Content Types of Content Types.

Content Types

They seem like the bread and butter of sharepoint solutions. They help you control metadata, they act as databuckets. I can’t quite work out if they are like classes or objects but in any case they are kind of that important to use the OO metaphor.

One thing with content types I’ve noticed is that when you have a Content Type defined for your site collection e.g. SupportDocument (one that I encountered recently), and you go on to add the contentType to a list something strange and magical happens.

The list appears to add a reference to the ContentType but what actually happens is it inherits from the contentType creating a new ContentType with exactly the same name this (I would say IMHO) is a bit of a trap for young players, make sure when you are using the GUI to check out content types that you keenly note the ‘parent’ property of the contentType to see if you are looking at the site collection version or the locally scoped ‘list version’.

Implications of this I see are:

  1. Changes could probably be made to your list version without affecting the contentTypes of other lists, but if made to the site collection version it will affect all lists.
  2. When using SPSource to extract content types column types and lists i’m not quite sure which content type it targets (need to do more research into this one).
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