Monday, 13 July 2009

Impressive SharePoint Column

SharePoint lists may not be favoured by many developers but can be a great tool for all sized companies, especially as Windows SharePoint Services is a free download. In my blog this week I am going to show the different columns available in a SharePoint list and especially how powerful the ‘Lookup’ and ‘Calculated’ fields can be. Then for all the football fans out there (and Man United followers) you will be able to download free of charge the ‘My Team’s Performance 2009/10 Season’ site template. I say it is free of charge but if you would like to send a donation to the ‘Help Aston Villa Buy a Gareth Barry Replacement Fund’ this would be gratefully received by Martin O’Neill. So what fields (SharePoint calls them columns) are available in a SharePoint list? I always suggest that unless you need a Document Library that you start by creating a ‘Custom List’. This means you don’t have to mess around with that silly ‘Title’ column that forces you to have a text entry. With a custom list you can define exactly what fields you have. You can then create as many columns as you need and for each of them can select any of the following; Single Line of Text Allows you up to 255 characters of text. Try and avoid these if you can use dropdown lists instead. Multiple Lines of Text You can have as many lines of text as you want. This can be useful for adding information later. For example if your list is for Customer Records you can add a line every time the customer contacts you. Choice (Menu to Choose from) A personal favourite because it is so easy to create a dropdown list or a set of radio buttons. My rule is if less than 4 options to use radio buttons. Great thing with this type of column is you can copy and paste from Excel or any other list you already have. You can also keep customising entries in the Choice menu so that you keep up with latest options. Number (1, 1.0, 100) This is where the entry will definitely be a number. You can define the number of decimal places and even lower and upper limits. However, if you ever want a entry in this field that contains any none numeric entries use ‘Single Line of Text’ instead. Be warned by default you will get the comma delimiter for thousands and this can only be changed using a Data View option in SharePoint Designer. Currency ($, £) It does what it says and you can select the currency. Date and Time The option to add the date with or without the time. Make sure if you are in the UK the regional settings in SharePoint for the site are set to English (United Kingdom) as we like the month second. The first Ashes Test was on 8/7/09 which is 8th July not 7th August although perhaps if we could put it back to August our bowlers might be able to learn how to bowl straight. Although perhaps England fielders could start having bigger trouser pockets – Strangest Ever Dismissal Lookup (information already on this site) The much under used column that I tend to use more than most and the ‘My Team’s Performance 2009/10 Season’ is riddled with them. The idea is why enter the same information twice on a site when you can use the ‘Lookup’ column to give us a dropdown list for data in another field elsewhere on the site. Certainly worth trying this one but a word of warning – it doesn’t work if you choose a ‘Check Box’ Choice column because it only works off single value fields. Yes/No (Check box) Not a favourite of mine because it has to have a default value. It is really just a tick box. I prefer to use the Choice instead and include the entries for Yes and No. Also sometimes you need a ‘Maybe’ for people feeling indecisive. For example the question “will the Villa win the league next season?” would probably need a ‘Yes’, ‘Maybe’ and ‘No’. Person or Group Very useful as you can add users from your Active Directory. You can then use these to filter by and even use that useful filter [Me] that shows items only where the person logged on is listed in the column. Hyperlink or Picture Make the entry dynamic with the ability to add live links to web addresses, SharePoint addresses or pictures on SharePoint. You can also add email addresses using mailto: before the address. Calculated (Calculation based on other columns) Allows you to add an Excel based calculation to SharePoint. You can use the ‘=’ formula or add fields already on the list. One I use a great deal is a ‘Review Document’ field. To set a review date as one year from the date the entry was created. To do this use Calculated field and enter =[Date Created]+365 So those are the different basic columns available in SharePoint (WSS 3.0) now you are ready to see how all these columns can be used to create a complete solution. With the Premier League Football season now just over a month away you can receive a download of my new ‘My Team’s Performance 2009/10 Season’ Site Template and follow your Premier League Team’s Performance during the coming season. You can record all their transfers (in and out), league results, cup results, goal scorers and even choose your goal of the season. Best of all it is free and all you have to do is drop me an email to Please just put in the subject the team you support so I can make sure they are going to good homes. The Site Template can be adapted for teams from other countries or divisions by simply editing the ‘Teams’ Tab. So what are you waiting for post an email to and start adding your squad players. If the Villa manager, Martin O’Neill, is reading this please just start adding to your squad before Man City buy all the best players.


VIP cards said...

I appreciate the skills of your blog writing and the time sharing with us.Share point is a collection of the product or software.

Anonymous said...
















BUY WOW GOLD said...

WOW GOLD, nice blog. its worth reading. I liked it very much

Wow gold said...

I was looking for information regardingWoW Gold and searched in Google. Some how I landed in your Blog. And found interesting.
Yours is a nice Blog with very good content.

ID Card Printer said...

Thanks for sharing :)

Ran said...

My current project requires ability to display choice column value via color or image associated with a choice

But Sharepoint standard packaged misses that control

I am looking for available solutions on market

I came across>

Does anybody has experiece using it?

Zafran ali said...

I visit your site read your article so nice article.I really thankful to you,You have post so helpful & so informative.

Wire Harness