Contents tagged with Microsoft Expression

  • SharePoint Designer is now free

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, SharePoint

    SharePoint Designer is now a free tool and available for download.

    What does this mean really?

    Anybody can download it and customize their SharePoint installations which is good in some ways, but really bad in others. If the users are not aware of what they are doing they can cause severe damage to your SharePoint, but it can also make really nice enhancements to their installation.

    There are a lot of nice things you can do with SPD in your sites that you can’t do using the web interface. The web interface on the other side protects you pretty good from doing some mistakes that even the best can do once in a while, like dragging a file or folder to the wrong place. Of course all of this has been possible to do before with SPD, it’s not a new product, but suddenly you can expect a number of new and untrained end-users fire up the SharePoint Designer and customizing in ways you never prepared your installations for.

    What should you do?

    First of all make sure that you have the permissions correctly set up in your SharePoint environment and make sure that you have good (and working) backup and restore plans.

    Secondly restrict the usage of SharePoint Designer by locking it down. Read this article from the SPD team on how to do it.

    Then you should of course train them in SharePoint Designer and explain the pros and cons. Microsoft has a step-by-step training guide that can be downloaded.

    What if I already purchased it?

    If you have purchased SharePoint Designer 2007 and have Software Assurance coverage then you are eligible for Expression Web 2. Isn’t that sweet! Here are some more reading on the new SharePoint licensing.

    System requirements!?

    If you take a look at the System Requirements for SharePoint Designer, you see that it only supports Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP!?

    SharePoint Designer System Requirements

    Mistake or not, I don’t know? If anyone does please comment below. But I’ve “never” had any problems with it on Windows Vista or Windows 7.

  • Roadmap for Microsoft products for FY08 and beyond

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Windows Vista

    istartedsomething dug up something interesting from the Steve Ballmer presentation at the Microsoft Show and Tell 2007. It's a roadmap for Microsoft products for the fiscal year of 08 and beyond!

    FY08 and beyond

    Some things caught my attention:

    • Expression Studio V2 - there will be a new version of the Expression series pretty soon
    • Microsoft Tellme - this can be really cool.
    • Windows Server 2008 Update Release and Service Pack 1 - wonder what nice stuff they have in the pipeline for these releases...
    • Microsoft Surface - it will be a real product and is not just a showcase!

    It's worth browsing through the whole PowerPoint by Steve Ballmer.

  • Dissecting XPS, part 7 - XPS with .NET 3.0

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, .NET, WinFX, XPS

    This part of the Dissecting XPS series will introduce the XPS parts of the Microsoft.NET 3.0 framework and where you should look to get started creating XML Paper Specification documents.

    Windows Presentation Foundation, WPF

    The XPS classes is a part of the Windows Presentation Foundation, WPF, and is found under the System.Windows.Xps namespace. The Open Packaging Convention classes, used to manipulate the packages is found under the System.IO.Packaging namespace.

    To get you started with creating XPS documents with the .NET 3.0 Framework you should read the January 2006 article in the MSDN Magazine by Bob Watson which explains it all. It contains everything you need to know from reading to writing to signing XPS documents.

    XPS and XAML

    With XAML, Extensible Application Markup Language, you can create nice interfaces and documents using either an XML editor or Microsoft Expression Blend or Design which can export documents to XAML. The .NET 3.0 Framework contains built-in functionality to convert from XAML to XPS which means that if you are building XAML applications you can easily make print functionality into it.

    Since XPS is a fixed page format and WPF applications use a flow document style you have to convert your application interface into pages. Luckily the flow documents contains a paginator interface which divides your flow document into pages. Feng Yuan, XPS guru, shows you how to do this and even include margins, headers and footers in a blog post.


    Not much code in this post, there are already enough, but with the links provided above you should get started pretty easy.

    I really hope that more applications will get a Save as XPS function, and let's hope that Adobe don't go crazy and summons every developer implementing this.

    Next post int this series will look at some good XPS utilities for editing, browsing and manipulating XPS files.

  • Microsoft Expression Design exports to PDF but not to XPS

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, XPS

    Microsoft Expression Design, version 1.0 is now available for a 60 days trial download, was one product I had big hopes for during the CTP cycle, but now it's just a simple vector editor. Ok, I've said this before and this is not what this post is about...

    Export formats of Expression Design If you now use Design to create images and drawings you have the excellent option of saving or exporting your file in numerous formats other than the Expression Design format; such as GIF, JPEG, PNG, Photoshop format etc. You can even export it to a PDF file, which is great for example when you have a sketch you would like to send to your business partner or friend.

    But why are there no export to XPS?

    Of course, you can use the Microsoft XPS Document Writer to print it out to an XPS file, but I feel like the option should be in the export dialog, at least to promote the XPS format. Has Adobe been there again threatening with law suit?

  • Microsoft Expression products now for MSDN subscribers

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, Windows Vista

    Microsoft has decided to make the Expression Blend and Expression Web products available for all MSDN Premium subscribers. This is great news for all developers, and a great enhancement to the MSDN subscription.

    The Expression Design application will not be included in the MSDN subscription and neither will Expression Media. I surely can understand why Media is not in but I think that Design should be included. Blend will help developers making nice WPF applications and Web will help out when making nice websites, but there is great need for nice graphics on a website and therefore I think Design should be included in the MSDN subscription.

  • Expression Design beta 2 available

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, WinFX

    Just a few days ago Microsoft Epression Blend RC was released and now Expression Design beta 2 is available for download.

    The first beta of Design was a real disappointment for me, since all pixel editing and all Live Effects was removed. Beta 2 is still only vector editing but the Live Effects are there. The focus seems to be the Design/Blend/XAML/WPF integration to start with, which is fine but the technical previews of Design (then called Interactive Designer) really had it wen you could combine vector and pixel layers.

  • The year of constant betas

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, Microsoft, .NET, SharePoint, Visual Studio, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, WinFX, Windows Vista, Windows Media Center, Windows Live

    Today I start my two weeks vacation and I thought I should summarize this year. The year of 2006 has been characterized, for me, as the year of Betas and Technology Previews. I have been trying to involve myself as much as possible in the all the goodies flowing out of Redmond.

    Microsoft has released numerous amount of new applications and upgrades.

    Internet Explorer 7

    The new version of Internet Explorer is the application this year that will have most impact in the short run on users. More standardized and a slicker interface with support of for example blogs.

    Windows Vista

    Windows Vista, the long awaited new operating system from Microsoft was released in November. I have been fiddling with the different betas, mostly on Virtual PC's. Short after the RTM I decided to replace my XP Media Center with Vista Ultimate. I'm not that satisfied yet due to lack of drivers; NVIDIA have not yet released a Vista driver that works fine, like the ones on XP.

    Vista is overall pretty good, it has some nice features like the new Media Center, DVD writer software, a better photo management application... The interface has intensively discussed but I think it's not that revolutionary. I think the Explorer interface is really bad, navigation is not that good. I'll stick with Total Commander!

    I will not upgrade my development laptop for a couple of months until all the issues with development in Visual Studio is sorted out, and I have no need for it - XP works fine.

    Microsoft.NET Framework

    The .NET Framework, has come in a new version - 3.0. But it's not a complete new .NET Framework, it's "just" .NET 2.0 with WinFX. But it's good - really good. You now can create really awesome appliactions with a nice user interface.

    Office System 2007

    The Office System 2007 with the client applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint and the server applications like SharePoint is by far the most interesting new applications this year for me. I have been into the betas and release candidates and been satisified since the first install. A complete new interface of the client applications that really impress and a SharePoint that finally allows us developers to do some nice stuff. SharePoint 2003, the previous version, was not that good for us developers and lacked a lot of functionality in the first version which has now come back. Someone said that Microsoft need at least three versions before they get it right :-)

    The new Outlook 2007 and OneNote 2007 are two really impressive applications.

    Developer tools

    Microsoft has been really nice to us developers this year with a new and improved MSDN, more samples and tutorials than ever. Visual Studio 2005 has finally gotten an upgrade, Service Pack 1, that fixes most of the random crashes and hang-ups.

    The Visual Studio 2005 SDK has also evolved with the support for making your own designers using the DSL Tools - I think that ISV's will now have the opportunity to make their applications more customizable.

    The Microsoft Expression Suite

    The Expression Suite from Microsoft was from my view the most surprising set of applications from Redmond. The Expression programs is applications for design, design of applications and design of web sites. The Commuity Technology Previews that has been released during the year has been really good, except for the last one this december, in which the removed some of the nice and interesting stuff from Expression Design.

    Microsoft Live

    The Microsoft Live approach has been interesting, with a new portal (never fancied MSN), a new search engine and a whole set of web based applications. Most of them are still in beta and it will be really nice to see where this path leads.

    There has been a lot more that has been installed and uninstalled on my machines during this year, like Exchange 2007 and the Live applications, and it has been really exciting. You can find some of them on Codeplex, the Microsoft open source site.

    What about next year?

    Yes, what about next year? I will not predict too much but for me the focus will be on SharePoint 2007, which will open up a whole new set of opportunities for my company. I really loook forward to see what will happen to the Expression suite and I will start to nibble on the Longhorn Server.

    To all of you:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


  • Expression Design no longer a Photoshop contender!

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, Upset posts

    Expression Design was released yesterday as the December 2006 CTP . The major change was a brand new user interface and a lot of missing functionality from earlier previews.

    According to the Expression team at the Microsoft newsgroups it just seems that the missing functionality in Design is simply gone due to lack of time.

    Currently I have noticed that the Live Effects are not present in this CTP, but they are documented in the help files. Pixel layers seems to be completely gone and no reference in the help file - so I doubt they will be back :-(

    Expression Design will also not be able as a single product and only available in the Expression Studio bundle - this is really awkward I think. It seems like Microsoft are making Expression Design as a vector graphics editor for Expression Blend - not the Adobe Photoshop contender as I hoped when it was still called Acrylic!

  • Big changes in the Microsoft Expression Suite

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, Internet Explorer, WinFX

    Microsoft today announced huge changes to the Microsoft Expression suite.

    Expression Studio

    Expression Studio is a new member of the Expression suite and is a suite of tools for building web sites and Windows client programs and rich media content. The Expression Studio consits of the four core Expression products; Web, Blend, Design and Media.

    Expression Design

    Expression Design, formerly known as Graphics Designer, has come in yet another CTP. The big news here is a complete new user interface, at first glance it looks much better than the old one.

    BUT: What have you done to the pixel layers!!! No pixel editing anymore really sucks! Expression Design is now a purely vector based designer. It was the combination that really made me get it on!

    Expression Blend

    Expression Blend, formerly known as Interactive Designer, is now in beta 1, and also has the new nice interface. WPF/E (Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere) is also available for Windows Vista and XP and Apple Max OS X as extensiosn to the most common browsers.

    Epression Media

    Expression Media, a new member to the family, is a tool for managing, editing and presenting your digital assets (photos, sounds, movies, music...). No download here, however you can download the original; iVew MediaPro here.

    Expression Web

    Expression Web is now shipping for real! Free trial available here.

    You might also check out the Microsoft Design page.

About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is the Nordic Digital Workplace Lead working at Avanade. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for seven consecutive years.

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