SharePoint Tools: My Favourites

8 Mar 2014 3-minute read Al Eardley
On-PremPowerShellOffice 365
SharePointSQL ServerTools

There are some great posts out there on sets of useful tools that are essential when working with SharePoint, chief among them is Tobias Zimmergren’s post Tools for your SharePoint 2013 development toolbox.

Tobias’s post inspired my to do this post as I have also found some additional tools to be invaluable:

Design Tools


This is a great tool for rapidly producing wireframes. It requires very little time to learn and produces wireframes that are sufficiently lifelike for clients to picture how their SharePoint solution will work.

Metro Studio

When you need icons, this is the tool to use. With a library of pre-installed icons that can be added to a project, re-sized, coloured and exported as individual png files or a sprite, Metro Studio provides a quick way of adding some polish to a solution.

SharePoint Colour Palette Tool

When working with composed looks in SharePoint 2013 this is the only tool for the job: It allows all of the colours to be changed and to be previewed offline and then the resultant file can be uploaded.

coveloping{} – Responsive Layouts

This is a great tool for testing the way your public facing sites react with different size devices. Enter your URL and view the results.

SharePoint Tools

SharePoint Manager

Incredibly useful for investigating settings for all aspects of a farm.

SharePoint 2013 Client Browser

Similar to the SharePoint Manager but it allows remote access and therefore works really well with Office 365. It can also create a PowerShell session ready to use with CSOM so it really is ideal for Office 365 where there are not the PowerShell commandlets that you get with an on-premises farm.

CAML Designer

If you need to query a SharePoint, and let’s face it, everyone has to at some point, then this is the tool to use. It allows you to build the CAML query and then to create code snippets for use with a load of other techologies.

SharePoint 2013 Search Query Tool

This is a great tool for testing search queries. It allows you to confirm the search configuration and to test queries that you use in Content by Search Web Parts.

Infrastructure & SQL


I no longer have SharePoint installed on my laptop, instead I use VMs in Azure, VMs on client sites or Office 365. When using VMs, this tool allows me to keep all of the connections in one tool and to organise them and manage them more easily.


I have used this tool for longer than I care to remember. It is perfect for testing connectivity between different application and machines as it allows you to test particular ports on different machines.

My Blog on Port Query

ULS Viewer

When you need to look at ULS logs – this is the tool to use.

Log Parser

If you have multiple machines and types of log to analyse then this tool offers features such as writing all entries to a database to allow for centralised analysis.

SQL Blitz

This is tool from Brent Ozar (@brentO) for getting a phenomenal amount of information about the health of a database server. It is an application that can be run remotely without any installation on a SQL box.

SQL Management Studio

SharePoint requires SQL Server. If you need to investigate issues related to SQL Server, this is the tool to use.



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Windows Live Writer

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