A list is a simple structure for storing data. The design, or schema, for a list is the set of fields (columns and types) which comprise the list. If you are an administrator, you can create a new list design by: You can also simultaneously create the design and populate the list from a spreadsheet|populateList#infer].

Once you have created a list, you can add data to it and can also export the design as a set of fields that can be used like a template for designing another list.

Manually Define Fields

  • In the project or folder where you want the list, select (Admin) > Manage Lists.
  • Click Create New List.
  • Name the list, i.e. "Technicians" in this example.
  • Choose the appropriate Primary Key and Primary Key Type. Here we use the defaults.
  • Do not select the Import From File checkbox this time.
  • Click Create List.

Set Properties and Add Fields

  • Set the List Properties appropriately. We leave the defaults unchanged for this example.
  • The only currently defined data field is "Key," the default we left in place as the Primary Key.
  • Use the Add Field button below it to add additional fields to your list design. If you add an extraneous field, just click the "X" button to the left of the field row you would like to delete; you cannot delete the primary key field.
  • In this example, we've added three fields.
  • The Name, Label and Type for the three new fields:
    • Name: FirstName Label: First Name Type: String
    • Name: LastName Label: Last Name Type: String
    • Name: ID Label: ID Type: Integer
  • If desired, you can also set properties of list fields as you add them.
  • Scroll back to the top of the page and click Save.
  • Click Done to return to the grid of available lists.

Infer Fields from a Spreadsheet

Instead of creating the list fields one-by-one you can infer the list design from the column headers of a sample spreadsheet. Either upload the file or cut and paste the contents using this method. In this process, the data is not imported from the spreadsheet, merely the structure of it.

  • Click here to download this file: Technicians.xls
  • Select (Admin) > Manage Lists and click Create New List.
  • Name the list, i.e. "Technicians2" so you can compare it to the list created above.
  • Leave the key defaults, and click Create List.
  • Scroll down to the "List Fields", and click Infer Fields From File to open the popup as shown below.
    • Upload the sample file directly or paste the contents into the box.
  • Click Submit.
  • Scroll back to the top of the page and click Save.
  • Click Done to return to the grid of available lists.
  • Click "Technicians2" to see that the field names and types are inferred forming the header row, but no data was imported from the spreadsheet.

Note: Importing fields from a file will overwrite the existing list design, including deleting any data that has already been added to the list. Use only for new list creation. A warning message appears in the popup box to remind you.

Shortcut: Infer Fields and Populate a List from a Spreadsheet

If you want to both infer the fields to design the list and populate the new list with the data from the spreadsheet, follow this shortcut process:

  • Select (Admin) > Manage Lists.
  • Click Create New List.
  • Name the list, i.e. "Technicians3".
  • Leave the default key information again, but check the box for Import from File this time.
  • Click Create List.
  • Click Browse or Choose File and select the Technicians.xls file you downloaded.
  • You will see a preview of the fields that will be inferred, along with the first few rows of data. You may change types or labels of columns here if needed, or ignore a column when importing by unchecking the box next to the column name.
  • Click Import.
  • You will see the column headers, matching those in the other two lists you created above, as well as the three lines of data.

Import/Export Fields for a List Design

Once you have created and saved a list design, whether or not you have added data to the list itself, you can export the fields, such as to use as a template when creating another list. The new list could have changes or additional fields, but starting from an exported set of fields can reduce data entry and improve consistency.

  • Select (Admin) > Manage Lists.
  • Click the name of a list in the Lists web part (here, any one of the "Technicians" lists).
  • Click Design.
  • Scroll down to the List Fields section and click Export Fields.
  • Copy the contents of the popup window to your browser clipboard or a notepad. This representation of the schema can be used as a template when creating a new list.
  • Click Done in the popup, then Done in the list editor.

Use the exported set of fields to create a new list design.

Note: Once a list contains data, importing a new set of fields in this way will completely overwrite the list and cause any existing data to be deleted. This import option is intended for list creation, not for adding additional fields to a list.

  • Select (Admin) > Manage Lists.
  • Click Create New List, name it "Technicians4" and leave the key settings at their defaults. Do not check "Import from file".
  • Click Create List.
  • In the List Fields section, click Import Fields.
  • Paste the schema you exported above into the provided window:
  • Click Import and notice the list fields are populated as when you created them by other methods.
  • You could modify, add, or delete fields for the new list design if needed.
  • Click Save to save the new design.

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