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SharePoint Designer 2013 Presents Important Changes from SharePoint Designer 2010

Rehmani Consulting, Inc. offers an extensive set of video training resources for SharePoint Designer, including SharePoint Designer 2010 Fundamentals, SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflows, and even a set of video training content on SharePoint Designer 2007.

SharePoint Designer 2013 is a redesigned version of a tool that has been used, successfully to provide users with a no-code method of building processes for SharePoint 2007, and, most recently, SharePoint 2010. Some of the capabilities of earlier versions of this tool have been deprecated in SharePoint 2013, while some new capabilities have been added. As a preamble we need to note that all of the information contained in this post, as well as follow on posts, unless otherwise identified, have been obtained from publications on the Microsoft® MSDN website.

Readers desirous of directly reviewing the MSDN information, as a starting point, ought to review What’s changed in SharePoint Designer 2013. Anyone reviewing the information presented on this page will note that the SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflow Platform has been deprecated in SharePoint Designer 2013. We need to note that “[i]n SharePoint Designer 2013, you can still create a SharePoint 2010 Workflow and use all of the SharePoint 2010 Workflow features by choosing the SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform.” (quoted from Microsoft’s “What’s changed in SharePoint Designer 2013” as posted on the MSDN web site. We have provided a link to this page, above).

Another important difference is that Design View and Split View have been removed from SharePoint Designer 2013. As noted on the MDSDN web site page referenced above, “[c]ompared to current versions of Internet Explorer, Design view is an older technology that does not support many new HTML5 and CSS tags . . . ” (ibid) therefore it has been removed from SharePoint Designer 2013. MSDN goes on to note that “[t]he removal of Design view and Split view affects the features of SharePoint Designer 2013 that are used for editing Web Parts and master pages. If you edit [these] pages in SharePoint Designer 2013, you must use Code view.” (ibid).

Without Design View, “If you want to visually design or brand your site, and you want a WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) page-editing experience, you can use any professional HTML editor, such as Microsoft Expression Web. Then you can import your HTML files into SharePoint Server 2013 by using the new Design Manager, which is a feature included in publishing sites, such as the Publishing Portal Site Collection site template.” (ibid).

Certainly these changes to SharePoint Designer 2013 are substantial and significant. However, as we will note in the next post to this blog, SharePoint Designer 2013 continues to be a useful alternative to Visual Studio for other SharePoint 2013 operations; for example, creating external content types for BCS. Further, for some organizations, that prohibited general use of earlier versions of this tool, the removal of Design View and Split View may justify an approval for general use.

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