I've got a list in WSS 3.0 documenting work tasks by position that has a bunch of repeating fields such as Task1, Equipment1, Controls1, Task2, Equipment2, Controls2, Task3, Equipment3, Controls3, etc, etc. All in all, it's around 50 fields, but this number could be going up soon to about 90 to 100 because there might not be enough room to accommodate the number of work tasks for some positions.

What I'd love to do is head that off and normalize this a little by putting the repeating fields in their own list and then be able to add and edit those items in the New and Edit forms of the parent list, kind of like an Access form with a subform. I would like to allow the user to create as many or as few work tasks as are actually required for the position being documented.

I've got SharePoint designer, but not VS.

1 Answer 1


It really depends on what you actually need to do with the lists. I've created a few dozen "tracking systems" over the past few years that essentially had a two lists on the site; one to track the parent records and one to track the child records with a reference back to the parent record.

You can configure pages to show both the parent and the child list and link them using the Web Part Connections feature. This allows you to select a row in one list (parent or child) and filter down the other.

You can also add a filtered view of the child list on a customized view of the parent list's View Item page (customized in SharePoint Designer). Everything else above can be done directly in the browser.

If you want/need to add another layer of sophistication, you can add a web part that can make it easier to add a related item into the child list linking back to the parent list from the same page. This is a bit harder, but can be done without VS (using jQuery) if needed.

  • The site is to replace a form built on an Excel worksheet. The child records would be taking the place of a table in the middle where the user can answer the same questions one or more times, depending on how many tasks are to be documented. The rest of the form, before and after that table, are questions that are answered once each. Given that, how would you recommend handling the creation of a new item?
    – Carlos
    Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 0:17
  • If you need everything in one form then you are either looking at a custom form that interacts with the two lists or at something like InfoPath which supports a repeating table. Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 2:00

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