SharePoint 4 Developers

Additional reference guide in .NET / SharePoint Development

Lesson 1 - Core SharePoint Features – Part III

This post is the continuation of the lesson Core SharePoint Features. We are going to see definitions, types and an example of how to create Columns.

Hi folks,

This post is the continuation of the lesson Core SharePoint Features. Today we are going to see definitions, types and an example of how to create Columns.

It contains many figures that facilitate the understanding and learning.

Let´s go to another post belonging to this series!

Site Columns

Site Columns are column definitions that can be assigned to multiple lists across multiple SharePoint sites (available at the scope of Site Collection).

Due to the fact they are shared, Site Columns eliminate the need to create repeated columns (redundancy) in each site, ensuring consistency of column metadata. However Site Columns can be copied to Lists and then to belong exclusively to the List, becoming List Columns.

Site Columns and List Columns can be added to Content types*.

Keeping up with our example started in the previous post, now we´re going to create a column called FileType in the library VIDocs, which will contain the definition of the file type that was created or uploaded.

Every time you create a column to your list, preferably add a column based on an existing column, through Settings > Document Library Settings > Add from existing site columns. If the column doesn´t exist (as in this case), firstly we must create the site column and then add it to our library.

In order to create the column go to Site Actions > Site Settings > Site columns (under Galleries), according Figure 1 and 2.

Figure 1 – Site Settings Menu

Figure 2 – Site Settings

Click Create.

Figure 3 – Site Column Gallery

Next step is the column creation, however the selection of the column type to our example is needed. Table 1 displays the existing column types available in SharePoint and their features.



Single line of text

Columns that collect and display small amounts of text in a single line, including text only, combinations of text and numbers, and numbers that are not used in calculations (such as phone numbers).

Multiple lines of text

Columns that collect and display one or more sentences of text or formatted text.

Choice (menu to choose from)

Columns that display a list of options.

Number (1, 1.0, 100)

Columns that provide a box in which you can type a numerical value.

Currency ($,¥, €)

Columns that provide a box in which you can type a monetary value.

Date and Time

Columns that store calendar or time-of-day information.

Lookup (information already on this site)

Columns that make it easy for you to select information that's already stored on a site.

Yes/No (check box)

Columns that store true/false information.

Person or Group

Columns that display the name of users or SharePoint groups.

Hyperlink or Picture

Columns that display a hyperlink to a Web page or display an image from the Web.

Calculated (calculation based on other columns)

Columns that display information that is based on the result of a formula. The formula can use information from other lists and columns, dates, or numbers. You can use standard mathematical operators.

Table 1 – Existing Column Types

In our example the column FileType must be a column of type Choice and have these elements: Word Document, Excel Spreadsheet, Portable Document Format, Text File, XML File and Image File.

Table 2 displays the column settings and figures 4, 5 and 6 display the screenshot details.



Name and Type

Column Name: FileType

The type of information in this column is: Choice (menu to choose from)


Existing Group: Custom Columns

Addition Column Settings

Description: Type of the File

Require that this column contains information: No

Type each choice on a separate line:

  • Word Document
  • Excel Spreadsheet
  • Portable Document Format
  • Text File
  • XML File
  • Image File

Display choices using: Drop-down menu

Allow “Fill-in” choices: No

Default Value: Choice (Let the field blank)

Table 2 – Column Settings

Figure 4 – New Site Column (1/3)

Figure 5 – New Site Column (2/3)

Figure 6 – New Site Column (3/3)

Click OK to create the Site Column.

After creating the column, we need to configure our library VIDocs to display it. Open the library and go to Settings > Document Library Settings, according Figure 7.

Figure 7 – Document Library Settings Menu

Then click in Add from existing site columns according Figure 8.

Figure 8 – Document Library Settings

A new page will be displayed to select the column, according Figure 9. Select it and click OK.

Figure 9 – Adding columns from existing Site Columns

This way the column will be added to the library VIDocs. In the Figure 10 we can check out the updated library with the FileType column available (and filled).

Figure 10 – FileType Column

Once the column is created, our example will be used in the next part of lesson 1, which continues in the next post, containing explanations about views.

content types* - Collection of content settings. (To be seen in another lesson)

Book: Essential SharePoint 2007 (Addison Wesley Series)
Book: Essential SharePoint 2007, Second Edition (O'Reilly, 2007)


Marcel Medina

Click here to read the same content in Portuguese.

The document could not be created

A message is displayed due to a problem with the Microsoft Office installed in the client machine: The document could not be created.

Hi folks,

This is my debut post of a new section called Troubleshooting. In this section we are going to check out some messages and errors that are displayed when utilizing Sharepoint, an approach in the point of view of a user and administrator.

I believe this section will help everybody with a full solution, thereby avoiding to waste hours investigating problems.

Today I´m presenting a message that is displayed due to a problem with the Microsoft Office installed in the client machine.

Some time ago a client showed me this message when trying to create new documents in a Document Library (Shared Documents):

The document could not be created.
The required application may not be installed properly, or the template for this document library cannot be opened.
Please try the following:
1. Check the General Settings for this document library for the name of the template, and install the application necessary for opening the template. If the application was set to install on first use, run the application and then try creating a new document again.
2. If you have permission to modify this document library, go to General Settings for the library and configure a new template.

Figure 1 – Alert Message

Both options above didn´t solve my problem, because they didn´t fit in the scenario I had.

What to do? I was sure the problem was in the client environment, but so far I didn´t have a solution.

Googling it, I got an idea of possible bugs, but nothing 100% sure. Some comments pointed out the execution of MS Diagnostics tool to get the solution.

Well done!

This issue occurs due to problems in the user machine, like: Setup Installation, RAM failures, disk failures or the lack of upgrades (Service Pack).

Diagnostic Tool

MS Office Diagnostics is available at:

Figure 2 – Microsoft Office Diagnostics Path

Or through the folder: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OFFICE12\OFFDIAG.EXE

It is a simple application, that can be executed in few steps “Next, Next, Finish”.

Figure 3 – Initial Screen

Basically some verification is performed:

· Check for known solutions – Analyses the recent cases in which MS Office had problems and search for known solutions.

· Memory Diagnostic – Analyses RAM integrity.

· Compatibility Diagnostic – Analyses different installed versions of MS Office and possible conflicts.

· Disk Diagnostic – Analyses logs and monitoring tools to find failures.

· Setup Diagnostic – Analyses files and register settings related to the MS Office installation.

Figure 4 – Presentation of items to be checked out

As the application runs, some status messages are displayed according Figure 5, which can be verified through this link:

Figure 5 – Verification

After executing (it can take a while), a summarization shows all repairs done (in my machine nothing was found), according Figure 6:

Figure 6 – Summarization

In order to view the problems found in details, click Detailed results.

If a problem is found, it will be repaired and the button Continue won´t be displayed. Just the button Close will be available.

Once you click over the button Continue, a web page is loaded according Figure 7:

Figure 7 – Loading Web Page

This is the page that is going to be displayed.

The querystring of the link above can vary (e.g: ShowHelp), hence the items in exhibition.

Hope this helps,



Marcel Medina

Click here to read the same content in Portuguese.

Lesson 1 - Core SharePoint Features – Part II

This post is the continuation of Core SharePoint Features lesson. It will introduce you with definitions, types and an example of creating Lists.

Hi folks,

This post is the continuation of Core SharePoint Features lesson. It will introduce you with definitions, types and an example of creating Lists.

This object understanding is essential to comprehend how WSS and MOSS store data and let it available to users.

Lists and Libraries

They are data tables, very similar to tables from a database. However we can´t compare a SharePoint list to a simple table from the database, which just stores records.

A List is a mini-application inside SharePoint, created from List Templates that support workflows, content types*, versioning and permissions.

Tables 1 and 2 show what lists are available with WSS and MOSS respectively.




Share news, status, and other time-sensitive information.


Collect and store phone numbers, email addresses, and other information about employees or external contacts. Contact lists can be shared with Outlook.

Discussion Board

Create threaded discussions among team members. Discussion boards are similar to newsgroups.

Custom List

Create a new list starting with basic columns and a standard view.

Custom List in Datasheet view

Create a new list starting with basic columns and a datasheet view.

Import Spreadsheet

Create a new list with columns and data from a spreadsheet. Includes a datasheet view.


List web pages and other resources related to a task or project.


Track events, milestones, and deadlines that can be displayed graphically as a calendar page. Calendar lists can be shared with Outlook.


Track work items.

Project Tasks

Track work items that can be displayed graphically in a Gantt Chart.

Issue Tracking

Assign issues or problems to individuals and then track the progress of the resolution.


Poll individuals using a series of questions and display the results graphically.

Table 1 – Built-in List Templates provided by WSS



Languages and Translators

Add languages and translators used by the Translation Management workflow.

KPI List

Track and display progress toward a set of goals graphically.

Table 2 – Additional List Templates from MOSS

Library is sort of a special list, which main difference from a List is the possibility to store files.

Tables 3 and 4 show what libraries are available with WSS and MOSS respectively.



Document Library

Collect and share Office documents and other files.

Form Library

Publish InfoPath forms for collecting structured data such as timesheets, purchase order requests, and other business forms.

Wiki Page Library

Share web pages that can be edited by multiple authors.

Picture Library

Collect and share image files.

Basic Page

Store HTML-format web pages.

Web Part Page

Store SharePoint web part pages.

Table 3 – Built-in Library Templates provided by WSS



Translation Management Library

Create documents in multiple languages and manage their translation.

Report Library

Publish Excel report spreadsheets.

Data Connection Library

Publish Office Data Connection (ODC) and Universal Data Connection (UDC) files.

Slide Library

Publish slides from PowerPoint 2007 presentations.

Table 4 – Additional Library Templates from MOSS

Among all lists and libraries displayed in above tables, we are going to create a library that, besides having all features of a list, offers file storage.

Let´s check the creation of a library using the Library Template called Document Library, which by the way is the same used by Shared Documents library (Fig. 1).

This same example will be used in the next posts of lesson 1.

In order to view the existing libraries in the current site, click in View All Site Content (Fig. 1).

Figure 1 – Main page

Figure 2 displays some lists and libraries grouped by categories. By default they are available through sites every time a new site is created.

Figure 2 – All Site Content

Click Create. We are going to create a new list based on the template Document Library.

Figure 3 – Library Creation

The name of our library is suggestive of adoption and concerns about the utilization of lists for document files storage. It is going to be named VIDocs, as per Figure 4, which means Very Important Documents.

This is the way we should use libraries, just storing important documents.

Some companies insist transforming SharePoint as a file server, but they don´t analyze first some issues concerning Lists size growing and administrative tasks.

Warning: This is a polemic matter that I will bring it again in another post soon. Just store important documents, unless you know exactly what you are doing.

Figure 4 – Library Creation Details

Click New or upload some documents to check how simple it is. Upload lots of files, specially different types such as Word document, Text file, PDF, Excel spreadsheet, etc.
If you have Office 2003 Pro or Office 2007, you can use the feature Upload Multiple Documents.

Figure 5 – Documents Upload

There are other ways to bulk upload files that will not be shown in this post. If you are interested to know more about it immediately, please contact me, otherwise I will let a post of Tips and Tricks category available for this purpose.

Lesson 1 continues in the next post, with explanations about columns and views.

content types* - Collection of content settings. (To be seen in another lesson)

Livro: Essential SharePoint 2007 (Addison Wesley Series)
Livro: Essential SharePoint 2007, Second Edition (O'Reilly, 2007)


Marcel Medina

Click here to read the same content in Portuguese.