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Lists usually have variable data in rows and fixed fields in columns. The list developer creates the columns and the list end user creates the rows containing the data.

Is there a good way to use a list to capture data where both the columns as well as the rows are variable?

Example: A roll call list to record which people are present at each meeting (date).

         10MAR  17MAR  24MAR  01APR ... ... ... ..
Joe         X      -      X      -
Mary        X      X      X      X
Peter       X      X      X      -
Paul        X      -      X      X
Ringo       X      X      X      -
John        -      -      X      X
...
...
...

As new meeting participants start coming to the meeting, new rows need to be added. That's not a problem. But as new meetings occur, new columns need to be created too. End users of the list do not have experience or permission to add columns to the list. I would like to make this so the end users can complete the data without support because many instances of the list will be used and I don't want the end users to require developer support every time.

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  • 1
    I don't think it's a good idea. Add list items with columns People and Meeting date. And Then export the data to excel/access to generate the report that you want Apr 13, 2020 at 20:17
  • What version of SharePoint is this for? Apr 13, 2020 at 21:35
  • SharePoint online
    – Eric Strom
    Apr 13, 2020 at 21:35

1 Answer 1

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We don't want to add a column each time there is a new meeting. Variable number of columns is not something that SharePoint can do out-of-the-box.

Option 1:

  • Create a multichoice column and add names there
  • Every time you have a meeting - create a new record and select user names that you want want to target

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Option 2:

  • Create a Yes/No field for every user

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Option 3:

  • Create an Excel file with the structure you want.
  • Upload it to SharePoint

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Option 4

  • Create a OneNote notebook in a SharePoint Library
  • Create a table in this notebook and start using it

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3
  • Thanks for your thorough response, I think I will need to do option 3 or 4 (probably 3, since many of our end users are not familiar with OneNote), SInce meeting attendees are not fixed and there will be many instances of this same list, each with different meeting attendees, options 1 and 2 aren't really viable in this setting.
    – Eric Strom
    Apr 14, 2020 at 14:59
  • @Mahn, can you accept the answer if it helped you? Apr 14, 2020 at 15:38
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    Got it---------
    – Eric Strom
    Apr 14, 2020 at 16:51

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