Using lists in SharePoint is a great tool that allows users to submit items such as work requests or provide feedback. You can configure columns within the list for fields that you want users to complete for their submissions. However, managing the item itself typically requires more fields than the user needs to see. There are many ways that you can solve this, whether it be development work or a simple workflow to move the item from one list to another.
One way to solve this issue without requiring any customization, development work or building a workflow is to take advantage of SharePoint’s Content Types. By using Content Types inheritance, we are able to build a simple form for the user to submit their information and then a more detailed form for those managing the requests. For example, users of a particular SharePoint environment may want to submit changes they would like to see done on their sites. These submissions would come into an IT department and be assigned to a particular person for completion. The below steps will walk you through creating multiple forms with Content Types.
Step 1: Plan Fields for Each Form
For each form, plan which fields are needed and what type of data will be stored in those fields. For example, ‘Request’ may be a field that is multiple lines of text for the user to describe their request. Requested By is already captured in the Created By column as well as the date in the Created column.
Step 2: Create Site Columns
Since we will be using Content Types to provide the two different forms, one for submitting and one for managing the request, we will need to start by creating our site columns by navigating to Site Settings and clicking on Site Columns. Assigned To could be used from the core task site columns or you could create your own. I would suggest creating a new group for each form so that you can easily populate them into the Content Type. Then group all of the submission columns into the Form Submission Group and the Management of Request into another group.
Step 3: Create Submission Content Type
Now that we have our site columns, we can create the first Content Type for the submission form. In Site Settings, go to the Content Type gallery and click Create. Here you will indicate that you want to create a Content Type based on the Lists group and Item parent. Provide your new Content Type with a title and description and then add the site columns for the submission only.
Step 4: Create the Item Management Content Type
Next you will create another new Content Type just as you did above, however this time you will not inherit from Lists/Item, you will inherit from your freshly created Submission Content Type. Provide the title and description and then add in the additional site columns specific to managing the submissions.
The title will remain as is and be incorporated into your list. Changes to this label would not be done from within the Content Type. You will want to modify this from within the list itself.
Step 5: Create List & Configure for Content Types
Now that you have your Content Types, you can either create a new custom list or use an existing list. Go to the List Settings and click on Advance Settings from within the General section. At the top in the Allow Management of Content Types section, click Yes. When you click OK, a new section will appear on the List Settings page called Content Types.
Step 6: Add New Content Types and Set Default
In the Content Types section, add in the two Content Types you created for submissions and item management. Then set the submission one as the default. When a user clicks on New, either in the full or summary toolbar on the list view web part, they will be defaulted to the submission form. Optionally, you can delete the Item Content Type as a housecleaning item to prevent any confusion. Note, you will need to have both Content Types Visible on New Button in order to edit the Content Type from submission to manage work item on the form. The user submitting the request will not see the Content Type selection.
Step 7: Modify Title
Now you can change the column Title to whatever you wish within the list column but not on the Content Type.
Step 8: Add List View to the Page or Hyperlink to New Submission Form
Wherever you want the users to submit their requests, you can either create a hyperlink to the new form or use a List View Web Part on a page with the Summary toolbar. You can also include the Status in this view for the user to be able to keep track of the request status.
Ready, Set, Action!
Now when a user submits a request, you can edit the item, select the management Content Type to display all the fields you need to manage their submission.