SharePoint 2007 – Step by Step Creating Custom List Definition and Custom Content Type using VS 2008 (VSeWSS 1.2)

Project Requirement:

Contoso Inc. is a BPO organization working on Medical Transcription. Information workers listen to the voice recordings and create text files based on those recordings. 3 Text files (test.txt, test2.txt, test3.txt) are given as sample.

IT department of Contoso Inc. has implemented MOSS 2007 for their document management and back office solution. CTO wanted to store the above mentioned text files in special document libraries which will have following mandatory columns “Patient Name”, “Attending Doctor”, “Patient Number” and “Date of Service”.  

Once an Information Worker will complete typing the text file, he/she will upload the text file to any of these document libraries and afore mentioned metadata columns will be populated automatically by selecting the necessary values from the text file. Associated values for these columns are stored at the beginning of the text file (see sample).


We will create a custom content type including all these fields and will create a custom list definition which will use this custom content type and also have the necessary code to extract the metadata columns from the uploaded text file. Additionally we will add code to make sure that the users upload only text files.


Start VS 2008 and select Visual C# > SharePoint. Select List Definition as the project template. Rename the project as ContosoTranscriptDocLib and click OK. In the List Definition Setting dialog box click OK.


In the solution explorer delete the ListDefinition1 folder and right click on the project and choose Add>New Item>List Definition and change the name from ListDefinition1 to ContosoTranscriptDocLib. In the List Definition Setting dialog box select document library and select Add with event receiver.


Again in the solution explorer right click on the project and choose Add>New Item>Content Type and change the name from ContentType1 to ContosoTranscriptDoc. In the Content Type Setting dialog box select document.


In the solution explorer open the ContosoTranscriptDoc.xml file under ContosoTranscriptDoc folder. Add the following few lines within <FieldRefs> </FieldRefs> tags.

<FieldRef ID="{3154C55D-956E-4049-831F-39AFF3AB7787}" Name="Patient" Required="TRUE" ShowInDisplayForm="TRUE" ShowInNewForm="FALSE" ShowInEditForm="TRUE" />

                   <FieldRef ID="{4F294260-B36B-4fd0-A5A8-E2D777E76E73}" Name="Doctor" Required="TRUE" ShowInDisplayForm="TRUE" ShowInNewForm="FALSE" ShowInEditForm="TRUE" />

                    <FieldRef ID="{2EE0BFF8-FBEE-4f93-822B-608138CAB1FD}" Name="PNumber" Required="TRUE" ShowInDisplayForm="TRUE" ShowInNewForm="FALSE" ShowInEditForm="TRUE" />

                   <FieldRef ID="{5BF5C5BB-F020-453d-8194-B9553487051A}" Name="ServiceDate" Required="TRUE" ShowInDisplayForm="TRUE" ShowInNewForm="FALSE" ShowInEditForm="TRUE" />


Replace the GUIDs of each FieldRef using Tools>Create Guid menu.




Before </Elements> Tag add following few lines:


<Field ID="{3154C55D-956E-4049-831F-39AFF3AB7787}" Type="Text" Name="Patient" DisplayName="Patient Name" Sealed="TRUE" StaticName="Patient">


  <Field ID="{4F294260-B36B-4fd0-A5A8-E2D777E76E73}" Type="Text" Name="Doctor" DisplayName="Attending Doctor" Sealed="TRUE" StaticName="Doctor">


  <Field ID="{2EE0BFF8-FBEE-4f93-822B-608138CAB1FD}" Type="Text" Name="PNumber" DisplayName="Patient Number" Sealed="TRUE" StaticName="PNumber">


  <Field ID="{5BF5C5BB-F020-453d-8194-B9553487051A}" Type="DateTime" Name="ServiceDate" DisplayName="Date of Service" Sealed="TRUE" StaticName="ServiceDate">



Match the GUIDs of each Field with the corresponding FieldRef.


Step 6:


Change the Description attribute of ContentType Tag to "Contoso Transcript Content Type".


Step 7:


Open ListDefinition.xml file under ContosoTranscriptDocLib folder in the solution explorer and change the ListTemplate Tag as followed:


<ListTemplate Name="ContosoTranscriptDocLib"

                DisplayName="Contoso Transcript Document Library"

                Description="Document library to upload text file associated with Medical Transcription"







                DocumentTemplate="101" />




Step 8:


Open ContosoTranscriptDoc.xml once again and copy the <ContentType ID (copy the content within “”). Open Schema.xml file under ContosoTranscriptDocLib folder and in the <ContentTypeRef ID  Tag replace the content (within “”). Copy the 4 field tags from ContosoTranscriptDoc.xml and paste it under <Fields> tag, before first <Field> tag.


Step 9:


Open ItemEventReceiver.cs file under ContosoTranscriptDocLib folder and add this using statement: using System.IO;. After the default constructor (ContosoTranscriptDocLibItemEventReceiver) add following few lines:


///////////////Custom Code/////////////////

        /// <summary>

        /// String between MR# and DATE

        /// +4 is because "MR#:" itself has the length of 4 characters

        /// </summary>

        /// <param name="str"></param>

        /// <returns></returns>

        private string GetNo(string str)


            int first = str.IndexOf("MR#:") + 4;

            int last = str.LastIndexOf("DATE:");

            string ouput = str.Substring(first, last - first);

            return ouput.Trim();



        /// <summary>

        /// String between DOCTOR and SUBJECTIVE

        /// </summary>

        /// <param name="str"></param>

        /// <returns></returns>

        private string GetDoctor(string str)


            int first = str.IndexOf("DOCTOR:") + 7;

            int last = str.LastIndexOf("SUBJECTIVE:");

            string ouput = str.Substring(first, last - first);

            return ouput.Trim();



        /// <summary>

        /// String between DATE and DOCTOR

        /// </summary>

        /// <param name="str"></param>

        /// <returns></returns>

        private string GetDate(string str)


            int first = str.IndexOf("DATE:") + 5;

            int last = str.LastIndexOf("DOCTOR:");

            string ouput = str.Substring(first, last - first);

            return ouput.Trim();


        /// <summary>

        /// String between NAME and MR

        /// </summary>

        /// <param name="str"></param>

        /// <returns></returns>

        private string GetPatient(string str)


            int first = str.IndexOf("NAME:") + 5;

            int last = str.LastIndexOf("MR#:");

            string ouput = str.Substring(first, last - first);

            return ouput.Trim();


        /// <summary>

        /// Extract the content of the file in a string

        /// </summary>

        /// <param name="itemID"></param>

        /// <param name="siteUrl"></param>

        /// <param name="listTitle"></param>

        /// <returns></returns>

        private string GetContent(int itemID, string siteUrl, string listTitle)



            SPWeb web = new SPSite(siteUrl).OpenWeb();

            SPList list = web.Lists[listTitle];

            SPListItem item = list.GetItemById(itemID);

            TextReader tr = new StreamReader(item.File.OpenBinaryStream());

            string content = tr.ReadToEnd();


            return content;


        /////////////Custom Code//////////////////



Step 10:


Uncomment the ItemAdded method and add following lines there:


int itemID = properties.ListItem.ID;

            string siteUrl = properties.WebUrl + "/";

            string listTitle = properties.ListTitle;

            string content = GetContent(itemID, siteUrl, listTitle);

            string patient = GetPatient(content);

            string doctor = GetDoctor(content);

            string serviceDate = GetDate(content);

            string patientNo = GetNo(content);

            properties.ListItem["Patient Name"] = patient;

            properties.ListItem["Attending Doctor"] = doctor;

            properties.ListItem["Patient Number"] = patientNo;

            properties.ListItem["Date of Service"] = DateTime.Parse(serviceDate);



Step 11:


Uncomment the ItemAdding method and add following lines there:


string extension = properties.AfterUrl.Substring(properties.AfterUrl.LastIndexOf(".") + 1);

            if (extension != "txt")


                properties.Cancel = true;

                properties.ErrorMessage = "Please upload only text files";



Step 12:


Right click on the project in Solution Explorer and select properies. In the properties window go to Debug and in the Start Browser with URL option add the URL of your destination site. Now Build the site and deploy it from the Build menu.



Step 13:


Open the destinantion site and go to Site Actions>Site Settings>Site Content Type. You will find ContosoTranscriptDoc under Development section. Go to Site Actions>Create. You will find Contoso Transcript Document Library under Libraries section. Click on it and create a document libarary called testtranscript. Select None as the document template.



Step 14:


Once the document library is created, upload the first sample (test.txt). Once the file is uploaded, the Edit Item window will open. Fill up the Title field as “test” and click on Check In. Similalrly upload rest of the sample files and in each case you will see the fields Patient Name”, “Attending Doctor”, “Patient Number” and “Date of Service” are auto populated. Now try to upload any file other than text files and it will show error saying "Please upload only text files".

Comments (15)
  1. maka says:

    thank you for this turorial, worked perfectly

  2. sujith says:

    excellent article..worked like magic. Thanks for sharing

  3. Rupali says:

    When deploy got this error.

    Feature '1d85415e-833d-46ac-96df-f8c5e1a41fac' is not installed in this farm, and can not be added to this scope.

  4. Venkatesh says:

    How to create a Tag library/cloud in sharepoint 2007

  5. shaif says:

    I am new in sharepoint developer.. it is a greate post.

    but i want to know more about sharepoint designer.

  6. Claudia Gil says:


    This is a great post. I was wondering how to bind a custom content type, custom list definition and an InfoPath form. Your example was very helpul, I just need to change the code that parses the column values from a text file, and parse them from the xml file.



  7. Dan Hillman says:

    I am trying to follow your tutorial to do something similar (add a form library with a infopath form file as the content type).  Is it possible to get copies of the final ContosoTranscriptDoc.xml and Schema.xml files which would assist in my efforts?  thanks

  8. Mike says:

    Does this require VS / WSS Designer? or can it be done just using SharePoint UI?

  9. jagadeeshcv says:


    Thnanks for this article,u have shown to create document library contenet type,can you please send creating custom list with our custom contenet type

    My URL



  10. SivSakthi says:

    Hello Sir,

    As per your article i have created New Custom Document Library,That has been displayed at the time of new Site/DocLib creation.

    then i ve created a new doc library of type none and added this site library in quick launch.At the time of site creation itself its telling that "ERROR:Unknown Error Occurred…Web part maintanence Page…If You Have Permission…Contact Site Admin"..

    Whenever i click those quick launch I m getting the above error…provide Me the Solution Waiting for u..Plss….LOTS OF THANKS in ADVANCE….

  11. Rakesh Kumar says:

    i m using VS 2005.In step 7 You write Open ListDefinition.xml file under ContosoTranscriptDocLib.

    But This xml file is not there.

  12. Jiri says:

    Thank you for providing this tutorial – it should be part of SiteDefinition template download documentation

  13. Suresh says:


    I hv added new field to schema.xml file of Document library. I created a doc lib after saving schema.xml file and restarting IIS, my field is visible in the new doc lib. But when I tried to add new doc or edit the existing doc my field is not shown in EditForm or displayForms. Can you pls help me to fix this?

    Pls mail ur answer to



  14. Narendra says:

    When deploy got this error.

    Feature ‘1d85415e-833d-46ac-96df-f8c5e1a41fac’ is not installed in this farm, and can not be added to this scope.

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