Currently, I have a requirement to minimize the places for data input. Meaning, users do not want to navigate to multiple lists to input different data (different being the keyword). I understand that I have the option of using different content types, views to display specific columns for the specified data input, as well as different form types.

The below picture is just an example and is not the data I will be collecting, the secondary level of data is just to show how each data input could vary greatly:

enter image description here

Are there drawbacks to using one list to collect multiple types of data? I don't want data organization and integrity to be hindered.

2 Answers 2


Generally you can do this, especially if you will use different content types for each entity type, but personally I don't like the idea of keeping all and completely different data types in one list. It's similar to keeping all possible data in single table in database. In my opinion, it's better to use many lists to organise data in logical manner.

Potential drawbacks:

  • Different entity types would use the same Id sequence
  • It would be easier to exceed list threshold
  • When creating custom solution like event receiver attached to this list or custom form, you would have to make code branches for different entity types what increases complexity

Don't go AllUserData path. :)

  • Thank you for the insight. In order to reduce the amount of clicking, it may be easier to logically place the "new forms" grouped in a fly out as an example. Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 15:16

We did something like this and one list is easier to maintain than many. We separated the data by including a category field, and we had different web parts displaying different views. We also had a requirement to capture the last time anyone updated the list and you can't do that with multiple lists. One drawback is that you can only make the category field required.


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