2017 UPDATE: if you are looking how to use SharePoint Designer 2013 with SharePoint Online / 2016, then please check out : “There is no SharePoint Designer 2016, but you can still use SharePoint Designer 2013“.
If you followed the social activity on the web ‘post ignite’ you may seen that SharePoint Designer may be killed off in SharePoint 2016. See Ben’s tweet after a session he attended :
Is this for real? If so, what’s going to replace it (if anything). I suspect this is just part of the general move to stop the amount of ‘customisations’ that customer’s currently do in SharePoint. Microsoft can’t maintain and support these long term (as it shackles innovation in the product), so I think it’s probably a good thing. There are often other ways to achieve the same thing in most cases.
What do you think? Will you miss it?
I, for one, will miss SPD. I use SharePoint Designer primarily for writing workflows. We’ve also used it for same branding changes. In SP2007, I created a lot of data views with it. I’m still learning to create them with code only in Sp2013.
Does SPD have issues? Yes, I don’t deny that. However, for the workflows I’ve written in the past 7 years, it’s been more than adequate to the task.
The idea that SharePoint can be changed out of step with traditional SDLC points to the fact that a strength of the product (i.e. PowerUser, EndUser customization and agility) is also an IT nightmare. When clients ask for “best practice” in customization processes, the discussion always turns to the “it depends” answer, which to me is a difficult answer to give. I can see SharePoint on-line (or whatever it is morphing into – it seems that SharePoint is the “kernel” of the 365 product and its name may disappear into the ecosystem) allowing SharePoint Designer (or whatever Microsoft says is needed to work within the cloud customization parameters), but on-premises bringing all the control of the product back to IT. This will inevitably be a point at which some customers either switch to Office 365 or migrate away from SP altogether. The cloud option is going to have to continue to prove it is the most compelling alternative to anything else out there in the market for the former to occur.
I see what you are saying, but (being an ISV myself) I do think they are going to have to say enough is enough in order to continue with SharePoint releases. Each feature needs testing and each customisation needs thinking through. SharePoint Designer must be a mare to take into consideration.
Just replied on LinkedIn to …
If you think about it from their point of view SP Designer MUST make it really hard for Microsoft to innovate in the product. Their regression testing bill must be horrendous now. SharePoint in some respects is too flexible for them to keep improving it. It’s why the App Model got introduced – there’s a definite need to keep the customisations ‘debt’ down and off the server.