Tuesday, January 15, 2013

SharePoint 2010 - Lists and Libraries

In today's post we will discuss about Lists and Libraries in SharePoint 2010 Server.

SharePoint 2010 - Lists

What is a List?
A List is a collection of items and resemble database tables in structure and behaviour. List is the basic storage mechanism in SharePoint. You can create your own custom fields or content types to store data.
Lists can be configured to filter, sort or group items based on item data or properties.

Creating a new List
Go to SiteActions->Create. Opens a new dialogue for creating list. Choose a template of your choice, type a name for your list and click on the "create" button.

As you can see in the following figure, I have chosen the "Announcement" template and named my list as "Daily Announcements".

Once you click the "Create" button the list is created and ready for data insertion.

Click on "Add new announcement" link.

Add more data to the list.

Standard List Templates
Following are the Standard Template that you can choose while creating a new list.
1) Announcements: A list for publishing news items and information.
2) Calendar: A calendar that lets users schedule meetings and events and set deadlines. You can synchronize a Calendar list with Microsoft Outlook.
3) Contacts: A list of people, including their addresses. You can synchronize a Contacts list with Microsoft Outlook.
4) Custom List: This uses a “blank” list model, meaning that you can create whatever type of list that you like by defining custom columns and views.
5) External List: A list that supports reading and managing data from external data sources via Business Connectivity Services.
6) Links: A list that stores hyperlinks to sites and resources.
7) Survey: A list to create surveys, polls, or lists of questions. This type provides features for viewing a graphical summary of the responses.
8) Tasks: A list of tasks to execute, with deadlines, notes, and completion status.

Properties of a List
Following are some of the main properites of a list:-
1) Columns: You can define a set of custom columns describing the metadata of each item of the list.
2) Folders: Like file system folders, they can be used to partition data in subfolders. Through folders, you can also define custom permissions and partition data visibility.
3) Content Types: These are models of data that can be used to store different kind of items within a unique list instance. For example, you could have contacts of various types, such as customers, suppliers, employees, and so on. They could share some common columns, and have some specific columns, too.
4) Views: Every list can render with various views. A view can be used to group items by a specific field value or Content Type, to filter and/or order items, page the results, and so forth.
5) Permissions: Each list can have its own set of permissions, which can be different from the default permissions applied to the site.
6) Versioning: The list can keep track of changes and versions of items.
7) Workflows: These are business processes that execute when an item is created or modified.
8) Content Approval: This is a content approval engine that you can use to enrich content provisioning, adding approval rules and processes.
9) Alerts: An alerting infrastructure that you can employ to alert people about new, updated or deleted contents.
10) RSS Feeds: This provides the capability to subscribe to and monitor a feed from any kind of feed aggregator.
11) Offline capabilities: You can elect to keep data offline using tools such as Outlook or SharePoint Workspace.
12) Office Integration: This provides the ability to integrate list contents with Excel, Access, and other Office applications.
13) E-mail–enabled libraries: You can configure a document library to automatically receive e-mails, storing the messages, and optionally any attachment, as a document in the target library.

Custom Lists
Custom Lists are blank lists with the minimal set of fields required by SharePoint. By default, a Custom
List has only three public and visible fields, which are:
1) Title: This is a mandatory field that defines a title for each item in the list. It is useful for rendering list items and for accessing the contextual menu that SharePoint provides for each individual item in a list.
2) Created By: This is an auto-calculated field that stores information about the user who created the current item.
3) Modified By: Another auto-calculated field that stores information about the user who last modified the current item.

SharePoint 2010 - Libraries

What is a Library?
A Document Library is a particular kind of list that is designed to host files instead of generic items. It resembles folder structure and behaviour to store and manage files.

Creating a new Library
Go to SiteActions->Create. Opens a new dialogue for creating Libraries. Choose a template of your choice, type a name for your library and click on the "create" button.

Note:- Creating a library is similar to that of creating list. The only difference is that you upload files instead of entering list items. Also, in a library a few additional features will be available like opening library in windows explorer etc.

Standard Library Templates
1) Asset Library: Asset Library allows you to create a rich media library and lets you create, browse, share, organize and mange images, audio and video files.
2) Data Connection Library: Here you can create, browse, share, organize and manage files that contain information about connecting to external data connections.
3) Document Library: Here you can create, browse, share, organize and manage documents or other files. It also allows creating folders, versioning of documents and check-in/check-out of files.
4) Form Library: Here you store and manage Microsoft Office InfoPath forms (or XML files for use with Microsoft Office InfoPath) for instance business forms like a status report, purchase orders, etc...
5) Picture Library: Here you can upload and share pictures with others and it includes a built-in image viewer.
6) Report Library: Here you can create web pages and reports to track business metrics, goals, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and business intelligence information.
7) Slide Library: It allows you to create a library for storing and sharing Microsoft PowerPoint slides.
8) Wiki Page Library: It allows you to create and store customizable pages of content that are linked together and can be edited by several people.

Properties of a Library
Since the Library inherits from parent type "Lists", it will share all the properties of a list as mentioned in the "Lists - Properties" section above.

Common Library Commands
Following are some of the most commonly used commands or actions on a document.
1) New Document: Use this command to create a new document, starting from a document template.
2) Upload Document: Use this command to upload a single document or a set of documents.
3) New Folder: This command creates a new folder for organizing and navigating documents.
4) Edit Document: Use this command to open a selected document using its corresponding editing program. For example, if you have selected a .doc/.docx file, this command opens the file in Microsoft Word.
5) Check Out: This locks others out of the document so that you can have exclusive access to the file in read and write mode.
6) Check In: Releases the exclusive lock on the file, confirming any changes and creating a new version of the file (if file versioning is enabled).
7) Discard Check Out:  Releases the exclusive lock on the file, discarding any changes.
8) View Properties: Use this to see the metadata properties of a selected file.
9) Edit Properties: Edits the metadata properties of a selected file.
10) Delete Document: Deletes one or more selected files.
11) Download a Copy: Downloads a copy of a selected file.
12) Send To: Sends the selected file to a specific destination.

List & Library - Views
Every list has at least one default view that renders the fields of each item, using predefined ordering and filtering criteria. If you choose to create a new view, a page appears that asks you to choose a view format, based on a set of six predefined formats:
1) Standard View: This is the classic view style. You can choose fields, sorting and filtering rules, grouping, paging, and so on. The result will be a webpage.
2) Calendar View: This view shows data in a calendar format (daily, weekly, or monthly). You would likely use this only when you have data related to dates.
3) Access View: This view launches Microsoft Access so users can create forms and reports based on the list’s data.
4) Datasheet View: This view renders data in an editable spreadsheet format (such as Excel), which is convenient for bulk editing.
5) Gantt View: This option creates a view that renders data in a Gantt chart. It is useful primarily when rendering the tasks of a project.
6) Custom View In SharePoint Designer: This option launches Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010, in which you can design a new view by taking advantage of the full set of capabilities provided by SharePoint Designer 2010.

Content Types
A Content type is a set of columns that define what type of contents are going to be stored in a list or library. A Content Type is a formal definition of a data template or item template.Each time you create a new item in a list or a new document in a library, you are creating an instance of a Content Type. 

You can create a view for a list or a library to manage how data is shown. You can define which all columns need to be shown, specify column order, add filters and sorting, etc. The default view is "All Items" for lists and "All Document" for libraries. You can create create your own custom views too.

The option for creating or modifying view is on the ribbon. Click "Modify View"

The Edit View page pops up and you can make necessary changes in the view.

1) Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Developer Reference, by Paolo Pialorsi - Book


  1. hi, Neal, Screenshot not available?? :)

  2. Wonderful post however I was wondering if you could write a little more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thank you!
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