I was recently asked if SharePoint Designer 2010 and 2013 could run side-by-side. The short answer is Yes, however several things need to be accounted for.
1 – They require the same CPU architecture
Both versions must be either 32-bit or 64-bit.
SharePoint Designer, is part of the Microsoft Office family, and many components within the family share common functionality. Common functionality is stored in DLL files that are shared between Office products, which come in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. Upon installing your first Office program, the common DLLs are installed based on that version. In other words, you can’t have a 32 bit version of Word and a 64 bit version of Excel. Similarly with SharePoint Designer, you can have both 2010 and 2013 as long as they are the same flavor.
2 – They share the same cache folder
Since both version of SharePoint Designer share the same cache folder, they can sometimes become confused when reading cached data from the other version. Generally speaking, it is always a good idea to clear the cache folder if you receive a generic error message.
In particular, the message “Server error: The version of Microsoft SharePoint Foundation running on the server is more recent than the version of SharePoint Designer you are using”, will practically always mean that you need to clear your cache when having both SPD 2010 and SPD 2013 installed. You can clear the cache by closing SPD and deleting everything in these folders:
- %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Web Server Extensions\Cache
3 – Unable to use SharePoint 2010 Datasheet View after installing Office 2013
You have the option of re-installing SPD 2010 or installing the components required for the Datasheet View. According to Office Support, the following contains the 2007 components necessary to use the SharePoint 2010 Datasheet View: 2007 Office System Driver: Data Connectivity Components. It may sound strange that 2007 components are the minimum required to use the SP2010 Datasheet View, but it is Microsoft’s official recommendation.
4 – Problems mixing pre-release and RTM versions of Office
A thread on the TechNet Forums contains several registry modifications that can resolve issues on mixing pre-release and RTM versions of Office. While these are not official recommendations from Microsoft, many users have reported that it has worked for them. As always, make sure to backup your registry prior to any modifications.
5 – Installing in order
A colleague has pointed out that the versions also need to be installed in order, with SPD 2010 before SPD 2013. Credit to @donxml.