Friday, February 22, 2008

SP2007: I need to... Web Part

The web part "I need to..." states that it will display tasks and tools from a list. This little statement is deceptively simple, and there are a few requirements for the list before it will display. The "I need to..." name is also somewhat misleading.

This list you will point this web part at requires, at a minimum, a Title, a URL (Hyperlink or Picture) field, and a Choice field. You could start with a Tasks list and add a URL field, or you could start from scratch with a custom list. Part of your decision depends on how you want to use this web part and what fields it will need.

If you'd like the web part to simply be a nice compact list of links you visit on a regular basis, it is best to start with a Custom list. A new custom list will have a Title column by default, so you only need to create a URL and Choice column. Go into the list settings and create a new column called "URL". Make this a Hyperlink or Picture field. Next create a column called "Display". Make this a Choice type, with the possible choices of "Yes" and "No". Make the default value "Yes". Now you can point the "I need to..." web part at this list, and set the Filter Field to "Display" and the Filter Value to "Yes".

Once you make these changes you may need to close your browser and relaunch it.

Using a task list can give you some intersting options, as you can filter on the task status or priority, and then link the task to a website or document that you need to work on. Just start with a standard task list and add a new column called URL.

This paticular web part tends to keep things cached. Also you can only have one of these "I need to..." web parts on a page.

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