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Set up a development environment

Describes how to set up a development environment in Optimizely Content Management System.

Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) is installed with templates through Visual Studio or the dotnet command-line interface tool, providing everything you need to get a website up and running and start developing.



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 2022 or Visual Studio Code is required for developing ASP.NET 6 applications. Also, if you are upgrading to CMS 12, see Upgrade assistant.

Install the Optimizely templates

dotnet new -i EPiServer.Templates

Install the Episerver CLI Tool

dotnet tool install EPiServer.Net.Cli --global --add-source https://nuget.optimizely.com/feed/packages.svc/



The latest version of the EPiServer.Templates and CLI Tool require .NET 6.


A license is not required when running 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

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

When you test deployment and backup and restore databases, you should install SQL Express or SQL Server Developer Edition and Management Studio.