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Content types

  Asked By: Ganesh    Date: Jun 05    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 751

I'm designing an intranet forms center and want to make use of content
types to support, among other things, navigational aids, grouping, etc.
What I want is a little bit of relative action, such as:

HR Forms (with column HR Form Type that has multiple options)

User selects HR Form Type = Benefit and gets dropdown with Benefit Type

If user selects HR Form Type = Compensation, user gets compensation type
options, etc.

I've got the HR Form content type in place with content type column for
HR Form Type, but how do I make the choices change dynamically when the
HR Form type is selected? I'm missing something and despite trying it
different ways, this kind of dynamic interaction doesn't seem possible.
(BTW, I'm working entirely in the UI-I'm not a developer and am not
fluent in SPD or InfoPath.)

What am I missing?



7 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Britni Shepard     Answered On: Jun 05

If I'm reading this properly, I would suggest creating two content  types,
one for benefits and one for compensation, both based off of the HR forms
parent. Each of these content types  will have their own default document
template, the benefits template will have the options you want for benefits
and the compensation will have the options for compensation.

Answer #2    Answered By: Girja Garg     Answered On: Jun 05

Where that breaks down is that there are more levels
of relativity than that:

Form (parent site content  type)
>>HR form  (child site content type)
>>>>HR Form type  (column content type, choice dropdown)

then we get into if/then kind  of actions:

If HR Form Type = Benefits, then provide dropdown  for Benefit Type
If HR Form Type = Compensation, then provide dropdown for
Compensation Type (column).

The HR Form Type is a content column, and I can't figure out how to
make it the determinant (associate it with) the Benefits Type column,
Compensation Type column, etc.

I haven't even begun to think about associating templates with the
content types, mostly because I think the forms  will be developed
elsewhere--this library is for publishing the forms only.

Am I thinking about this the wrong way?

Answer #3    Answered By: Jarod Mathews     Answered On: Jun 05

The challenge is that there are *multiple* forms  related to
Compensation, multiple  forms related to Benefits, as well as other HR
forms unrelated to either of those categories. So I want the ability
to tag all HR forms as such (distinct from other forms such as
Finance, Marketing, etc. in the library), and also to query/group
them by type  in varying levels of granularity. That's why the HR Form
Type and Benefit form  Type are choice columns--there isn't just one
form for either category. We've got medical benefits forms, dental
benefits forms, etc.

I tried to create a content  type called Benefit Form (with no
template associated because there isn't just one), child of HR Form
(can't be a child of HR Form Type because that's a column), and add
the Benefit Form Type column  to it. I added the Benefit Form content
type to the library (where HR Form has already been added). However,
when I upload a document, HR Form and Benefits Form then appear in
the same dropdown  menu as peers (not in a dynamic  hierarchy with the
HR Form prompting for a form type selection that would include
benefits form as one of my choices). Also, selecting benefits form
did not cause the benefits form type column to apear.

Thanks for the ongoing conversation. There just has to be a way to do
this--I can't think that what I'm trying to accomplish is all that

Answer #4    Answered By: Amanda Lewis     Answered On: Jun 05

I think you might be confusing what content  types are and what they do.
Content types  allow you to classify documents by the type  of metadata that
you wish to collect about them. This metadata is defined by the columns that
you create and then attach to the content type. This could be something such
as Title, Date modified, etc. A child content type will then inherit all the
columns that are defined for the parent content type and allow you to add
additional columns for data you wish to collect about the child object. You
can have any number of children content types inheriting from the same
parent, but having their own unique columns added. Each content type has a
default document template that loads when you create a document of that
content type. For these forms, that template would be a blank version of
whatever form  you needed filled out.

Now, how does this apply to your situation? If I understand correctly what
you are trying to do, you have multiple  categories of HR Forms, each
category then has multiple forms. The way I see it, you have a couple of
solutions. 1 - Create a content type for each specific form. This, as you
have noted, will show up on the New button of the library as individual
choices and not in a hierarchy.

Another way to handle this would be to have your basic content type for the
HR form, which would bring up a dynamic  form that is created with Infopath,
(or some other form designer) that would present the required fields to the
user within the form based on choices  they make. As for trying to create
some type of cascading menu selection, I know of no way to do this. Perhaps
something could be coded, but I'm not a developer.

Also, you can't create a content type that dynamically  selects another
content based on some choice item. The choice column  within a content type
provides you the option to collect one of several choices to populate that
particular metadata field about that item. It does not then provide you with
subsequent alternate options based upon your choice.

Answer #5    Answered By: Cassie Snyder     Answered On: Jun 05

On the dynamic  selection bit  at the end - one way to do this would be to
make the column  a more generic "Type" field and use conditional logic in
the InfoPath form  to narrow the displayed choices  to a specific subset.

Answer #6    Answered By: Parijat Pathak     Answered On: Jun 05

Wasn't aware you could do that.

Answer #7    Answered By: Ella Sargent     Answered On: Jun 05

For the patient explanation of content  types. I've
done a lot of reading about them but haven't ever found a good
explanation of them that includes a detailed specific business
example that helps one connect the dots from design through the user
experience. I suspected that the level of dynamic  functionality I'm
looking for would push me out of the UI and into Infopath. But I was
hoping I wouldn't have to do that. Content type  functions get soooo
close (just need to have the ability to have parent/child columns, it

Anyway, thanks for your time and expertise.

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