I have created a custom list and added a multi-value user field (no groups) called AssignedTo to the list's definition. Using the SharePoint interface I added an item with a value for Title and AssignedTo (I put two users into the AssignedTo field).

I have tried adding a third user, deleting one of the current users, and completely nulling the field's value using the REST API (ListData.svc). Regardless of what I do I receive an error.

Request Headers:

Request:    POST /_Layouts/_vti_bin/listdata.svc/TestList(1) HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/json, text/javascript, */*; q=0.01
If-Match:   W/"3"
X-Requested-With:   XMLHttpRequest
Referer:    http://dev-02/_Layouts/PAR/peoplepicker.aspx
Accept-Language:    en-us
Accept-Encoding:    gzip, deflate
Content-Length: 1128
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/5.0)
Host:   dev-02
Cookie: WSS_KeepSessionAuthenticated={535c3f2a-f7de-4a31-8a43-f7fa5a0e57e3}; Ribbon.ListItem=944977|-1|281|911837184; Ribbon.ListForm.Edit=620323|-1|272|-1226667017; Ribbon.Permission=944977|-1|451|-1941869242; Ribbon.List=944977|9|33|911837184
Connection: Keep-Alive
Cache-Control:  no-cache
Content-Type:   application/json


    "Id": 1,
    "Title": "Some stuff that does not work?",
    "AssignedTo": {
        "results": [
                "__metadata": {
                    "uri": "http://dev-02/_vti_bin/listdata.svc/UserInformationList(5)",
                    "etag": "W/\"1\"",
                    "type": "Microsoft.SharePoint.DataService.UserInformationListItem"
                "Id": 5,
                "ContentTypeID": "0x010A00F0F0729F7F61C84E91A87204A17DF669",
                "ContentType": "Person",
                "Name": "Jason Young",
                "Modified": "/Date(1362402512000)/",
                "Created": "/Date(1362402512000)/",
                "CreatedBy": {
                    "__deferred": {
                        "uri": "http://dev-02/_vti_bin/listdata.svc/UserInformationList(5)/CreatedBy"
                "CreatedById": 1073741823,
                "ModifiedBy": {
                    "__deferred": {
                        "uri": "http://dev-02/_vti_bin/listdata.svc/UserInformationList(5)/ModifiedBy"
                "ModifiedById": 1073741823,
                "Owshiddenversion": 1,
                "Version": "1.0",
                "Attachments": {
                    "__deferred": {
                        "uri": "http://dev-02/_vti_bin/listdata.svc/UserInformationList(5)/Attachments"
                "Path": "/_catalogs/users",
                "Account": "DOM\\jyoung",
                "EMail": "[email protected]",
                "MobileNumber": null,
                "AboutMe": null,
                "SIPAddress": "[email protected]",
                "IsSiteAdmin": false,
                "Deleted": false,
                "Picture": null,
                "Department": "IT",
                "JobTitle": "Electronic Engineer"

Response Headers:

Response    HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request
Cache-Control   private
Content-Type    application/json
Server  Microsoft-IIS/7.5
SPRequestGuid   3911096c-a7da-4571-80fe-f00ac79bcecb
Set-Cookie  WSS_KeepSessionAuthenticated={535c3f2a-f7de-4a31-8a43-f7fa5a0e57e3}; path=/
X-SharePointHealthScore 1
DataServiceVersion  1.0;
X-AspNet-Version    2.0.50727
Persistent-Auth true
X-Powered-By    ASP.NET
Date    Thu, 11 Apr 2013 21:11:24 GMT
Content-Length  175

Response Body:

    "error": {
        "code": "",
        "message": {
            "lang": "en-US",
            "value": "Error processing request stream. The payload must represent a valid array format for collections."

1 Answer 1


To remove one user from the multi-valued lookup you send a delete to http://dev-02/_vti_bin/listdata.svc/TestList(1)/$links/AssignedTo(5) where 5 represents the ID of the user you wish to remove from the lookup field.

If you want to add a user to the multi-valued field you send a post to http://dev-02/_vti_bin/listdata.svc/TestList(1)/AssignedTo with the X-HTTTP_method: MERGE header and the following payload:

        "__metadata": {
            "uri": "http://dev-02/_vti_bin/listdata.svc/UserInformationList(14)",
            "etag": "W/\"1\"",
            "type": "Microsoft.SharePoint.DataService.UserInformationListItem"

Where 14 is the ID (in the UserInformationList) of the user you wish to add to the field. This exact methodology will work with other lookup fields as well.

WARNING: If you send a DELETE to an URL and do not specify $links in the URL as shown above you will delete the associated list item NOT JUST the relationship. This generates a 500 server error if it is a user value.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1" standalone="yes"?>
<error xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ado/2007/08/dataservices/metadata">
<message xml:lang="en-US">An error occurred while processing this request.</message>
<message>Cannot complete this action.

Please try again.</message>
<stacktrace>at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPGlobal.HandleComException(COMException comEx)&#xD;
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.DeleteItem(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, Int32 lID, UInt32 dwDeleteOp, Guid&amp; pgDeleteTransactionId)&#xD;
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItem.DeleteCore(DeleteOp deleteOp)&#xD;
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItem.Delete()&#xD;
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Linq.EntityTracker.Delete(SPListItem item)&#xD;
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Linq.EntityTracker.SubmitDeletedEntities()&#xD;
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Linq.EntityTracker.SubmitChanges(ConflictMode failureMode, Boolean systemUpdate)&#xD;
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Linq.DataContext.SubmitChanges(ConflictMode failureMode, Boolean systemUpdate)&#xD;
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Linq.DataContext.SubmitChanges()&#xD;
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Linq.DataServiceDataContext.SaveChanges()&#xD;
   at System.Data.Services.UpdatableWrapper.SaveChanges()&#xD;
   at System.Data.Services.DataService`1.HandleNonBatchRequest(RequestDescription description)&#xD;
   at System.Data.Services.DataService`1.HandleRequest()</stacktrace>
<message>Cannot complete this action.

Please try again.&lt;nativehr&gt;0x80004005&lt;/nativehr&gt;&lt;nativestack&gt;&lt;/nativestack&gt;</message>
<stacktrace>at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequestInternalClass.DeleteItem(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, Int32 lID, UInt32 dwDeleteOp, Guid&amp; pgDeleteTransactionId)&#xD;
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.DeleteItem(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, Int32 lID, UInt32 dwDeleteOp, Guid&amp; pgDeleteTransactionId)</stacktrace>

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