Custom Site Columns in SharePoint and the Lightning Conductor Web Part

The Lightning Conductor Web Part for SharePoint 2007 has undergone some work and now has a major improvement. The Web Part never used to allow you to filter on Custom Columns or Site Columns.  The only filterable columns were those columns that were out of the box in SharePoint with the List Definition.  The reason behind this short fall was that we could not guarantee the use of the custom columns throughout every list/library type that you were rolling up, and it would take a long time to iterate through thousands of lists to find them all if you have a large site hierarchy in SharePoint.

So, we thought of a solution– we offer you the ability to do an optional Full Scan option before selecting your fields for display and for filtering.  This Full Scan iterates through all of the Lists and Libraries in SharePoint that you are aggregating and builds a cached list of all of the available custom columns. The fact that the list of columns is cached means that you will need to wait initially while your columns are selected, but then it will not impact the performance of the Web Part when aggregating the data.  These custom columns are then available for display and to be filtered upon. Of course, if you don’t have any custom columns, then there is no need to perform the full scan.  If you are performing a filter on one of these custom columns, lists/libraries without the custom column will be excluded from the filtered results.


(click to enlarge)

As you can see the columns are available to display within the Grid View of the Web Part. These columns are included by performing a Full Scan. The columns are also available to filter upon as shown below:


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