SharePoint 2010: Significance of Content Type management in List

02 May, 2012 | | 0 comments |

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For those who have worked with SharePoint Lists must be familiar with Advanced Settings feature of the List available under List Settings (for document libraries, known as Library Settings). Under the Advanced Settings of the List, you can choose whether to allow management of content types. By default, it is turned ON for every List. In this post, I am going to highlight the significance of ‘Allow management of content types?’ when it is turned ON and when turned OFF.

Where is ‘Allow management of Content Types?’ found?

List Settings on the Ribbon

Advanced Settings in List Settings

When ‘Allow management of content types?’ is turned ON:

When turned ON, it will allow multiple content types to be added, modified or removed over the currently available content types associated with the List. So basically it means you can display columns from other content types along with the columns available in the List. The settings for Content Types are available under the List Settings. See following snapshot –

Content Type setting in List Settings


Consider a custom List named ‘Employee’ with an associated content type created having the following columns:

Name | Age | Address | Designation

Consider another custom List named  ‘Employee Bank Details’ with an associated content having the following columns:

Employee Bank Details
Bank Name | Branch Name | Account Number

In this case, for the Employee Bank Details list we would also like to have the Name, Age, Address and Designation of the employee from the Employee list so that the information looks complete. Rather than creating columns with same name again, we can add the associated content type with Employee list in Employee Bank Details using the ‘Add from existing site content types’ setting so that the same columns from Employee list are utilized in Employee Bank Details. When this is achieved, the Employee Bank Details look like following –

Employee Bank Details
Bank Name | Branch Name | Account Number | Name | Age | Address | Designation

When ‘Allow management of content types?’ is turned OFF:

You might wonder if allowing management of content types is beneficial considering what I described above, why would you turn it OFF! Well, Microsoft SharePoint does enable some features, when it is turned OFF. So it is important to know them.

1. In the List Settings, two settings - Column ordering and Indexed columns are enabled. Column ordering allows columns to be ordered as per your wish in any view. I am not sure what Indexed columns setting does.
You can change the order of the columns by arranging them in ascending order based on the indexes.

Column Ordering in List Settings

2. In the View Settings for a particular view, in the Folders section at the bottom some advanced settings pertaining to view display are enabled. They are pretty relevant when choosing which view you want to use for the discussion topic and which one to be used for the discussion topics and replies.

Folders settings in View Settings

Key Learning: ‘Allow management of content types?’ is an important setting which enables some features both when it is turned ON and when turned OFF. In case, you want to use both the features simultaneously when it is turned ON and turned OFF, there is no option but to make the changes first when turned ON and then switch it OFF and make the changes. It works vice-versa too and the changes you make do persist.

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Mumbai MS in MIS Meet – Fall 2012

16 April, 2012 | | 0 comments |

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1st April, 2012 – In-person meetups for MS aspirants are in my perspective quite an interesting affair. The case this time was pretty similar when some members over MS in MIS Fall 2012 group on Facebook organized a meet at Candies, Bandra and around 25 people turned up. The intended audience – obviously MIS (Management Information Systems) aspirants. And for our readers and future aspirants, who are still not sure about making MIS as their career option, check this study here.

Coming back, having been three times at Candies, located at Pali Naka, Bandra West over a period of 2 years for casual and business meets, I can surely say one thing – amongst the various places I have been for a meet, Candies is the best. The meet had a rough start owing to the fact that the restaurant staff intervened and insisted that all the people may not just occupy their logistics but consume some of the sandwiches, pastries and ice creams they offer. And their orders were promptly followed by the group. :)

Let me roll out the minutes of the meetup as I remember. We had an initial round of introduction followed by the most important topic – who has what all ADMITS from universities and what they intend to make their destination. We later split up the members into smaller groups based on their destination university for discussion. Soon the real important discussions began in 5 groups formed – CMU, UTD, Eller, UB, TAMU and Washington University.

As it turned out, the conversation now became quite interesting as it became university-specific suiting every member’s interest. Topics discussed were future prospects, per credit/quarter fees, pros & cons of education loans, possible accommodation options with monthly rent, research work undergoing in university, GA/TA/RA if available and the most important – average salary package of students passing out from the university. Another important topic I remember was the right time to resign in our respective companies. My group survey found that only 2-3 people had already resigned amongst the 15-20 people who were working with a company in the group. So that was a relief for me to know that that a majority of them haven’t resigned yet! I just thought I am too late for doing that and might land in trouble.

Unfortunately for me, the groups at the meetup were not of universities to which I had applied or had received an ADMIT. I had applied to mix breed of universities for CS (SJSU, RIT, GWU) and MIS (NEU, UB, NYU Poly). So I was more of a listener hanging my ears in every group and I guess listening indeed helped as I had to cover the event eventually on a blog. :)

The meet was not only a good source of networking but seriously cleared a lot of doubts and concerns the members had. It also brought all members at the same level by clearing all fallacies which people had initially, particularly the VISA affair. Well if not completely, definitely to an extent. :) Finally we had a group photograph which definitely looks picture-perfect!

Check the pics below ... Comments are welcome.
















SharePoint 2010: Using Discussion Boards in sites

25 March, 2012 | | 1 comments |

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MSDN Reference for Discussion Boards - Link

A Discussion Board in SharePoint 2010 is a List which allows collaboration between members in a team over a particular discussion subject. To make it even simpler, Discussion boards are moreover like Internet forums where discussions threads exist and each discussion topic have several replies from users. Users have an option to create, edit and remove a discussion topic or discussion reply.

The Discussion board functionality and user-interface can be customized with the help of SharePoint Object Model and customizing CSS classes respectively. From a developer point-of-view, a point to note - the Discussion Board forms do not open in InfoPath Designer 2010. SharePoint Designer 2010 is the only choice for customizing any of the Discussion Board forms and views besides the out-of-box functionality available in browser.

Views in Discussion List:

Discussion board can have several Views which are different ways to display the list which will suit the user requirements. New views can be created and out-of-box views can be customized if required.

Each discussion list has three views by default:

View name Page Name
Subject  view (default) AllItems.aspx
Flat View Flat.aspx
Threaded View Threaded.aspx

The default view is Subject for a new discussion list created. More views can be created as per user’s requirements. (More on Types of Views below).

Creating a Discussion List in a SharePoint 2010 site:

1. Login into the SharePoint 2010 site. The user has to be a Site Administrator to create the list.

2. Go to Site Settings menu in the top-left corner of the page and select View All Content.

3. Click Create.

4. Select List from left navigation and click on Discussion Board. Enter the name of the list you would like to have and click on Create.

Once created, you will see the ‘Villkor och tariff’ Discussion list in the Quick Launch navigation on the left side.

MSDN Reference for views in Discussion BoardsLink1 & Link2

Different types of views:

1. Subject view (default view)

This view is available only at the top-level folder (the highest level of a discussion board) and is used to view the names of the discussions and other metadata on a particular discussion. The name of each discussion in the board appears as a link in the Subject column that you can click to go to a lower-level folder that displays the replies to that particular discussion.

Note: Although it is possible to use a different view for the top-level folder, such as the flat or threaded view, we do not recommend that. Instead, use the subject view or a view that you create based on the subject view.

2. Flat view

By default, this view is available only in folders of the discussion content type. This means that it is not available to the top-level folder. In this view, the subject of the discussion, all replies to the discussion, and other replies are aligned on one side.

3. Threaded view

By default, this view is available only in folders of the discussion content type. This means that it is not available to the top-level folder. In this view, the subject of the discussion is aligned to one side, all replies to the discussion are indented slightly, and all replies to previous replies are indented even farther. This view makes it easy to see whether a reply was made directly to the subject of the discussion or to a previous reply.

Changing the view in Discussion Board:

From any view in Discussion Board, you can change the view by clicking on the List on Main Navigation Breadcrumb and selecting the desired view.

SharePoint 2010: Using RSS feeds for SharePoint Page/List updates

10 February, 2012 | | 0 comments |

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RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a "feed", "web feed" or "channel") includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. RSS feeds can be read using software called an "RSS reader", "feed reader", or "aggregator", which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based. The user subscribes to a feed by entering into the reader the feed's URI or by clicking a feed icon in a web browser that initiates the subscription process.

From Microsoft SharePoint point-of-view, users can use RSS feeds to receive alerts on SharePoint pages, Lists, document libraries and other SharePoint components which support RSS publishing. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Outlook support RSS feeds to receive updates.

Adding RSS feeds from SharePoint Page/List to Internet Explorer

In Microsoft SharePoint 2010, to check if the list or the SharePoint page has a RSS feed available, you can check the RSS icon on the Internet Explorer, Firefox or any other browser. If the icon is highlighted, it means RSS feeds are available for the SharePoint component you are viewing. Check the following example for a SharePoint List in Internet Explorer -

(Click to expand this image)

Now click on the RSS feed icon to view the RSS feeds of the List.

Adding RSS feed to Internet Explorer
(Click to expand this image)

Click on ‘Subscribe to this feed’ to add the feed in Internet Explorer feed list. In future, if you want to see which all feeds you have subscribed in Internet Explorer, check the Favorites > Feeds Tab.

To view the feeds, check the Favorites > Feeds tab and click on the desired feed to view the updates.

Checking available RSS feeds in Internet Explorer

Adding RSS feeds from SharePoint Page/List to Microsoft Outlook

To add the RSS feed to Microsoft Outlook, copy the RSS feed URL. Right-click on RSS Feeds folder in Microsoft Outlook and click on ‘Add a New RSS Feed’. Paste the RSS feed URL in the box, click on Add and click on Yes. You might be asked for the credentials as the feeds are being accessed from a site which needs credentials for access.

Once done, you will see the feed under RSS feeds folder.

Adding RSS Feeds to Outlook
(Click to expand this image)

Once RSS feeds are added, they will look like following in Microsoft Outlook. New RSS updates will display as unread items in the feed list.

This is how RSS feeds look in Microsoft Outlook
(Click to expand this image)

SharePoint 2010: PDF files cannot be opened directly, only saved

26 January, 2012 | | 1 comments |

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While supporting an intranet application on SharePoint 2010 for a Swedish client in my company, a lot of users complained about PDF files not been able to open in browser as a default behavior in SharePoint 2010 Lists. In some cases, it does offer you the option of 'Read' or 'Save' but despite of choosing the 'Read' option, the PDF still saves a copy to the file-system! To remind you, back in SharePoint 2007 the default behavior was that the PDF files would open directly in the browser, so obviously this is considered an unusual behavior in SharePoint 2010.



My study found a lot of threads on MSDN forums and Stack Overflow which do a offer solutions to introduce a custom 3rd party jQuery code in your Master Page or CEWP (Content Editor WebPart) but choosing an out-of-box solution is always preferred.

The way it works with SharePoint 2010 basically - PDF files (basically the PDF MIME type) are not considered safe hence saving them to the file-system and opening them is the only option users have. That’s annoying! Amongst the list of allowed MIME types which SharePoint 2010 allows for a Web Application, PDF isn’t in the list.

Solution 1:

Modify the General Settings of the Web Application in CAS (Central Administration System) to allow “Permissive browser handling” which means the browser will be able open up file types which are not in the list of permissible MIME types.



Perhaps, this might be the easiest way of achieving or intent but it also leaves the browser vulnerable and allows all file types to be opened. This is definitely not a good security practice. Check the other solution.

Solution 2:

We can use PowerShell to explicitly include PDF in the list of allowed MIME types. Note that this setting is applied at Web Application level hence making this solution better than Solution 1 as it does not open up any other MIME types. Make sure you use an account with adequate privileges to execute the PowerShell script. Execute the PowerShell script in the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell after modifying the Web Application URL in the first line. Following are some PowerShell snippets with their description.

List all permissible MIME types:

  • $webapp = Get-SPWebApplication http://localhost:8080/
  • $webapp.AllowedInlineDownloadedMimeTypes
  • $webapp.Update()

Add PDF MIME type to this list:

  • $webapp = Get-SPWebApplication http://localhost:8080/
  • $webapp.AllowedInlineDownloadedMimeTypes.Add(“application/pdf”)
  • $webapp.Update()

Remove PDF MIME type from this list:

  • $webapp = Get-SPWebApplication http://localhost:8080/
  • $webapp.AllowedInlineDownloadedMimeTypes.Remove(“application/pdf”)
  • $webapp.Update()

Download the PowerShell script here:
(Reset the IIS after you execute the script)

PowerShell script to allow PDF MIME type in SharePoint 2010 to open in browser


Personally, I have tested both the methods and they work fine when you do the way to allow PDF files. But when you do the opposite way i.e. to disallow PDF, the changes do not get applied, leaving you with the first applied setting.

Here is one such case on the Internet. Also check the comments at the end.