This is one item I’ve been holding back for a while.  FrontPage “12” will be a great SharePoint site designer on many, many fronts.  Like the current version, using it to edit a page in a SharePoint site will cause the page to become unghosted.  Unlike the current version, ghosting will cease to be much of a problem.  Here’s why…

There are two reasons why we don’t like unghosting:  (1) it makes caching a lot harder and increases the number of database fetches, having a negative impact on perfrmance, sometimes by as much as 20%, and (2) it makes managing those unghosted pages very, very difficult.  Enforcing an update to a template just isn’t something that’s workable.

Good news: (1) a combination of caching improvements done by the ASP.NET team and the WSS team will result in unghosting having little if any performance impact, and (2) thanks to WSS’ ability to use ASP.NET 2.0 master pages and given that FrontPage “12” supports their design and use as well, you can use master pages to keep your unghosted pages organized.

Want to know who’s responsible for this feature?  Maurice Prather.  Want to bet he’ll expand on this over at his blog sometime soon?

So, after the second quarter of next year, those of you who’ve been afraid of FrontPage needn’t be.  FrontPage loves you — get ready to reciprocate.