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New SharePoint 2013 Column in town – Related Items

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As you may know, SharePoint 2013 is currently in Technical Preview. What does that mean? Well it’s available for the public to try out but is not 100% finished, it’s for us Geeks to check out what has changed and provide some feedback as well as test our solutions. Well something new has arrived amongst many other things, new column types. In this article I will focus only on one of these new column types.

Related Items – A new column

Playing around SharePoint 2013 Technical Preview, I saw a new column type in my Task List called Related Items.

New SharePoint 2013 Column - Related Items

I was curious to find out what this column actually does, so of course I went to my task list and clicked on New Task.

New SharePoint 2013 Column - Related Items

But for some reason, the column “related items” wasn’t in the New Item Form in front of me.

New SharePoint 2013 Column - Related Items

Interesting… my first instinct was to double check my List Settings to make sure I really did see that column. Yes, it exists… we saw the screenshot above as well so we know it’s there.

Next I tried to Edit my Task to see if perhaps I missed it. Neither.

Getting desperate, I clicked on “View Item” to launch the Display Form of my task list for my Demo Task 1.

There it is!

New SharePoint 2013 Column - Related Items

You could also click on the title of the Task (Task Name)

New SharePoint 2013 Column - Related Items

Time to explore what this column does

Like any good geek, I clicked on it to see what it does. A modal pop up came up suggesting me to choose something related to link to. Something in my current Site Collection only.

New SharePoint 2013 Column - Related Items

I chose to link to the Home Page in the Pages Library and it showed up in my Display Form of my task.

New SharePoint 2013 Column - Related Items

You cannot choose more than one to link at the same time, however you can link as many items as you want.

Other notes on this column

I thought, this is very cool! I must add this column in all my content types or custom lists if needs be. SharePoint stores it’s columns as “Site Columns” for power users to reuse.

Unfortunately the column doesn’t seem to be available as a Site Column for me to just pick and use in any list or library.

So I pulled out the BIG GUNS

*****Warning***** What I am about to do is not necessarily the best practice and involves using a third party tool to make modifications in the database for your Site Collection. Use at your own risk.

The reason why I could pick the column is because it is stored in a hidden group of Site Columns that doesn’t show up in the Interface called “_Hidden”. My goal is to change the group that this column belongs to so that it becomes available.

The tool I will use is SP Manager 2013 from Codeplex which some of you might already be using since SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint 2010. The tool allows you to see what’s in your SharePoint Farm basically. What I did is connect to my Site Collection and showed the fields.

New SharePoint 2013 Column - Related Items

And found the column I was looking for, Related Items.

New SharePoint 2013 Column - Related Items

Turns out this “functionality” is split into two columns. You can identify them through their “Internal Name”. One is RelatedItems and the other RelatedLinks.

Basically, RelatedItems is when the user adding a new related item and RelatedLinks is SharePoint showing linked items afterwards. We need to change the “Group” property of both these fields to the same name. I chose “Custom Columns” as seen in the screenshot above.

The column is now available throughout your site collection for friendly use. Hope this helps.

New SharePoint 2013 Column - Related Items

Again this is my “IT Pro approach”, hopefully someone will find an easier way to make this available. I have only done some limited testing as this is the Technical Preview of SharePoint 2013. Moving to Office 365 Technical Preview will prove to be a bigger challenge as small changes like these are not possible.

New SharePoint 2013 Column - Related Items.

Of course, for those of you that have Sharegate, you could use the Explorer to navigate your sites and see what’s inside. Not unlike the SharePoint Manager in Codeplex mentioned earlier. The difference is it allows you to export as well as take action on what you.

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