June 13, 2016

Getting SharePoint Designer to work with Office 365

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Overview:

SharePoint Designer is a very useful tool provided by Microsoft for customizing SharePoint based solutions and workflows. However, Microsoft has announced that it has stopped development of future releases of SharePoint Designer. This means that the current version of SharePoint Designer – SharePoint Designer 2013 will be the last version although Microsoft has said that they will support this version till 2020. This makes it critical that we make this version of SharePoint work with the current and future versions of SharePoint unless Microsoft releases another tool to do that.

Problem:

One of the common issues that I have encountered with SharePoint Designer is that sometimes it freezes or becomes unresponsive during development in Office 365. I had faced this issue couple of months back when I was trying to develop a BCS application in Office 365.

Solution:

This problem is typically caused by mismatch in the supported runtime in the SharePoint Designer configuration.

You will need to complete the following steps to resolve this issue:

Step 1: Open an Office 365 site in Internet Explorer. Press the ‘F12’ key. Go to the Network Tab and select the response header from the right pane. Select and copy the ‘X-AspNet-Version’.

Step 2: Go to directory where SharePoint Designer is installed – this is typically ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15’ but could be different if you chose to install at a different location.

Step 3: Open the configuration file ‘spdesign.exe.config’ in an editor. It is advisable to create a backup of this file prior to making any changes.

Step 4: Update the configuration information like ‘supportedRuntime’ and ‘requiredRuntime’ with the ASP.NET version selected from Step 1.

You are done. Restart the SharePoint Designer and it will start working.

Hope this information was useful and please let us know if you have encountered similar issues and the steps that you’ve taken to resolve those.

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