I am working on a new SharePoint project, where we need to define a site template that has 4 issue lists. And end users will be creating sub sites based on the template.

Now the problem I am facing is on how I will be managing the drop-down fields' choices, as I will have 2 types of dropdown fields:-

  • “Shared dropdown”, such as Issue Status, Category. Where all lists created through the template will be having the same choices, for example status will be ; open, closed, pending & category will be internal, external, etc on all the lists. where these dropdowns will be managed by the site collection admin at the site collection level.
  • The other type of dropdown are “lists Specific” will be list specific. Such as “Subsite Location” where each sub-site’s list will have unique choices. And those dropdown will be managed by the sub site admin at the list level.

Now I am not sure how I should be creating these 2 types of dropdowns. I tried the following 2 approaches, but each one have some drawbacks:-

1) To define the entire drop down fields either shared or list-specifc at the site collection level, and add them to a new content type that have the built-in Issue as it parent. But by doing so, will allow sub site admin to modify the dropdown lists on the list level even for the shared dropdown lists, and doing a site collection modification will override any list-level customization.

2) Second approach, for all the “List Specific” drop down to define the drop down as a list column and not as a site column. In this way all the new lists created through the template will have unique choices and cannot be override by a site collection modification. But still in this way sub site admin can modify both drop down lists at the list level.

So I cannot find a way to manage this? I mean SharePoint will always treat all drop down lists in the same way, where sub sites admin can modify all the dropdown lists at the list level,, while I only want them to be able to do so for specific dropdown fields?

Can anyone advice on this, i mean should i worry too much about this, or i can have all the fields as site columns and inform sub site admins that they should only modify certain fields, after that i need to inform site collection admin to not modify any list-specifc fields at the site collection level to prevent them from overriding any list specific modification ?


1 Answer 1


You can try Managed Metadata fields in this scenario where the admins for Taxonomy are separate set of users with in SharePoint.

Let me know if you have any questions.

  • but as i know that when you create a managed metadata , you still need to create a link between the column and the associated term set. so even if you can manage the managed metadata by Taxonomy admin ,, you still need to link the column with the associated term set which can only be done by sub site admin ot site collection admin,, is this correct ?
    – John John
    May 26, 2015 at 11:31
  • Your understanding is partially correct, but you can always write the association related code in some event receivers like WebProvisioned to make that happen. So subsite admin need not to do anything manually than just using them.
    – Naveen
    May 26, 2015 at 15:09
  • but end users will be creating sub sites on demand based on the templete, and alos there will be a taxnonomy . so i can not understand the relation between the two, and how i can using event reveivers to add such an assosiation ?
    – John John
    May 26, 2015 at 20:21
  • John, According to msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/… you should be able to write your code in WebProvisioned which will be executed while the site is provisioning. Here is the code which will help you to associate the termset to managed metadata field blogs.msdn.com/b/sharepointdev/archive/2012/04/16/… Let me know if you have any questions
    – Naveen
    May 27, 2015 at 5:06

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