Work-around to render the custom field in list view


Once I got a request from one of colleagues to create custom button field which will kick off a workflow for the list item which it get associated. Then, I had created a custom field which inherited from SPFieldText and rendered an ASP.net button control and in the click event I have implemented the code to kick off the workflow.


 


Everything worked fine and field rendered perfectly in the New, Edit, and Display form. But in the list view it doesn’t shows the button, we can see the column name in the list but can’t see the button in the list item. Below is the code that I have used to create the field and the FLDTypes.xml file.


 


ButtonFieldWF.Field.cs



   1: using System;
   2: using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
   3: using System.Security.Permissions;
   4: using Microsoft.SharePoint;
   5: using Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls;
   6: using Microsoft.SharePoint.Security;
   7:  
   8: namespace CustomButtonField
   9: {
  10:     // TODO: Replace, as needed, "SPFieldText" with some other class derived from SPField. 
  11:     // TODO: Update, as needed, ParentType element in fldtypes*.xml in this solution. 
  12:     [CLSCompliant(false)]
  13:     [Guid("4a71f8a6-a7d1-45bb-9ced-8ed1676c95d6")]
  14:     public class ButtonFieldWFField : SPFieldText
  15:     {
  16:         public ButtonFieldWFField(SPFieldCollection fields, string fieldName)
  17:             : base(fields, fieldName)
  18:         {
  19:  
  20:         }
  21:         
  22:         public ButtonFieldWFField(SPFieldCollection fields, string typeName, string displayName)
  23:             : base(fields, typeName, displayName)
  24:         {
  25:         }
  26:  
  27:         public override BaseFieldControl FieldRenderingControl
  28:         {
  29:             [SharePointPermission(SecurityAction.LinkDemand, ObjectModel = true)]
  30:             get
  31:             {
  32:                 BaseFieldControl fieldControl = new ButtonFieldWFFieldControl();
  33:                 fieldControl.FieldName = this.InternalName;
  34:  
  35:                 return fieldControl;
  36:             }
  37:         }
  38:  
  39:         
  40:     }
  41: }


ButtonFieldWF.FieldControl.cs



   1: using System;
   2: using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
   3:  
   4: using Microsoft.SharePoint;
   5: using Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls;
   6: using Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow;
   7:  
   8: using System.Web;
   9: using System.Web.UI;
  10: using System.Web.UI.WebControls;
  11: using System.Web.UI.HtmlControls;
  12:  
  13: namespace CustomButtonField
  14: {
  15:     // TODO: Replace, as needed, "TextField" with some other class derived from Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls.BaseFieldControl.
  16:     [CLSCompliant(false)]
  17:     [Guid("9fbee449-9f7f-48de-999b-d7187dfe78cf")]
  18:     public class ButtonFieldWFFieldControl : TextField
  19:     {
  20:  
  21:         private Button oBtnWF = null;
  22:  
  23:         protected override void CreateChildControls()
  24:         {
  25:             base.CreateChildControls();
  26:  
  27:  
  28:             if (this.ControlMode == SPControlMode.Edit || this.ControlMode == SPControlMode.New || this.ControlMode == SPControlMode.Display)
  29:             {
  30:                 oBtnWF = new Button();
  31:                 oBtnWF.Text = "Start the custom WF";
  32:                 oBtnWF.Click += new EventHandler(oBtnWF_Click);
  33:                 base.Controls.Add(oBtnWF);
  34:  
  35:             }
  36:         }
  37:  
  38:         void oBtnWF_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
  39:         {
  40:  
  41:             SPSite oSite = this.ListItem.Web.Site;
  42:  
  43:             //get the workflow associated with this doc lib and kick if off 
  44:             if (this.List.WorkflowAssociations.Count > 0)
  45:             {
  46:                 // kick off the first workflow..you can kick off your custom workflow by taking it properly
  47:                 SPWorkflowAssociation wrkFl = this.List.WorkflowAssociations[0];
  48:                 oSite.WorkflowManager.StartWorkflow(this.ListItem, wrkFl, wrkFl.AssociationData, true);
  49:             }
  50:             System.Web.HttpContext.Current.Response.Write("started...");
  51:  
  52:         }       
  53:  
  54:         protected override void Render(HtmlTextWriter output)
  55:         {
  56:             this.oBtnWF.RenderControl(output);
  57:         }
  58:     }
  59: }


fldtypes_ButtonFieldWF.xml



   1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
   2: <FieldTypes>
   3:   <FieldType>
   4:     <Field Name="TypeName">ButtonFieldWFField</Field>
   5:     <Field Name="TypeDisplayName">ButtonFieldWFField</Field>
   6:     <Field Name="TypeShortDescription">ButtonFieldWFField</Field>
   7:     <Field Name="ParentType">Text</Field>
   8:     <Field Name="UserCreatable">TRUE</Field>
   9:     <Field Name="FieldTypeClass">4a71f8a6-a7d1-45bb-9ced-8ed1676c95d6</Field>
  10:   </FieldType>
  11: </FieldTypes>

After doing research on this issue confirmed that, by default we can’t render any controls like button, imagebutton, etc in list view. Because the items are rendering in the list view through CAML and  <![CDATA [ html goes here ] ], so here the only work-around is construct the control using CDATA and display it.



   1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
   2: <FieldTypes>
   3:   <FieldType>
   4:     <Field Name="TypeName">ButtonFieldWFField</Field>
   5:     <Field Name="TypeDisplayName">ButtonFieldWFField</Field>
   6:     <Field Name="TypeShortDescription">ButtonFieldWFField</Field>
   7:     <Field Name="ParentType">Text</Field>
   8:     <Field Name="UserCreatable">TRUE</Field>
   9:     <Field Name="FieldTypeClass">4a71f8a6-a7d1-45bb-9ced-8ed1676c95d6</Field>
  10:         <RenderPattern Name="DisplayPattern">
  11:               <Switch>
  12:                     <Expr>
  13:                           <Column Name="ContentTypeId" />
  14:                     </Expr>
  15:                     <!-- This is the Content Type Id for FOLDERs -->
  16:                     <Case Value="0x012000499529A73A47A1408DC7541F73C144CE">
  17:                           <!-- We do not want to display anything for folders -->
  18:                     </Case>
  19:                     <Default>
  20:                                                   
  21:                           <!-- This is the List ID -->
  22:                           <!-- ListProperty Select="Name" / -->
  23:                          
  24:                           <HTML>
  25:                                 <![CDATA[<input type="button" onClick="Test();" value="Start the custom WF" id="btn_]]>
  26:                           </HTML>
  27:                           <Column Name="ID" />
  28:                           <HTML>
  29:                                 <![CDATA[" />]]>
  30:                           </HTML>
  31:                           
  32:                           <HTML>
  33:                                 <![CDATA[
  34:                               <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> 
  35:                                     
  36:                                function Test()
  37:                                {
  38:                                     alert('hiii');                                  
  39:                                }
  40:                                </script>
  41:                                
  42:                                ]]>
  43:                           </HTML>
  44:                           
  45:                     </Default>
  46:               </Switch>
  47:         </RenderPattern>
  48:   </FieldType>
  49: </FieldTypes>

clip_image002


But, here another obstacle was the execution of server side code to kick off the workflow. We can’t write the server side code in <! [CDATA [] ]>, so we can kick off the workflow by putting that code in the page load of an aspx page and open it while clicking the button.


(eg : window.open(“_layouts/custompage.aspx”)).


 


Another work-around would be adding an ECB menu item for the list item and implement this functionality while clicking on it.  


Also please check this How-To video to know how we can create custom fields in WSS 3.0, if you are not familliar with this already. 


Comments (35)

  1. Manoj says:

    Hi Can u send me the code of the work around, When I was trying to do the same proposed at the top it gives me an error saying the field types are not deployed properly

    My mail id is mmalireddy@gmail.com

  2. sowmyan says:

    Hi Reddy,

    I have sent a sample application to your gmail ID.

    Thanks,

    Sowmyan

  3. Manoj says:

    Thanks for the code,But this code is giving me an error in the newform.aspx page saying the field type is not deployed properly.Actually my requirment is for running a javascript on the button click so there is no need for the server side code for me.If I am not using <Field Name="FieldTypeClass">4a71f8a6-a7d1-45bb-9ced-8ed1676c95d6</Field> this line then it is giving me an error.Any help with respect to this is really appreciated and Thanks for your help

  4. Subhan says:

    Thanks for posting such a great post.

    I am trying to follow your steps in displaying the button in the list view.

    I modified the XML file to add the CDATA portion like what you did..but no luck in displaying the button.

    I added all the other part right.

    This is my Render Pattern i guess i messed this one.

    <RenderPattern Name="DisplayPattern">

         <Switch>

           <Expr>

             <Column/>

           </Expr>

           <Case Value="">

           </Case>

           <Default>

             <HTML>

               <![CDATA[<input type="button" value="MarkMeComplete"id="btn_]]>

             </HTML>

           </Default>

         </Switch>

       </RenderPattern>

    New to CDATA concept what i am missing here?.please advise.

    Thanks,

    Subhan

    Email:Subhan.Turlapaty@gmail.com

  5. Subhan says:

    Hi Reddy,

    For me the code worked fine.

    I wrote two classes(renamed to mine) in VS2005 c# library projet and using the same code of soumyan and build the project and placed the dll manually in GAC.

    I had no build errors though was never able to display the button

    Just my 2 cents.

    Thanks,

    Subhan

  6. sowmyan says:

    Hi Subhan,

    I just sent a sample custom button field to you. Please check it out.

    Thanks,

    Sowmyan

  7. sowmyan says:

    Reddy, could you please create a very simple custom field without renderpattern and see whether it is working fine or not.

    Check the deployment is happening correctly or not.

    Thanks,

    Sowmyan

  8. Subhan says:

    Thanks Sowmyan,

    I recieved your code and i am able to show the button in the list view form.

    Also i sent an email about the customization i am working on for your guidance.

    Thanks,

    Subhan

  9. sowmyan says:

    Hi Subhan,

    I just checked my mail box and got your message.

    That is a CAML code and it is just for rendering the information in the list view. In [CDATA ] we can include only html controls and can’t include server side controls and code. But, you can include javascript.

    Thanks,

    Sowmyan

  10. sowmyan says:

    As a work around, while clicking on the button you can redirect the page to an aspx page and write the server side code in the page_load.

    Thanks,

    Sowmyan

  11. Subhan says:

    Oh ok..Thanks so much sowmyan for the idea.

    so in my case.

    i get hold of the sharepoint list date column modify the date and update and refresh the view right? makes sense..(all this in page_load?)

    one question still remains ..

    i have the button column to be shown..only if the date column is blank

    any code snippet sample or idea for the java script how to do this..

    Thanks,

    Subhan

  12. sowmyan says:

    check how that column is rendering in the form of HTML by taking the view source of your page. After that try to find out value through javascript and you can plug it in the [CDATA] and using a if condition you can display the button.

    Thanks,

    Sowmyan

  13. Subhan says:

    Thanks sowmyan for the feedback.

    so i have a jscript function hideButtonField() which has all the functionality..

    where do i call this function it needs to be called on sharepoint page(my custom list view)load..

    how can i do this?

    Thanks again,

    Subhan

  14. sowmyan says:

    I meant that, put the javascript inside the DisplayPattern itself. Using CDATA you can control the rendering of HTML controls.

    Thanks,

    Sowmyan

  15. Subhan says:

    Hi sowmyan its me again..

    in the edit mode i am able to locate the text field id of the date picker control.

    however in the display mode i am not able to find the input field of the calendar control all find is a table with rows( my items )

    an in that row for the completed date column i find <TD Class ="ms-vb2"<NOBR></NOBR></TD>.

    where the is a date it puts the date in <NOBR></NOBR> like this

    <TD Class ="ms-vb2"<NOBR>15/20/2009</NOBR></TD>

    So i came down one step down..

    i still have a button..(EDIT)this time all it needs to do is take me to the edit form of that particular record.(here i wil update the completed date field to present date)

    how can i redirect to EditForm.aspx i tried onclick=window.open("http://vsservername:23485/sites/intranet/Lists/Employees/EditForm.aspx?ID=2&Source=http%3A%2F%2Fvsmoss%3A23485%2Fsites%2Fintranet%2FLists%2FEmployees%2FAllItems%2Easpx&quot;)

    pretty much i pasted the real url of the edit page of that record in my sharepoint list.

    when i click nothing happengs..

    please advise.

    thanks again..

    Subhan

  16. Subhan says:

    same post but with corrected grammar..please consider this one.sorry about my grammar in the previous post.

    Hi Sowmyan,

    in the edit mode i am able to locate the text field id of the date picker control.

    however in the display mode i am not able to find the input text field of the calendar control in the view source page.. all i find is a table with rows( my items ).

    and in that row for the completed date column i find <TD Class ="ms-vb2"<NOBR></NOBR></TD>.

    when there is  date it puts the date in <NOBR></NOBR> like this

    <TD Class ="ms-vb2"<NOBR>15/20/2009</NOBR></TD>

    So i came down one step down 🙁

    Now,i still have a button..(EDIT)this time all it needs to do is take me to the edit form of that particular record.(here i wil update the completed date field to present date)

    how can i redirect to EditForm.aspx i tried onclick=window.open("http://vsservername:23485/sites/intranet/Lists/Employees/EditForm.aspx?ID=2&Source=http%3A%2F%2Fvsmoss%3A23485%2Fsites%2Fintranet%2FLists%2FEmployees%2FAllItems%2Easpx&quot;)

    pretty much i pasted the real url of the edit page of that record in my sharepoint list.

    when i click nothing happengs..

    please advise.

    thanks again..

    Subhan

  17. Sowmyan says:

    Yes, the <td> column doesn’t have an ID. Otherwise you have to use the <table name=""> and need to iterate its childs but it will be a complex way.

    About the window.open(), are you able to open any other page instead of editform.aspx ?

    Thanks,

    Sowmyan

  18. Subhan says:

    Hi Sowmyan,

    Yep i see what are u saying regarding table iteration..will check if there are alternatives or else need to go with the same route if the client is not convincing..

    regarding the window.open() i guess nothing is happening with other pages to..

    in your example redirecting to custompage.aspx it worked right?

    thanks,

    Subhan

  19. Subhan says:

    Hi Sowmyan,

    in all honesty your blogs helped me a lot in understanding customization of UI.

    can you please let me know if you have blogs/posts on workflows through visual studio 2005/2008.

    i have a few questions on certain scenarios..

    let me know if i can go ahead and post here..

    Thanks,

    Subhan

  20. sriram says:

    can u pls send me the code.I am new to sharepoint.The field type seems to be very good.

    neosri@gmail.com

    REgards,

    Sriram

  21. sowmyancs says:

    Hi Sriran, I had sent the code to you …

  22. sowmyancs says:

    Subhan, I have couple of WF posts let me know your questions. Also you can post it in those posts thus it will help others too.

  23. raju says:

    Hi Sowmyan,

    can you pls send me the code.I am new to sharepoint.I am interested in creation and usage of custom fields.

    raj5186@gmail.com

    regards,

    raju

  24. Subbu says:

    Hi Sowmyan,

    This is really good post. You suggested that html code to display the button in a list be written in CDATA section and that clicking on it can open an aspx page which in turn invokes a workflow. Doesn’t SharePoint complain about updating site content via requests using GET method? How did you solve this problem? Can you please let us know.

    Regards,

    Subbu.

  25. sowmyancs says:

    Most probably you can get rid of that issue by following the below.

        a.  Add the following register tag in your aspx page

                 <%@ Register Tagprefix="SharePoint"

               Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls"

               Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=12.0.0.0, Culture=neutral,

         PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %>

      b.  Add the sharepoint “FormDigest” control in the page.

            <SharePoint:FormDigest  ID="fd" runat="server"/>

    Thanks,

    Sowmyan

  26. Subbu says:

    Hi Sowmyan,

    That did not work for me. I tried by putting the form digest control in the custom aspx page. There is no form in the list view page either.

    Regards,

    Subbu.

  27. Kamal says:

    Hi Can u send me the code of the work around, When I was trying to do the same proposed at the top it gives me an error saying the field types are not deployed properly

    My mail id is kamalkatre@rediffmail.com

  28. Khilan says:

    Eda Sowmyaney,

    Your code is awesome.

    — Khilan

  29. Manas says:

    Starting the workflow from the button in list view page : Just create an XmlHttpRequest and call the StartWorkflow method in workflow webservice. Hope it helps 🙂

  30. Manjunath Reddy says:

    I deployed this code in sharepoint 2010. Button is showing in new list item form but it is not showing up in list .. I have fallowed all the steps correctly. I dono where I have gone wrong..

  31. Manjunath Reddy says:

    Hi all,

    I deployed this code in sharepoint 2010. Button is hsowing up in new form, edit form and display form but its not showing up in sharepoint list..

    Can anyone tell me how to fix this..

  32. JosePa says:

    Hi, everyone.

    I have the same problem, I need render o update a custom field when the list is view, I cant use the button to do that.

    I someone can set me a informatio to do that, I user sharepoint services 3.0 and I a new with that.

    tks

  33. Harry says:

    I followed exactly the same as descibed in the post, but I'm not able to see the button in the list view as well , anybody got any ideas?

  34. Vijai says:

    Nice post, can you please send me the code to plztk1999[AT]Yahoo[DOT]Com

    The code deployed successfully, I can see the custom filed type, but when I try to create the column using the custom field, I'm facing with

    "Field type ButtonFieldWFField is not installed properly. Go to the list settings page to delete this field. "

    Please send me the code to above id, thanks for your efforts.

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