List View in SharePoint 2010

What is a List View?

The concept of List View has been around since SharePoint v2.  While there are other technologies being used for visualizing list data in different scenarios (e.g. Content Query Web Part), List View remains the default component for displaying list data in SharePoint 2010.

List Views can be spotted everywhere in SharePoint.  They are used to display information such as your announcements, tasks and calendar schedules.


What’s the change in 2010?

In 2010, Microsoft introduced a component called the XSLT List View Web Part (XLV) that serves as the new default technology for displaying list data.  This honor used to belong to the List View Web Part (LVWP), which was the default from SharePoint v2 to 2007.  (Note: LVWPs are still supported in SharePoint 2010, but just not as widely used as the new XLV.)  The new XLV brings a ton of improvements to the SharePoint platform.

What are the key benefits to the new List Views (XLV)?

  • More Designer Friendly
    • Rich customization support through SharePoint Designer (SPD) while preserving browser UI experience
      • In SharePoint 2007, two of the main web parts for displaying list data were LVWP and the DataFormWebPart (DFWP).  Both had their own advantages and disadvantages.  The LVWPs were fully integrated into the browser with in-browser editing support, but lacked rich customization experience as they were not fully customizable inside SharePoint Designer 2007.  The DFWPs had a much richer customization story as they were fully editable inside SharePoint Designer, but lacked the in-browser editing capabilities that LVWPs had.  With the new XLV, SharePoint combined the best aspects of these two technologies and now allow you to richly customize your XLVs in SPD and also provide the in-browser editing experience.  It is important to note that XLV will preserve both SPD customizations and in-browser modifications, and not blow any of that away.
    • Extensible and shareable custom styles
      • A custom view style that you designed in SPD can now be easily shared with other designers across your site collection.
    • Popular designer features such as Conditional Formatting.
      • Similar to the Conditional Formatting feature in Excel, designer can now set conditions on when to format items in a list view (e.g. KPIs.)
  • More Developer Friendly
    • Uses standards-based XSLT instead of CAML
    • Easily extensible
      • Developers no longer have to include large blobs of CAML to define views in their List definitions.  Take advantage of shared XSLT used to define out-of-box views and only define custom XSL for the sections you want.
  • More End-User Friendly
    • Enhanced user experience including Ribbon UI and new multi-selection model.
      • Bulk editing and deletion are now supported.
    • Inline editing support
      • Edit fields in your list view without being directed to another page or dialog.
  • More Robust Ways to Access Data
    • Display enterprise data through Business Connectivity Services (BCS)
      • End users can now interact with business data similar to how they interact with regular SharePoint list data.
    • Cross-web list views displaying data from another web
    • Display list data joined from different lists

5 thoughts on “List View in SharePoint 2010

Add yours

  1. I have a question. I am trying to expose external content in SQL Server through a Sharepoint list, using designer. How do I format the columns? Do you have an example?

  2. I am looking for documentation on how include a new XSLT list view in a List Definition that I create in Visual Studio for deployment as a feature.


  3. This is very interesting. I am looking for some documentation/guidance on how to include a new XSLT List View in a List Definition in Visual Studio for deployment as a feature. Any pointers would be appreciated.

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