SharePoint 12 – everything is a list

Lists were already VERY powerful in WSS v2.  They get even better in V3.

  • Pretty much everything in V3 is a list
  • The capabilities available in lists therefore get inherited everywhere
  • The standard library of list types has been greatly improved,  previously for example the standard list type for “issues” looked like it had been developed in 10 minutes as an after thought,  now it supports notification of assignee, related issues,  comment history etc etc.  It is actually usable!  This is the case for all of the standard list types and provides evidence that Microsoft have actually started to think about real business scenarios
  • The standard lists can be customised and the customisation capabilities are considerable
  • A single list can contain millions of items – thats scalable!
  • Considerable attention has been given to “tracking applications” implemented as lists,  for example these might include tasks, actions, issues, asset registers etc.  Great integration has been provided with Excel and Access,  see later posts
  • Surveys have been improved,  its now possible to have branching based on conditions, and to include page breaks.  You don’t need survey monkey any more.  The survey results can be exported to Excel and Access for analysis
  • The version history for a list shows what actually changed between versions,  the what changed is tracked at the field level
  • Lists that have a Start Date and an End Date can be displayed with a gantt chart view above them.  The Gantt chart view can be used to drag list items around to change the date.  A percentage complete field is represented as shading on the gantt chart bar.  It’s not MS project but it is very useful.  The data in the list can be uploaded into Project.  There is no concept of dependency.
  • When list items, for example tasks or issues are assigned to users then they can optionally get an email notification.  The standard email notification of a task allows the user to add it to their task list and to take the list off-line in Outlook.
  • Microsoft access can be used to query list data,  it could in V2 as well,  but in V3 when the link is established to Access it includes a set of standard reports in Access that are appropriate to the “list type”. For example for an list of issues you might get reports that group by priority, status etc.
  • Lists can be filtered, and sorted
  • Views of lists can be saved,  these dynamic views can be based on data from multiple lists.  For example the “all my tasks” list draws data from many task lists to create a consolidated personal view
  • Lists can be taken off-line in Outlook.  Outlook provides best support for list types that it understands for example tasks, calendars, document libraries, discussions
  • All of the standard Outlook capabilities are available for example drag and drop, forward via email, search folders etc.


Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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