Challenge #4 in implementing SharePoint: Web part connections

SharePoint Feature Description

In Microsoft SharePoint, when you want to show related data in different lists, you can use custom web part pages to place the list webpart and web part connections to connect the related data. The lists we want to connect to each other via webpart connection feature should have Lookup columns to each other. So it is possible in Microsoft SharePoint to instantiate a new web page and place two webparts in it, one to show the data as a list and the other to show the detail item. In webpart connections, one webpart act as a provider (list data) and the other as the consumer web part (item detail).

In our test Microsoft SharePoint Server we wanted to show the invoice of customers online. We have two separate lists to store the invoice information. One of them is for the header information of the invoice like the date, customer, invoice number ,…. The other list is to store the detail item of each invoice, for example the title, description, unit price, …

The detail item has a lookup column to the main item, so we can create a web part page in Microsoft SharePoint Server to show invoice of each customer and use webpart connection feature.

SharePoint Challenge Description

The challenge is it is not possible to have multiple consumer webparts connected to a single provider. For example in our test Microsoft SharePoint Server, in invoice page, we wanted to show both the detail invoice items and payment history of the customer. We have separate lists for these items and both lists have a lookup column to the main invoice item. But it is not possible to show both information on the same page when you use the connected webpart feature of SharePoint.

You have to create two different webpages, one for the invoice detail and the other for the payment detail. The usability of this solution is low since it needs extra clicks from the user and add more complexity for the user and also the maintenance cost will be increased.

Solution

The solution to this problem is to develop a custom SharePoint Application page in Visual Studio to show related data. There is no out-of-the-box solution to this problem in Microsoft SharePoint.

MCSE, PMP, With more than 12 years experience in Microsoft technologies.

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