Two Handy Ways to Restrict Access to Microsoft SharePoint Designer
SharePoint Designer is a very useful tool, but it is good to remember that it is not useful to everyone. In the wrong hands, it can even cause disaster. “Removing Access to SharePoint Designer” tells you how to limit access to SPD in a few different ways.
If you have read the Introduction to SharePoint Designer or have been paying attention to the DVWP series, you will know why SharePoint Designer is so powerful. If not, I will tell you, with SharePoint Designer you can manage a whole site collection from within the programme this includes creating sites, lists, libraries, columns as well as deleting all of them too but wait that’s not all, you can also do custom workflows, connect to external data sources create custom page layouts and with SPD 2010 you can even manage content types. So why would you limit access to SPD? That’s right it is one powerful piece of software, in some organisations they will limit the installation of programmes via a group policy as well as removing the ability to even download software however,if this is not the case in your organisation then you might want to try one of the following.
The first way is to disable access via Central Admin. The article walks you through how you can click on Configure SharePoint Designer and disable it in eight steps. You can do the same thing via PowerShell, but the article links to an explanation of why this doesn’t work as well. The second way is to disable access at the Site Collection level, which is a little less extreme than disabling the access across the Web App. To accomplish this as a Site Collection Admin, you can click on Site Actions > Site Settings > SharePoint Designer Settings. From there it follows the same path as the Central Admin instructions. However, keep in mind that when you enable features like Publishing Infrastructure, SharePoint Designer Settings are all enabled, even if they were previously disabled.
A tool that is useful in any hands is the Semaphore Content Intelligence Platform from Smartlogic. Semaphore offers improved search and navigation to maximize the return on your Microsoft SharePoint investment.
Ken Toth, April 17, 2012