I'm a .NET programmer and I've got thrown at me the maintenance of a couple of SharePoint 2010 and 2013 portals with very little training.

Some of the things I've been told are:

  • SharePoint Designer, both the 2010 and 2013 versions, is awful and prone to data loss;
  • I should always use the copy of Designer installed locally where SharePoint server is installed and never use it from my computer connecting to the SharePoint server through the network;
  • I should never "save" an item - any item - but always "save as" it with a different name and change everything to point to the new version;

The reason for these statements is always "because it screws up when you save and you'll lose everything" with no explanation to back it up.

I tried looking around here but I couldn't find any decisive evidence of these problems, and as a programmer I'm not satisfied with a "it doesn't work" / "because I say so" answer, especially when I've been tasked with the maintenance.

I'd like to know if SharePoint designer really has the problems my colleague mentioned or if it's some kind of cargo cult due to missing knowledge of the products and/or problem with the infrastructure (e.g. wrong setup, corrupted database, etc.) which should be investigated further.

  • 2
    SPD isn't super great, but it mostly does just fine. I've had instances where the markup was changed as I saved and extra characters were inserted (SPD was being "helpful"). These are frustrating (but rare) issues. However, I've used SPD from my machine (not the server) for 5+ years without issue in a variety of environments. I use the standard save functionality. I'm answering in a comment because I don't have definitive evidence, just my own experience. SPD isn't the most user friendly, but it gets the job done. – theChrisKent Jul 18 '16 at 12:20

Based on my own experiences, the answers would be:

  1. Yes, Designer can re-format or corrupt a page (for example)
  2. No, I don't think there is a benefit there and I do not wish to remote log-in every time I need to change something.
  3. I am not sure what 'item' refers too, but for example when changing a page I usually make a copy of the original file before messing around.

In general, I do try to keep 'backups' and do not trust it as much. (even if that means copy pasting the source to notepad and discarding it only after checking that the file was saved successfully).

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