Why is SharePoint Designer a bad thing?
- It’s free; every man and his dog can download it, potentially install it, and potentially break your sites
- It can potentially be used against production—which if you follow a regimented deployment process is all wrong as changes can be made any ol’ time
- It customises (or ghosts, if you prefer) pages thereby severing the link between the artefacts you’ve conscientiously built into a solution package and featurised; uncustomising these artefacts may not be possible, depending on the changes that were made, or you’ll need another way to fix things up.
- Artefacts created by SPD are created in the content database and can’t be moved easily between environments (eg. from dev to UAT to prod)
- It modifies your files and injects stupid attributes that only it cares about
- It’s buggy and it sucks and crashes and it’s too complicated for business analysts and too wrong for developers and it’s FrontPage rebranded and so on.
Eric’s comment got me digging and I found this new tool on CodePlex that installs a feature allowing admins and content editors to disable access to a site using SPD. Although a site definition can be altered directly to limit access by SPD this won’t affect existing sites, can’t be unlimited at any point in the future using any obvious mechanism, and is all a bit weird.
No SharePoint Designer is implemented as an HTTP Handler so it doesn’t touch the content database or much of anything. It’s still early days but definitely a “watch this space” kind of effort.