One of the key aspects of the SharePoint value proposition is its ability to support customised solutions built on the Microsoft platform. Microsoft's strategy is to facilitate the creation of these customisations and allow customers to make the most of their overall investments in SharePoint.
In addition, more and more customers want to be able to create dynamic web sites on SharePoint. Based on this feedback from its customers, Microsoft is making SharePoint Designer 2007 available as a free download. This change takes effect on April 1, 2009.
SharePoint delivers great out-of-the-box functionality. However, the majority of customers use SharePoint to create custom portal solutions, extranets and intranets, internet-facing sites, collaboration solutions, social networking sites, business processes, and internal applications on top of the extensive capabilities of SharePoint to fulfill their specific business needs.
Office SharePoint Designer 2007 provides the powerful tools you need to deliver compelling and attractive SharePoint sites and quickly build workflow-enabled applications and reporting tools on the SharePoint platform, all in an IT-managed environment.
1. Use Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer to be more productive with next-generation Microsoft Web technologies.
Enjoy a new level of support for creating and customising next-generation SharePoint Web sites and technologies. SharePoint Designer 2007 has deep editing support for the technologies underlying Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services technology, such as ASP.NET 2.0, cascading style sheets, and Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation.
2. Use SharePoint Designer to customise SharePoint sites exactly the way you want.
Choose the format and content of your SharePoint pages with Office SharePoint Designer 2007 — the customization tool for the entire SharePoint family. You can tailor SharePoint sites to your needs and set brand requirements using the latest ASP.NET technology, established Web standards such as XHTML, and cascading style sheets.
3. Easily make or undo changes across entire SharePoint sites.
Make format and layout changes to entire SharePoint sites simply by editing the master page and modifying the SharePoint cascading style sheets. Undo changes to the home page using the Revert to Site Template Page command in Office SharePoint Designer 2007.
4. Maintain control over site customization.
Site administrators and IT managers can control exactly how Office SharePoint Designer 2007 is used to help ensure information workers have an IT-managed and -compliant experience. Set up Contributor Settings for each role defined in the SharePoint site, and control access to specific actions.
5. Create workflows to automate business processes.
Automate business processes associated with SharePoint lists and document libraries using the Workflow Designer, a powerful and easy-to-use tool that comes with Office SharePoint Designer 2007. Set up custom workflow conditions and actions, link them to your SharePoint data, and deploy them with a single click, without installing server code.
6. Create interactive Web pages without writing code.
Office SharePoint Designer 2007 has a full set of tools to help you integrate data into SharePoint pages and present that data using XSLT in SharePoint sites. You can access tools for using XSLT Data Views, List View Web Parts, Web Part connections, ASP.NET controls, and workflow.
7. Integrate business data.
Create views and forms for working with a variety of data sources using tools supported by Office SharePoint Designer 2007. Build SharePoint Web pages that present and edit data coming from SharePoint lists and document libraries, XML files, Microsoft SQL Server databases, Web services, and enterprise systems.
8. Develop sites compatible with a wide range of browsers and Web standards.
Office SharePoint Designer 2007 has excellent support for creating Web pages based on Web standards such as XHTML and cascading style sheets and meeting Web accessibility requirements for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG and Section 508 (29 U.S.C. 794d), including built-in compatibility checkers for these standards.
9. Build advanced ASP.NET pages.
Office SharePoint Designer 2007 supports creating and editing ASP.NET pages. It provides the same level of support as Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 for ASP.NET control hosting, property editing, toolbox, and Microsoft IntelliSense technology in Code View.
10. Manage and help protect your site.
Use reports in Office SharePoint Designer 2007 to help manage your site by checking for broken links, unused pages, cascading style sheets usage, and master page usage. Site backup and restore features make it easy to save your site to a single file for helping to protect data or moving it to another server running Windows SharePoint Services technology.