WOW!  That is my first impression of seeing SharePoint Designer 2010 demonstrated in today’s ignite training.  It is absolutely revolutionary!

The instructor basically called the product a complete re-write over the previous 2007 version and you will easily see why. 

You can now connect to SharePoint Designer through the ribbon directly from your SharePoint 2010 site, or you can open the site directly in the client. 

SharePoint Designer 2010

 Navigating in SharePoint Designer is much more intuitive now that you can navigate by site artifacts (lists, libraries, site pages, master pages, site columns, content types, etc) instead of by site hierarchy (navigating through the site structure).  There is also the option to navigate using “All Files” on the site as you did in 2007 using the site hierarchy structure.

By clicking on your site in SharePoint Designer, you can see a nice Dashboard or summary view of your site which includes Site Information, such as title, address, and site quota usage, Permissions, where you can quickly assign user access, Subsites information, Settings information where you can modify general site settings, and a Customizations section where you can start editing and making changes directly to your site.

SharePoint Designer 2010

 There are also dashboards for each of the other “site artifacts” on your site as well.  For example, each list will have its own dashboard showing List Information, Settings, Forms, Custom Actions, and Content Types all specific to that particular list on the site. 

Controlling User Access to SharePoint Designer 2010:

Some of you may be terrified to let your end users get their hands on SharePoint Designer 2010.  That was my second reaction to seeing this product.  Well, there is good news!  In Central Administration, you can control SharePoint Designer settings at the Web Application level.  There are four settings that you can manage just by checking the option on or off:  

  • Enable SharePoint Designer
  • Enable Detaching Pages from the Site Definition
  • Enable Customizing Master Pages and Layout Pages
  • Enable Managing of the Web Site URL Structure  (this is basically the “All Files” folder where you can navigate using the site hierarchy structure) 

If a setting is turned on at the Web Application level, a Site Collection Administrator can further scale back the settings at the site collection level under that web application.  This just allows yet another layer of control for administrators and protection over your sites.

SharePoint Designer 2010 has significantly improved and is really going to make working with SharePoint easy and fun!