Tuesday, 14 April 2009

SharePoint Designer Free To Good Home

It wasn’t an April Fool, but on the 1st April Microsoft decided to stop charging for SharePoint Designer 2007. It was never very expensive but still this was good news for many SharePoint Project Managers. Or was it? SharePoint Designer is an incredibly powerful package and in the wrong hands can prove disastrous for many SharePoint sites. Imagine letting your eighteen year old son drive your expensive car before he had had any lessons! Although, my Dad would say that I had had a number of lessons when I was eighteen and drove his new Austin Maestro car through the six foot high garden wall on Father’s Day in 1987. So for those who haven’t already experienced the joys (and annoying crashes) of SharePoint Designer what is it? It is a development of Front Page but is aimed mainly at SharePoint. With SharePoint Designer 2007 you can do any of the following; 1. Design sites, pages and Master Pages 2. Develop Custom Style Sheets 3. Combine multiple SharePoint lists into one 4. Work in Code or Design (WYSIWYG) view 5. Setup Complex Workflows 6. Backup and Restore SharePoint Sites 7. Improve Security 8. Add big buttons 9. Add Help Tips to SharePoint Sites 10. See how sites look in different browsers To download your free copy of SharePoint Designer 2007 please CLICK HERE Be careful though because an untrained person can easily get carried away with SharePoint Designer and make changes to your SharePoint Sites that are difficult to recover from. It really should come with a warning on the screen in big letters SHAREPOINT DESIGNER CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR SHAREPOINT SITES. I would strongly recommend that firstly whenever you use SharePoint you do not work on a live SharePoint Site. What I tend do is save a copy of the site as default1.aspx before I work on it in designer. Once you are happy with the changes AND HAVE TESTED THEM IN ALL BROWSERS you can copy it over the original default.aspx. The best way for anyone to start using SharePoint Designer 2007 is to attend a training course first. This way they can not only know about all the clever little extras, but also be aware of all the pitfalls. If you are in the UK Officetalk do offer short onsite SharePoint Designer Training courses. That’s my advertising bit done, but there is also some good one and a half hour free online training video from Microsoft that is a good starting point. So if you haven’t already tried SharePoint Designer have a look at it, but be very careful (especially now it is available as a free download) that nobody else is using a copy on your network. Also make sure you tie your SharePoint Sites down completely so you know who has ‘Design’ rights because these people armed with SharePoint Designer can cause havoc. I won’t name them in case they sue me, but a very well known company recently went live with their new website on SharePoint (very flash and a great advert for SharePoint). Out of interest (honest!) I opened their site in SharePoint Designer only to find that I was able to make changes and save them to their live site. I didn’t and they have now fixed this hole, but it shows how powerful SharePoint Designer can be. Now, if only the Premier League’s website was on SharePoint and as unsecure. I could then add a few more points to the Villa and then we might just catch Arsenal. Running a SharePoint Project is never easy and is often a kind of juggling act so I would like to end this week by highlighting the incredible skills of Billy Wingrove who entertained the Villa crowd on Sunday nearly as much as the six goal thriller did. Click here to see his skills

11 comments:

genegener said...

Andy, this is a fantastic primer for SP Designer! Keep up the good work.

christian stahl said...

Good post, funny to read - let´s go for some SharePoint Designing!

Henrico Dolfing said...

Hi Andy,

great post. I fully agree with you that SharePoint Designer is dangerous in the wrong hands, but it still made my list of Excellent Resources for and about Branding SharePoint.

Keep up the good work! Cheers,

Henrico

martyn johnson said...

SPD is a great tool for SharePoint. Governance is key for any SharePoint deployment, and for SPD you need to look @ http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepointdesigner/archive/2008/11/25/locking-down-sharepoint-designer.aspx

Power Protection Systems said...

Nice Post..

Gino Scuderi said...

Andy,

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Anonymous said...

I won’t name them in case they sue me, but a very well known company recently went live with their new website on SharePoint (very flash and a great advert for SharePoint). Out of interest (honest!) I opened their site in SharePoint Designer only to find that I was able to make changes and save them to their live site. I didn’t and they have now fixed this hole, but it shows how powerful SharePoint Designer can be

Good stuff hahahaha ^-^

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