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Building Custom Actons for Lists in SharePoint 2010 with SharePoint Designer 2010

An important component to a successful effort to hasten user adoption for SharePoint is easing the “unfamiliar” burden for end users grappling with computing procedures written for SharePoint. SharePoint is a complex computing system with an extensive range of functionality. But getting specific functions to work to the benefit of an organization can require end users to perform a series of counterintuitive steps. SharePoint administrators, designers, developers and architects will do better to implement “user friendly” methods for end users to execute, once promising functions have been identified.

Custom actions are a set of “user friendly” methods for SharePoint 2010. MSDN defines custom actions as ” . . . a Server ribbon, menu, or link customization that a user can see. Custom actions can be bound to list type, content type, file type, or programmatic identifier (ProgID).”. It is simply easier for end users to implement correct procedures when they can perform required steps by simply clicking a link, ribbon item, or an option on a menu.

In a video tutorial titled Creating Custom Actions for Lists, Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP and MCT demonstrates how SharePoint administrators, developers, architects can use SharePoint Designer 2010 to build custom actions for SharePoint. As we note at the start of this video, the procedures demonstrated will add an option to a drop down ECB (edit control button) menu, not only for SharePoint 2010 lists, but also for libraries, for a custom action.

SharePoint Designer 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2013 include a section titled “Custom Actions” for lists and libraries. Much like a macro recorder, but with a limited set of predefined actions, a series of computing steps can be formalized into a “custom action” with SharePoint Designer, complete with title and description. Once the action is saved by specific item to a list or library, then users will have the option of selecting the procedure merely by clicking on the option from the drop down menu.

If your organization is grappling with a need to hasten user adoption for SharePoint, please contact us. We’d be interested to learn further about your specific requirements.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved