Ah-ha thoughts after using SharePoint Designer
Melissa Kattke | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 22, 2018

Ah-ha thoughts after using SharePoint Designer

Score 6 out of 10
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Overall Satisfaction with SharePoint Designer

SharePoint Designer offers a variety of options when implementing this tool in SharePoint itself. It allows SharePoint developers to create workflows, customize SharePoint sites and create forms using InfoPath. For the customer I was serving, I was using SharePoint Designer for a custom workflow and form to solve a business problem where previously, the customer used Outlook emails to send and receive, approve or reject, edit and archive privacy documents. The customer realized that this was a poor approach for their business process and wanted a better way of managing privacy documents. Using SharePoint Designer gave our team the tools it needed to craft and maintain an autonomous workflow of sending, receiving, assessing and archiving government documents.
  • SharePoint Designer offers more granularity of customizing a workflow that is more sophisticated solution that can effectively delegate tasks to responsible parties and reflects status updates of task status.
  • SharePoint Designer allows SharePoint professionals the ability to customize a SharePoint site with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript that can be integrated in .ASPX pages.
  • SharePoint Designer offers form customization where Office products such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint cannot meet specific government requirements and or expectations.
  • Microsoft will be deprecating SharePoint Designer in 2023, forcing organizations and developers to either start using SharePoint Online or invest in compatible third-party applications.
  • SharePoint Designer is not user-friendly for new developers. The learning curve is moderate, depending on the background of SharePoint developers. Albeit, there are YouTube videos on how to configure a workflow, create an InfoPath form and manipulate a SharePoint site, but be prepared to invest time for training if someone has never seen nor used SharePoint Designer before.
  • Deprecation of SharePoint Designer is indicative by the unavailability of SharePoint Designer 2016, because Microsoft will stop supporting it.
  • One limitation I had to deal with when working with IP forms was the limited set of controls. Compared to ASP.NET, the IP control are very limited. Many times I had to find workaround. If you design the IP form to open up in the browser you will get more restrictions.
  • Cannot customize .net; Developers must use Visual Studio instead of SharePoint Designer.
  • There is a maximum depth of a workflow sub-step in xamml where that is a hard limit of 125 for node depth in xaml. The maximum value of 121 levels accounts for the default activities (stage, sequence, etc.) that SharePoint Designer inserts automatically.
I'd say that Nintex is a lot easier to configure and identifying errors is less complex than SharePoint Designer. In addition, an alternative that developers may prefer using is Adobe Dreamweaver which is also a web development tool. A third option is Coda, a text editor that gives previews and allows management of local and remote files. Bluefish Editor is another tool, different from SharePoint Designer, that writes websites, scripts, and programming code.
SharePoint Designer is a great HTML web page designer that allows customization of master pages, page layouts, CSS, and JavaScript. SharePoint Designer can also add KPI elements to your List Views through the creation of Conditional Formatting (i.e. having the font display in Red for any overdue tasks). It can also create a web part connection that allowed you to connect web parts across pages, like the ability to create a connection that allowed you to select an item in a list on one page and open another page to view data that was associated with the selected item.

If you opt to use SharePoint Designer, latest version 2013 for SharePoint Online or on-premise, here is what you can do with a SharePoint list: Custom list, Permissions, Columns, Views, Forms, Content Type and set Custom Actions.