Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
So, you know that lists are contained in tables in the content database. You also know that
you can manipulate the data in a list by creating different views and that each view of a list is in
fact its own page. But, the fact that they are simply tables in the content database implies
something else that is important about lists: how they can be connected by common data.
SharePoint allows you to format a field as a lookup field to display the data that was entered
into a common field in a different list. For an administrator, or someone who is designing these
lists, the concept of common field data is important to keep in mind. It is possible to have an
Inventory list, a Customer list, and a Vendor list and then create a Sales list that has lookup
fields for the customer name, vendor name, salesperson name, and inventory name. The Sales
list becomes a kind of middle list, linking the other lists for ease of data entry as well as to avoid
data duplication issues.
In addition to the ability to use lookup fields to access field information from one list within
another list, you can also connect lists by their common fields using List View web parts (which
you learned about in Chapter 5, “Introduction to Web Parts”).
SharePoint has a number of different lists that are ready to use by default. You can also make
a list based on a template and customize the heck out of it, or you can simply make a completely
new list if you want. You can even make a list template out of your favorite lists, to be used
elsewhere. For convenience, list fields can be created based on field templates available for the site
collection called site columns , so when you’re adding fields to your lists, you don’t always have
to make common fields from scratch. You can even create entire list items and save them as a
template, known as a content type , to be applied to other lists when you create them. You can
add extra features such as workflows or templates to the content types for additional
usefulness. All in all, even the simplest list can have an array of settings, features, and capabilities in
SharePoint. We’ll explore all of these features over the course of this chapter and the next.
This chapter gives you a good overview of working with the basic features of SharePoint lists.
However, if you desire more details, explanation, and demos, I have an extended version of this
chapter available online.
To get a copy of the extended material for this chapter, go to www.sybex.com/go/
Exploring a List: Announcements
To start, let’s take a look at a representative list. One of the simplest lists created in the Team Site
template is the Announcements list. To access the Announcements list, you can click the Lists
link either in the Quick Launch bar or on the ubiquitous All Site Content page, which shows all
the objects on the site. Clicking Announcements will take you to the Announcements list’s
content page (Figure 6.1).