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Introduction to SharePoint Designer 2013 for SharePoint Online Office 365

Office 365 E3 plan accounts include a paid subscription to Microsoft Office 2013, Pro. SharePoint Designer 2013, InfoPath 2013, and InfoPath Filler 2013 are all included in this set. SharePoint administrators, developers, architects and power users should familiarize themselves with the differences between the 2013 and 2010 versions of SharePoint Designer 2010.

A good way to gain this familiarity is to directly compare important features of these two versions. In a video tutorial titled Introduction to SharePoint Designer 2010, Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP and MCT provides us with an overview of the navigational features of SharePoint Designer, 2010. We opened our desktop copy of SharePoint Designer 2013 and checked, point by point, for differences in navigational features between the two versions.

At the start of this 4.5 minute video tutorial, Asif reports to the viewer on changes from SharePoint Designer 2007 to the 2010 version of the product. The navigational features, he explains, are entirely new and not compatible with the 2007 version. But with SharePoint Designer, 2013, there is backwards compatibility to the 2010 version. The two packaged templates for workflows are both carryovers from the 2010 version of the product. Users also have the option of choosing to build new workflows on either a SharePoint 2010 workflow platform, or one for SharePoint 2013.

The backstage site view is entirely the same, though the look and feel has been redesigned around the Office 2013 graphic branding. Once a specific site is selected, the view of the navigational components (the Quick Launch Menu) conforms, entirely, to the same view in SharePoint Designer 2010. A “Site Workflow” button is the only addition to the ribbon options in SharePoint Designer 2013. The summary page (the middle section of the site view) is also consistent between the two versions of this tool.

Asif remarks on the context sensitivity of the ribbon features in the 2010 version of SharePoint Designer. This same sensitivity has been carried forward to the 2013 version. We clicked on one of our SharePoint Online lists and were served with exactly the same set of ribbon features demonstrated in our video for SharePoint Designer 2010.

In sum, the object orientation of the feature presentation, which Asif Rehmani introduces in our video tutorial, is maintained in the 2013 version of this tool.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved