Dev/Test with multiple accounts on SharePoint

When developing a SharePoint App you quite often have to use multiple accounts to perform different tasks, different views or test security. Today that process really annoyed me and I had to find a better way than multiple browsers. Generally I would use a mixture of InPrivate, Firefox and Chrome(yuk!) and log in as different accounts in each. When I have three copies of Visual Studio, multiple copies of IE, Outlook and many other windows, which browser is logged into which account can get confusing. At least switching to the correct one took a bit of time. There must be a better way? A bit of Binging didn’t provide any realistic results (Googling didn’t help either), so I had a go at writing an App to do it. This wasn’t as straight forward as I thought it might be (just thought I could swap the cookies), but it did lead me to think about running IE under a different user account, which in turn lead me to multiple desktops. My Solution So my solution is basically running IE (or any other browser for that matter) under different user credentials in separate windows desktops. The first step was to install an application to allow me to have multiple desktops. I chose Desktops 2.0 from SysInternals. Its limited to four desktops but there are a number of other ones which provide more (VirtuaWin (free), Dexpot) desktops. Four was enough for my purposes. I configured Desktops to switch on ALT+FunctionKey to easily switch between desktops. With that in place I switched to a new desktop ALT+F2 I have a number of Microsoft outlook.com accounts already setup for different types of user and so I added them as users on my laptop (you actually have to login with them before you can use them). This then allowed me to run IE as that user from my new (empty) desktop. Holding down Shift while right clicking on the IE icon (or any other program) will allow you to run as a different user. I created four desktops, one for each type of user (Owner - Me, Accounts, Approver, User) and now I can easily switch to each type of user by hitting ALT+FunctionKey from anywhere. I just have to remember which number for which user. Obviously there is a bit of an issue with having to add the users to your laptop, but I’m cool with that and life is slightly less complicated now.

SharePoint on Windows Phone

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