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UtterAccess Forums _ Microsoft SharePoint _ Lookup/choice Content Management

Posted by: snekker Aug 21 2019, 07:56 AM

In an organization with many related functions and processes, it's natural for stakeholders to want to reference other information from a SharePoint list. A list of projects, for example, might be related to a list of organizational priorities, or a certain funding line. This is normally uncomplicated and harmless, but sometimes,

- lookup/choice columns are requested to answer a data call, and might not be needed after the itch that caused the data call is adequately scratched.
- lookup/choice columns contain values that change periodically, such as quarterly priorities or strategic goals.

In the first case, it's additional work for the SharePoint admin (often not a full-time SharePoint person) to add columns and re-configure forms and reports only to have to delete those columns later and re-re-configure forms and reports. Other times the obsolete columns will just remain forever until people start to complain that most of the form fields are old and irrelevant. In the second case the result is frequently a lookup/choice column that contains more obsolete choices than current ones because deleting the old options would impact existing or archived records that reference those values. With choice columns, I've sometimes seen a list of (for example) the top four business priorities, with the next choice in the list being "---ARCHIVED---" followed by all of the old choices.

Does anyone have experience with this sort of thing, and have a good process or technique in mind for how to manage lookups with a expected short lifespan or dynamic contents?

Posted by: GroverParkGeorge Aug 21 2019, 10:10 AM

Not directly, no. However, I spent some time at a company which did use SharePoint extensively.

You've put your finger on one of the main reasons SharePoint is both popular (minimal expertise required to create and modify lists) and a pain to work with. As I recall, the people who had the unfortunate task of managing those lists spent a lot of time--as you are--trying to keep them relevant.