Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Introduction to Lists
Lists are what power SharePoint. Lists are everywhere in SharePoint, from discussions to
document management, site galleries, and calendars. All of the data, communications, and collaboration
are handled in lists. Every library is actually a kind of list—heck, every time there is a repository of
something in the site or site collection settings (such as themes or web parts), that is actually a list.
Lists are important to SharePoint, so if you understand lists, you go a long way toward really
understanding one of the main reasons SharePoint exists—to make, use, support, display, and
I could write a whole book about lists, but because this is a topic about SharePoint in general,
this chapter and the next are meant to give you, the administrator, an overview of what lists can
do and how to use them (and how your users will be working with them) so you have an idea of
what to expect when asked about lists and how to use, create, manage, and customize them in
the course of your workday.
In this chapter, you’ll learn how to
Use and modify a list
Modify a view and create a view
Customize a list
What Is a List? (Fundamental Concepts)
To begin with, lists are located in SharePoint sites. Sites are stored in web applications, and every
web application has at least one content database to store its data contents. Every time you create a
list, the data goes into the content database for the site. Lists are meant to offer a consistent
interface for users to view and enter data. Lists have a very spreadsheet-like, tabular feel to them; their
fields are typically referred to as columns , and the rows, or records, are referred to as list items .
Each list is displayed on a content page. A content page is simply a way to display the
contents of a given list. Usually, when you generate a display of a database’s contents, the display is
called a report . In SharePoint, it’s called a view . You can create surprisingly useful views using
SharePoint’s built-in view customization tools, which give you all kinds of control over how
to display and manipulate the data that you put into a list. The trick is that a content page is
defined by a view, and a list can have several ways to view it, which means (unbeknownst to the
users) that a list can have several different content pages, each providing a different way to view
the data. This is also why the terms view page and content page for lists can be synonymous.