Wednesday, July 03, 2019

I really like my SharePoint list based blog that's not a SharePoint blog

I don’t think anyone is terribly interested in this, so I’m not going to provide a lot of detail, but if you want to know more just email

So why am I writing anything? I’m writing because this thing has worked very well for years. Alas, nobody at work appreciates the simple genius of how it works. So here I can vent.

I ignored SharePoint’s clumsy native blog. I built my blog off the SharePoint announcement list which has basically worked the same way for 10-20 years. Like every list in SP it has an RSS feed (deprecated in newest versions of SP alas) and email notifications with user controlled update frequencies. So the subscription side works fine.

I added a couple of fields to the basic list. One is for tags. Tags let me create topical views of the list by creating SP views that filter on tags.

The other field (and this worked better than I imagined) was to create my own PUBLICATION_DATE field and sort the blog (list of announcements) by publication date. The default value is the date created — but I can edit the publication date without changing the post URL!

The last is wonderful. Instead of having to point to an old post and perhaps add some new additions, I just update the old post and revise the publication date to current. SP regenerates email notifications to subscribers, updates the RSS feed, and the view shows the updated post at the top — but the URL is unchanged so links don’t break.

It’s really simple, it’s worked very well for 2-3 years, it should work indefinitely. I wish other blogs worked that way — let me revise publication date, sort by that date, don’t break links.

PS. Why SharePoint? Because where I work that’s what we have. We aren’t getting anything better.

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