Kartic's Musings on Corporate Information and Knowledge Management

May 29, 2007

Filtering or Grouping by Multiple Choice fields

Filed under: SharePoint — kartickapur @ 4:28 am

A SharePoint list does not allow users to create a view grouped by or filtered by ‘Multiple Choice’ or ‘Lookup’ fields.  

The reason for this was explained by my senior colleague ‘Ishai Sagi’:

“Multiple selection fields are not indexed, and as such are not “seen” by the SPSiteData query or the search engine when you do filters. This means that the built-in web parts will not group or filter on those fields, and to write a custom one that does it will be complex and reduce performance.” 

Dataview Web Part, however can be used to filter by a multiple choice field. It can only be configured using SharePoint designer. There is still no out of the box option to group by those multiple choice field.

 

There is another option however which can be given to the users.

As shown below, the users have an option to filter by multiple choice field, directly through any view. In the ‘Projects’ list shown below, Practice Group is a lookup field with multiple choice. As shown, you can filter using ‘Information management’ or ‘Enterprise solutions’ choice out of the box.

filtering-example.jpg

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May 24, 2007

Two Major methods of using audiences for WebParts

Filed under: SharePoint — kartickapur @ 5:48 am

I have been working on displaying information using web parts to a target audience in MOSS 2007. Here is some insight which I would like to share with you.

Basically with regards to our projects I came across two methods of implementing audience filtering. There was a common problem with both the methods: Target audience do not recognise distribution lists in AD (Basically The distribution list in Active Directory is not recognised in SharePoint. Security Group is AD is the way to go).

There is a work around for this through Shared Serviced Provider (SSP) by importing all the user profiles and creating audiences through there. This process is dynamic, as the scheduling is enabled in SSP to update the audience every night.

We have chosen one method over the other and the reasons are provided below.

Method 1
· Enable target audience in the list
· Allow the users to manually allocate target audience when they add items to the list ·
. Use the content Query web part to display these items to the right audience.
Problems with this method
· Content Query web part displays only one column (the original title column). though it can
be changed by making changes to XML file.
· There is no way to check that the users will select the right audience while adding new
projects

Method 2
· No need to enable target audience in the list
· Users don’t need to allocate the target audience while adding new items to the list
· Normal list web parts are created for each audience filtered by the required criteria.
· Only one web part will be visible to a user depending on the criteria selected(Other web
parts will be hidden)
· Added advantage is that you can select a group of audience to whome you want to display
all the information

Using Templates with Content types – a nice design with limitations

Filed under: SharePoint — kartickapur @ 2:57 am

I am trying to come up with a solution to hold all the templates in a document library (Called ‘Templates’) and use these templates in the document libraries elsewhere (Called ‘Test Client Document’). The structure I am using is explained by the diagram above.

There is a base content type for all the templates called ‘Template’ and base content type for all documents called ‘Base test’.
The problem however is (and I think a bug with SharePoint) that when we open the document in ‘Test Client Documents’ library, the information panel shows the metadata for ‘Template’ Content Type and not ‘Base Test’ as we will expect it to and want it to work.

I have tried to fix this for some time and come to a conslusion that this infact is a bug with SharePoint.

The Problem with Title field in SharePoint

Filed under: SharePoint — kartickapur @ 2:42 am

I have noticed two big problems while dealing wiht Title field in SharePoint:

1. The Title field cannot be deleted or made into a lookup field. It can only be renamed
2. If you happen to rename the Title field in the base content type ‘Item’ you cannot change it back. Although I did find an interesting article in Amar Galla’s blog http://amargalla.com/blog/?p=59

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