Welcome!

Silverlight Authors: Automic Blog, Michael Kopp, AppDynamics Blog, Kaazing Blog, Steven Mandel

Related Topics: Silverlight, Microsoft Cloud, Machine Learning

Silverlight: Blog Feed Post

Using CAML To Deploy A Lookup Column Via Feature

This week, I needed to deploy lookup columns to some of my lists and as usual I wanted to avoid writing code at all costs

This week, I needed to deploy lookup columns to some of my lists and as usual I wanted to avoid writing code at all costs. 

 As some of you may know, Kyle Kelin and I debate this topic often as he prefers a code approach.  I figured it had to be possible with CAML, but many claimed it was not even possible.  A few approaches showed up out there involving using code to modify the elements.xml file with your GUID, but that just wasn’t going to cut it for me. 

One popular post on the topic by Josh Gaffey, started me in the right direction, but there were a few hurdles I ran into as I was trying to implement it.  It would create the list, show the content type, and site columns, but when I tried to create a new item, the lookup column was not there. 

The basic technique is that you specify the path to the list in the form of (Lists/MyListName) in the List attribute of the Field element in both your schema.xml file of your document library template as well as the definition of the site column.  The first thing I learned here is that you cannot simply omit declaring site columns and a content type out and go with list level columns.  It simply will not work (no idea why).

Here is how I ended up getting everything to work.  I created my initial lists, content types, and site columns through the SharePoint UI.  I then used SPSource (seriously a great tool) to export the content type, site columns, and lists (both the source list and the one that contained the lookup column).  My goal was to deploy these items to another site collection.   I recommend creating separate features for your content types and the list definition. 

This way you can ensure the content type is deployed first.  To export your content type / site columns, create a new stub feature.xml file as described on their site and then create an .spsource file with just the content type in it like this (no need to specify columns).

<Elements xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">

  <ContentType Name="Test" />

</Elements>

In my example, my content type was called Test.  Create a separate feature folder for your list template and instance.  Create another feature.xml and an .spsource file for the list which looks something like this.  My list is also named Test in this case.

<Elements xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">

  <ListTemplate Name="Test" />

</Elements>

SPSource does a good job when it exports my list definition and properly specifies the list using a path instead of a guid in my lookup column as shown below (from schema.xml).

<Field Type="Lookup" DisplayName="DocumentCategory" Required="FALSE" List="Lists/Categories" ShowField="Title" UnlimitedLengthInDocumentLibrary="FALSE" Group="My Group" ID="{9266e0fa-ae49-438c-acdc-73063684ac8f}" SourceID="{50b253e5-e90e-4781-8fce-cece417b185e}" StaticName="DocumentCategory" Name="DocumentCategory" Customization="" ColName="int1" RowOrdinal="0" />

We don’t actually have to change a thing in this file.  What I did have to change is the List attribute of the file it generated for my site columns.  As Josh’s post above stated, we have to change the List attribute from a GUID to the path of the list.  His post also mentioned you might want to set the PrependId attribute but I have since learned that this is only used when you are using the LookupMulti type (although I can’t remember the source I got this from).

<Field Type="Lookup" DisplayName="DocumentCategory" Required="TRUE" List="Lists/Categories" ShowField="Title" UnlimitedLengthInDocumentLibrary="FALSE" Group="My Group" ID="{9266e0fa-ae49-438c-acdc-73063684ac8f}" Name="DocumentCategory" />

At this point you can deploy your site columns, content type, and then custom list (in that order) and if all goes well you will be able to create a new item of that content type with the lookup column functioning.  One thing to note, if you get this wrong, your list will behave oddly.  One thing I noticed is that it won’t turn on content types for the list when that happens.  If this is happening go back and check your work.  Another thing people mentioned is that the source list for the lookup column has to exist before you create the lookup column.  This in fact is not true.  It will work and it will display a drop down list for the lookup column, but it will be empty of course since the list does not exist.

Along the way I figured out a few other things.  When I was trying to figure this out, I was trying to just create the content type and then manually add it to the list via the UI.  Doesn’t work.  If you try to add a content type with a lookup column defined in this way to an existing list, you will get the following error.

Exception from HRESULT: 0x80040E07 at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequestInternalClass.AddField(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, String bstrSchemaXml, Int32 grfAdd)
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.AddField(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, String bstrSchemaXml, Int32 grfAdd)

The only way to get the content type associated with the list is via CAML when it is created.  Another odd thing is that the lookup column never shows it is bound to the other list correctly.  Here is what the source lookup column looked like.

SharePointLookupColumnSource

Notice where it says Get information from, the name of the list is present.  Here is what my copy of the list looks like.

SharePointLookupColumnCopy

Notice that the list name is not present.  Strangely enough though, everything works fine in the copy.  This one through me for a loop for a while because it didn’t seem like things weren’t working and as I mentioned above I couldn’t add the content type to a list (nor could I add the column to a content type). 

As you can see there are few oddities about deploying lookup columns in this manner, but it does work.  @SPKyle informed me he could have written code to do this hours ago, but I am quite happy that I can deploy things in this manner now.

Twitter: @coreyroth

More Stories By Corey Roth

Corey Roth, a SharePoint Server MVP, is a consultant at Hitachi Consulting specializing in SharePoint and Office 365 for clients in the energy sector. He has more than ten years of experience delivering solutions in the energy, travel, advertising and consumer electronics verticals.

Corey specializes in delivering ECM and search solutions to clients using SharePoint. Corey has always focused on rapid adoption of new Microsoft technologies including Visual Studio 2013, Office 365, and SharePoint.

He is a member of the .NET Mafia (www.dotnetmafia.com) where he blogs about the latest technology and SharePoint. He is dedicated to the community and speaks regularly at user groups and SharePoint Saturdays.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...