Posted tagged ‘SharePoint Designer’

SharePoint Designer Free!

April 2, 2009

While this is all over the net I figured I should also post it here. SharePoint Designer which was previously a product that replaced front page is now a completely free downloadable product.

This tool can help ANY user who uses SharePoint to expand their capabilities. From page editing, page layout and master page creation to the implementation of custom workflows this is an excellent tool for business and technical users to use in their SharePoint environment. Keep in mind that extra usage reports are available in designer and a bunch of other ‘tucked away’ features that you can take advantage of.

Even if you don’t have SharePoint this can be helpful for web site design, backups, and other web related content management.

It can be downloaded here:

This is a new direction for this product and vNext of SharePoint Designer is also going to be freely available. For those of us who have seen the vNext stuff and played with it, trust me, this is awesome news.

Want to know more?

Want to know more about the licensing changes? Check out this Q&A on it: – This also better explains the MANY reasons why this is great news and how you as a customer can take advantage of this, and how it can benefit you.

There is also a quick video where Tom explains the change:

If you are an Administrator

This means you MUST consider locking down SharePoint Designer as soon as possible. With it freely available users can now perform many potentially server intensive tasks such as backing up sites. To understand how to control SharePoint Designer I recommend reading this wonderful post on the SharePoint blog:

If you want some extra training or are new to SPD…

I would recommend installing and running through the SharePoint Designer Training that can be found here:

Hope you enjoy, I know I will,
Richard Harbridge

Form Action Controls (Simple and Powerful)

February 10, 2009

I go on pretty regularly about how much I love SharePoint Designer, the Data Form Web Part and a bunch of the existing SharePoint controls that provide so much power and flexibility out of the box.

Over at SharePoint Beagle Raymond Mitchell wrote a fantastic series of articles and the last one found here: describes an existing Form Action Button that can perform custom actions such as initiating a designer workflow (awesome) . He also describes a really nice way of easily adding it to provide huge potential benefit in the data form web part (or data view control). Very cool stuff and a well articulated read.

Personally if you haven’t read up about the Data Form Web Part (Or Data View as it’s sometimes called) I highly suggest starting at the beginning of this article series as it does a really good job at summarizing the power of the control.

Keep in mind that while the Form Action Button is very cool the Form Action Hyperlink can be wrapped around nice little images and things of that nature to make it even nicer looking. There are a whole slew of controls for you to explore that many of you out there probably haven’t. In fact if you have used every one of the controls in this image I applaud you. If you haven’t then you should definitely play with each to learn how it can help you save enormous amounts of development time for proof of concept, prototyping, or even in many cases building out solutions.


And of course let’s not forget those available under the insert command. 🙂


Hope you enjoy the controls and read more about what’s possible in SharePoint Designer,
Richard Harbridge

P.S – Thank you to Dan Rosenberg for letting me know about the SharePoint Beagle article (totally slipped under my radar).

Locking Down SharePoint Designer

November 26, 2008

Ever want to lock down SharePoint designer? Or just better understand how permissions and policies in SharePoint effect what a user can do with SharePoint Designer? I know I have.

The SharePoint Designer team released a new blog post on just that and it’s chalked full of useful information. I highly recommend reading this if you are an administrator, consultant, or are involved in SharePoint deployments. Planning for security, communication and who has access to what using specific tools is very important for any SharePoint deployment, and often SharePoint Designer is forgotten until the client (or organization) begins using it.

Hope this helps someone,
Richard Harbridge

Usage Analyis or Site Usage Statistics with SharePoint Designer

October 9, 2008

Previously I posted a post on getting usage statistics beyond 30 days (for those who use the default SharePoint usage statistic pages) located here:

After receiving some questions on what else is possible on SharePoint designer and answering many of them I figured I should post this to help anyone else who might be curious as to some of the easier reports you can get out of Designer:

Hope this helps someone in the future,
Richard Harbridge

Run a Workflow When a Specific Field HAS Changed

August 25, 2008

In my previous post I mentioned Stephen Howards screen casts on workflows and SharePoint designer.

This is another one of his screen casts that describes how to solve a scenario where you need to have a workflow initiate an action when a field has changed. The key is that you can compare the previous value with the current value.

Make sure you note how he ensures it does not perform an infinite loop.

Go go SharePoint Designer *cheers*,
Richard Harbridge

Development with SharePoint Designer

July 25, 2008

A wonderful post was written by Emile Bosch about the power behind SharePoint Designer and the lack of developers using it to it’s full potential.

It is my highest recommendation that if you are a SharePoint Developer, Analyst, or Consultant that you fully investigate SharePoint Designer and what is available out of the box for SharePoint. One of the biggest wastes around SharePoint is the duplication of effort. Someone doesn’t know enough about the out of the box components and features (partly Microsoft’s fault for not evangelising this) and recreates SharePoint functionality.

Don’t think it’s just SharePoint Designer either, make sure you understand the API of SharePoint well before developing something, because odds are it might already exist, or at least an existing object or class can give you a boost and reduce your development effort.

If you haven’t take a gander at all the SharePoint WebControls:

A few other examples of great components that exist out of the box that often people don’t explore fully are:

  • DataFormWebPart
  • ListFormWebPart
  • ListViewWebPart

I hope this helps,