I'm running into a situation where a Site Collection has several sub sites. Each sub site has data related to a particular geographical region. When trying to create content types / site columns for use in each site's document libraries, naming conflicts in site column names become inevitable.

For example:

Site A - Create a site column with the name of "Field Office" that is a lookup to a list on Site A.

Site B - Create a site column with the name of "Field Office" that is a... whoops, can't use this name because its already being used by Site A.

I guess we could use something like "Field Office [Geographical Region]", but that starts to look a bit odd on the SharePoint list forms, re: we already know we're in the geographical region, why is the form re-stating that?

Further, there are sites in the site collection that are represented by Division; these sites will have Site Columns with a "Field Office" as well.

What have you done in the past to overcome this limitation?

  • I object to being called an unknown yahoo... – Metro Smurf Mar 21 '11 at 20:48

I dont see any problem with using something like "Field Office [Geographical Region]".

As far as displaying in list form is concerned, the display name can be changed from individual list settings. So "Field Office - US" and "Field Office - Europe" can be displayed as "Field Office" in respective region sites.

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  • Brilliant! I always thought when you changed the name on the library, it updated the parent site column as well. Thank You. I'd up vote you, but I don't have rep. – Metro Smurf Mar 21 '11 at 20:49
  • .. been playing too much TF2, the answer was so obvious xD – James Love Mar 21 '11 at 22:36

I'd recommend creating your Field Office as a singe Site column at the Site Collection level - then use Content Types for each region at your Web level, re-using that Field Office column.

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  • The Field office choices should only be relevant to the region. Each site maintains their own list of field offices. I'm not sure this would work. – Metro Smurf Mar 21 '11 at 19:49
  • Ah right, Field Office is a lookup, gotcha. The only option I think is to have separately named columns - or you could separate each region off into their own Site collections, but this might have issues when you want to roll up across regions. – James Love Mar 21 '11 at 20:04
  • The site collection suffers from wild wild west syndrome. The option to re-architect isn't an option here. You know how that goes. Really is quite frustration that you can not have duplicate site column names in separate groups. – Metro Smurf Mar 21 '11 at 20:13
  • Absolutely - I have had this problem before but in the heat of the moment (lol), I just thought "f*** it, I'll use another name...". It is quite daft though how that even thought column has a GUID and an InternalName, both unique, the Display Name still needs to be unique. – James Love Mar 21 '11 at 20:21

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