faster than a remote desktop session.  If you intend to run multiple VMs simultaneously I'd suggest more RAM.

Joe Paradise
Sunday, May 29, 2005

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