SharePoint 2013 Foundation (SPF) and Server (SPS) SharePoint 2010 Foundation (SPF) and Server (SPS) Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 / Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007
SPF & SPS 2013 • 2010 • 2007
User Voices
« Solution Installation and Feature Activation | General Filter Settings »

Walkthrough: using FilterZen

1. It's a Web Part

Filtering data, information, Lists, Libraries and other Web Parts with FilterZen always involves using the FilterZen Filter Web Part. It is the sole mechanism to define filters and connect them to your data.

That however does not necessarily imply that you can use FilterZen "only on Web Part Pages". Technically and strictly speaking, it does — but more pages in SharePoint are Web Part Pages than you might know. In addition to the Web Part Pages you create yourself from the Create page (or by clicking New in a Document Library with the Web Part Page document template), all of the following types of SharePoint pages are actually Web Part Pages, so you can can customize their appearance and behavior by adding Web Parts to then:

  • All (out-of-the-box and custom) List Views and Document Library Views
  • List Forms (New, Edit, Display — adding Web Parts to those forms cannot be done from the browser, but is possible from SharePoint Designer)
  • Home pages in most web site templates
  • Search Results pages in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server
  • Pages and tabs in Document and Meeting Workspace web sites
  • All pages in Blog and Wiki web sites

In all these places, you can use FilterZen to filter the information displayed. After you have installed the FilterZen solution package and activated the site collection feature, you can add the FilterZen Filter Web Part to any Web Part Page in the accustomed way. After having switched to page Edit Mode from the Site Actions menu and having clicked the Add Web Part button in the Web Part Zone of your choice, you will find it in the Add Web Parts dialog:

(If the Web Part is not available in the Add Web Parts dialog, (re)activate the FilterZen Filter Web Part Feature under Site Collection Features, as described in the last section of the Solution Installation & Feature Activation chapter.

Add a FilterZen Filter Web Part to the Web Part Page that contains the List View or Data View web part that you want to filter. (A List View Web Part is automatically created by SharePoint every time you add a list or document library to a Web Part zone using the Add Web Parts dialog or other page editing tools such as SharePoint Designer.)

2. Connect the Web Part

The Web Part points out to you that it is not 'connected'. By 'connecting' the Web Part, you tell it which Web Parts should receive the filters you will set up shortly. Connect it to to the List View or Data View Web Parts on your Web Part Page that you want to filter by using the Edit / Connections Web Part menu:

This notification, and other output produced by the FilterZen Filter Web Part is only ever rendered in Edit Mode by default, so that the Filter Web Part is invisible to page visitors (unless you have set up dynamically generated or manually created interactive filters).

After connecting the FilterZen Filter Web Part to at least one other Web Part, its appearance changes to display relevant contextual status information and potentially helpful hints about your filters and its connections — again, only in Edit mode by default, keeping the Filter Web Part invisible to your visitors.

3. Set up your filter(s)

Once you have the FilterZen Filter Web Part connected to other Web Parts and have set up and enabled at least one filter for it, it will send them filters, each composed of a filter name and a filter value, whenever the Web Part Page is rendered, by determining the filter names and values from the context and logic provided by your individual filters. When connecting to List View or Data View Web Parts, the filter name ultimately corresponds to a Column name.

In this walk-through, we will filter a Tasks List View to only display tasks assigned to the current user that are due 'tomorrow'. To start, choose Modify in the edit Web Part menu. In the Web Part tool pane, in the All Filters section, select the type of filter you want to add to the Filter Web Part — to implement the filtering requirement outlined above, we will need both a Date Filter and a User Filter — and click the Add this new filter icon. So start by selecting Date Filter and clicking the '+' icon:

This will bring up the embedded Date Filter editor right in the Web Part tool pane. Below, we have already set up the filter as this example requires it. This setup will filter the Due Date column (with the internal name DueDate) to only yield values representing 'tomorrow':

By saving the DueDate filter and then applying the Web Part modifications, the connected Web Part will be filtered accordingly already. Repeat the same steps as above, but this time select the User Filter type before clicking the '+' icon, to create the required user filter. The following set up will filter the Assigned To column (with the internal name AssignedTo) by the current user:

The only settings that are relevant to this very example are the Column / filter name setting at the top, and the default filter value setting just below. You may ignore the other User Filter settings (hidden from the above screenshot) for now, they are explained in the User Filters chapter.

Once all filters and Web Part modifications have been saved, your connected Web Parts will again be filtered as specified.