I am new to SharePoint and have seen different download options like Server, Foundation and Designer.

I have seen some posts which are explaining the difference between Server and Foundation, but nothing that explains the difference between Foundation and Designer.

If I want to get a help desk support job for SharePoint Clients, which version would I need to be more familiar with?

2 Answers 2


Organizations use SharePoint to create websites. You can use it as a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from almost any device. All you need is a web browser, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox.

SharePoint can refer to one or more SharePoint products or technologies, including

  • SharePoint Foundation The underlying technology for all SharePoint sites. SharePoint Foundation (formerly Windows SharePoint Services) is free for on-premises deployment. You can use SharePoint Foundation to create many types of sites where you can collaborate on webpages, documents, lists, calendars, and data. Download SharePoint Foundation 2013.
  • SharePoint Server Organizations can deploy and manage SharePoint Server on-premises. It includes all the features of SharePoint Foundation. And it offers additional features and capabilities such as Enterprise Content Management, business intelligence, enterprise search, personal sites, and Newsfeed. Give SharePoint Server 2013 a try!
  • SharePoint Designer 2013 A free program. Use to build powerful, workflow-enabled solutions. And use to edit external content type for an external data solution based on Business Connectivity Services. Download SharePoint Designer 2013.
  • SharePoint Online A cloud-based service, hosted by Microsoft, for businesses of all sizes. Instead of installing and deploying SharePoint Server on-premises, anybusiness can subscribe to an Office 365 plan or to the standalone SharePoint Online service. Your employees can create sites to share documents and information with colleagues, partners, and customers. Give Office a try.

Read more over here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/What-is-SharePoint-97b915e6-651b-43b2-827d-fb25777f446f


You are talking about 2 different things.

Server and Foundation are the server versions of the product, they determine what features and functions you have available to you.

Designer is a software application that allows you to connect to your SharePoint sites and modify things, like create workflow, create data view web parts, customize and create aspx and html pages, create JS and CSS.

  • 1
    Thank you. Can I create SharePoint sites with Designer on a local pc for practice without having to install Server or Foundation?
    – web-dev
    Jan 13, 2016 at 17:00
  • 1
    No. Designer doesn't create sites; it lets you work with existing sites. To practice, you have to install at least SQL Express and SharePoint Foundation.
    – Erin L
    Jan 13, 2016 at 17:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.