Area: Optimizely CMS
Applies to versions: Latest

Setting up a development environment

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Note: This documentation is for the preview version of the upcoming release of CMS 12/Commerce 14/Search & Navigation 14. Features included here might not be complete, and might be changed before becoming available in the public release. This documentation is provided for evaluation purposes only.

Optimizely is conveniently installed through Visual Studio and the Episerver Visual Studio Extension, providing everything you need to get a website up and running and get started developing.

Note: See the Optimizely system requirements for detailed production and development environment requirements.

 Install Visual Studio

Visit Microsoft Visual Studio to download a suitable version, if you do not already have Visual Studio installed. Visual Studio 2019 version 16.8 is required for developing .NET 5.0 applications.

Install the Episerver Templates

dotnet new -i EPiServer.Net.Templates::1.0.0-pre-020032 --nuget-source https://pkgs.dev.azure.com/EpiserverEngineering/netCore/_packaging/beta-program/nuget/v3/index.json --force

Install the Episerver CLI Tool

dotnet tool install EPiServer.Net.Cli --global --add-source https://pkgs.dev.azure.com/EpiserverEngineering/netCore/_packaging/beta-program/nuget/v3/index.json --version 1.0.0-pre-020032

Install the Episerver Visual Studio extension

Using the extension package for Optimizely CMS, you can get item templates for working with Common Optimizely extension points. The easiest way to install the Episerver Visual Studio extension is directly from Visual Studio (Community, Professional, or Enterprise) as described below: 

  1. Select Extensions > Manage extensions.
  2. In the extensions window, select Online > Visual Studio Marketplace, and type "episerver" in the search box.
  3. Select Episerver CMS Visual Studio Extension and click Download (or Update if already installed).
  4. Restart Visual Studio.


A license is not required when running in on localhost or domainname.local

Eventually, you will need a commercial Optimizely license for testing and production environments. You can order a time-limited demo license for evaluation purposes from the Optimizely License Center.

 Exploring advanced features

Later on, when you want to explore more advanced features like multi-site and language support, and to test deployment locally, you will need a more production-like development environment using Internet Information Services (IIS)

When testing deployment and backup and restoring of databases, it is also recommended to install either SQL Express or SQL Server Developer Edition and Management Studio.

Next steps

For CMS users:

For Commerce users:


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Last updated: Jul 02, 2021

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