SharePoint Designer Review

Easy to install and allows direct access to data structures


What is our primary use case?

My primary uses for this solution are attaching workflows and customizing pages.

Our deployment is mostly on-premises.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the capability to directly access the SharePoint data structure. It is a tool that is similar to a registry editor, but specific to SharePoint.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the complete mapping of our data types, including previews, which were switched off at some point.

It would be helpful to have the SharePoint Designer capabilities built directly into SharePoint itself, into the management page, so as to create an online version of it directly in SharePoint.

For how long have I used the solution?

Including FrontPage, I have been using this solution for sixteen years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been issues at times, but in general, it is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a problem that does not occur at all. SharePoint Designer puts its configuration data into a firm structure, which is parallelized by default and thread protected. It does not matter which means you use in to access the data, whether it is through direct API calls or in SharePoint Designer. It is protected against all structures within the form. You cannot override data. It is inherently parallelized by SharePoint, itself.

There are approximately ten users working within our support company, but the company using this solution has about five hundred end-users.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have contacted technical support in the past, and it took a few hours, but Microsoft called back and solved the problems. I found them to be pretty fast.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

Prior to this solution, I was using PowerShell to perform the same tasks.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is easy. There are just a few clicks, you enter the path and the licensing information, and then continue to click Next until it is finished. It is not like Oracle, where you have to know fifty parameters before installing.

What other advice do I have?

This solution started as Microsoft FrontPage and was renamed at some time.

My advice for anybody who is implementing this tool is to make sure that you understand it. This tool can damage a lot if you don't know what you are doing. If you are only editing your own sites then there is not much damage you can do. However, if you have elevated access then you have to be careful. It is similar in this regard to a registry editor, where if you edit keys outside of your own personal scope then it can cause problems. You can do a lot of damage to your machine.

The biggest lesson that I learned when using this solution has to do with planning. When it comes to using this solution, it is much better to plan what you are doing in advance. Just clicking around trying to get things done is inefficient, and you will spend a lot more time than necessary.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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