Power of the content type
In general most of us working with SharePoint know what the content type is. A SharePoint content type merges together with an item and information about the item. We can use different kinds of items: a document, an excel workbook, a KPI’s, etc. With this approach, we get metadata that can be used in many ways. All those information is obvious for most of us and it’s basic knowledge for all SharePoint people. So why I am writing about it again? Because again I get the project which was previously developed by some super SharePoint heroes. And there are many libraries, lists without any single site collection column or content type! Isn’t it amazing??? And now If I want to make any modifications I have to go through all libraries/ lists and check one by one. Just wonderful! So I would like to remind everyone who is new to SharePoint or maybe they forgot what does it mean power of the content type.
How to add a column in lists/ libraries
It’s really simple. We just press the button “Create column”, enter column name and that’s it. Here is the column.
This approach is very simple and it does not require any magic knowledge, any user with proper permission can do this. Well and that’s all good news. What about cases when we have more libraries or lists where we want to store the same kind of information and then we want to change something? In such a case, we have to go through them, one by one… It’s the best way to create chaos across the farm.
Why you should use a site column in your SharePoint?
It’s very simple. You just need to enter “Site settings” and create a column at this level. It looks like a very small difference, in both cases we just created a column, but then this small difference makes a huge impact. First of all this column flows down. I mean that it’s available in all subsites. And in this case, if we make modifications it will be visible in lists/ libraries across the site collection! Also if we set our column as “Lookup Site Column” our “lookup” also works in other sites! It could be very useful if we run a free SharePoint version and we can’t use Content Query Web Part…
Use the Power of the content type!
It’s not rocket science. We just have to go to site settings, then we go to site content types, and then we just create our own content type. Please remember that we should rather put it into our own group. It will make easier administration. Also, we should highlight that it’s also is available across the site collection, which means that our changes are made in a single place and then SharePoint will replicate it.
As you can see it’s not a big deal, but this approach allows us to use useful futures of SharePoint – Power of the content type. This power is related to centralized management. When we use columns and content types at the site collection level we can keep our farm clean, without a mess. And sometimes when someone has to make our work it will be much faster and easier to find out how everything works.