At this point, the blog series is in full swing. You should have a background on the scenario: following a Sales team as they use Office 365 and SharePoint to build a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) system as an example of how to, overall, facilitate business management in the organization. Also, you should be familiar with the overall narrative as well as an introduction to using the control gear, accessing site settings, creating sites, and setting site permissions. All of this is covered in depth in the previous posts. Sales will now move on to creating two key lists: Customers and Sales Contracts.
The former is going to be reused repeatedly throughout various sites in the Intranet, facilitating organization wide business management processes. The latter, Sales Contracts, will be used locally in the “private” Contract Lifecycle Management site. Customers will be readable by everyone in the company, and Sales Contracts will be accessible only by those given permissions to the CLM site. This post will cover creating the Customers list and quite a bit more. The next post will be a condensed version which covers the specifications for the Sales Contracts list.
Creating the Customers List in SharePoint
- Navigate to the top-level site in the Intranet
- Control Gear > Site Contents
- This time instead of New > Subsite, choose New > List
- In the task pane that appears, specify:
- Name: Customers
- Description: Something useful, e.g. “Westmorr Consulting global customers list.”
- Uncheck “Show in navigation”
- Click the Create button
Once that’s done, you’ll be taken to the list. I noted in an earlier post that Microsoft has mix-and-matched the modern user interface (UI) and the classic SharePoint UI. The list view you landed on will likely be in the modern UI as was the “Site contents” page from which you just completed creating the Customers list. Go to Control gear > List settings:
Changing the Customers List Content Type
You’ll be back in the classic UI. Click “Advanced Settings” under the “General Settings” category:
From the Advanced Settings page, choose “Yes” under “Allow management of content types“. This is going to allow us to convert this list over to the Customers Content Type that was created in the previous post. All those setup steps are starting to come together now:
This will take you back to the list settings page. Click “Add from existing site content types”:
Filter down to the custom site content group that was created earlier, and only one option should show up: Customer. Choose that and press OK:
Changing the Customers List Content Type Options and Order
This will return you to the List Settings screen. Right below “Add from existing site content type”, there is an option, “Change new button order and default content type” (look above 2 images). Click that.
In the “Change New Button Order” screen, uncheck the “Visible” box for the Item content type and change “Position from Top” to “1” for the Customer content type. Press OK.
Take a breath…what did you just do here?
- You created a new Customers list which will be essential to overall business management in the Intranet.
- You updated the list’s advanced settings to “Allow management of content types” so that you can specify a custom type of content that will be held in this list. That is the Customer content type created in the previous post.
- Then, you updated the “Change New Button Order” setting on the list to ensure that users can’t create a generic “Item” type in this Customers list. Or, conversely, you made it so that users can only create objects that are Customers in this new Customers list.
Look at the List Settings page now. If you hadn’t already seen this, all of the site columns added to the Customer content type are listed as part of the Customers list’s columns.
There’s also one field, Title, that is an out-of-the-box field that Customer inherited from its parent content type, “Item”. That field does not apply to Customers, but right now it’s required…that’s going to change in a bit.
Just a few more steps to setting up our Customers list.
Modifying the Customers List Default View
Scroll down to the bottom “Views” section of the Customers list settings page and click the text “All Items”. We’re going to modify the default view of Customers we see when we view all of the Customers in our list.
- Uncheck the checkbox for “Title (linked to item with edit menu)”
- Leave only the following checked: Edit (link to edit menu), Customer Name, Customer Contact Name, Customer Contact E-Mail, and Customer Contact Phone
- Set the orders as seen in the image below. When we open the customers list we just want to see their name and basic contact information. We can drill in to get additional information if needed (e.g. address)
- Scroll back to the top and Press OK. We’ll get into many of the settings towards the bottom of the list view settings page in later posts.
- You’ll be directed back to the list’s default view after pressing OK
We could have done the next steps immediately to follow earlier in the series when creating our content type. But we didn’t, so let’s look at editing our content type and how changes we make are going to cascade into our list.
Updating the Customers List Required Fields and Field Order
Right now, only “Title” is a required field, and we want to make the above four fields (Customer Name, Contact Name, Contact E-Mail, and Contact Phone) required for items in the Customers list. We also want to get rid of the “Title” field as it doesn’t apply to Customers.
Go to the Control Gear > Site Settings. Then Web Designer Galleries > Site Content Types.
Open the “Customers” content type, and click “Customer Name”. Choose “Required (Must contain information)” and press OK:
Do the same for Customer Contact Name, Customer Contact E-Mail, and Customer Contact Phone. Review your changes:
Click into the Title column and set its column setting to “Hidden (Will not appear in forms)”:
One more change for the content type. On the Site Content Type page, scroll down to the bottom and choose “Column Order”:
Move all of the key Customer contact information to the front of the pack. Note, in the picture below, I had already set order (which is why they appear in this order), they’ll be out of order when you view your screen. Observe that “Title” is no longer present.
And, just one more setting on the list.
Go to Control Gear > Site Contents > Customers. Then to list settings. Click the “Customer Name” field in the list of Columns and select “Enforce unique values”. The organization will enforce that only one entry in the Customers list exists per any given Customer Name.
Press OK at the bottom of the field edit screen. When you do this, the following dialogue will appear.
Press OK on that dialogue which returns you to the Customers list settings page.
Adding a new Customer to the Customers List
Navigate to the Customers list by using the breadcrumbs, and then click ‘New’ to create the first Customer:
- Notice “Content Type” is “Customer” at the top of the create item task pane. If you try to change it…you won’t be able to because you updated the “Change New Button Order” setting in earlier steps.
- Notice how the fields you just set as required are all…required, and notice how they are in the same order as what you specified with the “Column Order” setting on the content type.
- Finally, observe that “Title” is not on the New item form.
Specify the required information, press save, and your new customer will appear in the default view:
You, and Westmorr Sales of course, have created a new Customers list and added the first customer. But so much more has been done:
- Create the List
- Update advanced settings on the list to specify a custom, and default, content type
- Set required fields
- Updated the list’s default view
- Changed the order that fields appear when creating new items
- Learned new ways to navigate through administrative settings
In the next post, Sales will create the Sales Contracts list in the Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) site. That next post will be a condensed version which focuses more on simply posting the settings to specify so that you can keep on pace with building the solution; there will be less narrative.