This post is for SharePoint beginners. If you need to store data in Sharepoint and the default list templates don’t offer the options you need, then you’ll probably want to create a custom list. This post shows you step by step, how to create a your own list, I’ll also show you some of the different column types and the options they offer.
The SharePoint list
As I said in one of my other posts, the list is one of the core components of SharePoint. SharePoint has a number of list templates ready to use:
- Discussion Board
- Issue Tracking
- Project Tasks
- Status List
But what to do if there is nothing there that fits your needs? Then you create a custom list.
How to create a custom list:
- Navigate to the site on which you want to create the custom list.
- In the upper left corner click “Site Actions” and then “More Options”.
- Under “Filter By” choose list, for category choose “Blank & Custom”.
- On the right hand side of the popup “Create”, click “more options”. By default you can only choose a name, now you can also give your custom webpart a description and choose whether or not to have it displayed in the “Quick Launch” menu (by default on the left on your site). Fill in an appropriate name, a description and click “Create”.
- Once the list has been created SharePoint will take you to the list view. The new list has one default column named “Title”. So now we want to add some columns. Choose “Create Column” from the ribbon.
- In the “Create Column” screen, we can set a “Name and Type”, set “Additional Column Settings” and, if we want to provide column validation, to guide a user to input valid data.
- In the first column I chose “Applicant” as the column name. For the type I chose “Single line of text”. For “Description” I entered “The budget applicant”. With “Require that this column contains information” I chose yes, it enforces that the end-user enters a value for this field. I left maximum number of characters at 255. We can supply a “Default Value” this is the initial value of the field. We can choose to add the field to the “default view”. a list can have different views, a view is the way that the list is displayed. If you do not add a field to the default view then by default it is not displayed. This is only in the list mode, so you do see the value when adding or editing an item. I did not add any column validation. Now we can click “Ok” to add the column to the list.
- After the first column, I created a second columns with the “Currency” type. This column type has a built-in validation for min. and max. value.
- For the third column I chose a “Person or Group” type. it lets you choose whether to pick only “People” or “People and Groups” and it also enables you to pick a certain group or “All Users”.
- Another type I used in this example is the “Choice” type. It creates a “Drop-down menu”, “Radiobuttons” or a “Checkboxlist” in your SharePoint list from which the user can choose a value. You have the option to set a default choice and whether or not to enforce the given choices or allow typed values.
- A few other options I do want to show (I did not actually add them) are the “Lookup” field, it lets you use another list to pick an Item from. For that item you can decide which fields of the referenced list to display in your own list.
When adding a “Lookup” field the Relationship part is very important, it defines how to work with deletion. What happens when the item referenced by this list is deleted in the referenced list. When choosing to “Enforce relationship behavior” you have 2 choices, either go for “Restrict delete” which as it says restricts the delete on the referenced list, or go for “Cascade delete” which deletes the item from the referencing list (the list you just created).
- To connect to external data you can use the “External Datatype”, this only works if you have Business Data Connectivity enabled and created an External Content Type for the data you want to use. I plan to write more on this in future articles.
- When we’re done creating the list, the “New item” form, will look something like this:
Ok so that’s it for now, Happy SharePointing.