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Site Columns Best Practices?

Question asked by michaela on Nov 14, 2017
Latest reply on Nov 15, 2017 by michaela

For reusability / consistency, I often find myself creating Site Columns, then adding these to a Content Type. This Content Type is then used in my List(s) with, typically, a Nintex form and workflow attached. So my question is in regards to the usage of Site Columns and whether it's best practice to reuse or create?

 

For example, let's say I've created a Content Type with a Nintex form that requires a Delivery Address field. In SP2016 there's an Address site column (Multiple lines of text) available in the Core Contact and Calendar Columns group. I could either add this existing site column into my new Content Type, or, create my own "Delivery Address" site column and add that to my Content Type.

 

Reusing the site column is appealing in the sense that it scales better, and reduces the amount of duplication. If I had 100 content types with forms each requiring a delivery address field, it's probably more efficient to have the one Address site column reused 100 times, rather than 100 site columns of essentially the same thing. However, creating a new site column is appealing in the sense that it's self-contained, that is, the Content Type "owns" all of its site columns. This lends itself better towards portability.

 

If anyone has any thoughts, real life use cases, or insights into this, I would appreciate hearing them!

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