Customizing SharePoint Online Using SharePoint Designer, Part 1
By Asif Rehmani
August 17, 2011 —
(Page 1 of 2)
The much anticipated Office 365
finally made available at the end of June, provides a great turnkey solution for organizations to provide their personnel with all sorts of services like messaging, collaboration, online conferencing and document management. Take a quick tour around the Office 365 interfaces by watching
The collaboration piece of the Office 365 pie is SharePoint Online. It’s basically SharePoint 2010 trimmed down to run in the cloud. Within your SharePoint Online environment, you can create multiple site collections for projects, departments, regions, business units or areas delegated for external sharing. A company’s SharePoint Online Administrator can delegate ownership of a site collection to a separate Site Collection Owner, who can then further create subsites and delegate ownership to a Site Owner. SharePoint Online is highly customizable and you can mold the environment to suit your needs as you see fit. Just like SharePoint 2010 on-premise, SharePoint Online is meant to be a platform on which to build business applications.
Customization Opportunities in SharePoint Online
Once you get a handle on what you have with SharePoint Online, the question becomes: How can I modify it/enhance it to suit my needs? That’s what I would like to address in this brief article.
The first level of customization is the kind of configuration you can achieve via the browser. Site owners and designers of a site can accomplish tasks such as creating subsites, managing site security, adding and customizing default Web Parts, creating and managing lists/libraries, and more. A lot can be done with the browser actually, but of course, you can only go so far with it. For example, if you wanted to get to and modify the underlying list and library forms, or implement a multi-step approval process for documents in a document library, you’ll need to look beyond the browser. You’ll end up looking into creating solutions using either SharePoint Designer 2010 or programming them with Visual Studio 2010.
If you are a programmer and comfortable with code, you can use Visual Studio 2010 (VS 2010) to create custom applications that run on SharePoint Online. The following developer features form the foundation of developing for SharePoint Online:
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