How to filter a SharePoint list or library using URL parameters

In this age of building bots and eliminating needless clicks and such to get employees the info they need faster and more directly, we need all the best practices we can find when creating solutions for users. This post will share a better practice when it comes to getting reliable, fast results from SharePoint lists and libraries that don’t rely on search index configuration or endless view sprawl.

Quick answer

If you’re just here for the quick answer, here it is. For string values, you can simply add this to the end of the list’s URL to filter it as specified.

?FilterField1=[IntFieldName]&FilterValue1=[FilterValue]
  • Spaces in field names and values: If your value includes spaces, replace them with %20.
  • [IntFieldName]: Internal field names (like Client in the example below is actually the original Title column) can be found in List Settings > Column Settings > Select Column > Check URL of column settings page (it contains the internal field name following &Field=).
Click to enlarge

If you want to learn about how this came up in my work and why I chose it as a solution, read on.

Case

Recently, I was involved in troubleshooting a bot that would search a SharePoint list using its built-in search box. However, the bot would be searching for items that were created minutes prior and the search index hadn’t updated yet so no results would be found and the bot would fail to complete.

So I suggested we filter instead of search.

Why filter?

Filtering lists works independently of the search index. Meaning I can create a new item in a SharePoint Server 2019 (or any SharePoint version) list right now and then filter the list and find that new item immediately. But if I search immediately, it won’t be found yet.

Want to argue about continuous crawls as workaround? Send your thoughts to nothanks@natechamberlain.com.

Changes to the process

For this particular bot, we’d be replacing this process:

  1. Navigate to SharePoint list URL
  2. Activate list’s search box
  3. Enter/type search term (unique item identifier guaranteed to return one result)
  4. Hit enter/search

with this one:

  1. Create a variable for the search term
  2. Navigate to SharePoint list URL with added URL parameter including variable from step 1 (taking us directly to the single result we needed)

It not only simplifies the steps involved, but reduces the likelihood that changes to UI elements will break our bot along the way.

Potential use cases

  • Sending workflow emails with direct links to lists and libraries already filtered
  • Reducing the number of views on a list by having users bookmark URLs including the filter parameters the view would have
  • Improving bot reliability by eliminating some UI-dependent steps
  • Eliminating search indexing delays for users or bots searching for new items
  • Setting a hyperlink column on a list automatically to filter the list/library by that item’s vendor/client/topic/etc. for easy comparison/drilldown (see how to set a hyperlink column using Power Automate)

How to do it

First you need to identify the internal field name of your column on which you’ll be filtering. Then we simply add a bit of text to the end of the list’s URL.

  1. Go to Settings > List settings (or List/Library > List/Library Settings in classic views).
  2. Select the column to filter from under Columns.
  3. Check the URL for the text following &Field= for the internal field name. Note this somewhere as we’ll need it soon.
  4. Go back to your default list view ending in .aspx and add the following to the end of the URL, replacing [IntFieldName] with the field name you got in the previous step:
    ?FilterField1=[IntFieldName]
  5. Now add the following to the end as well, replacing [FieldValue] with what you’d like to use to filter the column referenced in steps 3-4.
    ?FilterValue1=[FieldValue]
  6. Your final URL may resemble the following:
    https://YOURORG.sharepoint.com/sites/YOURSITE/Lists/ListName/AllItems.aspx?FilterField1=NotGov&FilterValue1=1

Filtering yes/no or true/false values

If your filter isn’t working for yes/no columns, replace “no” with 0 and “yes” with 1 in your URL.

Multiple field filters

You can filter the list on multiple columns by adding &FilterField2=… in the same format as the first. See below for an example:

?FilterField1=[Field1]&FilterValue1=[Value1]&FilterField2=[Field2]&FilterValue2=[Value2]
Click to enlarge

Solution: Searching by ID column in SharePoint list not working

I had an issue come up today where a user wanted to search a SharePoint list by the default ID column.

Problem:
The ID column cannot be indexed and is not searchable using just the ID number itself.

Solution:
You can still search ID numbers in lists if you include the proper Keyword Query Language (KQL) syntax. Format your search as ListItemID:3 (replacing 3 with your own ID number, of course) and it will work.

And yes, this works in both modern and classic list search experiences and in SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online/O365.

Replace Microsoft Teams’ wiki tab with a OneNote notebook tab

The wiki tab that is added to every Team and each of its channels is convenient, but not robust and its content is not easily migrated and shared. I typically recommend new Team owners (or admins setting up new Teams) delete the ‘Wiki’ tab that comes with the Team and insert a new OneNote tab called ‘Notebook.’

Why replace the wiki with OneNote?

  • OneNote has a dedicated app.
  • Notebooks and Wikis are both stored in SharePoint (not Teams)
    • Notebooks can be moved, migrated, archived and accessed later more easily as a standalone OneNote file.
    • Wikis are folder structure document libraries in your site’s Site Contents folders. Individual sections are saved as .mht files. This can get messy reassembling and manipulating.
  • OneNote is easily searchable and can have password protected areas. Try searching your wiki or restricting certain parts without creating a private channel.
  • OneNote supports drawing/writing with styluses (styli?)
  • OneNote supports audio/video
  • OneNote integrates with Outlook
  • There are more reasons, like how robust you can get with formatting text, but I think you get the picture.

Why you might keep the wiki

While I’m suggesting that OneNote be used for your Team’s note-taking, collaboration, and regular information sharing in a highly mobile and flexible medium, there is still a case to keep wiki alongside OneNote. Matt Wade suggests renaming the wiki tab to ‘About’ and using it as a reference/resource for the Team itself in his Definitive Guide to Everyday Etiquette in Microsoft Teams. So then you’ll have a simple ‘About’ tab for Team information and a ‘Notebook’ tab for ongoing collaboration and work.

How to replace wiki with OneNote

  1. Use the dropdown menu for the Wiki tab and select Remove
  2. Click the plus sign (+) to add a new tab and select OneNote for the tab.
  3. Select the Notebook, and if for a channel other than general, perhaps a corresponding section in the Notebook. (I recommend mirroring your notebook’s sections to your Team’s channel structure)
  4. Use the tab dropdown menu to rename the probably-very-long name to something simple like ‘Notebook’ for a cleaner user experience.

That’s it! Just a few steps and you’ve substantially increased the productivity potential and collaboration superpowers of your Team. You’ll want to repeat these steps for each new channel you create and, as mentioned, consider creating a new notebook section for each channel to keep things simple, organized, and easy to navigate.

Still aren’t convinced?

Bob Morris has done a very impressive and thorough job of comparing the two. His thoughts on the matter may help you decide whether wikis or notebooks are the best fit for your Team(s).

Enroll in my FREE OneNote 101 7-day email course

One year ago today, I announced and released my first-ever email course. To celebrate its birthday, I’m giving it away for FREE! I enjoyed building the course and I’m confident there’s something new and exciting in it for everyone, even a year later. And when you’re done, in the final email on the 7th day, you’ll receive a link to claim a Credly achievement credential for having completed the course.

This email course delivers a healthy serving of OneNote each day, for seven days. Topics include:

  • Flavors of OneNote (multiple devices, multiple versions)
  • Audio tips and tricks
  • Working with files in OneNote
  • Image magic in OneNote, like searching text within images
  • Keyboard shortcuts to maximize your efficiency
  • OneNote + Outlook
  • Tags and Tag reports (summary pages)

Upon completion, subscribers receive a
Credly badge acknowledging their participation.

Requirements:

  • Includes GIFs and relies on images to demonstrate tips so must support HTML message formats
  • Must allow emails from MailChimp (check spam/junk if you don’t get your first email within 24 hours of signing up)

OneNote 101 7-day Email Course Sign-Up

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Don’t miss #GlobalCon1 Mar 2-6, 2020: A 100% virtual M365 conference

I’ve had a great privilege of attending Collab365 events before, such as their 24-hour global conference in 2017. I’m stunned by not only the quality of the sessions and the Microsoft professionals presenting them, but also by the technical execution and professionalism of the entirely virtual event.

Now, #GlobalCon1 is coming Mar 2-6.

Click the banner to learn more about #GlobalCon1

This year, I’ll still be cheering (and probably live-tweeting) in the audience, but I also have the great honor of getting to share my love letter to OneNote as a session. “You’re the one, OneNote!” will be part of the #GlobalCon1 lineup, and I hope you’ll be able to tune in. It’s one of my absolute favorite apps and I’ve got a TON of tips to share (as well as a recording of the session with a companion e-book included for those who upgrade from the free pass to get the all-access pass).

Of all the professional development and self-investment you’ll do this year, make the #GlobalCon1 (and 2, 3, and 4) part of your plan. The value is unmatched, and your experience will undoubtedly inspire and push you to the next level.

#GlobalCon1 Registration Links:

You can register for free (while free passes last), or upgrade to the All-Access Pass.

Attend ALL sessions in real-time, chatting with speakers while their session airs.

  • Life-time access to every single GlobalCon1 session recording (and 10 companion EBooks) 
  • plus all of the ebooks and sessions from the Collab365 Teams, Flow and Power Apps Summits.
  • Get Teams Training videos by Matthew J Bailey MVP

The All-Access Pass will eventually be $139, but right now it’s just $79 (until February 12).

Solution: Survey app missing in SharePoint

Once in a while, you’ll want to use the survey web part for one reason or another. There are awesome tools like Yammer polls, Microsoft Forms, etc. but sometimes the only tool suitable for a specific use case is still the out-of-the-box SharePoint survey app.

If you search for it when adding a new app and get “We didn’t find a match here, but check out…” don’t fret. It’s tied to a site feature that apparently isn’t activate on your site. This applies to both on-prem and online/O365 environments.

To get the survey app as an option on your site, you’ll need to be a site owner who can activate the Team Collaboration Lists site feature (settings wheel > Site settings > Manage site features).

Once you activate it, your site will now be able to add these apps:

  • Document library
  • Custom list
  • Tasks
  • Picture library
  • Issue tracking
  • Survey
  • Discussion board
  • …and much more

Here’s a quick GIF demonstrating activation of the required feature:

Click to enlarge

Solution: PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer “Cannot download the application…missing required files”

I’m late to the game trying out PerformancePoint Services, a has-been dashboard and KPI service for SharePoint server that still exists in production for many on-prem farms running 2013/2016/2019. I’d venture to guess most would prefer the more modern and flexible Power BI (either Report Server or the online service via O365) to PerformancePoint Services but, alas, change takes time.

So, anyway, when I tried to open Dashboard Designer on a PerformancePoint list for the first time, I received the following error.

Cannot Start Application

Cannot download the application. The application is missing required files. Contact application vendor for assistance.

I had tried to open Dashboard Designer using Chrome and CrEdge (Chromium Edge) without luck. The downloaded designer.application file just gave me the issue seen above.

In the end I found, as with most dated tools and functions in the SharePoint world, some things only work in Internet Explorer (IE). This particular button, however, worked in both IE and Edge!

So copy your list’s URL, move over to Edge or IE, and try to launch it again from there. This worked well for me. Good luck!

Nate’s 2019 in Review

Reflection, to me, is an important part of my growth. It can be difficult to move forward without acknowledging and appreciating how far we’ve come. In this post, I’ll share a bit of what 2019 brought to my career journey, preparing me for 2020.

Update: Goals from 2018

In last year’s reflection post, I made the following goals:

10/19/2019SharePoint Saturday Kansas City“You’re the one, OneNote! How to be more productive with OneNote”
9/21/2019SharePoint Saturday Pittsburgh“Rise of the Advocates: Building and leading governance and champions groups”
9/21/2019SharePoint Saturday Pittsburgh“OneDrive 101: Welcome to OneDrive for Business”
8/23/2019SharePoint Fest Seattle“You’re the one, OneNote!”
8/22/2019SharePoint Fest Seattle“SharePoint Wizardry for Content Management, Archiving, & Retention”
8/21/2019SharePoint Fest Seattle“Building the Intranet of the Future: Using SharePoint to Empower Collaboration”
8/3/2019SharePoint Saturday Omaha“SharePoint Wizardry for Content Management, Archiving, & Retention”
8/3/2019SharePoint Saturday OmahaKeynote: “Rise of the Advocates: Building and leading governance and champions groups”
4/18/2019Baltimore SharePoint User Group“SharePoint Wizardry for Content Management, Archiving, & Retention”
3/17/2019MVP Global SummitAttendee
3/14/2019North American Collaboration Summit“SharePoint Wizardry for Content Management, Archiving, & Retention”
2/11/2019Kansas City Office 365 User Group“You’re the one, OneNote! How to be more productive with OneNote”
1/19/2019SharePoint Saturday, St. Louis“Building the Intranet of the Future: Using SharePoint to Empower Collaboration”
1/14/2019Kansas City Office 365 User Group“The ABCs of SharePoint: 26 ways SharePoint can enhance your digital workplace”

I met my goals, but the best part of all of it was meeting so many of you in the community. I’m motivated by everyone’s energy and curiosity and can’t wait to see what we collectively achieve in 2020.

Reflections on 2019

  • I now have three books, two published in 2019
  • I still lead LSPUG, and am grateful Greg Swart accepted my invitation to join me as co-Director
  • After speaking with MVP community leaders, transformation to the nomination and award process re-interested me in the program, and I was awarded MVP for Office Apps and Services in February
  • I passed four exams and earned two new certifications
    1. Passed MS-300 + MS-301 = M365 Teamwork Admin Associate
    2. That certification, plus MS-100 + MS-101 = M365 Enterprise Admin Expert
  • Spoke at:
    • TWO national conferences (North American Collaboration Summit and SharePoint Fest Seattle)
    • FOUR SharePoint Saturdays (St. Louis, Omaha, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City)
    • TWO user groups other than my own
  • Gave my first keynote for any event, at SPS Omaha
  • Attended my first MVP Summit
  • Appeared on two podcasts
  • Left LMH Health, and the healthcare industry, to take on new challenges in the corporate realm at DH Pace

Goals for 2020

Honestly, I don’t know what’s next and I don’t have a clear vision of where I want to be. But here are a few things I am interested in pursuing along the way to wherever I’m headed:

  • Gaining another certification
  • Learning more SQL, Azure, and AI
  • More blogging and speaking on the Power Platform
  • Writing fiction (what??)

Thank you

I am grateful to University of Kansas Libraries and LMH Health for helping me gain valuable experience and knowledge over the last several years. Within your walls I made amazing connections and friends who inspire me regularly. And without your support, I wouldn’t have achieved much of what’s shared in this post.

Thank you to my colleagues at DH Pace for making me feel welcome and valued as a new member of the team. I’m excited to see what we achieve this year.

Thank you to all of the SharePoint Saturday, national conference, and user group organizing committees who welcomed me to their respective stages this year. Meeting your enthusiastic attendees is always a highlight of my year.

Thank you to Tara Saylor, Suzanne Hunt, Nikkia Carter, Jonathan Weaver, April Dunnam, Stacy Deere-Strole, Sharon Weaver, Matthew J. Bailey, Melissa Hubbard, Shadeed Eleazer, Akdas Asif, and Mohamed Ubaid for sharing your time and expertise with the Lawrence SharePoint User Group.

Thank you to my Twitter and LinkedIn connections. I enjoy learning from you and getting to know you.

And, as always, thank you to the attendees, the readers, and listeners – you’re a continuous source of inspiration and joy. I wish each of you growth, happiness, and love this year and I hope you’ll say hello if our paths cross in 2020.

Top 10 posts of 2019 on NateChamberlain.com

In keeping with a tradition I started last year, I’m sharing the top 10 posts of 2019. Blogging is one of my favorite ways to share with the community (and, admittedly, document things I might forget otherwise). It’s been a pleasure and privilege to have this platform – thank you for reading.

The following includes the ‘Top 10’ most popular posts by views published in 2019:

No post found

Interested in more? Check out the archives for all previous posts:

And if my blog has been useful to you this past year, join the mailing list for weekly updates when there’s new content and consider donating to help defray the cost of keeping the site up.

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