An Accordion View, Custom List View Display Templates (CSR)

Implementing CSR display templates as a custom list view is one of my favorite things about Client-side Rendering in SharePoint. The reasons are twofold:
 
  1. First, we take full control of the view. We’re not just rendering some little piece (i.e. one field) of a form about which we’re not supposed to know anything.
  2. Even better, the deployment for this is very simple, in fact, it can be done entirely through the OOB SharePoint user interface…sort of!
The devil’s in the details and every SharePoint developer-related topic seems to include a “sort of”, but still custom list view display templates in SharePoint are pretty cool.

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Tabbed Forms with Client-side Rendering (CSR)

In this post, we’re going to look at how to implement tabbed forms using CSR. Unlike our previous examples of field rendering, which generally depend on only one field, tabbed forms are going to depend on all fields in the form. For this reason, it makes sense that we’re going to inject our JavaScript by setting the JSLink property of a content type. Content types are, after all, basically just a collection of fields. There are some gotchas’, or at least things you should be aware of when setting the JSLink on a content type, which I’ll cover as I get to them.
 
Giving credit where it’s due, the code for this rendering template is an adaption of a tabbed forms rendering template that is available in the Office Developer Center samples for Client-side Rendering. I’ve included a link to that article in the references below. Like most tutorials, deployment is left up to you in that article, and it’s assumed you’ll just add content editors to your forms to get the script loaded. I’ll include a utility for setting the JSLink property on a content type, which is a much better solution with some caveats.

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A Full-Fledged Client-side Rendering (CSR) Template, a Rating Field

In this post I’m going to write a more full-fledged CSR implementation, in that I’ll do the rendering and override template behaviors to deal with that rendering. It will be a simple rating field that let’s the user rate an item with a value from one to ten. I’m also going to override most of what you might want to override when implementing a display template to modify a form field, as in the NewForm, EditForm, DisplayForm, View, and OnPreRender callbacks plus Validation.
 
So far, all of the CSR display templates I’ve shown for modifying form fields have been fairly evil. At least from Microsoft’s point of view. The reason is that I haven’t actually rendered anything, I’ve let SharePoint do the rendering and then manipulated the DOM afterward. In general, Microsoft would say, if you didn’t render it, don’t touch it. I can see their point, but then again if SharePoint gets me 80% of my customers requirements and I have to hack it a bit to get the other 20%, I’m not too proud.

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Dynamic CSR (Client-side Rendering) Templates

As in, write the template once, drop it on the site, and then allow administrators to apply it to appropriate fields based on SPFieldType, in the browser, without ever having to edit a JavaScript file. So when I first started learning CSR, I was looking for it to be a replacement for custom field types from SharePoint 2010. But it isn’t really that. If I created an Autocomplete custom field type and deployed it, an administrator could then go through the browser and create as many instances of that field type as they wanted. But with CSR, the fields to which it applies are hard-coded in the JavaScript, which means if an administrator wants to apply a template to another field, she has to open the JavaScript and modify it. That’s not really comparable to custom fields. In this post, I’m going to show a utility page which implements what I’m calling Dynamic CSR, whereby an administrator can apply a template to a site column through the browser without even having to know that it’s implemented in a JavaScript file.

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Creating an Autocomplete Client-side Rendering (CSR) Template

I’m going to do one more CSR Template that doesn’t really render anything, but rather changes something that SPClientTemplates actually renders, an autocomplete template. This one is a little less invasive, because it also doesn’t override the render method, so it doesn’t have to call the out of box renderer and be aware of the consequences of doing that. It can do that because it only cares about a single field, the one it’s going to modify, so it can safely do it’s work as soon as that field is rendered. That means that it can just override OnPreRender and OnPostRender.

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Setting the JSLink Property of a Field Using JavaScript

In my last post I showed a utility page allowing you to set the JSLink property of a site column. In this post I’m going to dump the code on you, and then explain parts of it. It’s just a SharePoint wiki page with some JavaScript in it using the JavaScript Client-side Object Model (JSOM), so you can just drop it in the Style Library (or any document library really) and click on it to start using it.

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Creating Cascading Lookups with SharePoint Client Side Rendering (CSR)

I have two goals in this post. First I want to show using CSR in SharePoint to do something cool (or at least useful), cascading lookups. Second I’d like to show a utility page that allows you to configure JSLink in a much better way than setting the JSLink property on a web part using the browser.
 
For the first goal, I’m going to create cascading lookup lists in a SharePoint form. I chose cascading lookups for a number of reasons:
 
  1. It’s a form customization that people frequently ask how to implement on forums like stack exchange (probably the single most common request).
  2. There is a nice implementation built into the jquery.SPServices library by Marc Anderson, which I’m going to use.
  3. It doesn’t require any custom rendering. Everything it does occurs after rendering. But it does have to override the render method, so it will need to pass through the rendering to the out of box client templates using the same technique as CSRSpy from my last post.

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Overview of SharePoint Client Side Rendering (CSR)

What is Client Side Rendering (CSR) in SharePoint? CSR is an API whereby Microsoft has pushed much of the process of rendering raw data as HTML off the server and onto the client (i.e. the browser) in the form of display templates (JavaScript) in SharePoint 2013 and later. It is a replacement for much of the XSLT that you may have written for previous versions of SharePoint to modify forms, views, and search results. This XSLT was processed on the server, and if you went nuts with this it could have a serious negative impact on the performance of your farm.
 
So, what can you do with CSR? You can develop display templates to modify list forms, views, and search results. As you might imagine, that’s a pretty big topic, so this post (and several follow up posts) will talk about overriding the rendering of fields in list forms. Eventually, I plan to post about view and search display templates as well.

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