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Using the Gallery Feature of the Design Manager, SharePoint Online in a Windows 7 Local Environment

In the last post to this blog we introduced the Design Manager feature of SharePoint Online, Office 365, 2013. In this post we will discuss some of the obstacles to using the Design Manager feature to access design components, in HTML, for automatic conversion to master pages for publishing sites in SharePoint Online.

In a technical document available on MSDN, Overview of Design Manager in SharePoint 2013 Microsoft introduces the Design Manager feature. The document discusses site “designs” and defines them as ” . . . simply a group of files that implement the visual design of your site, most commonly:

  • At least one HTML file that will be converted into a SharePoint master page
  • One or more CSS files
  • JavaScript files
  • Images
  • Other supporting files”

(quoted from an article on MSDN, a link to which is provided above)

We have a lot of these artifacts available. But when we attempted to follow the steps included in this article, we hit an obstacle right away. We were unable to map a network drive (a misnomer as the objective is to “add a network place” to the local drive) from our Windows 7 system. We have an Office 365 E3 plan. We upgraded our Office tools to Office Pro coincidentally to the conclusion of a migration of our Office 365 plan to the current version of SharePoint Online, etc. As part of the upgrade to Office Pro, we upgraded Internet Explorer from version 9 to version 10. Here lies our problem.

After reviewing several different articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, we finally located an article directly relevant to our problem: “Mapped Network Drive Could Not Be Created” error when you try to map to SharePoint Online. Bottom line: Internet Explorer 10 in a Windows 7 OS environment cannot be used to successfully map the SharePoint Online Gallery for the Design Manager to a “network place”. A rollback to Internet Explorer 9 is required.

We decided to research this problem a bit further before rolling back the browser on our system. More on this in the next post to this blog.

Ira Michael Blonder

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