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Environment: 2013 Enterprise, Server 2012, SQL 2012, single WFE with single SQL server

2013's Design Manager seems like a good idea, but it's causing me several headaches and I'm not sure where to start troubleshooting them. To begin with, I have complete and total access to everything, and my accounts have every permission available and are site collections admins, etc.

I'm trying to use Dreamweaver CS6 to create different prototype master pages for a single site. I've uploaded the templates into the master page catalog and converted them successfully and can preview them. As advised, I mapped a network location to the catalog. However when I try to open any of the index.html files that have been converted, Dreamweaver simply says "Encountered some invalid arguments" and refuses to open them. To combat this, I have had to edit the files locally and then copy them over top of the ones in the catalog. This worked for a bit, but now I can't even do that because the Design Manager "can't find converted html files". I've gone back to the conversion step and re-submitted the index.html files, but then I get a message saying it can't overwrite them because the templates are in use. I even bounced the server and it still says this. My next thought was to delete the existing file and upload the new copy in its place, which I can do through Windows Explorer, but after allegedly deleting the file, it doesn't go away. At that point I can drop the new file on top of it and it asks if I want to overwrite, I click yes, then it says it can't find the file (probably because I deleted it). When trying to delete it through the menu in SharePoint, it gives a similar "does not exist" message, but won't remove it from the list. To make matters worse, any time my workstation's connection to the server is reset (for example after rebooting the workstation or server), the network location becomes unavailable and I have to re-map it.

I get the feeling that if I can get step 1 to work (being able to edit the file from the network location in Dreamweaver) the rest of the issues will vanish. What's frustrating is that sometimes I can open it, and sometimes I can't because it gives the invalid arguments message. But even when I can open it, it refuses to save saying that the network location is inaccessible.

I'm fairly certain there are no NTFS or network permission issues, because my accounts are domain admins, local admins, farm admins, site admins, database owners, and every other type of admin you can think of. This is all on VMs on my workstation, so I have 110% control. Microsoft and Adobe's help resources have nothing relevant that I've been able to find. There are so many issues with this whole thing that I'm probably just missing one detail at the root of the problem, but it's tough to tell what.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've found an article here that gives a decent explanation of how to make the Dreamweaver connection work, which does in turn solve the major issues. There are a couple parts of it that I don't think are really necessary, but the gist of it is there. Here are my observations:

1) Building up from a minimal master is not ideal for those who aren't comfortable designing websites to begin with, or those who already have a site design they want to use.

2) Syncing the .master file is not needed. SharePoint automatically updates it based on your page design when you push the files back to the server.

The bad news is that if you're looking for the level of customization that 2010 offered (like simply being able to completely control the color scheme) without building a site from scratch, you're SOL. Time to dust off the old web design skills...

Cheers!

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