Seeing “What’s New” Across Types of SharePoint Lists, Libraries & Sites

In my previous blog, I introduced the Workspace Activity Report that shows who has contributed what across a SharePoint environment.  Continuing on my cool feature theme, let’s talk about the What’s New feature.  This lets you see and work with information that is new across all types of SharePoint lists and libraries in a single display. 


I have the same four things for you on this one: some words, a picture, a 5 minute democast, and a link where you can download the What’s New building block and install it into your v10 environment (and yes, there is no additional code necessary).


Very simply, the What’s New display is a single web part that shows you all of the information in a workspace across all different types of lists and libraries.  It could be for a single workspace or any groups of sites such as a whole department.  It is configured to show all of the items that have been contributed in a given time frame, say today, this week, or the last month.  You can work with the items such as viewing and editing them.  You can add new items.  You can act on them, such as emailing them, deleting, or copying them to other locations.


A couple of nuances about the What’s New display.  First, you can act on multiple items in one step.  Imagine that five different items were added by someone across data types (such as Tasks, Events, and Issues). In one step, you can send off an email with links to all five.  Second, you can do all of this work, even entering and updating items, without having to navigate to the actual lists or libraries. The forms just pop up.  Third, this is all done with a single Ajax enabled interface that is fast and has lots of end-user features such as Pinpoint Searching, Filtering, and Grouping – again across all types of lists and libraries.


In sum, the What’s New display is a very convenient way to work with information in SharePoint.  It should be a staple for any site with a good amount of information or for a top down view such as for a department dashboard.


The Picture

Below is a picture of the What’s New display.  It shows the context sensitive menu with the New, View, and Edit forms and a number of custom actions.  The items are grouped by list or library type.  It also shows what site the information comes from (in case you are looking at multiple sites).  In addition, you have the paging in the lower right to quickly work through the items.



My 5 minute democast: 

In this democast, I’ll walk you through using the What’s New.  I’ll show off a number of the features mentioned above. Democast (runtime 5 minutes) (BTW, make sure to click the Full Screen button to get good resolution).


Download the Building Block:

Okay, now you’ve seen it, you like it, and you want to take it home with you.  Here you go.  We assume you have the Suite v10 running.  Just go here, click the download button and download the zip.  It contains a CorasWorks webpart file that you can just import and use.  It also has a little Getting Started document. 





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