What is a SharePoint Data View?

When it comes to discussing SharePoint data view, there are some very important aspects that will need to be taken into consideration. Thanks to the SharePoint Designer, you are being given an option to rapidly create highly customized interfaces to your data sources through data views. Data views could be regarded as the customizable views of data sources that can be used to display data, or write it back to the data source. The data views can be conveniently used with a database query, server-side scripts, XML document, web services, and SharePoint lists.

If your company uses databases to store its information, then you can simply connect to that particular database and make use of it like a data source, and design a series of data views. Also, you can employ data views to extract data from an external source, like a weather feed to provide to your website. This article would look at what the data views are, and how to add them your site.

A data view leverages Microsoft ASP. NET technology. SharePoint Designer extracts data from an external data source in the shape of Extensible Mark-up language and then displays it using XSLTs, or Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformers.

Once you have inserted a data view into your page, you can also make use of WYSIWYG tools in SharePoint Designer to make changes to the columns, filter, and group fields, and change the overall style and layout. When you format the data view using these tools, SharePoint Designer directly inserts XSL into your page, so that you do not really need to know how to write XSL. Obviously, if you wish to write XSL directly, you can do that by opening the page in code view.

In order to create a data view, you will first need to open a page in SharePoint Designer. After that, you can add the data view to desired page. There are certain specific methods of creating a data view. Using data view option in the Ribbon is probably the fastest technique, as you can simply choose your data source with single click.

When you are using this option in the Ribbon, if you select a library or list as the data source, a list view gets added to the page. If you happen to choose a data source other than a list or library, then a data view will be added to the page.

If you want to create data views using the Ribbon, then make sure to take the following steps:

  •  Open the site in SharePoint Designer
  •  Click Site Pages in the Navigation pane
  •  Choose the site page where you want to add the data view

After you create data views, you can always start customizing them by using the data view tools in SharePoint Designer. There are a lot of things that you can do, such as you can add or delete columns, sort and filter data, change the overall layout, and lots more. Thus, these are some of the most crucial aspects to consider when talking about SharePoint data view.

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Marissa Hart is the Lead Author & Editor ShareMe. ShareMe is a blog focused on SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online delivers the powerful features of SharePoint without the associated overhead of managing the infrastructure.