SharePoint Additional List Functionality
Sharepoint is a list having the common set of list functionality.
- content types
- Columns (or site columns)
Content types is the schema of your lists. They define what types of data items are possible in any given list. There are many default content types which are generally useful.
Each item in a list can have many pieces of data associated with it. These pieces of data are called columns, and you can add additional columns to any list.
Each list has some default views defined, e.g. the ‘All items’ view which displays all items in the list. Alternatively, you can define custom views which target any of the properties of items, including content types and columns.
Each list has permissions. If someone has no ability to read a list, they won’t see the list at all from parent sites. Sharepoint ¬†also supports item permissions, so for example, you can permit something at the list level, but not permit it for a specific item.
With workflow you can create actions which happen when items are created, deleted, changed, etc. Out of the box workflows include: Approval, Collect Feedback, Collect Signatures, Three State. The out-of-the-box workflows are pretty useful, but you can also create custom workflows (with Sharepoint Designer) without a lot of hassle.
Versioning provides content management. Changes to items are incremented as minor versions. List content owners control major versions, and only major versions are “published” for general viewing. This feature is much more extensive, so we’ll leave the description limited for now, and perhaps come back to it in another post.
Every list within sharepoint can be “exposed” via a webpart from another page. This respects the original list’s security, but allows you to manage the user experience for that list. By exposing a list via a webpart you can remove portions of functionality (say the ability to edit items), use a view to change what is exposed, target audiences (meaning that the webpart only is displayed for certain viewers), etc. Dashboards, personal sites, the ‘all site content’ page are examples of this ‘exposure via a webpart’ functionality.
This webpart exposure makes it very easy to design a portal like experience with Sharepoint. End users often comment that they didn’t realize that working with web parts would be so easy. It’s not much more complicated than click and drag.
Every sharepoint list has an action menu which exposes list functionality. The following are standard list actions:
- Export to Spreadsheet. Put the list into an Excel Spreadsheet, opening Excel on the client computer.
- Open in Access. Put the list in an Access database.
- View RSS feed. See the raw RSS feed. Every list is RSS-enabled by default, allowing you to change the flow of web-oriented data from a pull-based model to a push-based model. This is a very significant change, especially for collaborative lists with critical information.
- Alert Me. This allows you request an email when things change. There are some configuration options here. Again, this enables you to turn the information flow into a push-based model.