Let's say that we have two site columns, named Department. This column will be used in one content type as an recipient and in another content type as sender.

What is more the best practise? To have two different site columns or just use one? This problem is actually more complicated. For example, a column site named Date. Should y have one site column "date" and use it everywhere or for every content type you use different "date" site columns?

2 Answers 2


I would definitely make them separate, unless the contents are logically identical (there is a single list of possible departments) in which case a single managed metadata term set with two columns both pointing to it would be best but a single site choice column is probably good enough. I definitely would not use a single Date column for every possible type of date across the business. If you want them to all show up as Date in list views and forms, you can make the display name for all of them Date, but their internal names should be unique and give some idea of what this is the Date of.

The other reason to use one in common might be if you want to be able to make changes to the site column and have them propagate to all the lists. But this also adds a risk of doing so accidentally and causing unintended consequences.


Assuming you are pointing Department at the People:Department in the term store and you don't want to anchor or default to a particular term, then I would definitely use the same site column in each case - keeps views consistent. If say you had to have send dept or receive dept in the same content type or list then that would be an argument for creating 2 site columns pointing at the same terms in the term store. As for date this can be assigned everywhere though I would give it some context in the name e.g "Purchase date"

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