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Does anyone have suggestions on how to go about merging multiple lists (with the same columns) within a site collection into a master list?

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You want to merge the rows or get the rows with same column names from the lists? –  Amit Kumawat Nov 18 '11 at 16:08
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5 Answers

Which version of SharePoint are you using? The DataView Web Part (DVWP) works great in WSS 3 or Foundation 2010. Both MOSS and Server 2010 also give you the ability to use the Content Query Web Part (CQWP).

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+1. Mike, one question: are you aware of any way to make the XSLT List View Web Part work in crosslist mode? –  Christophe Oct 10 '10 at 10:45
    
With the question, I understand that he wants to merge data in lists with same column names, so that rows gets added up(does not look like crosslist queries). Is this possible in DVWP or CQWP? –  Amit Kumawat Nov 18 '11 at 16:05
    
If you are looking to join rows item from list A and item from list B represents a single row in the master list, then you can do that in the DVWP. If by merge you mean that 20 items from List A and 30 items from List B result in 50 rows, then either solution will work. –  Mike Oryszak Nov 18 '11 at 17:28
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Just published this morning:

vLookup type rollup for #SharePoint, no 3rd party web parts required. http://bit.ly/bT0YmU

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I agree with Mike that the Data View Web Part, used in crosslist mode, is your best bet.

If you are working with tasks lists, you can directly try out this DVWP builder: http://blog.pathtosharepoint.com/2010/05/25/tasks-lists-roll-up-beta-available-for-download/

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You don't have to use cross list mode for DVWP to be useful. DVWP supports multiple lists via an aggregated datasource. CrossList can have performance penalties in some situations. If you know in advance how many lists I would go aggregated datasource first... –  Nick Hadlee Jul 20 '10 at 6:52
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There are lot of such solutions like SharePoint List Collection in addition to Data View Web Part. The problem of that is those solutions pull date from other lists into a view. Not meet your requirement of merging multiple lists into a master list. Did you give a try to lookup functionality of SharePoint if you are using SharePoint 2010.

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Did you try using a SQL UNION in the query behind the list ?

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