How to prevent SharePoint Designer 2010 users from changing a SharePoint Server 2010 site

One of the new features in the SharePoint 2010 is administrative ability to lock down the usage of SharePoint Designer usage in the SharePoint farm environment using the browser interface. In MOSS 2007, there were multiple ways to prevent the SharePoint Designer 2007 to update the SharePoint Site by setting the site template property DisableWebDesignFeatures=wdfopensite either directly by modifying the Onet.XML on 12-Hive (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940958) or programmatically changing site template property (preferred method).

In SharePoint 2010, locking down SharePoint Designer 2010 usage has been improved to govern the SharePoint Designer 2010 usage/policies in the organization. Here is the high level overview of the configuring SharePoint 2010 Designer usage in the SharePoint farm. 

  • Two levels of Setting
    • Granular level control of Site Designer Usage at the Web Application or Site Collection Level
    • Accessing SharePoint sites using the SharePoint Designer 2010 is enabled by default.
    • Web Application Level
      • Manage SharePoint Designer Usage policies at the Web Application Level
      • Two Places to manage
        • Managed at the Central Administration ->  General Application Settings -> SharePoint Designer
        • Managed at the Central Administration -> Application Management -> Manage Web Applications -> Select Web Application -> Select SharePoint Designer from the General Settings on the Ribbon Bar
      • Four Settings
        • Allow SharePoint Designer to be used in this Web Application  – Specify whether to allow users to edit sites in this Web Application using SharePoint Designer.  Please note that this option will still show the “Edit in SharePoint Designer” in the Site Actions menu but it won’t allow the editing in the SharePoint Designer.
        • Allow Site Collection Administrators to Detach Pages from the Site Template  – Specify whether to allow site administrators to detach pages from the original site definition using SharePoint Designer. 
        • Allow Site Collection Administrators to Customize Master Pages and Layout Pages  – Specify whether to allow site administrators to customize Master Pages and Layout Pages using SharePoint Designer. 
        • Allow Site Collection Administrators to see the URL Structure of their Web Site  – Specify whether to allow site administrators to manage the URL structure of their Web site using SharePoint Designer. 
    • Site Collection Level
      • Manage SharePoint Designer Usage policies at the Site Collection Level
      • Managed at the Site Collection Administration section on the Site Settings Page
      • Site Collections can further delegate the SharePoint Designer Permission to the Site Users.
      • Four Settings
        • Allow Site Owners and Designers to use SharePoint Designer in this Site Collection  – Specify whether to allow Site Owners and Designers to edit the sites in this Site Collection using SharePoint Designer. Site Collection Administrators will always be able to edit sites. 
        • Allow Site Owners and Designers to Detach Pages from the Site Definition  – Specify whether to allow Site Owners and Designers to detach pages from the original Site Definition using SharePoint Designer. Site Collection Administrators will always be able to perform this operation. 
        • Allow Site Owners and Designers to Customize Master Pages and Page Layouts  – Specify whether to allow Site Owners and Designers to customize Master Pages and Page Layouts using SharePoint Designer. Site Collection Administrators will always be able to perform this operation.
        • Allow Site Owners and Designers to See the Hidden URL structure of their Web Site  – Specify whether to allow Site Owners and Designers to view and manage the hidden URL structure of their Web site using SharePoint Designer. Site Collection Administrators will always be able to perform this operation.
 

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