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I am facing problems in understanding how i should be managing sub sites that have been created using a template. now i have followed the following process :-

  • I created a new sub site (the sub site have 4 lists) and save it as a template.
  • Then end users start creating sub sites based on the template.
  • Let say that the template have a list and this list have a column named “Category”, which have four choices, A,B ,C & D
  • At the begging I was thinking that I can manage the Category column for all the sub sites from the site collection level, and have the effect on all the sub sites. so for example if we need to add a new choice for the Category I can simply; modify the Category at the site collection level , and add a new choice , where this will be reflected on the sub sites.
  • But when it comes to real, users start asking that they need to have unique values and settings for some sub sites, for example some subsites need to have different choices for the Category column. so the only approach i found is to allow end users to start managing the fields and the content type setting at the sub site's list level .

  • but start managing the columns and content types at each of the subsites' lists, will prevent me from doing any changing at the site collection level, because if I do any modification at the site collection level , I cannot guarantee that this will not override any customization that have been made by end users at the sub site or list level.

So now I am in a situation between giving end users the flexibility to have unique values and setting for their sub sites columns and content types at the list level, and between the ability to apply global changes to all the sub sites from the site collection level…

so how SharePoint support this situation??, i also have other scenarios such as the following:-

  1. let say that for the some sub sites we need to add a new column at one of the lists. now if i modify the related content type at the site collection level ,, this will affect all the underlying sub sites. so should i in this case add the new column manually at the associated sub sites ?
  2. some drop-down columns will be empty at the template level, and they need to be populated by end users after creating the sub site.. so the only available way is to modify the column at the list level.

so can anyone adivce how i should be approaching the above in a recommended way ? and is managing the columns and content types at the list level a bad practice ?

  • I think you shoudl look the Managed Metadata Services, Content type hub.technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee424402.aspx – Waqas Sarwar MVP May 14 '15 at 1:47
  • @WaqasSarwarMCSE i already have a managed meta data and i link them to columns,, but how i can benefit from this in my current project? – john Gu May 14 '15 at 10:28
  • @WaqasSarwarMCSE but not sure if using a managed meta data or content type hub will solve my issue. as manged meta data and content type hub provides a shared list of values and columns.. and i already define this in the site template.. my problem is not with how to re-use content types and columns as these will be inside the site template.. my main problem is that after creating sub-sites based on the template,,, and end-user want to have their own settings for the CT & columns,, then the only approach will be to modify the columns and content type at the list level,,, – john Gu May 14 '15 at 11:23
  • but in this case i can not managed the subsites' lists columns and content types in a centralized way ,, because any global update from the site collection to update a site column or a site content type might override any customization that have been made at the list level,, this is my problem .... – john Gu May 14 '15 at 11:23

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