There are many reason to setup and configure your own Office 365 developer subscription. You may want to test and see how previously built on-premise solutions would migrate / have to be built and deployed in the cloud. Maybe you are like me and you wanted to hop on board the new SharePoint development stack, SharePoint Framework (SPFx). A developer tenant is great for this because you get full global administrator rights with no worries of messing up a tenant, because at the end of the day they are disposable.
Microsoft recently made changes to their Office 365 developer subscription program. Prior to the change when you register a developer subscription it was good for 12 months and were non-renewable. Now (starting April 2019) they are offering 90-day renewable subscriptions. They are looking at telemetry and metrics in your tenant to determine if you are an actively developing on the tenant and if so they will automatically renew the tenant.
For more information see the following links:
- Microsoft – Office 365 Developer Program subscription expiration and renewal: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office/developer-program/subscription-expiration-and-renewal
To sign up for the Office 365 developer program you will start by visiting the developer program page, https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/office/dev-program.
From the homepage you can read up about the program, brush up on your Office 365 knowledge with training, or join community events / hackathons. When you are ready to get started you are going to click on the Join Now button on the homepage.
You will be prompted with a Microsoft Login screen where you have to sign in with any Microsoft account. This will tie the developer subscription to that Microsoft account for management. If you do not have an account you create one.
Once you sign in you will be directed to the Office 365 Developer Program Signup page. You will see some information at the top like your first and last name along with your email address. From here you will choose your Country/Region and the company name.
You will then be prompted to fill out a program preferences page. Feel free to choose any and all that apply to you or as little as you want. Microsoft will use this information to try and personalize the experience for you.
After you fill out the form click the Join button. This will drop you off at your Microsoft developer profile page where you can either view any existing subscriptions or set up a new one by click on Set Up Subscription.
Next you will choose create a username, domain, and password. Your region will be default from the region you selected when you signed up but you can change it here before you set up your subscription if it differs or if you need to develop for a tenant in a different region.
Note: I recommend picking a domain that isn’t super long. As you can see my first domain was 14 characters long which meant I was typing that long domain in every time I was logging in.
Click Continue once you have finished filling out the form. You will be prompted to put in your cell phone next to verify your identity by sending you a code. Once you receive the code, enter it and click the Set up button.
You will be redirected back to your Microsoft developer profile page and you should see your new subscription. You can click on Go to subscription to start exploring.
You can follow the prompts and guides to assign products (a license) to your account so you can start exploring the various services. Since my reasoning for setting up an Office 365 developer subscription was to start playing around with the SPFx the next post will show you how to set up SharePoint’s App Catalog and a developer site collection for testing.