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About Microsoft SharePoint 2013 : What Is a Document Library?

11/17/2013 6:39:44 PM
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1. What Is an External List?

An external list is unlike other SharePoint lists. Strictly speaking, it is not a SharePoint list at all because it doesn’t store information inside it. An external list is a view on external data—that is, data that is contained not within SharePoint but in external databases and systems.

When you add external lists to SharePoint sites, they are displayed in an interface that looks almost exactly like a regular SharePoint list. An external list also allows most of the same interactions with the items in the list that are offered with a regular SharePoint list.

2. What Is a Document Library?

A document library is a special instance of a list, in which every list item is a file. Files can be Microsoft Office documents, Adobe Acrobat documents (PDF files), or any other type of file that the system administrator allows.

Most of the attributes of lists exist in document libraries. In fact, lists and documents libraries are similar in many ways. However, each item in a document library is a file, as shown in Figure 1. Therefore, when creating a new item in a document library, you need to either upload a file or create one.

Image

FIGURE 1. A sample document library with several types of documents.

Additionally, unlike in lists, in document libraries, each row can hold only one file. There isn’t an option to attach more files to the row. Essentially, the file itself is the row.

Also, because a file can be downloaded, visitors to document libraries have different options available to them when browsing a document library than they have with lists.

Several special document libraries templates are available in SharePoint. These templates are designed for specific types of content, but they are essentially document libraries.

3. What Is a Wiki Page Library?

A wiki page library is a special instance of a document library that is designed to store web pages that support the wiki syntax, allowing you to quickly create new pages or link to other pages in the library authoring the page. On those web pages, you can display different types of content—text, images, videos, and web parts.

4. What Is a Form Library?

A form library is much like a document library, but it is supposed to host only Microsoft InfoPath forms. Microsoft InfoPath is electronic form-creation software that integrates with SharePoint. Forms created with InfoPath can be published to SharePoint form libraries, and users can then fill out these forms.

With SharePoint Server, you can load some InfoPath forms without having Microsoft InfoPath installed on your machine. In this case, the form opens in a browser, as a web form. If you have a program that can edit InfoPath forms, such as Microsoft InfoPath 2013 or Microsoft InfoPath Filler 2013, the form opens in that program.

If your company uses InfoPath for creating forms, you might want to learn how to read forms that are in form libraries. You might also want to learn how to fill forms.

5. What Is an Asset Library?

An asset library is a special instance of a document library that is specially designed to store digital assets such as images, audio files, and videos.

This kind of library can be used as a repository for media files that will be used throughout the SharePoint environment—for example, corporate logos, training videos, and podcasts. Figure 2 shows an example of a site assets library with two images and a PowerPoint slide deck.

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FIGURE 2 A sample asset library with a music file, a video file, and several stock photos to be added to pages in the site.

 
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