BrightWork Tips: 4 Free Tools for SharePoint Configuration
When configuring SharePoint or BrightWork, there are some free tools that I use to help make life a lot simpler. I work with customers to implement BrightWork and these are just some of the free tools to configure SharePoint that I recommend. None of the tools require an install on the SharePoint server and are installed or ran locally.
4 Free Tools for SharePoint Configuration
1. SharePoint Designer
SharePoint Designer (SPD) is a free tool from Microsoft to help with the configuration, and to an extent, customization of SharePoint. The most commonly used features are perhaps the ability to create workflows or setting up Business Connectivity Services (BCS).
With no SPD release for 2016, the assumption is that there is a push towards APIs instead. But hopefully, SPD will be around for a long time!
Notepad++ is a superb little piece of freeware for source code editing. If you are looking at the Project Cache, editing a piece of XML, or troubleshooting a calculated column, with Notepad++ you can easily see the syntax, fold some of the sections, and in some instances, there is the ability to auto-complete the code.
You can select the language that you are looking at the code in e.g. HTML, XML, and you can upload your own custom language files as well.
3. U2U CAML Query Builder
If you get really underneath the hood with BrightWork Reporter, or you wish to run more complex filters on data, then U2U CAML Query Builder is for you!
Collaborative Application Markup Language (better known as CAML) is an XML-based query language that can be used to lists and libraries on SharePoint. I use it when testing and troubleshooting more advanced BrightWork reports to ensure that my syntax is correct and saves a lot of time than running the test directly in the text.
U2U CAML Query Builder runs on both SharePoint Online and on-premise install; BrightWork Online customers should connect as if they are connecting to an on-premise site collection.
4. Internet Explorer
Why might you ask? Often when I am testing something, I find that the error is browser related and not necessarily a configuration setting. I recommend anyone using BrightWork or SharePoint to use Internet Explorer by default, regardless of their personal browser preference.