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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 systems 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

In SharePoint 2007 (WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007) ExportZen integrates one or more Export actions into the Actions menu of SharePoint List Views:

In SharePoint 2013 and 2010 (Foundation and Server) ExportZen integrates one or more Export commands into its own Export to CSV menu inside the Connect & Export section of the List ribbon tab:

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

In addition to making CSV exports available interactively to end users as illustrated above, you can also utilize the same ExportZen capabilities for scheduled automation of server-side, unsupervised, background List data exports.

Defining Your Export Action

To make the above work, you need to tell ExportZen just a few preferences, by specifying for a given export use case (which can then be re-invoked time and again) some so-called Export Action Definition Settings, such as:

  • the title of the Export menu item,
  • the description of the Export menu item (optional),
  • the Columns to be included in the exported CSV data file and
  • the types of Lists (or the name of the List) compatible with this export and various other settings.

To do so, you just need to create at least one rule on the Export Actions page available via Site Settings / ExportZen Studio / Export Actions:

On the Export Actions page, simply create and save a new rule 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, fully reflecting all of your export action definition settings.

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

Your Export action may not show up in the Actions menu of SharePoint 2007 Document Libraries and other SharePoint 2007 Libraries, and in addition may not show up in List Actions menus of heavily customized SharePoint 2007 environments. (Such incidents have so far not yet been observed under SharePoint 2013 / 2010 however.) To direct users to a CSV export of a given List, simply give them a link to http://yoururl/_layouts/roxority_ExportZen/expo.aspx?exportlist=list_guid&rule=youraction — replacing, of course, the yoururl part with your SharePoint Web Site URL, the list_guid URL parameter value with the GUID of the List to be exported and the youraction URL parameter value with the name of your export action.