Thursday, November 13, 2008

Understanding Calendar Columns in a SharePoint List Calendar View

Last week, one of my students asked me about the Calendar Columns when creating a Calendar View on a SharePoint list. In the particular exercise we were doing, all the columns were set exactly the same. Although this was a good choice for the task at hand, it didn't demonstrate how the different options show up differently in the monthly, weekly, and daily views. To understand this, you really need to see it with screenshots, so here is an example.

On my SharePoint site, I've created a custom list named Vehicle Reservations. This list has columns named Purpose, Vehicle, Reservation Date, Driver, and Vehicle and Driver.
  • The Title column was renamed to Purpose.
  • The Vehicle column is of type Choice with options of: Car 1, Car 2, Car3, and Car 4.
  • The Reservation Date column is of type Date and Time and uses the Date Only format.
  • The Driver column is of type Text. I was going to make it of type Person or Group, but that type isn't available for calculations.
  • The Vehicle and Driver column is of type Calculated. I use the formula =CONCATENATE([Vehicle]," - ",[Driver]) to create a single string with the vehicle name and the driver name with a hyphen and spaces between them.
I created a new view using the Calendar View format.

In my new view, I set the following parameters:
  • In this scenario, vehicles are reserved on a daily basis. So I selected the Reservaton Date column for both the Begin and End dates.
  • In the Month view, I only want users to see which cars are reserved on particular days. So for the Month View Title, I selected the Vehicle column.
  • In the Week view, I want users to be able to easily see who will be driving each vehicle. So for the Week View Title, I selected the Vehicle column, and for the Week View Sub Heading, I selected the Driver column.
  • In the Day View, I want users to easily see who is driving which vehicle and also the purpose of the trip. So for the Day View Title, I selected the Vehicle and Driver calculated column, and for the Day View Sub Heading, I selected the Purpose column.

In my list, I have one row of information as shown here. Note: Although my last name is Spears, I'm not related to Britney. I just thought that Britney Spears probably doesn't get mentioned in SharePoint blog posts very much so I thought I'd mention her in this one. :-)

Now, let's see how those this information shows up in the Month, Week, and Day views:
In the Month view, you only see the name of the car.

In the Week view, you see the car and the driver's name.

In the Day view, you see the car, the driver, and purpose.

I hope this clears up a few things for some of you who have wondered about how the calendar view options and settings work.

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