SharePoint Designer 2013 Continues to Deliver Substantial Benefits When Used Appropriately

SharePoint Designer 2013 is a substantially different product than either of its recent predecessors, for SharePoint 2010 and 2007. The biggest difference between these versions is the removal of the “design view” feature. The main benefit of this feature was its ability to provide users with a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) representation of proposed changes to the graphics look and feel (brand) for SharePoint sites. But the core benefit of this product remains the same. SharePoint Designer 2013 can still be successfully used to build workflows to automate procedures, including document creation and process management. Software…
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SharePoint 2013 Users Benefit from Automating the Creation of Collaboration Documents With SharePoint Designer 2013

Organizations using SharePoint will benefit from automated processes called “workflows”. These “workflows” can be used to create high demand collaboration documents; for example, team calendars. SharePoint Designer 2013 can be used to produce “workflows”, which can be configured to automatically fill in forms, as required, as events occur. “Workflows” amount to a set of actions, based upon conditions, which usually run, without human intervention. On January 23, 2014, will offer an online course on this topic titled

Branding SharePoint Sites Is a High Value Method of Encouraging End User Adoption of the Platform

Branding SharePoint sites to meet the unique custom requirement of a specific organization, is, arguably, the most accessible method of driving end user adoption for SharePoint stakeholders. With SharePoint 2013, its development model, and the new Office Cloud App model, the most important methods of branding sites — HTML and JavaScript — are even more useful than was the case for SharePoint Server 2010, or 2007. These two scripting languages can now be used to create a rich set of processes, as well. We provide a set of video tutorials on branding SharePoint 2013 sites. The series is authored by…
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Use Fiddler to Monitor and Analyze Web Traffic from Electronic Forms

In a video tutorial titled Using Fiddler Behind the Forms, Darvish Shadravan, Technical Specialist and published author on the topic of electronic forms publishing, presents a method of detecting and analyzing the relationship between electronic forms and web network traffic. SharePoint Administrators and electronic forms designers should become familiar with Fiddler. This “web debugging proxy for any browser of platform” (quoted from a headline on the front page of the Fiddler website) can be successfully used to detect SharePoint web traffic problems attributable to electronic forms built with InfoPath 2013. As Darvish Shadravan notes, “[he’s] used this tool in many,…
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Developers Working With jQuery and JavaScript Should Become Familiar with the Document Object Model

JavaScript and the highly efficient library of functions, jQuery, which was developed by the Open Source community as a method of hastening development, are used by application developers to instruct modern web browsers to behave, as planned, with regard to data published by servers, including SharePoint Server 2013. JavaScript and jQuery are, therefore, client side tools. The effects they produce on web browser behavior are safely isolated from servers. This is, by no means, to say they are inherently secure. But their functionality impacts on clients and not on servers. So it is very important for SharePoint 2013 administrators, developers,…
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Creating Globally Reusable Workflows for Other Site Collections and Other SharePoint Farms

Many of the procedures we’ve presented in the last couple of posts to this blog hold for either SharePoint of SharePoint Designer 2013. We wrote these posts on procedures presented by Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP and MCT, in two video tutorials: Creating a Workflow on a List Using SharePoint Designer 2010 and Publishing globally reusable Workflows But what about creating globally reusable workflows for use with lists or libraries in other site collections within the same farm, or even entirely different SharePoint Online, Office 365, farms? The procedures presented by Ayman M. El-Hattab, in an article posted to the Code…
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Working with Master Pages in SharePoint Online, Office 365, 2013 with SharePoint Designer 2013

In an article on MSDN, How to: Create a Master Page Preview File in SharePoint 2013 the instructions, “Create a master page preview file” include Make a copy of a master page preview. SharePoint 2013 includes oslo.preview and seattle.preview The preferred method of working with these pages is with SharePoint Designer 2013. As a preliminary step, be sure to activate the SharePoint Server Publishing features both at the Site Collection and Site levels. The SharePoint Server Publishing Feature is activated with a click on “Site Setting” (located in the drop down menu accessed with a click of the mouse on…
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Creating and Using Site Columns and Content Types Applied to SharePoint Online, Office 365 2013

In this post we apply the steps Asif Rehmani demonstrates in a video titled Creating and using Site Columns and Content Types to configure site columns for a document library created in our SharePoint Online, Office 365, 2013 environment. Asif Rehmani is a SharePoint MVP and MCT. A subscription to is required to view the video tutorial. Asif notes at the start of this 11 min tutorial, “[site columns and content types] are both extremely powerful functionality”. The capabilities of these two features contribute substantially to the usefulness of SharePoint Search, ease of access to data for SharePoint users,…
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Working with Master Pages with SharePoint Designer 2013 in SharePoint Online, Office 365, 2013

It makes sense to use out of the box and custom master pages for team sites in SharePoint Onlne, Office 365, 2013. SharePoint Designer 2013 is a useful tool to customize these pages. Design and split view have been removed from the latest version, so any work will have to be done in code view. Just to recap some of the rather obvious benefits: master pages can be used to ensure the uniformity of branding across an organization’s team sites. Master pages can also be used to reduce the amount of time required to produce pages for team sites. Finally,…
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Adding Web Page Components with SharePoint Designer 2013

SharePoint Designer 2013 neither includes Design, nor Split Views. Removing these features has created obstacles for organizations committed to SharePoint Designer, 2010, but with little interest in creating web page components with HTML, ASP or SharePoint tags. We don’t think the situation is catastrophic. Here’s why: In our video tutorial for SharePoint Designer 2010, Create and Manage SharePoint Components using SharePoint Designer 2010, we demonstrate how to set up a team sub site in SharePoint 2010, how to create a contacts list for this sub site, and, finally, how to use the “Data View” option under the “Insert” tab with…
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