SharePoint Designer 2007 – Released for FREE
Yep .. took a little while for this one to sink in (it was announced on April 1st!) but SharePoint Designer 2007 (SPD) is now FREE.
SPD gets a lot of stick from the dev communities (who generally prefer Visual Studio) and for source control and effective granular control over the HTML markup I would completely agree, but that’s not to say that SPD doesn’t have it’s place.
I personally find it a great prototyping tool, rapidly creating ASPX pages in such hard-to-reach places (like list forms and views) without going to all the effort of building your own list definitions and getting messy with CAML.
It’s also one of the few OOB methods I know of that allows you to easily drag’n’drop field controls on to a page layout, and modify some of the "not-usually-visible" web parts (such as the ListForm and DataForm webparts).
This is all probably academic as Visual Studio 2010 is going to (apparently) include many of the SPD functions. So .. while you wait for the arrival of the (finally) SharePoint friendly Visual Studio 2010 … go and get SPD! It’s FREE! 🙂