Do have the need to perform a SharePoint Online list rollup, but you don’t have the time or the expertise to build display templates or XSL views? The Lightning Conductor launched in 2007 for SharePoint On-Premises is available for SharePoint Online so that you can rollup SharePoint lists such as Tasks, Contacts, and Documents from multiple lists in multiple sites and site collections. Views can be configured with the simple to use wizard allowing you to design your data with data formatting, styling and conditional formatting. There are built in views such as Calendar views also, allowing you to display your Calendar list items and Task list items within a calendar view.
SharePoint Online Team Sites are made up of multiple lists and libraries containing valuable business information which is often overlooked, unless you happen to navigate to where the content is. Using the Lightning Conductor, you can rollup those SharePoint lists into a single view whilst highlighting the important stuff. You can build any scenario you like, but common ones from our clients include: Top Ten Announcements, High Priority Tasks, Tasks assigned to a specific user, Documents with a specific meta data value, and Calendar items due today.
The Lightning Conductor has two modes that can be used to rollup SharePoint items. You can use the CSOM method which can be used to rollup SharePoint list items within a single site collection, or the Search method which can be used to rollup SharePoint list items from anywhere in the tenant. Either way, you can build views easily that look great and highlight important business data.
In this post, we’ll explore how you can use the Lightning Conductor to perform a SharePoint Online list rollup.
SharePoint Online List Rollup with CSOM
Once you have installed the Lightning Conductor Add-In within your SharePoint tenant, you can configure it straight away to rollup your contents.
1. Add the Lightning Conductor Add-In as an app part on the page.
Note: You will notice that there are some pre-configured instances of the Lightning Conductor such as Tasks Rollup, Announcements Rollup, and Documents Rollup. These can be simply added to the page to see results immediately.
2. Optionally you can edit the Web Part properties of the App Part and select the Enable Multiple Views option from the Views category. The Enable Multiple Views option provides you with the ability to have multiple views within the same instance of the app part. Users can then choose the most appropriate view such as Today’s Tasks, My Tasks, High Priority Tasks, and All Tasks.
3. Click Actions, Create View to begin creating a view.
4. Provide the View an appropriate name that is user friendly. e.g. “Tasks”
5. Click the Data Source tab in order to configure the scope of the SharePoint Online list rollup and the type of list that you wish to rollup. In this example, I will choose the current site collection and the Tasks list type.
Note: There are no complexities here such as configuring CAML. You simply choose the scope and the list type, and can also refine the items returned by content type.
6. On the columns tab, you can select the columns that you wish to see in the view. Simply check the columns, and set any sort criteria or filters.
Note: also on this page, you can create calculated columns which can consist of concatenations of columns like “First Name” + “ “ + “Last Name” or calculations such as [Due Date]-[Start Date]. Advanced filtering can also be performed here to provide you with cross column filtering such as Tasks Due Today or High Priority Tasks.
7. On the Display tab, you can set the data formatting for each column such as ‘Short Date’ for a date field. You can also configure other refinements such as pagination, grouping, and the linked column (the column which will hyperlink to open the item).
8. Finally, you may want to set some conditional formatting. In this example, we will highlight our SharePoint Online list rollup items by showing Tasks that are High Priority in a specific color.
9. Upon clicking Save, you will have created a Task list rollup to rollup your SharePoint Online lists.
The next section, we will learn how to perform a SharePoint Online List Rollup using Search. This time, we will aggregate documents from multiple site collections.
SharePoint Online List Rollup with Search
In this next example, we will use the Search method in order to rollup SharePoint list items from across multiple site collections. The difference between using Search and CSOM is the scope and sometimes also performance. The CSOM method will show you immediate changes should users modify list items or create new list items, whereas search updates will depend on the re-indexing of the content. By our own experience, the content appears to be re-indexed within 20 minutes, but that may depend in your own tenant.
To perform a SharePoint Online list rollup using the search method, we will again create a new view:
1. Click Actions, Create View.
Note: The new view can be in the same instance of the web part as the Tasks view we created earlier.
2. Provide a name for your view, and set the rollup method to Search.
3. This time, the data source tab will be different. Since the Lightning Conductor is using Search, we need to either select an existing result source, or you can create your very own result source. Each result source can be refined by Content Type, Scope and many other refiners.
Note: You can learn more about result sources here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Understanding-result-sources-3fb2c8c4-ecbd-4210-abf7-1f0df59a370b
4. Select the columns that you wish to display. You can also add other Managed Properties using the Managed Property Field at the top of the dialog box if you require it.
5. On the Display Tab, there are some very useful options when aggregating Documents such as ‘Display Document Icon’, ‘Show Folders’, ‘Hide Empty Folders’ etc.
6. Upon setting your desired options, click save.
You will now be able to switch between Tasks and Documents when visiting the page containing your SharePoint list rollup:
You can start using the Lightning Conductor for your SharePoint Online tenant by downloading the Add-In directly from the SharePoint App Store.