1.1. Introducing SharePoint Designer

SharePoint is one of the fastest-growing Microsoft products and offers a platform for developing enterprise-level Web applications that focus on the sharing and collaboration of content and documents. In its most basic of definitions, SharePoint provides the infrastructure for creating and maintaining Web sites that can be used for a variety of Internet-based operations besides sharing Office or non-Office content and collaboration. You can later customize these Web sites that SharePoint creates to suit your business needs, format, or branding.

SharePoint Designer is Microsoft's premier product for Web site designers who are tasked with customizing and branding SharePoint Web sites. Although SharePoint Designer in its current release can be used for non-SharePoint Web site development, its full capability is exposed when you work with SharePoint Web sites. However, before I discuss SharePoint Designer and its features, I want to briefly mention its predecessor, FrontPage, and the origins of SharePoint Designer.

1.1.1. Exploring the legacy of FrontPage technologies

Microsoft acquired FrontPage quite a few years ago from a company called Vermeer Technologies Incorporated (VTI, an acronym you encounter a lot when exploring the internals of SharePoint Designer later in this chapter). FrontPage's Web site authoring and management techniques were really ahead of their time and allowed Web site developers to easily create Web sites on local computers ...

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