There is a product by the name of Microsoft SharePoint designer that you have probably heard of. It was often related to the Microsoft Office software programs. Although available at one point, it has been discontinued. It was a very valuable HTML editor freeware that was used by millions of people.
It was able to modify Microsoft SharePoint sites. It was also capable of helping you set up workflows and webpages of different types. It is part of the family of products, those offered by Microsoft SharePoint and was first introduced back in 2007. Today, it is not available on any of the Microsoft Office suites as a freebie. The latest version was released back in 2013. Let’s go over some of the history of this software and what you should know about SharePoint designers and what they will be able to do with this software.
What Is The Purpose Of Microsoft SharePoint Designer?
A couple decades ago when the Internet was brand-new, and people were creating websites, you had to understand how to do HTML code. This is the code that is used to program websites, among many others, ones that you will likely access every day online. Times have changed in recent years. There are more companies than ever before that are providing services where you do not have to worry about HTML or any other form of code at all. That’s why when you learn about Microsoft SharePoint designers and the current plight of this software, you will soon see that what has happened is actually a step in the right direction.
The History Of SharePoint Designers
When this was initially released, it was a product that work directly with Microsoft Expression Web. Years ago when Microsoft FrontPage was still considered to be a top-of-the-line HTML editor, it was considered to be a very welcome upgrade. In short, Expression Web was designed to be a successor to FrontPage offering a wide range of features, SharePoint Designer was specifically made to customize and design Microsoft SharePoint websites. If you have it, or if you did have it, it had very specific site templates. Although initially used for commercial purposes, in 2009 it was made into a freeware product.
What Type Of Features Does It Have?
SharePoint designer has a codebase that is similar to Expression Web. It is able to render HTML sites, and act as a user interface, yet it is not reliant upon the IE Trident engine. Its main premise is focused upon workflows. You can create them, automate them, and you can choose many different types of content. Everything that is accessible from the SharePoint server would be listed, and it was even easy for those that were using this as a non-developer. At the time it was made, it was state-of-the-art software that was very valuable. Since that time, and even after it became freeware, many upgrades have occurred. It is one of the better software programs that you can use with things related to Microsoft, specifically in regard to the creation of websites online.
All About SharePoint Designers Changes After 2009
As with many Microsoft updates, it typically comes in the form of the service pack. It was in 2009 that Service Pack 2 included the upgrade to SharePoint Designer 2017. It was not until April 2010 that it was accessible on two completely different platforms. This would be CPUs that were running on 32 and 64 systems.
The upgrade is very different from its predecessor in a couple ways. Although somewhat independent, it still needs to work off the SharePoint server. If the SharePoint Foundation was available, it would also function, but it could not function on its own as a standalone HTML generic editor. It was not until 2010 where the SharePoint Designer 2010 was made available. People were able to download this and start using it right away.
It was in 2012 that the next version was made available in the form of SharePoint Designer 2013. Subsequently, in 2015, the SharePoint 2016 version was announced. Unfortunately, with that announcement the SharePoint Designer was not going to be included with the update at all.
Reasons For The Discontinuation Of The Product
Part of the reason for the discontinuation was that they were more focused on workflows. There was not going to be that much of an upgrade in regard to the HTML, and therefore they decided not to invest the money into this type of situation. They decided to focus their attention on Microsoft Flow. This was a flagship product, one that was going to help automating workflow processes for apps and other purposes. For example, Power Apps was something that could be used to create automated workflows that would allow you to collect data, synchronize files, and get notifications. It is because of this change of focus, and less of an emphasis on developing websites, that they decided to go in this direction.
Will It Always Be Accessible?
According to the latest reports, it is accessible. However, if you are looking for future upgrades, or improvements on the current system, it’s not going to happen. There is also the assumption that you will be using other sources for HTML development. There are many popular services on the web where they actually create the websites for you. Although it was not unpopular, it was not used by a lot of people. The popularity of these other services was far greater. Therefore, it was in their best interest to not continue to develop something that would likely be used less and less by those that are looking for a more drag-and-drop or WYSIWYG website solution.
What Should SharePoint Designers Do Now?
Going back as far as 1995 when Windows decided to significantly change the way Windows functions, it took people quite a while to realize that this was a good decision. However, there will always be those that will hold for these things that they enjoy using to not be discontinued. That is simply not the case with this particular aspect of the Microsoft Corporation.
Although there are people that enjoy working with HTML, and they prefer not using these newfangled website development companies,, changes always going to happen. It might be in the best interest of those that are currently using SharePoint designer to consider another course of action. Some people simply prefer using HTML over PHP or other types of online website platforms. Once you know about SharePoint Designers and the problems they are facing now, you will likely come to the same conclusion
as Microsoft when looking at the competition.
Although it is possible that they may go in this direction at some point in time in the future, it is unlikely. In the same way that Microsoft is the leader in the computer industry for the Windows-based platform, these other companies are leaders in the development of websites. People are constantly looking for ways to improve how their websites look, yet they do not want to worry about HTML, code, or anything that is technical.
Their main focus is always going to be on making a profit. SharePoint Designer was simply not something that would be profitable or feasible in the long term. It was a decision that you may have heard discussed when talking about SharePoint Designers, but outside of that small group of people that use this, not that many would be upset with this decision. It was once a great program, and still can be used, but it may not be the best choice for developing modern websites today.
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