December 20, 2009
Happy holidays to all, I am Corro’ll (Corel) Driskell, a SharePoint Architect on the SharePoint platforms. As many of you know I do many things around the SharePoint platforms and found it difficult to pick a starting place since my involvement on the TAP program.
So, I wanted to kick off my blogs, referencing the SharePoint 2010 platform and its tools, with SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta). I will post a number of blogs, as a part of this blog series, referencing the many features of SharePoint Designer 2010, such as, the new User Interface (UI), the ribbon, and a number of other features. Bottom line, this blog provides an overview focusing on the UI of SharePoint Designer 2010. This is not a deep dive into the capabilities of SharePoint Designer 2010 (BETA).
Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) allows Designers – non-programmers - and, encourages, Developers, and I mean encourage, to build web based applications on SharePoint’s latest platforms (SharePoint Foundation 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010).
To start, you must locate SharePoint Designer 2010 in the Microsoft Office application group – its default location.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 1
One of the great things about the, new, SharePoint Designer 2010 experience is the initial start. Immediately, the user (Designers and Developers) is provided visual feedback upon the start of the application. It is my experience that the loading is rather quick versus the experience with the previous version, SharePoint Designer 2007.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 2
After SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) initially starts, you will notice that there are two primary focuses. The user has the option to Open a SharePoint Site or Create a New SharePoint Site. The new initial UI is a far step from the traditional experience of SharePoint Designer 2007. In fact, the user does not need to browse around the interface attempting to introduce them to the application. It is all there front and center.
In contrast, the fact that there is an option to use SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) on the My Site is discouraging. In another blog posting we will discuss the new features available on the, new, SharePoint 2010 platforms that afford the SharePoint administrators and Site Collection Administrator better control now is not the time to dive into those features, also, we will focus on the various options in more detail in a future blog as a part of this series.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 3
After, either, Opening the Site or Creating a New Site, the user is presented with the Site Setting information page. Of course, the most notable change, in the SharePoint Designer 2010 UI, is the presentation of the, new, Ribbon. Again, I will dive deeper in the various features afforded by the Ribbon in a later blog as a part of this series.
The Settings Page provides a significant amount of information , such as, the Site Information, Permissions, SubSites, also known as Webs, Settings and Customization. The fact that this Designer Dashboard, yes, I called it a dashboard, and no it isn’t Microsoft’s official terminology, is forthcoming with quite a bit of information. This information was, either, lacking or wasn’t as easy to obtain in SharePoint Designer 2007. Again, we will dive deeper into many of the features during this series in a future blog. Although the tab interface is not new to SharePoint Designer 2007, I find the tab interface in SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) a bit more inviting and user friendly.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 4
Lists and Libraries are nested in a simple view in SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta). It is more similar to a report versus a hierarchical structure, as leveraged in SharePoint Designer 2007. Also, I want to encourage you to focus on the changes in the context of the Ribbon’s interface as we navigate from the Site Settings page. Of course, we can witness a heavy use of the bread crumbs in the SharePoint Designer 2010’s interface. The bread crumb was presented as a simple navigation control in the SharePoint Designer 2007 interface. Again, there was an emphasis on the hierarchical structure.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 5
Workflows are also presented in a report form. The Workflows’ report provides summary information referencing workflows leveraged by the site or web. In the SharePoint Designer 2007 interface, Workflows were presented nested in a Workflow library or folder, depends on whom you ask. Again, there is an emphasis on the actual artifacts’ hosted on the SharePoint 2010 platform. Of course, there is a significant amount of new features for SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) and its capabilities to build flexible workflows. Again, we will dive deeper into those capabilities through-out this blog series.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 6
The Site Pages provides summary information about located in the Sites Pages Library. The Site Pages Library is used to create and store pages for a specific Site or Web.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 7
The Site Assets provides a reports view of files that are included on the pages of a Site or Web. In the SharePoint Designer 2007 UI, the storage locations for files included on the pages were stored in a number of locations, such as, the images folder.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 8
The Content Types page provided a summary report about the various collection of content types, leveraged by the Site or Web, to establish consistent management of content. Immediately, you will find information, such as, Group, Parent, Source and Description. Most importantly, the UI provides quick access to manage the various content types. SharePoint Designer 2007 did not afford users this type of reporting feature. We will explore this new feature further as a part of this blog series.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 9
The Site Columns UI provides a summary report referencing a collection of columns available to Lists, which includes, Column Name, Type, Group and Source. In the SharePoint Designer 2007 UI we did not have a central presentation of the linked columns for a Site or Web.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 10
The External Content Types summary reports provides information, such as, Display Name, Name, External System, Type and Namespace, about External Lists, also known as SharePoint Lists, that exposes data from various back-end repositories – databases, web services and other Line-of-Business applications. The beauty of it all is that this feature is provided in the SharePoint Designer 2010 UI.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 11
The Data Sources summary report provides information, Name, Type and Description, about the various data sources available to the Site or Web. The report is categorized based on type, for instance, Lists and Libraries. Again, this is a great presentation in the UI so that users are not required to leverage the hierarchical structure to obtain the information similar to the SharePoint Designer 2007 UI.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 12
The Master Pages summary report provides information, Name, Title, Content Type, Size, Modified Date, Modified By and Comments, about all of the artifacts, Master Pages, Page Layouts, images and xml files, found in the Master Page Gallery.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 13
The Site Groups summary report provides some information, Group Name and Description, about the various Groups with, some level, of access to the Site or Web. You have to ask yourself, where are the contributor settings. Again, we will dive deeper into the many changes in a later blog.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 14
The SubSites summary reports provide a list of the Sites or Webs within the hierarchical structure. The report provides information, such as, Site Name, URL and Modified Date.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 15
Finally, the All Files provides a summary report of all content for a Site or Web, which includes the SubSites. The information provided includes, Name, Title, Size, Type, Modified Date, Modified By and Comments. The significance here is users have a more efficient way to ascertain the information about the artifacts that make up SharePoint 2010 sites.
SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) UI 16
The overarching selling point is that SharePoint Designer 2010 encourages rapid building and deployment of, web-based, solutions that meet business needs, leveraging the various features – lists, content types, workflows and a number of other features – of an organization. Here is the catcher, there is no-coding. Included in this blog series, I will work to cover the various use cases and features.