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I need to add some custom properties to a document set. Is there an ootb way to do this or inheriting the content type is the only solution?

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It depends on what you see as an ootb solution.

A Document Set is a 'special' content type with ContentType ID="0x0120D520", so sort of a Folder content type. To add custom properties (fields) to a document set you can go several ways:

  • Add a site/list column through the SharePoint UI as you would do with a regular content type
  • Add a SPField in code, e.g. in an event receiver
  • Add a SPField in the Document Set content type definition declaratively

If you can do it for a regular content type, you can do it for a document set, since it's 'just a content type'.

If you want your custom fields to be shared to the document types in the document set or shown on the welcome page, have a look at this Visual How To for a highly detailed definition.

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That's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the answer! –  alfonso Oct 26 '11 at 13:45
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