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I have two SharePoint server 2013 farms as follow:-

  • Live farm. Which have 2 MS windows 2008 r2 servers; SharePoint server + SQl server.
  • Staging server which have one MS windows 2008 r2 server containing both SharePoint + sql server.

Now I always try to keep the two farms in the same sharepoint farm build number. so I can backup/restore/test site collections easily between the 2 farms. and when our system admins patch the servers each 2 months (by installing the latest windows security updates using the GIFs tool), I always inform them to install these patches one staging first , so I can test the patches then ask them to do it on live if everything work well on staging.

Now I have installed SharePoint designer one both the staging and live . Although I should not do so on live,, but this my current situation.

Today I read an article (which refer to SharePoint 2007 not 2013) that sometimes some updates for SharePoint designer can affect SharePoint server dll files, and can break some modules on SharePoint. So based on this article i am a bit confused about having sharepoint designer installed on live server. I have these 2 options to follow:-

  • To un-install the SharePoint designer from the live SharePoint server. and if I want to modify a live site collection I can use the SharePoint designer inside the staging to access live sites. But in this case some updates on staging which is targeting SharePoint designer , will not be install inside the live server ,, which can result in different farm build numbers being generated inside the staging compared to live ..
  • Second approach is to have SP designer on both servers (as I am currently doing) . I mean to assume my software requirement for my SharePoint farm to have both SharePoint server + SharePoint designer installed… and since I am testing the updates on staging before applying them to live,,, so I can minimize the risk , if an update for SP designer will negatively affect SharePoint server..

Second question . now the article I read was talking about SharePoint 2007 , where some updates for office products have affect dll files used by SharePoint. So the author of the article was saying to not install any office products inside live sharepoint servers… so mu question if this case is still valid inside SP 2013? I mean can a security update or other update for SharePoint designer affect a dll used by SharePoint server 2013?

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    I would not install SPD on the server, there is no point. It is a client application. There is nothing stopping you from installing it on your local machine and connecting to either farm. – Eric Alexander Aug 25 '16 at 17:26
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    On all in one dev servers, sure I have before, since a lot of the DNS entries are really just hosts file entries. But not on production servers. – Mike Aug 25 '16 at 19:19
  • @EricAlexander now since i already have SPD installed on live and staging . so do you recommend to un-install from the sharepoint server,, and install on my local PC ?? and could un-installing it cause any problem to sharepoint ? – john Gu Aug 26 '16 at 1:21
  • @Mike i know that installing SPD inside live servers is not recommended ,,, but why you avoid doing so inside live servers? is this due to performance issues ,, or due to the risks that some updates (which are part of windows server patching) which is related to SPD , can cause some dll files which are used by sharepoint to get updated also ? second question ,, what is your recommendation in my case, should i uninstall the SPD from live server ? – john Gu Aug 26 '16 at 1:27
  • It's like putting the Office suite or Adobe Reader/Acrobat on the servers. You can, but why? Since having it on the servers there is no difference between that and on your own computer, other than the negative effects of performance and like you said the dlls. SPD is an office product. Client software that is never meant to go on servers. – Mike Aug 26 '16 at 2:31
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As a recommended approach, you should not install the SharePoint Designer on the SharePoint server, reason is same as you mentioned.

SharePoint Designer is client application and you can connect to both farm from you local machine( as long as that machine on network) as long as you have to permission on the site collection.

  • thanks for your reply. first question , so you mean having SPD installed inside sharepoint server can cause some dll files which are used by sharepoint to be updated as part of updating the SPD itself ? second question ,, do you recommend to uninstall the SPD from my staging & live sharepoint servers and instead install it on my local PC ??, and could uninstalling it cause any problems to sharepoint server ? – john Gu Aug 26 '16 at 1:24
  • can you please advice on my above comment ? – john Gu Aug 26 '16 at 12:01
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    I am not sure if this update any dll but I advising you on the basis of recommendations which we got from MSFT couple years ago. For uninstalling, I would uninstall it in test farm and the do a full test to make sure everything is working after that I will go to prod. As a side note it is not advisable to install any client program on sharepoint server – Waqas Sarwar MVP Aug 26 '16 at 14:13

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