Content Type Guidelines

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Information about Content Type Guidelines

Published on May 18, 2009

Author: kjellsj


Guidelines for SharePoint Content Types 11.nov 2008 Kjell-Sverre Jerijærvi Microsoft

Content Type Governance Rooted in Information Architecture Content type guidelines, policies and procedures must be identified based on the information architecture (IA) - Different information assets might require different behavior and management This content type governance model must be communicated to content type stewards - The policies and procedures must be enforced - Compliance must be controlled Content type stewards: limit who can create and maintain content types

Base Content Types Immutable Standard & Base Never change the standard SharePoint content types and site columns Always create company specific base content types derived from the standard ootb SharePoint types - Base ContosoItem derived from standard Item - Base ContosoDocument derived from standard Document This allows for upgrading SharePoint without loosing customizations Also create other base content types identified through IA analysis - Base ContosoGizmoAsset, ContosoArtifactAsset, ContosoModelAsset, etc The base content types are the base for specialization and customization of the IA classification scheme The standard and base content types must be immutable (read-only) Base content types must be centrally controlled and evolved

Tailored Content Types Open-Closed Principle The shared base content types are closed for modification Customization of content types for adapting to local, subject or topical needs is done by deriving new tailored content types from the base content types Thus, the model is open for modification through extension The hierarchy of tailored content types can be extended to an infinite width and depth Can not the same as recommended Ensure that recommended IA practices are followed Enforce compliance with overall IA model Enforce compliance with the CT governance model

Custom Content Types With Freedom Comes Responsibility Site-collection administrators and site owners have the freedom to create their own custom content types not derived from the shared base Custom content types might deviate from the overall IA model and its controlled vocabulary Might not the same as recommended Request that recommended IA practices are followed Seek compliance with overall IA model Enforce compliance with the CT governance model

Evolving Content Types Same Content Type, New Wrapping The recommended approach for adding new fields to a content type is to add them programmatically using the SharePoint object model. When a content type is programmatically upgraded, the SharePoint object model provides the option to upgrade child content types, including content types in list instances. Renaming content types is not recommended. Removing fields or updating the type of a field is not recommended. The recommended approach for removing a field is to make the field hidden. The recommended approach for updating the type of a field is to create a new field and set the old field to hidden. The content type XML master file should remain untouched after it is initially deployed and all upgrades should be done through code.

Content Types in Lists & Libraries Content Contribution & Findability Using content types on list and library items are imperative for findability A list can have multiple associated content types, typically to allow for different document or form templates Avoid using multiple dissimilar content types in a single list, this just confuses users Avoid a multitude of required metadata fields in a content type Maximum 3-5 required fields are recommended

Content Type Document Templates Standardized & Up-to-date Use URL included document templates Avoid uploaded document templates Use a common, centralized SharePoint list as the template repository

Content Type Behaviors Workflow or Event Receiver

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