Let me first start by saying that SharePoint Designer (SPD) is not for everyone. I believe it does have its place with the Power Users, and Site Administrators within the organization, but if not used properly, it can severely damage your sites and potentially your whole Portal.
My reasons for liking it are the following features in SPD:
- Creating Sites and Lists and Libraries within those sites
- Being able to backup your sites or site collections. Also, you can restore your site at any location
- Designing powerful Workflows for a list or library within a site
- Using the Data View web part to create mashups of data from a variety of sources
- Reporting on site usage
- Working with the Web Content Management features of SharePoint (creation of Master Pages and Page Layouts based on Content Types)
- “Prettying” your sites using Cascading Styles – using SPD makes it pretty easy to manage this process
And that’s not all… there’s even more stuff you can do with SPD.
Over the years, I have presented many conference sessions (at Microsoft’s SharePoint Conference, SharePoint Connections and SharePoint Advisor) on a variety of topics within SPD. So it just seemed natural to foray into writing more formally about the product and educate people on the intricacies of using SPD. With that said, I would like to officially announce at this time that I, in conjunction with a couple of co-authors, am writing the Professional SharePoint Designer book by Wrox publications. The release date is set to the end of this calendar year. Here is a snapshot from the book’s web page on Amazon: