Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Providing different forms for different users in SharePoint Online

If you want to create different forms to different types of users in Forms Designer for SharePoint Online, you have two options: use permission settings or use SharePoint groups. We’ll look at both options in this article.

Suppose we have two types of users on our SharePoint website: managers and regular users. Managers have elevated privileges and we want to give them a particular set of functionality in a form. And regular users should receive a smaller or a different set of functionality and we want to give them a default form.

What we will do first is create an additional form set for managers using the plus button in the top right corner of Forms Designer.

Adding multiple form sets for a SharePoint list

Using permission settings

SharePoint has inbuilt permissions that we will utilize to distinguish managers from non-managers. Please check this list to see the available permissions:

We will pick CreateGroups to differentiate managers from non-managers, as only managers are allowed to create groups on our website.

We then will add an html control onto the default form in Forms Designer and paste the following html code inside it:

<Sharepoint:SPSecurityTrimmedControl runat="server" PermissionsString="CreateGroups" EmitDiv="true">
<script type="text/javascript">
Using SPSecurityTrimmedControl in a SharePoint form

We have used CreateGroups permission string and the name of the form where we want our managers to be redirected to. The name of the form can be seen if you go to the appropriate form set in Forms Designer (in our case it’s Manager) and pick the appropriate form (in our case it’s Edit Form). That is the form that managers will be redirected onto:

SharePoint form filename

Now whenever a manager opens the default edit form he or she will be redirected to his manager-only form, while a non-manager will stay on the default form.

Using SharePoint groups

Another choice we have to set up user group specific forms is by utilizing SharePoint groups.

For this we’ll need to add a JavaScript script to document library. Create a file named redirect.htm and add the following code to it:

<script type="text/javascript">
ExecuteOrDelayUntilScriptLoaded(function () {
}, 'plumsail.fd.core.js');

Again, you’ll need to replace the filename as before.

Upload redirect.htm to a document library on your website. Take note of its URL.

Now to go the list with your form sets. Click to edit one of the three forms, we’ll be editing the Edit Form.

Editing SharePoint form page

You’ll be redirected to the default edit form in edit mode, click “Add a Web Part” and add a Content Editor webpart:

Adding Content Editor Web Part to a SharePoint form

Click the Content Editor Webpart’s little arrow button and click Edit.

Enter the URL of redirect.htm into the box:

Setting Content Link property of the Content Editor Web Part

Expand Advanced and enter the SharePoint group members of which you want to be redirected to the additional edit form, in our case it’d be the site collection owners that will be redirected to the Manager edit form:

Settings Target Audiences property of the Content Editor Web Part

Click OK.

Now all members of the group will be redirected to the Manager edit form, while non-members will stay on the default form.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Using a Cross-site Lookup to a SharePoint list with an exceeded threshold limit

In SharePoint there is a default limit of 5000 items that you can add to a list until you are unable to filter that list. For more information on this see here.

What this means in practice is that you are unable to use a SharePoint Cross-site Lookup field that points to a list with an exceeded threshold. In this article we will describe a way of how you can go around the problem.

Note that in SharePoint On-Premises you can increase the threshold limit, for that you can check this article (it’s for SharePoint 2010, but 2013 is the same).

If you cannot or don’t want to change the limit, follow this procedure:

  1. Index the columns that your use to filter the list items by. Here you should include any fields you’re using in the filter=… part of the query (go to Manage Plumsail Lookups → Request items to see code that returns the two queries)
  2. Remove the orderby parameter from the first query (note the lack of the orderby parameter in the following example)
function (term, page) {
    if (!term || term.length == 0) {
        return "{WebUrl}/_api/web/lists('{ListId}')/items?$select=Id,{LookupField}&$top=10";
    return "{WebUrl}/_api/web/lists('{ListId}')/items?$select=Id,{LookupField}&$orderby={LookupField}&$filter=startswith({LookupField}, '" + encodeURIComponent(term) + "')&$top=10";

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Using ink sketch control in a SharePoint form to place markings on an image from Tablets, iPad, or PC

You can use the sketch control of SharePoint Forms Designer to put markings on an image (note, it won’t add markings to the actual image file but rather it will visually place your markings on top of it).

For example, you may wish to allow your users to draw the directions to somewhere on a map:

Draw on an image in a SharePoint form

Or an insurance company may wish to specify damaged parts of a vehicle on its photographs:

Draw on a picture in a SharePoint form

To set this up you need to be familiar with the ink sketch control, if you are not please read the article.

Once you have you ink sketch control set up, you will need to:

  1. Add a text field to the list, call it PictureURL, place it on the form. This field will contain a URL to the background picture for the ink sketch. Note, you can upload the picture to a document library on you SharePoint site and then just paste the link into this field.
  2. Add the following JavaScript to the form:
    var url = fd.field('PictureURL').value();
    $('.sketch').css('background-image', 'url("' + url + '")');
  3. Add CSS Class ‘sketch’ to the ink sketch control.
  4. Set the ink sketch’s height and width attributes to those of the image and save.

Ink Sketch control of SharePoint Forms Designer

Now the user will need to enter some URL that points to an image file into the PictureURL field, save, reload the form and he will get the ink sketch with the image as the background.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Dynamic filtering of the Related Items list on a SharePoint form

Quite frequently our customers ask us how they can dynamically filter their related items lists based on a value entered into a field on a form created in Forms Designer. In this post I will describe how you can do that with a lookup, a drop-down choice and a people picker field. Although I will use these three field types, just about any field type will do for the job.

The steps for implementing this functionality are pretty straight-forward:

  1. Set your related items controls render mode to Client (see screenshot below).
  2. Add a CSS class name to it (see screenshot below). In following samples I will use the “related-issues” class name, if you use something different then replace “related issues” in the code with your class name.
  3. Add the appropriate code to the JS-editor. See code samples below.
Related Items in the client rendering mode

Lookup field

Say we have an issue form with a lookup to a department list and a related items list of other issues. These related issues need to be dynamically filtered based on the value in the Department field. The form will look something like this:

Filtering the related items by a lookup field

When we change the department, the list is refreshed straight away:

Filtering the related items by a lookup field

So, how do we achieve this?

After you have followed through the steps described in the previous section paste the following code into the JavaScript editor of your form:

//first filter on page load

//and attach an on-change handler that will call the filtering function wherever the value of the field changes

//this is the actual function that filters the list
function setHash(){
 //get value
 var value =  fd.field('Department').control('getSelectedText');
 if (value == "(None)") {
  value = "";

 value =  encodeURIComponent(escape(value)).replace(/\-/g, "%252D");

 //set the URL’s hash value. An explanation on this is at the end of the article.
 window.location.hash = "InplviewHash" + $(".related-issues [webpartid]").attr("webpartid") + '=FilterField=Department-FilterValue=' + value;

In this code you will need to replace “Department” with the Internal Name (or Internal Names) of the field you’d like to filter:

  • Where it says fd.field('Department'), Department is the Internal Name of the lookup field that we get our value from.
  • Where it says FilterField=Department Department is the Internal Name of the field in the target list that is being sorted.

In our case the two Internal Names are the same, but they don’t have to be.

And this is it, now our related issues are auto filtered based on the selected Department whenever user changes the value of the Department field.

Dropdown choice field

Here we will do exactly the same thing, but using the Issue Status field, which is a single-value drop-down choice field.

Filtering the related items by a drop-down field

This is the code:



function setHash(){
 var value =  encodeURIComponent(escape(fd.field('Issue_x0020_Status').value())).replace(/\-/g, "%252D");
 window.location.hash = "InplviewHash" + $(".related-issues [webpartid]").attr("webpartid") + '=FilterField=Issue_x0020_Status-FilterValue=' + value;

Here you will need to replace “Issue_x0020_Status” with the appropriate Internal Name(s), for details on this see the Lookup field section above.

Single-value Client-mode people picker field

In this case we want to filter our issues based on the Assigned To field:

Filtering the related items by a user field

This is our code:



function setHash(){
 var value = "";

 //if the people picker field really has a value, get it
   if (fd.field('Assigned_x0020_To').value() && fd.field('Assigned_x0020_To').value()[0] && fd.field('Assigned_x0020_To').value()[0].DisplayText){
  var value =  encodeURIComponent(escape(fd.field('Assigned_x0020_To').value()[0].DisplayText)).replace(/\-/g, "%252D");

 window.location.hash = "InplviewHash" + $(".related-issues [webpartid]").attr("webpartid") + '=FilterField=Assigned_x0020_To-FilterValue=' + value;

As with the previous field types you’ll need to swap “Assigned_x0020_To” for the appropriate Internal Name value(s), see the Lookup section for more detail.

Other fields

You can utilize this feature with pretty much any type of field, but you need to know how to retrieve the value of the field. For a list of field types and corresponding ways to retrieve their values check this page:


To make this work we are utilizing the SharePoint URL hash feature that is used with SharePoint 2013 views in the client-side rendering mode.

Have a look at this sample URL: Progress

What our code samples do is set the “InplViewHash” part of the URL together with its FilterField and FilterValue values, which is what tells the related items control to sort the list. Simple as that.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Add related items on a new SharePoint form

We are glad to introduce you our new feature that has become available in SharePoint Forms Designer 3.0.5: the ability to create related items inline and link them to the current item automatically, including when you are on the new item form. You may want to read our post about related items auto-fill here before you proceed.

You may have a related items control on your new item form:

Add related items on a new SharePoint form

And you may want to add an item that is related to the current item. In that case you fill out a field, say Title, and click away or press Enter. The entity is created and with default fields filled out automatically.

New SharePoint form with related items.

Then you click Save and a link between the two items is created. Below is the same item opened in display view after saving. As you can see, the related issue is present:

Edit SharePoint form with related items in the quick edit mode

So, how to set this up? First of all, this feature will only work if:

  • You run SharePoint 2013 On-Premises or SharePoint Online.
  • You run Forms Designer version 3.0.5. In order to update Forms Designer in SharePoint Online simply remove the currently installed version and install the new version from the store.
  • The primary list and the related list are located on the same site.

If everything of the above is true, then let’s go through the setup process.

  1. In Forms Designer drop the related items control and set it’s Quick Edit option to “Only”:
    Related Items in quick edit mode on a SharePoint form
  2. Set up the Data Source as you would do normally
  3. Open up the JavaScript editor and paste something like the following:
    fd.populateFieldsInGrid($('.related-items'), {
     Parent: '{CurrentItem}',
     Assigned_x0020_To: _spPageContextInfo.userId,
     Due_x0020_Date: '12/12/2020',
     Description: 'Related Issue',
     Issue_x0020_Status: 'In Progress',
     Additional_x0020_information: 'This is a supervised issue.',

    Draw attention to Parent: '{CurrentItem}'. Parent is a lookup field to the current list, which is being used as the filter by value in the related items control. It can be displayed in the control, but it doesn’t have to. {CurrentItem} is the new token that specifies the current item, using this token allows you to link related items to the current item even when it has not yet been created.

    I won’t discuss the function fd.populateFieldsInGrid and its syntax further here, please see the aforementioned blog post about it if required.

  4. Add ‘related-items’ CSS Class to the related items control. This class is used in fd.populateFieldsInGrid function to identify the related items control.

    That’s it, now the Parent field of inline-created related items will be set to the current item when the item is saved.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Inline spreadsheet-style edit mode for the Related Items control on a SharePoint form

Forms Designer has just gotten a new feature: the related items control is now able to do inline spreadsheet-style quick editing. This feature is supported in SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online in Office 365. It looks like this:

Edit related items in Quick Edit mode directly from the parent SharePoint form

This mode is available when the render mode of the control is set to ‘Client’. When it is, the ‘Quick Edit’ mode cell in the properties window is enabled, and you can select ‘True’ to enable the mode on the control.

Set Quick Edit property to True

The JavaScript framework has also received a function to auto-fill empty cells in this mode. The name of the function is populateFieldsInGrid, let’s take a look at how it can be used.

In the screenshot we add a new record and only fill in its title:

Adding a SharePoint item in Quick Edit mode from its parent form.

And then we click somewhere outside the row or press Enter, and the record gets saved with some default values that we specified in our JavaScript function:

Auto-populating columns of related items in Quick Edit mode.

The related items control is set to filter items that are only related to the current issue, so what we want to do is set the parent of the new related issue to the current issue, and do it implicitly, behind the scenes.

Filtering related items by the parent field

The way to accomplish this auto-filling functionality is to add a snippet of code to the JavaScript editor and add a CSS class name to the related items control (please note that fields you’re trying to fill in with this function don’t have to be present on the form, like ParentIssue isn’t present on the form but is still filled in by our code).

This is our code:

fd.populateFieldsInGrid($('.related-items'), {
 Due_x0020_Date: '12/12/2020',
 Assigned_x0020_To: _spPageContextInfo.userId,
 Description: 'Related Issue',
 Priority: 'Normal (2)',
 Additional_x0020_Information: 'This is a supervised issue.',
 ParentIssue: GetUrlKeyValue('ID'),

And we’ve also added ‘related-items’ CSS Class name to our Related Items control (in the properties window of Forms Designer).

In populateFieldsInGrid function above we specify:

  1. A jQuery selector that contains the Related Items control. You can specify an arbitrary CSS class name in the properties and build the selector based on this class as we did in our sample.
  2. A bunch of fields and their default values. (Note that the field names must be correct InternalNames, found under ‘InternalName’ in the properties window).
    • Due_x0020_Date: a date field. Use the date format that is set on your SharePoint installation (the same format you use when you enter your dates manually).
    • Assigned_x0020_To: a single user field. You can either set the value of such field by id of the user, or by his display name (in this case the format must be '-1;#DisplayName'), or by his email (same format '-1;#EmailAddress'). Note the -1’s here are literally -1’s, not some example ids.
    • Description: a text field. Simply specify the text you wish to enter here.
    • Priority: a single lookup field representing text. Specify textual value of the desired entry.
    • Additional_x0020_Information: a multi check box. Enter exact textual values of yours choices, separated by a semicolon and a space.
    • ParentIssue: a single lookup field to the ID field. Specify the ID value. In our example we use GetUrlKeyValue('ID') function to get the ID of the current element.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Passing and getting Date object to and from date and datetime fields

Another new feature we introduced in FormsDesigner 3.0.1 is the ability to interact with date and datetime fields by passing JavaScript Date objects. This feature takes away the need for consumer to think about parsing dates in locale specific formats and simplifies the way date operations are performed on date/datetime fields. Let us take a look at the following use case.

SharePoint issue form

Here we have our old form for creating new issues. Suppose the priority of an issue we set affects the due date for its resolution: high priority implies that the issue is to be resolved within two days, normal priority implies a 5 day period and low priority leaves the due date undefined.

Because the due date periods are pre-defined and are standard for all issues, we want to auto-assign them based on the priority we set. Here’s how we’ll go about doing it: get the current Date object, add the required number of days to it and set the object to our Due Date field.

This is the code we added to our form to achieve this effect:

function setDate(){
    var date = new Date();
    switch (fd.field('Priority').value()) {
        case 'High':
            date.setDate(date.getDate() + 2);
        case 'Normal':
            date.setDate(date.getDate() + 5);
            date = null;



What this code does is:

  1. It defines setDate() method which:
    • Creates a Date object which is initialized with the current date.
    • Checks the value inside the Priority field and depending on it, gets the current date value and adds the respective days offset value.
    • Sets the resulting date object to the field.
  2. It calls the setDate() method when the form is loaded.
  3. And it defines a change event, which calls the setDate() method whenever the Priority value changes.

Now, after we’ve saved our form, we can open it up and see how it works.

Whenever we change the priority value, the due date is automatically readjusted:

SharePoint high-priority issue

High priority.

SharePoint normal-priority issue

Normal priority.

SharePoint low-priority issue

Low priority.


This approach is particularly advantageous if your form is potentially browsed in environments with varying locales, as different locales mean different date formats, which our JavaScript functions take care of.