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May012009

Using SharePoint List Data CSV Exports

Why Export SharePoint List Data to CSV?

CSV stands for "comma-separated values" and is a seasoned, proven, stable and cross-platform file format for exchanging data records of identical or similar structure. Most advanced, industry-strength software programs can read in and import CSV data files easily, including Microsoft Office Excel (for spread sheets) and Outlook (for contacts). Utilizing the sophisticated, customizable CSV data export solution provided by ExportZen can make your highly custom data transformation or migration processes and tasks so much easier and faster to accomplish.

How ExportZen CSV Data Exports work for SharePoint Lists

ExportZen integrates one or more Export actions into the Actions menu of SharePoint List Views:

Clicking the menu item will let users download the SharePoint List data as a CSV file:

Defining Your Export Action

To make the above work, you need to tell ExportZen just four things:

  • the title of the Export menu item,
  • the description of the Export menu item,
  • the Columns to be included in the exported CSV data file and
  • the types of Lists compatible with this export.

To do so, you just need to create at least one item in an ExportZen Action Definitions List, after you have activated the ExportZen Action Definitions List Site Collection Feature. While you can create such a List from the Create page (available from the Site Actions menu) by clicking ExportZen Action Definitions (under the Custom Lists section), note that one such List should already exist in your root Web Site, titled ExportZen Action Definitions (under the web-relative URL Lists/CsvExportActions) — check the All Site Content page to find that List:

In your ExportZen Action Definitions List, simply create and save a new List item to finally define your CSV Export action:

That's it! This CSV Export action you just defined is now available in the Actions menu of the specified Lists, and clicking it will download a CSV data file with only those columns you specified.

Export actions in ExportZen Action Definitions Lists in a root Web Site are available to Lists in all Web Sites across that Site Collection.

Export menu item not showing up? You can also link to your CSV export:

Your Export action will not show up in the Actions menu of Document Libraries and other SharePoint Libraries, and in addition may not show up in List Actions menus of heavily customized SharePoint environments. To direct users to a CSV export of a given List, simply give them a link to http://your/web/site/url/_layouts/roxority_ExportZen.csv.aspx?exportlist=list_guid — replacing, of course, the your/web/site/url part with your SharePoint Web Site URL and the list_guid URL parameter value with the GUID of the List to be exported.

  • If you have more than one export action defined, you can pass a rule URL parameter with the numeric List Item ID of the export action definition to be used.
  • If you have more than one Export Action Definitions List, you can specify the one to be used for looking up the applicable export action by passing a rulelist URL parameter with the Export Action Definitions List GUID.