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Monday, 9 November 2009

"10" New Features with SharePoint Designer 2010

SharePoint designer is the tool for building powerful application on top of SharePoint. With SharePoint Designer no code is required to make rich solution on SharePoint Server. SharePoint designer 2010 has come a long way ahead from its predecessors like SharePoint Designer 2007 and Front Page 2003. Though the sad news is SharePoint Designer 2010 is not compatible with the applications build on SharePoint 2007.

Here are some new important features and capabilities of SharePoint Designer 2010 which will make it much power full tool to create no code solution on SharePoint Server 2010:

1. Since SharePoint designer is a very powerful tool some time this resulted in making the changes in the sites which were not desirable. Now we can restrict SharePoint designer, the way we want users should be using this. This can be done at the Web Application level or individual Site Collection level in SharePoint 2010. These settings provide the following capabilities:
  • Disable the SharePoint designer completely at the Web Application level and at the Site Collection level.
  • Disable the Site Admins to detach pages from Site Template.
  • Stopping the Site Admins to modify and customize the Master Pages and Layout Pages.
  • Disabling Site Admins to see the URL Structure of the SharePoint Site.
 To do these settings at the Web Application level go to:
        Central Admin -> Application Management --> Manage Web Application --> Select The Correct Web App --> General Settings --> SharePoint Designer Settings

 

 And for the Site Collection level go to

       Site Collection Site Settings -> SharePoint Designer Settings


2. Earlier while working with SharePoint apps we need to shuffle between the SharePoint UI and designer a lot as we can not create SharePoint content from SharePoint Designer. Now we can create SharePoint Content  like Sites, Sub sites, List, Columns, Web Pages directly from SharePoint Designer 2010.

3.  Also now we can create Site Columns and Content Types directly from designer and add it to the list. Content Types can directly be attached to a lists from SharePoint Designer 2010.

4. The security also can be configured directly from SharePoint Designer 2010. So now we can create groups, add the users and modify the user permissions directly.

5. Create XSLT View Web Parts. This is best of both the Data View Web Parts and the List View Web Parts. Earlier the DataView Web Parts placed from SPD can not be edited from the browser which is not the case any more.

6. One of the coolest feature is to Create Business Connectivity Services External Content Types directly from SharePoint designer. So no further tools are required to work with External Data. This will surly add lot of productivity to the SharePoint developers. We will be saved from a big Application definition file!!!

7. From the workflow perspective lot of improvements are there. We can now create the reusable workflows and the workflow at the site level. The reusable workflows are attached to a Content Type and are not hard bounded to a list. Site Workflow can be used at the site level. 
A Summary Page is available for any actions.

8.  We can now connect to Data Sources outside of SharePoint such as XML Files, Web Services, Server Side Scripts and Databases from SharePoint Designer 2010.

9. A new dash board page which shows important information and actions about the selected items. So when we open the site this is the page opens.



It shows plenty of useful information and also we can do lot many things from here which was earlier not possible and we have to go to SharePoint site for doing them.
10. New UI with Ribbon which aligns with other SharePoint 2010 and other Office Products. Helps to increase the productivity.

These feature are going to add lot of power to SPD 2010 and make it much easier tool to use and develop solution on SharePoint with less amount of time.
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