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3 min read

SharePoint Orientation

Jul 14, 2010 11:00:00 AM

This text mirrors what you’ll hear in the video.

SharePoint provides a common framework for helping you do your work efficiently and effectively, and to improve communications between you and your colleagues. This introductory video is intended to provide you with a base understanding of Microsoft SharePoint – so we’ll cover the terminology you need to know to make your way around the software.

We’ll start with Lists. Within SharePoint, data is organized in to collections called Lists. Lists are like a table in a database or an Excel worksheet in that they contain many individual records or rows.
List attributes are shown as column headings, as you see here. They help distinguish list items from one another.

A list item is a discrete record within a list that has the same attributes as every other list item in that list. These attributes can be of many types including, but not limited to, numbers, strings, dates, files, and system users. It should be noted that file attributes are attachments to the list item.

The next important term you need to know is Document Library. Document Libraries, like Lists, are collections of data – but unlike Lists, Document Libraries are meant to be a repository for documents, including Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets, etc. As you see, this library is already populated with some documents. The attributes of those documents are shown again as column headings.

A Document Library Item is a discrete record, and more importantly, a discrete document. Each document in the document library will have the same attributes as other documents in the library – though each document may have a different template. You can create a templates for files within your document library – and select one to use for a new document in the New tab. Two important features to note are:

  • Number one, the Document Control feature, which allows a single editor to check out a document to edit it, thereby restricting access to only one user at a time. Permissions can be given to users to allow for read-only or more restricted permissions.
  • Number two is Document Versioning, which allows for changes made to the document to be tracked over time.

The next term is Workflow. A Workflow is a packaged set of instructions that can be executed in a repeatable fashion for any given List Item or Document Library Item. Workflows may be executed automatically by the system on the creation or modification of a list or library item, or manually by the user.

The button you see here shows where to access Workflows for this List Item. You can see it by using the drop down and on the display form. Note that not all lists will have workflows associated with them. Only workflows that are manually executable will be displayed here.

The next term is View. All Lists and Document Libraries present the information contained within them by using Views. Views are similar to a simple database query where you can specify what kind of records you want to see (filtering) and how they should be presented (grouping and sorting).

Here I’m showing a view of Test List A using the All Items by Status view. You can select a different view – even a custom view you create – in this box in the upper right of your screen.

The last term is Web Part. Web parts are sections of a web page meant to share related information. These web parts can have many uses throughout a web site.

Here I’m showing a Web Part within the display form for a Test List A item. This web part shows only those documents where the related Test List A Item is the same as the list item being displayed above.

Now you’re familiar with the foundational elements of SharePoint. Our how-to videos will show you how to perform basic user and developer-level operations using these elements.

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