Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Create a group of site columns, part of Business Apps for SharePoint Monthly.
- [Instructor] I'll start with a reminder that I am working in the Sandbox, not in a production environment. That's just a good idea when we're creating new things or taking something out for a spin. Imagine if you will, that we're going to create this asset inventory for one department, but we do it knowing that many other departments maybe have the same need, and we're really doing this as a pilot project in IT. Once we have it running, then we can talk to the folks in Telecom, or in manufacturing, anybody else who has a similar inventory need, and say, "Hey, we've got an application "that we can roll out really quickly for you." If that's the case, that we want to create the same type of list over, and over, and over again, rather than doing that each time, the best practice would be to create site columns, that we could use no matter what list we create.
The reason that I recommend this, is that it will give you a high level of consistency between your lists. You won't have one list where somebody forgot a particular column, or a list where somebody chose to use a different data type than is used in general. At least if they do, they'll be doing it intentionally, and not accidentally. Therefore, before we create a list, we're going to create some site columns. Let me show you what the columns are that we'll be creating. The columns that we need for this particular application are Barcode, Serial Number, Description, Brand, Location, and Notes.
All text fields. And then, two choice fields, Asset Type, and Status. I'm using choice fields because this is a relatively stable set of choices, for both Asset Type and Status, but I could have used look-ups instead. One of the bonuses that I get when I use site columns is that if I use a look-up, that look-up is really embedded in that site column, which means that a user doesn't need to have permission to the specific location where a look-up table exists.
They can simply use the look-up, because it's part of a site column. One more note about site columns before we create it. You can create site columns at the site collection level, or you can create it in any particular site. However, site columns are only available within a site and its sub-sites. If I wanted to create a set of site columns to be used across the enterprise, I need to put them at the site collection level. To create site columns, let's go to Site Settings.
If I want to create site columns that are available in the asset inventory site and any sub-sites that I subsequently create, I can go to Site Columns right here. If I want to create them in the site collection, I will click Site Collection Administration and then go to Site Columns. When I create them here at the top level site, the site collection, then they would be available throughout my entire collection. Let's do that. I believe that in the future, I would want to create this list in places, in sites, other than within the IT department.
These are all the groups that are available. We have Base Columns, Content Feedback. Most of these are focused on documents and lists. For example, if we look at the Core Contact and Calendar Columns. Very predictable. Document Columns. Items like date created and date modified, the author, the category, the resource type. Task and Issue Columns. Custom Columns.
Display Template Columns. I would like to create a new site column. My first site column is single line of text, and I'm going to call that Asset Barcode. Single line of text. It's going to go into the group called Custom Columns, or I can create a new group. I'm going to create a new group called Assets.
This is our company's barcode. I can just leave that or enter something. Require that this contains information. Remember, that if we're ever in a position where we can't catch a barcode when we create an item, this would be a problem. Therefore, I'm going to leave this at No. Enforce unique values. No. Maximum number of characters. I don't need that many. I'm simply going to drop 50 characters. I'm not going to apply any validation, okay.
I'm going to create-- No, let's go see where that ended up. Predictably, where I asked it to go, right? Under Assets. Okay, create. Second column. Serial Number, again a single line of text. Now it's in an existing group called Assets. Does every item have a serial number? It should, but perhaps it doesn't.
Let's again knock this back to 50 characters, and say, "Okay." The third item I'm going to create is an asset type. This is a choice field. Again, remember I could create a look-up from data that already exists on the site. I'm trusting you know how to do that. We're going to put this into Assets, and enter our choices.
Our choices here are Laptop, Desktop, AV Equipment, Network Switch, Server, and Other. Again, this is a list that would have done really well as a look-up, so that we could continue expanding it. That would be my first choice, normally.
But, for demonstration purposes, I'm simply going to drop this into a choice field. This list is not in alphabetical order. It's in the order that these are normally selected. We have more laptops and desktops than anything else. Notice that we're probably going to get a lot of other choices right now. Allow fill-in choices, no. Well, I could allow fill-in choices, and if I did that, it would give us more information to come back later and know what we want to add here.
But, let's just choose No, and now we have three items. I want to go back to Serial Number and take just a moment, and change its name to Asset Serial Number, so all of these have Asset in their name. Notice that when I do that, I'm asked if there are lists that have already been created, based on this site column. "Should the name in those lists be updated?" And the default is set to Yes. Again, to keep all of this synchronized, so that whenever I create a list based on these site columns I have exactly the same behavior in them now and going forward.
I'm going to continue and add the other columns that I need, Description, Brand, Location, Status, and Note, and meet you in the next movie.