Sharepoint 2013 Sites collection, sites and view

Site Collection

in SharePoint is basically a collection of SharePoint sites that share common features like Content types, Templates, Site columns, permissions, Web Parts etc.

SharePoint Site

basically is a website. SharePoint allows us to create websites of specific types like Personal site, a Team Site, a social media site, a blogs or a Wiki Site etc.

As a SharePoint Site Collection share common features, it facilitates for better administration of our websites. It can be understood by taking a practical example. For example, in my software company, we have multiple departments (Software Development, Finance, Sales, Support etc.). All using SharePoint for different purposes like Document Sharing, Team Collaboration, Blogging and much more. For better administration, we have created a SharePoint Site Collection for each department containing all of its websites. It can be illustrated with the help of a structural diagram as below:
Site Vs Site Collection

From an architecture standpoint, all the content of a site collection must be stored in a single content database. You cannot have a site collection’s content spread out across multiple content databases. Content databases scale with your infrastructure capacity so site collections can share a content database. A site collection can exist in only one content database, but one content database can host the content for multiple site collections. Similarly, any given SharePoint 2013 site can only exist in one site collection, but a site collection can host a multitude of sites. A site cannot exist outside of a site collection.

SharePoint View

With views, you can use filters and styles to show in different ways the information available in your lists and libraries. There’s always a default view activated in your list or library. The automatic default view selected is normally “all items”, but normally got changed by a view contains some meaningful columns instead.

View types in SharePoint

SharePoint view types

Standard view

Standard view type in SharePoint

Calendar View

The calendar in SharePoint was basically a list with a disguise. You can decide which column you want to display on your calendar for a week, a month, a day and so on.

Calendar view type

This also mean that I can turn and list with any information I want into a calendar. As long as I have a date and time column.

Datasheet view

Datasheet view type in SharePoint

Gantt view

Gantt chart picture from wikipedia

The concept of a Gantt chart is similar to a calendar since it’s based on the dates. It shows the progress of different elements in time. It would be very useful for a list of tasks related to a specific project with deadlines for example.

Styles for the Standard view

View styles


Boxed Style for SharePoint views


Newsletter style


Shaded style

Create and modify the view

In the ribbon at the top under list/library–> “Manage Views”

Manage Views settings

You can modify the view you are currently using by clicking on “Modify View”. Then the same settings you had when you created the view will appear and you will be able to change them. I used this option to change the style of my list. This way, I didn’t have to create a new view for each one, I just had to go back in the view settings and change the style. The view could be public or private as needed.

Avoid Folders

Create a folder sometimes is much easier to manage the documents and also along the same concepts of Windows files system. But when you create a folder, it becomes its own list of items or documents. Therefore, if you create a filter in your library to see, for example, all the documents of 2014, the filter won’t get the elements inside your folders.

My challenge

Recently, we migrated from Sharepoint 2007 to Sharepoint 2013. There are some SSRS reports based on those Sharepoint list. After the migration, there is one report only can display part of the data on the Sharepoint list. he issue is due to new folders created on the list. So as mentioned in last paragraph, those records inside the folder won’t be able to find by SSRS sharepoint connection interface. So the easy solution is change the default view to “All Items”, in this way, SSRS interface has been able to see all the items of the list.

Reason: The SSRS report pulls data only from your “All Items” view in your SharePoint list so make sure “All Items” view is the default view in your list. Even though there is an option to specify the view name in the query builder but that doesn’t work when your are using Web Service for connecting to the SharePoint List.  Also make sure all the columns are present in your list view which you want to show on the reports. One final thing, in the list view setting change the page size from 30 to number of items you are expecting in your report


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