I have a list of employees. There are two departments and an employee will belong to one of the departments. Both departments have some fields in common and some unique columns. Should I create a single list for departments and have department as choice field and show/hide unique columns based on department selection or would it make more sense to create different lists for each department. What are the possible pros and cons of each approach.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Robert Lindgren Jan 31 '14 at 12:38

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Feels like this question is very speculative and opinion-based – Robert Lindgren Jan 31 '14 at 12:36
  • You are right. Looking for some suggestions before taking final call. – Nadeem Yousuf Jan 31 '14 at 12:37
  • Then I will close this question for being "Oppinion based", these questions are off topic here I'm afraid – Robert Lindgren Jan 31 '14 at 12:38

I would go with one list with two content types, one content type for each department.

That way you have everything in one list and every content type has it's unique fields and on list level you have the fields that are shared by all the content types.

About the options you mentioned:

  1. Using Choice field

    Pros: You have all the employees in one list and can filter, group etc. OOTB

    Cons: Requires more work to implement the column hiding functionality based on the choice field value

  2. Two lists

    Pros: Its very easy to do it

    Cons: You don't have OOTB viewing, grouping, filtering functionality in one place for all the employees, so some more work needed to get that functionality

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