Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Datasheet view alternatives

Ok, this is really long overdue…

Ever since Microsoft introduced the datasheet view for editing lists in SharePoint I’ve had mixed emotions about it.

Although datasheet is a great editing tool for SharePoint lists that allows you to quickly edit and update multiple items in an excel-like experience – it has been a challenge getting it to work.

One customer of mine used a proxy server internally to direct traffic into his SharePoint, which made the datasheet view unavailable.

Another customer had deployed office 2010 64 bit on his users computers. Apparently datasheet view does not support office 2010 64bit:

Some other customers complaining that they cannot use FireFox or Chrome with datasheet view, or any OS that does not have office installed.

And finally, datasheet view does not support custom field types – they appear as read only. Actually, even standard OOB fields use a different editing control inside the datasheet view, causing an inconsistent editing experience to the user.

This have been bothering me for a long while, and finally with the help of my friend Igor Goldshtaub we came up with an idea that will allow you to:

  1. Edit multiple list items (bulk edit)
  2. Enjoy fast inline editing in list views on all major browsers
  3. Inline edit custom field types as well as OOB field types
  4. Have a consistent user experience, using the same editing controls as used in the actual “edit” item form
  5. Paste information from excel into a list

The best part is, it potentially supports any 3rd party custom field type, from any other vendor or even ones you develop yourself. Most field types just work, others may need to call a JavaScript method when the content is resized (picker is opened, for example) “OnClientResponseEnded();”

Inline editing demo:

Paste from excel demo:

I’d love to hear what you think about this solution, and if you run into trouble using a custom field type – please let me know! My goal is to be able to support all custom field types in this inline editing platform!

Finally, we have an answer for editing custom field types in datasheet view. It’s not datasheet, but it comes close!

Cheers, Shai.


pierrebo said...

Doest it support Taxonomy fields (which Microsoft does not support with datasheet view)?

Shai Petel said...

It supports currently many special field types but not all.
We have added support for some bamboo and few other vendors.
Currently taxonomy field type is still not fully tested but it is an active issue in our system and currently in the high priority batch, so it should be addressed very soon.

Please feel free to post here about any other field types you wish we support, once you test and find we have a problem with them.

We plan to make frequent releases to support all major vendors field types, and also can provide help for you to support your own field types.

Shai Petel said...

Good news everyone,

As of version 11.1.51 released today, we added support for Taxonomy fields!

There are 2 known issues, but it works and allows you to update multiple items managed meta data at the same time.

Issue#1: auto complete only works within the picker popup.
Issue#2: picker popup can only be opened once. Once you close it, you have to move to another field before you can open it again.

Thanks for your feedback!

Shrepoint Developers India said...

I am very interested in your post. It is very useful for me. Thanks for share this valuable post.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shai,

We're interested in your solution to assist out Mac clients.

Just unsure how to select multiple fields in Safari.. any ideas?

Shai Petel said...


It was tested and supports IE, FireFox, Safari and Chrome, like all of our products.

But, we do not test on Mac clients, and there are some differences sometimes.

You are most welcome to download a trial version and test it for 30 days, it should work only we didnt test it.

Anonymous said...

Does this work with Sharepoint Server 2010 as well as Sharepoint Foundation?

Anonymous said...

Does it work with Sharepoint Server 2010 as well as Sharepoint Foundation?

Shai Petel said...

Yes is does.

And we are also about to release a sandbox office 365 friendly version for it!

sandeep said...


Is there any possibility of performing conditional formatting through this datasheet view.

We have a requirement where clients edit the data in datasheet view but we need to highlight the cells which have been changed.
Is there any solution or alternative to this problem?

Shai Petel said...

Hi sandeep,
Funny enough - we had it in the first release, updated cells would remain green on success, or red on error.
In final release, we removed the permanent indication on updated fields, but it is a Boolean flag in the javascript that can be turned back on.

Please contact our support(at)kwizcom dot com regarding this, or drop me an email to shai (at) kwizcom dot com

Anonymous said...

Does this support in-line edition for rows in SharePoint surveys?

We have several responses to a certain survey, and we want to add some information in additional columns, but we don't want to edit one by one...

Anonymous said...

Does this solution supports in-line modification for surveys?

We have a survey with several answers, and we need to add information in additional columns, but we don't want to edit one by one...

Shai Petel said...

Should work on any list type, on table based views.

Try it (install, you get 30 days trial), if you have trouble with something our support usually answer within the day by email support at kwizcom dot com

Anonymous said...

Does it support to duplicate single \ multiple rows (like in excel)

Shai Petel said...

It supports paste from excel, which allows you to edit, duplicate the data you want in excel and when done you can paste it as new rows.

We will add support for paste from excel into existing rows in the future, it is in the roadmap.

This tool allows you to easily edit a column in multiple items at once, and use the keyboard to navigate the table and quickly edit the values.

Rodrigo said...

Does it support Kwizcom Cascading Lookup fields?

Shai Petel said...

Hi Rodrigo,
Yes it supports cascading lookup, and the master / detail relationship is also confirmed to work (I use it all the time in our portal).
If you have trouble using it, or just need help - you can contact our support via email.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shai,

i get this error:

System.ArgumentException: List '' does not exist at site with URL 'http://testserver/pwa'. ---> Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ResourceNotFoundException: List '' does not exist at site with URL 'http://testserver/pwa'. --- End of inner exception stack trace --- at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListCollection.GetListByName(String strListName, Boolean bThrowException) at KWizCom.SharePoint.DatasheetRevive.Layouts.DatasheetRevive.Datasheet.CreateChildControls()

if you are in a document folder which contains a folder. e.g. Foldername "12345"
Click on Library > DataSheet View > click on your Folder "12345"


Shai Petel said...

Hi Reiner, thank you for your post, however I see your post is referring to the "Datasheet Revive" product.

This post discusses KWizCom Inline Editor product, but in any case if you have a support request please do not use the blog comments, but email to get a support ticket opened. I'm sure we can help you there.


Anonymous said...


We are using In Line Editor. Can you please confirm that dose it support Managed Metadata Columns' editing for the folders and Document Set.

We are trying to edit the managed metadata column for the folders and Document set. but while saving the terms, we are getting the error.


Shai Petel said...

Hey Anonymous!
We can't offer support over comments, it is harder still without a name or email...

Could you please drop an email to support (at) kwizcom dot com, and they would be happy to help you!