Introducing Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007

Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 is a new product for creating and customizing Microsoft SharePoint Web sites and building workflow-enabled applications based on SharePoint technologies. Office SharePoint Designer 2007 provides professional tools for building interactive solutions on the SharePoint platform without writing code, for designing custom SharePoint sites, and for maintaining site performance with reports and managed permissions.

In this article

No-code interactive solutions

Professional design tools

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 integration

Enhanced management capabilities

Office Diagnostics

Proofing Tools

No-code interactive solutions

With Office SharePoint Designer 2007, you can build sophisticated no-code solutions such as Data Views, reports, and workflow tracking quickly and easily by using menus, task panes, and templates.

Incorporate data from a wide variety of sources into interactive Web pages

With Office SharePoint Designer 2007, you can create custom Data Views and data forms that leverage Microsoft ASP.NET technology, allowing you to integrate external data into your Web site, including views that display data from multiple sources.

For example, suppose that your enterprise has a product database and a customer database, and you want to display product information on your SharePoint site — you can do this quickly and easily by creating a view on that data. Suppose that you also want a Web page that displays which customers have ordered which products. You can do this by linking your data sources — in this case, your two databases — so that you can view this information in a single joined Data View. What's more, you can use this Data View as a form, so you can write data back to your data sources.

Data Source Library
Access a wide variety of data sources from the Data Source Library.

You can create Data Views from a wide variety of data sources, including:

  • RSS feeds    Add RSS feeds to the Data Source Library, and create Data Views by using the RSS feeds as a data source.

  • XML files    Add XML files to the Data Source Library, and create Data Views that display XML data.

  • Office XML    Create Data Views from 2007 Microsoft Office system documents. For example, create a view on data in Microsoft Office Word 2007 documents by using their new XML-based file format as a data source.

Create high-impact reports

Tools such as calculated fields, conditional formatting, and sorting, grouping, and filtering capabilities help you create high-impact reports in the form of Data Views. For example, you can apply conditional formatting to a Data View so that items in your inventory are highlighted when they drop below a specific number and need to be reordered.

Collaborate more efficiently with the built-in Workflow Designer

You can associate conditions and actions with tasks, lists, and document libraries to automate communications that are specific to your needs. For example, you can create a workflow to automatically route documents that are posted to the site for approval. With the Workflow Designer, you can refine the approval routing to actions that are based on the document being approved or rejected, or in case recipients are out of the office and have delegated their responsibilities to a colleague.

Apply SharePoint Application Templates

You can use built-in application Web sites such as Expense and Reimbursement Tracking and Absence and Vacation Management to share information more effectively. Each template is fully customizable and extensible by using Office SharePoint Designer 2007. (You can find links to more examples of application Web sites in the See Also section. These applications are for Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 2.0. Applications for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 will be available in the future.)

Build interactive ASP.NET pages

You can create ASP.NET pages and insert custom ASP.NET controls by using the same powerful on-control activity menus and control property grid found in development tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio 2005.

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Professional design tools

Office SharePoint Designer 2007 provides the professional design tools that you need to create compelling SharePoint sites that are customized to your needs.

Enjoy an intuitive design experience

You can view and change SharePoint pages with advanced what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) capabilities.

Format SharePoint pages quickly and easily with powerful cascading style sheets (CSS) tools

New CSS tools such as the Apply Styles and Manage Styles task panes make applying and managing style sheets faster, easier, and more efficient.

Manage Styles task pane
New CSS task panes make it easy to edit and update the SharePoint style sheet.

Use ASP.NET master pages to maintain a consistent look and feel throughout your site

Office SharePoint Designer 2007 supports ASP.NET master pages, which you can use to control the layout of your entire Web site by creating and editing a single template.

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Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 integration

Office SharePoint Designer 2007 includes ground-breaking new functionality that Office SharePoint Server 2007 users and portal site managers can take advantage of, enabling you to design and extend portal sites or portal pages with more flexibility and power than ever before.

Easily customize your portal site pages

Office SharePoint Server 2007 portal sites are fully customizable with Office SharePoint Designer 2007. You can edit the SharePoint style sheet with state-of-the-art CSS editing tools.

Extend business document workflows

With the Workflow Designer in Office SharePoint Designer 2007, you can extend the built-in business document workflows that are available in Office SharePoint Server 2007 and create custom workflows from scratch.

Create custom views of enterprise data

With the Office SharePoint Server 2007 Business Data Catalog and Office SharePoint Designer 2007 Data Views, you can:

  • Create custom views of vital business data, and even create Data Views that integrate information from multiple data sources into a single Data View.

  • Use conditional formatting to call attention to important information.

  • Use Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT) data forms to quickly and easily create, update, and display data.

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Enhanced management capabilities

Office SharePoint Designer 2007 can be used by site administrators and IT managers to control the levels of access to ensure a consistent user experience across the site.

Use Contributor mode

By determining the levels of control for team members according to their roles, you can control which Office SharePoint Designer 2007 commands the users can access and what kinds of modifications the users can make to your SharePoint site. With Contributor mode, you can:

  • Create user groups and assign them specific permissions.

  • Create user groups that have access only to specified editable regions and content types.

  • Limit who can create and edit master pages, change cascading style sheets, and edit or delete the home page.

  • Control which master pages and style sheets can be used to create pages, and in which folders the site contributors can save their files.

Manage your site more efficiently

You can access tools and reports for a wide variety of site maintenance tasks, including hyperlink checking, CSS usage, and more.

Track customized pages

You can easily track customized pages by using the Site Template Pages report. With the Site Template Pages report, you can see a list of pages that have been customized, including the file name and file type, as well as the folder in which the file is located.

Roll back changes

You can use the Revert to Template Page command and the Site Template Pages report to restore previous versions of the page. Making changes to the live site is no longer a problem. If unwanted changes have been saved, you can now restore previous versions of the same page with the click of a button.

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Office Diagnostics

Microsoft Office Diagnostics is a series of diagnostic tests that can help you to discover why your computer is crashing. The diagnostic tests can solve some problems directly and may identify ways that you can solve other problems. Microsoft Office Diagnostics replaces the following Microsoft Office 2003 features: Detect and Repair and Microsoft Office Application Recovery.

For more information, see Diagnose and repair crashing Office programs by using Office Diagnostics.

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Proofing Tools

The following are some new features of the spelling checker:

  • The spelling checker has been made more consistent across the 2007 Microsoft Office system programs. Examples of this change include:

    • Several spelling checker options are now global. If you change one of these options in one Office program, that option is also changed for all the other Office programs.

    • In addition to sharing the same custom dictionaries, all programs can manage them using the same dialog box. For more information, see Use custom dictionaries to add words to the spelling checker.

  • An exclusion dictionary is automatically created for a language the first time that language is used. Exclusion dictionaries let you force the spelling checker flag words you want to avoid using. They are handy for avoiding words that are obscene or that don't match your style guide. For more information, see Use exclusion dictionaries to specify a preferred spelling for a word.

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